Sunday, October 27, 2013

Go Full-Out

I haven’t been giving things my “all”. I think in an attempt to show people they are wrong, I do everything strictly the way they instruct, and of course it doesn’t work. And I know that as I’m doing it. But I’m using it as an excuse for some reason – maybe to perpetuate my feelings of being misunderstood and alone. For example, dance class. I feel like I’m not growing or pushing myself. Well yeah, because I’m putting as much effort into it as I PERCEIVE others are, which probably isn’t even true. I merely fit in, when instead I should be doing whatever I need to do to push MYSELF. Or at work – I don’t have to try to be respectful by just making minimal changes to a PowerPoint slide when I know I can do much better if I totally redo it. I’ve been noticing these things – areas where I think I’m doing what I’m “supposed” to do, but I’m holding myself back. I know better – so I should be DOING better. THAT’S why I’m not getting the results I want – because I’m settling for what everyone else thinks is the “right” way, and doing it perfectly by the book, when I already know that’s not going to get me what I want or need. So I’ve started giving myself permission to go full-out. At dance, even though I’m now super out of breath and sweaty, I’m giving the warm-ups my ALL. I’m making sharp, strong movements, because THAT’S what makes it enjoyable for ME. It pushes me, both in skill and in strength. And it’s FUN! At work, granted I was given permission to do it this time, but I’m going to go full out with my own ideas, because I’m starting to feel comfortable and confident in those ideas, and those ideas shouldn’t go to waste just because I’m trying to be “polite”, which doesn’t even make any sense.

I’m also starting to let my judgments show. I don’t know how I feel about that one, but I think it needs to happen as a Step 1 in a multi-step process. I’m so worried about not hurting people’s feelings that I’m just smiling and nodding like an idiot. No! If someone says something that doesn’t make sense, I’m going to at least express it in my face. I’m going to point out whatever it is that I’ve noticed. Again, normally I try to be polite and not pushy or rude. So far, when I’ve done this, I’ve either had no negative reactions, I’ve opened someone’s eyes to something they hadn’t thought of, and I allowed one feeling to fuel my efforts to resolve an issue… if that makes any sense. I don’t want to go into detail, but the point is, nothing bad happened. No one cried or yelled at me. I didn’t do anything bad by expressing myself, even when the expressions were what you might call “judgmental”. It’s only mean if that’s my intent. Well, for some people it can be mean even if they don’t intend it to be… but I’m so far off from that, that’s not a problem I have to face, at least for now. This is all about feeling comfortable expressing myself, good or bad. And it is working.

I have to stop following everyone else’s “rules” on how to achieve things, and stop trying to “prove them wrong” by PERFECTLY doing exactly what they ask, only to show that it doesn’t happen. I’m literally setting myself up for failure. I need to forget everyone else and do what I KNOW needs to be done, and go FULL OUT and just GO for it to accomplish whatever task I want to accomplish. I know that I can FEEL it when something isn’t working. I have to find the balance between the guilt (“I shouldn’t do this, I don’t deserve it…”) and the torture (“I don’t care if I’m in pain, I have to KEEP GOING!”). If I’m going to eat a piece of chocolate, then by golly I’m going to enjoy that piece of chocolate. If I’m lackadaisically doing an exercise move, I’m going to turn it into a sweet, sharp dance move and get into character with it! And if I feel my knee starts to hurt, or I feel dizzy, I’m going to STOP! And that’s just exercise. I need to do this in all areas of my life. I’m finally gaining the confidence in myself to do this sort of thing. I thought I had that confidence… but I see now that I really didn’t.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Just a Bully

The way I was raised, I never felt good enough. If I got a B+, why wasn’t it an A? It felt like a tiny flaw (at LEAST) was always found in whatever I was doing, and I was chastised for it. Always. How could I be so STUPID as to forget XYZ? I never felt I received praise, and I was always terrified of screwing up. And if I did do something right, it was expected, and we’d just be on to the next thing I screwed up on.

Then I got to college, and I saw how, based on those standards, everyone around me was a complete screw-up. Everyone else was an idiot. I was shocked and horrified. But guess what? That made me feel a whole lot better about myself. For the first time ever, I felt like I was doing okay. I may not be perfect, but I sure am a hell of a lot better than all these other idiots. And so began my judgmental reign.

Really, I’m just a bully. A compassionate bully who generally doesn’t say stuff to people’s faces, but a bully nevertheless. The more I notice other people screwing up, the more I can pat myself on the back for being smarter or better than they are. That’s my praise.

So my being judgmental is just to make me feel better about myself. Just like anyone else who is judgmental. Just like the horrible people who comment on YouTube and the people who viciously attack their opposite political parties. I have boundaries, and it may be on different things, but it’s exactly the same problem. Great…

How do I work on this? I guess every time I have a judgmental thought I need to turn it around on myself and tell myself it is okay to do or be whatever “it” is. But how do I believe myself? I don’t right now. If someone makes a really stupid decision, I can’t convince myself that it isn’t bad to make such a decision. If someone doesn’t know something completely obvious, it’s hard to not feel like they are an idiot, and that’s a bad thing. And I’m terrified of having people ever think I’m an idiot, so I make damn sure never to come off that way.

I’ll have to meditate on it. It’s funny how freeing others from your judgment is tightly tied to freeing yourself from judgment.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Start with the Person in the Mirror

You can’t help the world until you take care of yourself. You can’t bypass that part, because until then, you’re just reacting based on your own fears and judgments. It’s about you, and not about the world. Even when you are doing the right thing, it is for the wrong reasons. All the more reason for me to stop trying to figure out what my calling is and get working on it – I’m still helping myself right now.

My mind isn’t clear enough to be genuine, as much as I want to be. And sure, maybe what I currently think it is will be it, but everything is too cloudy for me to be sure and to see how. It’s not my responsibility to fix everyone. It’s not my responsibility to show everyone their wounds and help them heal them, at least not right now. It is, however, my responsibility to fix myself and love myself, so that one day I can be fully prepared to devote myself to something that WILL help others. At that point, no one will be able to intimidate me or talk me out of it. No one. I’ll be at peace with myself, and confident, and will have no more fears or judgments that they can exploit. I know I have tons of them right now, but that’s okay. I’m getting there. It just takes time.

I have to gain the confidence in myself and my decisions such that name-calling and "logical" explanations don’t cloud the truth within me. Any clever person can create a logical explanation for or against something. If my life path strays away from everything I’ve ever been taught, I have to have the confidence to stand by it instead of shrinking to the insults and fake pity I may get from others. That’s always a huge thing for me. I hate that. I can’t handle that. So I follow what I have to do to avoid it. But that can’t be my driving force. The fear of being called stupid, spoiled and irresponsible cannot be the driving force for why I do what I do. I won’t let people, no matter how important they are to me, blackmail me into living a life that makes sense to them and makes them feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and leaves me empty, lifeless and purposeless. I’d be denying my own happiness, my own gifts and my calling. I’m not being of service to ANYONE if I am angry and miserable inside. I’m not being of service to anyone if I don’t use my absolute best talents, no matter how socially accepted they are.

And here’s the thing – not everyone has the same passions. Some people do dream of being scientists and making discoveries. If everyone followed their dreams, we wouldn’t become a world of hippies – we’d have the best of the best working on EVERYTHING. True passion for their work. And in this day and age, I think a lot more people need the emotional help that I can give. Everyone can see the damage of mental illness these days. Maybe I’ll be able to help with that. You definitely can’t say that’s being an irresponsible hippie – that’s literally saving lives.

I need to focus on trusting and loving myself right now. I need to make sure I am my biggest cheerleader, no matter what. I need to care for myself and take time away from stressful things when I need it, and then get back up on my feet when I need to. I need to stop feeling negative things about myself. I need to stop identifying with whatever situation is in front of me. I need to give myself the freedom to exist beyond whatever is happening right now, and beyond whatever the important people in my life think is the “right” way to be.

It’s time.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Slow Down

I’ve been pretty on-edge and stressed-out lately, and I think part of the reason is that I’m trying to do too much as far as my spiritual journey. I’ve come such a long way that I just want to fix everything left in me and find my calling and just start doing it right away. Yeah, that’s not how it works. I need to slow down. I don’t have to have it all figured out right now. I shouldn’t be trying to rush myself and plot things out using the ego-based logical mind. I’m not there yet - I shouldn’t be forcing it into a box.

I guess you could say fear has been rearing its ugly head. I keep thinking, so what is my calling? What will I be doing? What can I be doing now to go towards that? I know my skills I’ve learned thus far should be preparing me for something, so what is it? How do I use those skills in my calling? Is my calling really counseling and artsy stuff? What about all my education? Am I throwing that all away? I was LUCKY enough to have those opportunities, and knowledge is how you make things happen, but am I being a hippie just wanting to spread love and light? What if everyone did that, then no one would do anything to keep the world running!

I have a lot of fears and questions right now. But that’s when I stopped and reminded myself that I’m not there yet. I don’t have to worry about all of that. I can’t jump ahead like that. I’m still figuring it all out and still fixing myself. That will come LATER. It’s just hard to wrap my mind around it. I literally don’t know if my career path is going to stay the way it is or go in a different direction. I’m sure right now I can’t even imagine what will end up happening with that, so there is no use in trying to pinpoint it. It’s just hard when others are trying to help and guide me, when I don’t even know if I’ll want to be around for it. I just don’t know. I guess just don’t burn any bridges and learn all you can, which is what I’ve been doing. Don’t say, “Oh I don’t care about that, that’s not the direction I want to go in,” because I DON’T KNOW at this point. I really feel like the skills you learn are for a reason, so I’m sure I will be much more down that path than I’d care to admit at the moment.

I just wish I knew what lies ahead…

I’m also trying to turbo-boost my spiritual lessons. But that’s not how it works. It takes time, and it is an endless journey. I’m focusing on the wrong things. I know I need to focus on loving myself and being happy, not on what lessons I’ve necessarily been learning. I’ll know when I learn them, I don’t need to be hunting for them so forcefully.

You just have to keep reminding yourself that it’s all about the journey, not the destination. Like a rollercoaster – the ride is fun because of all the ups and downs, twists and turns, not because of where you arrive when it stops. That’s the sad part! Maybe that’s it, though, maybe I’m trying to create a twist or a turn. But if you aren’t experiencing them, you probably aren’t ready to yet. Other twists are probably still sinking in.

Slow down and love yourself. That’s what I need to keep telling myself throughout the day.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Reach Out for What You Need

Deep, old wounds heal slowly. I had a situation that brought me back to one of my most painful wounds – feeling that what’s important to me had been blown off and dismissed by someone important to me. I was crushed. That feeling that I don’t matter and what I want is stupid flooded my heart. It’s funny how the smallest thing can bust that door wide open. My ego and my pride fought back, desperately trying to defend against an enemy that was really within ME.

And then I looked around. No one. No one knows and no one cares about what I just went through, and the pain I was feeling. I needed someone to care, and there was no one, as always.

As a self-aware person, I knew I had to take a deeper look at that fact. There are people I know that I could contact. In my mind, I’ve decided they don’t care, or they’ll make it worse, or they’ll see me as weak. But maybe they won’t. I’d decided everyone has failed me when I haven’t even given them a chance. By refusing to reach out for support, I’m just manifesting my own fear – that I am alone and have no one to be there for me. I can’t let fear of rejection, fear of pain or fear of a bruised ego keep me from seeking out what I need in a moment like that.

So I reached out. I asked couple people for support. It was wonderful. Just knowing people were listening and caring helped me feel tremendously better. I also stepped away from relying on a friend who really isn’t compatible with me on this matter. Now that I reached out to others, I didn’t feel the need to get mad at that person for failing me. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, right?

This was a big lesson for me. I put aside my pride and went out and asked for what I needed from a place of vulnerability, and I was given what I needed. I didn’t reach out for pity or for attention. I reached out for support. And I felt the overwhelming compassion and love, and I felt better. What a miraculous concept!

Are you asking for what you want?