A Little Help From My Friends

It’s amazing how lonely a big city can be. Perhaps its enormity reminds me of just how small I am in the scheme of it all. I try to start everyday on a positive note, but some days despite my best efforts, I just can’t shake the funk.

Today was one of those days…

I know that I have so much to be thankful for and I know in my heart that everything will work out in the end, but the journey can be all-consuming at times.

I find myself impatience for what is to come and melancholy about my current state of reality. There are a lot of things in my life that are currently up in the air and sometimes it feels like I will never quite be able to grasp them.

As a result, it becomes very lonely in my head and my heart. Will my dreams of success in life and love ever become a true reality or will I always be in a state of unrest and unknowing?

And the unknowing is the worse part of it all.

I know that life is a struggle and not every day will be filled with positive energy. Everyone has those days where it seems like you are fighting just to breath, the world around you is crumbling at your feet and you are powerless to stop it.

But it’s how you choose to deal with these lows that determines whether the outcome will be positive or negative.

I reasoned that my somber feeling today was most likely due to feeling lonely and a bit homesick. I am miles away from almost everyone closest to me and I miss them all immensely. It’s not that I don’t like to be alone, because it’s quite the opposite, I love my alone time. However, I miss having the option to spend time with the most important people in my life.

I strongly believe that each connection we make with someone is part of a greater plan. Those we choose to share our lives with are meant to be in our lives for one reason or another. So, it only makes sense that although I am excited about my current venture, I am deeply missing their presence in my everyday life.

I reached out to my friends today and they reminded me of my strength and the inner light that always carries me through. It’s amazing how those close to you know exactly what to say to lift you up. We get so caught up in the moment we are experiencing that we start to lose our momentum towards the final goal.

I am so blessed to have people in my life who see in me what I am too blind to see in myself. Thank you for reminding me that I am still the strong and powerful person I always have been and that this is just a fleeting negative moment. You give me peace in knowing that no matter what happens, I will always be loved.

All my love 🙂

Don’t Take Things Personally

One of the hardest things in this life is not knowing where you stand with someone.

Especially if you know exactly where they stand with you.

After reading The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, I have been making a conscious effort to make these new agreements with myself that he says will change my life. My favorite of the four is “Don’t take things personally”. For me, this is also by far the most challenging.

For many years, I have taken everything personally. The words of others shoot directly to my heart. I internalize them as absolute truth. In many cases, this is my biggest mistake.

The truth is people are inherently selfish and unintentionally self involved. The actions of others are a reflection of themselves and no one else. Therefore nothing they say or do should be taken personally.

It’s a hard concept to wrap your brain around, but once you do I would imagine the feeling to be freeing!

For example, in love we would hold no expectations, allowing us to appreciate the moments we shared without worry of what will or will not manifest. There would be no fear of rejection, because we would know in our heart that should our love not be returned, it is not our fault. It is nothing we have done or not done well enough. The feelings of others are beyond our control.

When we fall for someone (especially when we don’t plan to) we become vulnerable to their actions before we have a chance to rationalize how it will feel if they don’t join us in the fall. Our need for acceptance and reciprocation become all-consuming. Each day that passes is a struggle to keep it cool for fear of making the wrong move. We want so badly to tell them just how we feel, but instead we let this fear hold us back.

I don’t know about you, but for me loving someone is beyond terrifying. I have been hurt so many times before that just the idea of going through that again makes my stomach turn. In the beginning it’s always great! Like that moment I wrote about on Insane Roots yesterday; A twinkle of Ecstasy with a Hint of Fear!

But knowing how it will feel if it doesn’t work out brings warnings for extreme caution. No one wants to be the one to put themselves out there. Myself included.

If we were to learn not to take things personally, we may have an easier time of finding the courage to be the one who takes the first step to say “I miss you” or “I’m thinking of you”. If we received an undesired response and didn’t take it personally, maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much. We wouldn’t think of it as rejection, but rather divine intervention that we were embarking on the wrong path.

When you think of it this way, the actions of others serve as your compass. Leading you to your final destination. When we reach a dead-end, we can be excited for the journey ahead and thankful that time has been kind to save us from drowning in something that was not meant to be.

If we are impeccable with our word, don’t make assumptions and act out of love and kindness, then there is no need to take things personally because we know we are always doing our best to be true and honest.

I’m sure you can see why this is my favorite and the most challenging of Ruiz’s agreements for me.

If I am being honest, I may have grasped the concept, but acting on it is an entirely different thing!

Oh well, we all have to start somewhere 🙂

Image courtesy of nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Finding Bliss

“Imagine living your life without the fear of being judged by others. You no longer rule your behavior according to what others may think about you. You are no longer responsible for anyone’s opinion…

Imagine living without fear of loving and not being loved. You are no longer afraid to be rejected, and you don’t have the need to be accepted. You can say “I love you” with no shame or justification. You can walk in the world with your heart completely open, and not be afraid to be hurt. ” – Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

Wouldn’t this be wonderful? I don’t know about you, but the very idea of opening up to someone is terrifying to me. I have been hurt so many times that it is hard not to allow my actions to be ruled by fear. Especially the fear of rejection. I am the type of person that when I love someone, I am all in. When I give another person my heart, I give them all of my heart. I believe very strongly that tomorrow is not promised to anyone, so it is very important to me that those close to me know how much I value them.

Sounds like I’m on the right track doesn’t it? You would think so, but sadly this kindness has been taken advantage of many times before. As a result, the words “I love you” don’t come so easily to me anymore. Out of fear of rejection, I hold back my feelings, bite my tongue and stay in the safe zone.  This may prevent me from being hurt, but it will also prevent me from being free.

Ruiz tells us that it is possible to overcome this fear and live in a state of bliss. A state that he calls “the dream of heaven”.

And how do we find this state of bliss?

By changing the agreements we have unconsciously made with ourselves that we are supposed to be or not be a certain way. By letting go of our insecurities and loving ourselves for all that we are.  Only then can we be free from our hindering emotions that lead us in the wrong direction.

“The only reason you are happy is because you chose to be happy. Happiness is a choice, and so is suffering. Maybe we cannot escape from the destiny of the human, but we have a  choice: to suffer, or to love and be happy.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

Catching My Breath

Well life sure knocked me on my ass this weekend. I thought I had it all figured out. I had a plan for my future and everything was slowly falling in to place. Sure, there were certain aspects of my life that were missing, but I had come to terms with the possibility that it may always be this way.

And, without notice, everything changed.

It happened so fast, I can barely catch my breath. My head is swimming, my heart is pounding and my body still trembles as I replay the best moments of my life over an over in my mind.

I built these walls around my heart for fear of letting anyone in again and just when I thought the fortress was secure, he walked in. Call it fate or divine intervention, whatever it is, I am completely terrified of it. I swore to myself I would never again let someone change my plans. I fought the idea of falling for days, but then it occurred to me, what if he is the plan? Do I stick to my convictions and risk missing out on something wonderful? Or do I take a leap of faith and risk being hurt?

No one can foresee the future, so sometimes you just have to jump in head first and hope you can remember how to swim.

Yellow Shovels

I have been throwing around the idea of working on some short fiction lately. My first attempt was a zombie fiction piece I wrote the other day on Random Thoughts from Insane Roots and it was pretty fun 🙂

Today, I decided to go through some of my old writing to look for inspiration and I find this cute little gem.

Yellow Shovels

My fondest memory shall always be of simple yellow shovels.

The first of many moments I shall hold within my heart.

Youngest hearts forever bound by simple plastic treasures that seem so silly now.

Barely capable of memory, there we stood.

No idea of what the future may hold or any conprehension of love.

Yet, I can not find a single day of my life that I have not loved you.

For as long as I can remember, you were held so deeply within my heart.

Image courtesy of photoexplorer at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Expanding my Horizons

When I originally started this blog I was beginning my journey in reconnecting with myself and finding my true path to happiness. I ended my first post (Finding myself) with this: “I am optimistic and confident that I am on the road to success. Maybe not success in the way that everyone views it, but success for me is knowing who I am and what I want. Only then can I know how to pursue my true happiness!”

That was almost two months ago and a lot has happened since then, so I decided it was time for a flash back to ensure I am still doing what I set out to do. When I left Madison, I was feeling pretty defeated and overwhelmed. My self esteem had taken a major hit and I knew I needed to work on my confidence level or I would end up becoming a hermit who spends her days sitting at home with her cats writing instead of stepping outside to experience life. I was determined to NOT let this happen.

In the posts that followed, I explored the realm of possibilities for my future and began narrowing down the steps needed in order to better my life. I made a list of the joys in my life and have spent the days following focusing on them intently. I have made drastic changes in my diet, which I will post about at a later day (It’s going well) and I have picked up many of the activities and creative outlets that have escaped me for so many years. I have made attempts to changing my self perception and boost my self-esteem, which has resulted in the ability to slowly creep out of my shell. It’s all rather liberating!

I am not afraid to say that I am very proud of myself! Looking back on the person I was just a few months ago, I can honestly tell you that I have come a long way. I realize that one of the major reasons for my low emotional state stemmed from my fear of rejection and all of the pent up anger and hurt I was keeping bottled up inside.

In my last post to Random Thoughts from Insane Roots (one of my other blogs), I talked about forgiveness and how freeing it is to forgive those who have wronged you regardless of whether they are willing to give you the closure you are craving them to. In the end we are the most powerful force behind our own happiness. There is no question that everyone experiences trying times in life, some more than others. However, it is up to you to turn these struggles in to strength and rise above tragedy. Dwelling in anger and pain is not healthy and it will not lead you down the right path. It can actually keep you from moving in any direction at all.

One of the blogs I love to read is BodyMindHeartHealing, the author is extremely talented and her posts are always inspiring. She reminds you that the healing power is within all of us, we just need to find a way to tune our self into it. I highly recommend checking it out.

We are all on different paths and we can not let the fear of the unknown keep us from pursuing our true happiness. More over, we must rid ourselves of self-defeating thoughts and learn to love the very essence of what makes each one of us special in our own way.

Be your biggest fan, it’s okay, really 🙂

Blogging 101 (Day 9) – Be Inspired!

Yesterday, during our Blogging 101 assignment to continue connecting to the neighbors, I found several wonderful new blogs to follow and connected with some very inspiring people! The post by Words in Bulk, Inspire Hope, gave me goosebumps. It was like he took the words write out of my mouth and posted them for me to see. The author and I seem to be living somewhat parallel lives and struggling with where to go next, how to identify our true passion and determine what we may offer to the world.

In his post, he discusses the difference between ‘doing something with your life’ versus ‘doing something in your life’.

As he puts it:

“What I do with my life isn’t really important or up to me.  What I do with my life is selfish and worldly.  Its materialistic, its simple, it’s unimaginative. What I want to do in my life is much more than that. I want to inspire. I want to give hope. I want to reassure everyone that will listen that everything is going to be ok.  I want to live in this life as an avatar of hope.”

And that is when the goosebumps arrived! I read this and thought…That is exactly what I want to do IN my life!! I want to be an avatar of hope! Looking back, I seem to be very easy to talk to and many of my friends and family reach out to me for support and at times just to hear me tell them that it will all be okay. Sometimes all anyone needs is a little reassurance and I am honored to remind them of just how wonderful they are!

The author goes on to discuss the struggle in pursuing this goal on the days when we ourselves are feeling uninspired. How do you tell someone else it will all be okay on the days when you don’t believe it yourself?

What does he do? He writes!

What do I do? I write!

My favorite quote from this post is “I write to beat the demon of doubt from myself” – I have never heard it described in this way and it is perfect! On the days when I am not feeling up to the challenge of life, I pour my thoughts on to the pages until I am able to work through what ever it is that is bothering me. Which is helpful, because sometimes I have no idea what it is that is bothering me until I start exploring my feelings. Once I have a handle on the source, I blog about it in some manner in the hope that my experience will inspire others in a positive way.  This is the whole reason behind writing my book.

I know there are others out there who have had similar struggles to mine and I want them to know that it will be okay. You can find a way to rise above your circumstance and it may not be easy, but if you are dedicated and determined, you will find your true path. Everyone is special in their own way and no one should ever feel as though they do not have a purpose in life. We all do, sometimes it is just hidden under all the pain and disappointment surrounding us.

Whatever the method is that you use to “beat the demon of doubt” from yourself, once you find it your path to healing will surely begin!

May you all be inspired today!