Sunday, January 30, 2011

You've Gotta Please Yourself

I sometimes find myself trying to please others.  It seems as though somewhere deep inside me I feel that if I just try hard enough to be perfectly sweet, I will succeed in being chummy with everyone I know.  I understand this is not realistic.  I understand that the world is made up of all kinds of people, with all kinds of opinions and perspectives.  I'd be contorting myself into every crazy shape in order to be what all these people want me to be.  I know this because I've done it, and boy is it exhausting!
When my goal is to please others, I don't stand for anything.  I don't take a position.  Instead, I just go along smiling in agreement.  When my goal is to live up to the principals I believe in, I please myself and feel proud of who I am. 
Once I began to stand up for what I believe is right, I found that most people don't want me to give up who I am to please them.  My indeterminacy leaves them wondering what I really meant by my words.  People will sometimes stare blankly while trying to decipher my true thoughts and intentions.  That's not good for either party.  It detracts from the relationship, leaving it relatively shallow, whether a marital, sibling, employment or any other.  It's much more comfortable to conduct a relationship when you know where the other person stands and there aren't undercurrents of unspoken feelings. 
A relationship based in truth is meaningful.  If I stick to telling the truth about what I think, feel, and do, I please myself.  People don't always want to hear the truth because it often hurts; but only in truth is there growth.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Making Up Scary Stories

I alluded to this phrase in another blog post, but feel it is potent enough to stand on its own.  Unless you are authentically psychic, you don't know what will happen in the future.  Even the events of the next few minutes are unknown, despite the fact that you have planned your whole day perfectly.  Anything can happen.  What initially seems like bad news might turn into something good.  An unexpected opportunity may be placed before you as a result of a situation that "fell apart".
I struggle so often with worrying about things that may happen.  I make up scary stories that erupt fear and anxiety about things that haven't happened yet and probably won't.  I think, "What if I'm never able to make a decent salary?" or "I'll never be able to finish all these things I have to do by the end of the week."  Then my heart pounds, my mind spirals into negative thinking, insecurities and self-doubt.  I become irritable and distracted from the real goal, which is to remain grounded in serenity. 
The list of potential scary stories is endless and can be quite subtle and sometimes create a stream of negative thoughts.  The only antidote is to recall that we only really have the present moment.  How are things Right Now?  How am I doing at maintaining a positive outlook and accepting responsibility for what I can do to affect the present moment? 

Friday, January 21, 2011

I refuse to hate my life!

A friend told me yesterday that his sister, alone at a bar, sent him a text, stating "I hate my life."  She's a twice-divorced mother of two waiting impatiently for prince charming to sweep her off her tired feet and relieve her of her misery.  I have some struggles myself, worrying about selling my house in a rotten market, finding a new, suitable house for myself and my children that I can afford, and developing a career path that I will enjoy and that will net me a reasonable income.  So far, my diligent efforts have resulted in frustration.  I have had neurotic visions of my future as a bitter woman in deep depression, scrambling to make every end meet.  But then I realize I must compose myself.  If I allow my circumstances to dictate my emotions, I have lost the battle and the war.