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Keep Your Side of the Street Clean

Last modified 2014-03-18 12:55

My 18 year old daughter, Kelly, calls me in a panic.  Her ex best friend has text her because she's heard rumors that she believes Kelly has been spreading about her.  She wants to come down from college and confront Kelly.  Kelly is upset because she says she hasn't said a bad word to anyone about this girl and she feels extremely frustrated because she doesn't know how to prove that she's done nothing wrong.  I listen, as any good mom would do.  I allow a little silence after she finishes telling her side of the story, as any good would do.  And then I ask her the question that has alleviated my stress, given me serenity and allows me to let go of things that would have driven me insane in the past.

"Kelly, have you kept your side of the street clean?"

She has heard this many, many times, especially as a teenager.  She knows what I'm talking about.  She knows where I'm going with the question.  She answers immediately "Yes" and I can feel her tension lessen a little bit.

I was blessed to learn this saying in Alanon, among many other pearls of wisdom.  What this saying has done for me is:

  • Kept me from saying and doing what I would regret later on
  • Kept me from reacting before I could process the situation
  • Helped me to see that I ALWAYS have a choice
  • Humbled me to the fact that I often wanted to act out in a very immature way
  • Allowed me to live with integrity
  • Guided me to behave in a way that I was proud of

As a life coach I am responsible for walking the walk.  I couldn't, in good conscience, help my clients to live their most authentic lives if I'm not living mine.  So I keep this saying in my "tool belt" and I take it out whenever I feel I might step out of my integrity.  It's a powerful tool.  Before you say or do something that doesn't feel in alignment with who you want to be, ask yourself "Am I keeping my side of the street clean?"  It doesn't matter that others don't.  We are only responsible for our actions.  Use it the next time you're drawn into drama and notice how much more peaceful you feel.

In what situation or relationship have you not kept your side of the street clean?

How did you feel then and how do you feel now?

How can you clean up your side of the street if you need to?

Where are you resistant to keeping your side of the street clean? Why?


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