I absolutely loved this post and have considered writing one of my own for quite some time. I’m probably going to end up sharing way too much here, but you know, I believe in authenticity. I believe in honoring one’s own truth. I believe in honoring each other’s journeys so I share a little of mine.
I remember the first inkling I had that I was attracted to women was when I was in 6th grade…in Catholic school. I was heavily Catholic. Believed in and practiced the Church’s teachings to the fullest extent possible. Believed with my whole soul. And back in the early 90’s, bisexuality wasn’t really a thing yet. Not like it is now. I chastized myself heavily for even looking at other girls, for thinking anything sexual about them at all. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve been struggling to write this post for a few weeks now. Ever since I learned that I passed the bar exam in my state, I have been struggling with how to write about it. How to reconcile it to what I’ve believed about myself for so long and more than anything deciding what to do with myself now.
This picture jumped out at me as I was trying to find a way to describe how I felt about taking the bar exam again. Taking the exam, while not the most important thing in the world, is a monumental and scary rite of passage. I was being asked to cross a chasm separating two immense mountains. The first is the mountain of my experience as a student. I had faced failure, faced success and conquered it all. The other mountain was the mountain of my profession. Several have crossed this path before. It shouldn’t be that hard…but the fall is so great if you’re unsuccessful that it’s daunting to even consider reaching that mountain. And that path, a tiny bridge between two worlds so similar but so very different looks as if the moment you step upon it, you’ll plummet to your doom.
The first time I took the bar exam I was full of confusion, hatred for the path and resentment. I fell and I fell hard. I didn’t pass the first time. I have used tons of excuses over the years to explain why I fell (“I was pregnant at the time”, “I was buying a house”), but the honest reason is I wasn’t sure I wanted to be on that mountain. After I fell, after I gave birth, I climbed back up to that precipice to try once more. But again, I lacked commitment and purpose (yes, even I lacked purpose). I allowed myself to become distracted and in truth I did a lot to sabotage myself because the same month I was supposed to take the exam is the same month my husband and I became polyamorous. Looking back on it, I can see why I fell, why I failed the bar that year. But nevertheless I was in that chasm dividing these two mountains.
Earlier today I got an annoying message on Facebook from a HS acquaintance who wanted to correct me for the stance I have taken on gay rights and specifically same-sex marriage. I posted my response to my feed there but I decided that I wanted to take it a bit further and just keep saying it loud:
Obviously we need a reminder. Let’s be clear, I am a supporter of same-sex marriage. I am an advocate for equal rights for all people. And so I don’t react well when someone wants to “take me to task” for my beliefs.
For all the people trying to make this a religious argument–that marriage is a “religious act” that government should have no part of, then I highly suggest you make your actions match your words and reject any and all government benefits you receive for being married. I challenge you to file your 2012 taxes as “single”, to divide your property according to contract law and purchase your own insurance instead of benefiting from your spouse and to be subjected to a custody evaluation to ensure that you are fit parents for your children. Go out today and make a will that doesn’t rely on presumptions of law. Hire an attorney to draw up any powers of attorney you might need in the event of an unforeseen disaster. Oh and be sure that if you are asked to testify against your spouse in a court of law that you don’t invoke spousal privilege or marital immunity. Go on. If marriage is only a religious rite/right then this should be no problem…rejecting all the ways in which your marriage is entangled with government and getting government out of the way.
You can’t have it both ways.
If you’re unwilling to to give up your benefits for the status of your relationship then you better be willing to extend those same benefits to everyone else who has made just as sacred a commitment to their spouse as you have. They are prevented, by law, from obtaining a marriage license in order to have the same legal recognition as you. Why? Because of the gender of the person they have felt compelled to pledge their life to. A simple matter of gender and that somehow is enough to restrict their ability to enjoy the same benefits and certainties as you. Sorry, but marriage is not a private matter, not when so many governmental treats flow from that change in status.
The God I believe in loves unconditionally and blesses each of us unconditionally. You lose nothing in this deal except the peace of mind that the peculiar combination of your boy parts and girl parts make you special in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of God. Just like colleges, businesses and clubs were forced to open their doors to women or to men and women of color, you wrap your institutional identity so tightly around this concept of “specialness” that you feel you might lose your identity if others are allowed into the club.
Stop acting so persecuted and petulant. Recognize the privilege you have and extend that with grace and compassion to others.
This morning I participated in an online “oneness” meditation with hundreds of other people from around the country. While others had this immense feeling of well, oneness, and awakening, I felt something that has been virtually inaccessible to me for the past several years: my own light. I get glimpses of it from time to time, it shines through brightly only to fade silently into the twilight of my own fears and anxieties. While I have been a healer to others over the years, able to see the invisible energy centers twirling and dancing within, I’ve never been able to see my own. Until the meditation today.
Today I sat in the silence of my own truth and was able to see why I’ve grown so distant from myself, why it has been so hard for me to trust…not just others, but in particular myself and my own skills. Here is what I saw: Read the rest of this entry
I awoke from a nightmare early this morning. Yes, yes…it was just a dream, but you know how those images stay with you? How the emotions stirred up in a dream haunt and disturb you in your waking life? This isn’t the first time I have had this dream…but it was the first time I tracked it to its source. It is sunrise, I am awake. And I am grateful.
Having slept poorly for the past few weeks I couldn’t imagine anything worse than having to wake up at 5:30 in the morning screaming and crying. I’ve woken up in part because my dreams have me work even harder than I have to in real life. Chasing down leads, following evidence, questioning my every move. It’s exhausting. And this morning I finally came face-to-face with the entity causing all this turmoil in my nightmares, the client I had been “serving” …a very cunning, old and yet wise giant spider. A Queen of Deception set on ensnaring me in her trap.
I am arachnophobic. So let that sit for a moment. And one of my greatest fears is being trapped.
I saw her through a slit in a wall after taking all her advice, after chasing down every lead. And there she was. In all her grotesque beauty. Disturbed and scared I woke up screaming “Never Again!” And in the dark before the dawn, I finally understand it.
In my waking life, just like in my sleeping life, I have been chasing down task after task. But like in my dreams, I have been doing these things, not to serve my higher self, but instead to serve my fears. These tasks, these duties, these actions have not brought me to higher awareness or achievement, but have only served to reinforce the lowest of myself: my fears.
And my response, just like in my moments where I awoke screaming is the same: never again. Never again will I pursue the “safe” path in order to assuage and protect my fears. Never again will I second-guess my motives, my actions, my very life or lifestyle choices to serve and defend the basest of ideas. Never again.
Fear is the antithesis of love. Once it enters into a relationship it stands in opposition of love…questioning it, distrusting it, suspecting it, doubting it. But I don’t want to be known as a woman of fear. I want to be known as a woman of love. I want it to flow out of every corner of my being. It is what I want to give to my clients, my projects, my family, my enemies. I want Love to prevail. Not fear.
All this chasing. All this turmoil had a purpose. And I will take it…
The dawn indeed is quite beautiful.
It’s been a while and there is so much to discuss (Prop. 8 decision, bar exam, queer kinksters of color, polyamory, scening, upstart fucktards who pretend to give a shit but are really masking their own insecurity and narcissism, etc). But I’ve had a few epiphanies over the past few days and weeks that I think a few of you might be able to relate to, so I thought I would share.
Most of you reading don’t know me quite well. I often make that mistake when writing here. I forget sometimes that this isn’t LiveJournal where strangers become friends through investing in and commenting to a piece of writing that they see in the safe space of “Friends Only”. Here I’m utterly exposed (which should explain the lack of photos on this site—maybe I’ll add one just for some flair) and you have no context for why I’m saying the things I do or what I’ve gone through in my journey. You only get scant pieces of the puzzle. Some of you do know me, but not enough of you to be able to fully relate to my experiences or perspectives. I’ve been very pampered on LiveJournal with a small little following (that once peaked at 500 followers) that were eager to gobble up the latest slice of drama that I had to dish out. Drama Diner Special of the Week.
So here is some context: Once upon a time I was a dating a man in Texas. I was his first openly poly experience and he was my first stable poly experience. He was the first man I ever called husband other than my actual husband. It was a fantastic life, separated by way too much distance. He had someone in his life that was a thorn in my side…sometimes more than that, more often less than that. He had been dating her when we met and dropped her shortly after and now he is back with her after our relationship became flaming shards of the happiness we once knew.
During my relationship with him I had gotten mad about something she said or did and she emailed me. I don’t even remember the full content of what she wrote but the line that I do recall is “You create your own drama”. It set me off faster than anything I had experienced before. Next thing I knew I was raving through my office, unloading my anger and rage on every piece of paper and furniture I could find.
That’s how most of us react when we hear a truth about ourselves that we don’t like. That’s how most of us react when it’s shoved in our face so unceremoniously. It’s a shadowy side of denial.
Yes, I said truth. I didn’t admit it at the time, but I….she….he…all of us create our own drama. We choose to see the world a certain way through our own lens of experience. We justify our version of this vision with the victimization we think we’ve endured. It’s not that I create drama, I would say to the imaginary version of her, if you’d stop bringing it to my door there wouldn’t be any drama. Lookie there, me making myself the victim in all of that. In truth, I was indeed creating it or at the very least feeding it, in that particular scenario because I was intervening in a fight, argument or situation that frankly was none of my business and had nothing to do directly with me. In other scenarios it was because I thought I was defending a loved one. In others it’s because I wanted to make my opinion known (as if somehow my opinion is superior to anyone else’s). And in others I was reacting with the first impulse that came into my head that I wasn’t making conscious choices that would benefit me in the long-run.
I take responsibility for the fact that I built my polyamorous relationships to be inter-dependent, to have a sense that what impacts my loves, affects me as well and vice versa. But I think this was taking the idea of interdependence a bit too far. Too often my partners or I would literally take a statement made to one of us as a personal affront against all of us. We all lost potential partners over this…over this insistence of creating our own drama or at the very least prolonging the already existing drama.
But it’s not just when the “honor” of a loved one is at stake, we do it in our everyday lives. We take it all personally usually because we’re either prone to seeing ourselves as the victim or we are insistent that we are not the villain. We do it in such a variety of ways I’m sure we hardly notice it. That guy who cut you off on the highway this morning, I’m sure you’re convinced he did it on purpose. The bill collectors who won’t leave you alone have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you are overwhelmed with the amount of debt you have; they’re harassing you! The friend who is upset with you for not calling on their birthday just needs to get over the fact that you’re just way too busy and important to be attentive to their needs. I mean, like OMG, can you really believe how horribly mistreated and misunderstood you are? And it’s you and only you, right?
See, everyday we make excuses for our behavior and thoughts. We point fingers at the alarm clock that wouldn’t go off, at the boss who just doesn’t like you, at the overbearing mother who won’t respect boundaries (my personal go-to), at the ex who judges you for everything you say, at the kids who just don’t respect your authority. It’s all excuses. We constantly say how “drama-free” we want to be, but we rarely consider how often we are pulling ourselves into that drama, creating it from the ground up with our reactions and often over-reactions to things. How sometimes we’re making excuses to cover up for our own fears and insecurities, our own mistakes and inadequacies. We figure the world is going to judge us, so we judge them first. We impose our self-righteous rage on them before they can point out that we brought this upon ourselves.
Kids, we let drama get to us because it gives us the satisfaction of feeling like we are right. In this big, bad world of unfairness and inequity we are constantly subjected to people and situations that are out of our control. By giving in to drama and creating it we feel some power even in the midst of an acclaimed powerlessness. We can stomp our foot and stand our ground no matter how ridiculous the issue or insignificant the battle. And let’s face it, drama even when it’s self-imposed is exciting. It brings up rage and anger, euphoria and competitiveness. It gets the blood pumping and keeps us on our toes. And when we get really good at creating it, we know just what buttons to push to make it a show-stopping worthy display. And when someone isn’t bringing it to us, we resort to trolling our own lives to create it. Regardless, it gives us a reason to check twitter every 10 minutes, to ignore the mundaneness of laundry and dishes and fills the space left when our favorite tv shows (like MadMen or Walking Dead) are on an extended hiatus. It’s living on the edge: a maddening, harsh and wantonly critical precipice.
But there is a difference between feeling like you’re right and actually doing what’s right. What happens when you realize that living on the edge isn’t what it’s cracked up to be? What happens when you finally want to grow some roots into solid, soft soil?
The past few weeks have been eye-opening about the bar exam. If you want to really examine a drama of my own creation it is that one. I have made every excuse in the world for why I didn’t pass back in 2003 and 2004. And some of those excuses actually were self-critical judgements of my own decisions and lifestyle choices that created its own massive amount of drama. When a former professor told me two months ago that I could pass the bar exam this year I started really examining what that might look like. It’s not about luck. It’s not about whether I’m smart enough. It’s about letting go of all of the drama I had and was continuing to create about it. Being on the precipice of success and failure was no longer cutting it for me.
I was presented with a choice.
I could choose the same old life: living paycheck to paycheck because my law degree makes me overqualified for most types of jobs and I’m simultaneously underqualified for other gigs. Or I could choose something different. I could go through the hard process of figuring out where my problem areas are and I could get up and try again. I could keep calling myself a failure or I could stand up and create my success.
We each have a choice. We have a choice to step back from the edge, stop listening to the whispers in the wind, start to care only about those arguments and battles that truly have an impact on our passions and well-being and address those issues like adults. All it takes is finally making choices that match our intentions of “no drama”.
Feeding into the larger drama machine only keeps you trapped in a world where there are only victims and villains. Life isn’t a fairy tale. There is not good vs. evil. There is not a battle between the wicked queen and the innocent princess. But our cultural story encourages each of us to view ourselves as the victim of our situation. We even compete with each other to see who is most victimized and therefore most deserving a 2nd chance. But what happens when we acknowledge that we are not just victim but villain as well. What if this whole time we’ve been playing against ourselves? What if we have been playing out this grand drama inside us so we can avoid facing those insecurities, doubts, fears and troubles that have grown from our experiences? What if we are really sabotaging ourselves, our dreams, our relationships? What might you be able to accomplish if you spent that time fixing the drama within yourself?
Several years ago I was working with students at a local low-income middle school who were aiming to make something more of themselves. When asked who Martin Luther King, Jr. was they responded uncertainly with “he freed the slaves?” I wasn’t quite appalled, because it’s not surprising that most kids don’t understand the impact this man and those who have been inspired by him had on their everyday life. They know he did something important, but they just don’t understand how significant that impact is on them.
He has been an inspiration to me since I was in 4th grade. We were required to find significant quotes from him and create a poster with those quotes. While I was indeed inspired by the “I Have a Dream” speech, that wasn’t the one that stood out for me. Instead, what I was drawn to were his speeches about love. I may have been the only one that year who used this quote. Later in college he was assigned reading for my philosophy courses. And his 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is still one of the most influential pieces I have read.
We owe it to ourselves and our communities to not just honor this man today, but to actively continue his work in each sector of life. To forge peace in our relationships with our loved ones. To recognize the interconnectedness of humanity in our dealings in everyday society. And to require of our leaders and policy-makers to reflect these values with each decision they make.
So say we all:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction…The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.” Strength To Love, 1963
Last night a bit of a debate erupted over my post about the Focus on the Family ad during the Broncos-Patriots play-off game last night. While I thought my small opinion might be controversial what I didn’t expect was that two people so unlike each other would get into a snarky religious battle in the thread that I’m sure making people on either side of the issue uncomfortable. Okay, maybe I did foresee that just a little. But there I was at 2 am ready to settle in for some sleep when I finally checked my notifications and saw it. So after I woke, I updated my response and share it with you in every form I can imagine:
Dear friends…I am not going to get too involved in this at 2 am. However, if you have been on my list for any amount of time please let me remind you quite clearly that:
a) I believe in equal rights for all, including homosexuals, bisexuals and trans men and women, including but not limited to those who seek to engage in same sex marriage and non-traditional relationships;
b) I have spent the majority of my life defending those rights and fighting the injustice of those who would seek to undermine equality;
c) I believe that God creates us as true perfection and loves each of us with infinite wisdom, innate goodness and unconditional love and does not require the exclusion of anyone from the fullness of oneness with the divine;
d) I believe that freedom of consensual sexual expression is a fundamental right and indeed a gift from the divine meant to express connection to others and provide a greater experience of our shared humanity;
e) I respect the right of each individual to experience and share their experience of faith in an equally respectful manner including but not limited to Athiests, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Agnostics, Pagans, Taoists, Jewish and so many other traditions…I welcome all faiths because I find your journey fascinating;
f) However, remember that you are a GUEST in my space amongst some of my most intimate and respected friends and I ask you kindly treat it as such;
g) As the host of this page, I am unilaterally and unequivocally allowed in MY own space to share my opinions, ideas and observations and will attempt to do so solely as a reflection of my own experience and research;
h) I spent most of my young adulthood studying the bible and later working my way through some of the apocryphal writings and have concluded during my journey that there is not only one way to God, the divine or universal oneness, but many paths that lead in the same direction;
i) If, by some chance the god of love that I have personally experienced in my upbringing, research and my Calling does not exist and is indeed such a vengeful, jealous, emotionally needy, and fearful being will sit in judgment of me upon my death, I will happily risk exclusion from heaven to stand proudly by my beliefs hopefully having spent my lifetime lending my power to those whose voices have been shamed into silence by needless and destructive emotional, physical and spiritual violence condoned by their earthly brothers and sisters;
j) As an attorney and political activist I believe strongly in a separation of church and state…something many of our politicians should remember when accepting donations and our churches should stop trying to exploit through the historically blurred lens of religious freedom,
and finally…yes, finally, I believe in treating others the way I want to be treated.
You are allowed to disagree, you are allowed to debate, but understand quite clearly that I identify as an active and compassionate member of the LGBTQ community and deeply spiritual woman. Because I choose not to remain ignorant of either the Catholic faith I was raised in or the moral abundance of teachings from other sources, I cannot be swayed by arguments solely comprised of scripture. I am an intelligent, queer, cisgendered woman who has spent over 20 years healing the fractures left in human souls by the improbable demands of religion and the social fear manipulations surrounding among other things concepts of sexuality and gender.
Pray for me if you like…but when you have lived my life, borne witness to the messages on the hills of Podbrdo and Krisevac touched the hearts I have and loved as deeply and as fully as I have…then judge not. And I pray to the god, goddess or entity of my choosing that upon your death you will be greeted by a divine presence who is actually IS unconditional love made manifest through each of us.
I expect this message to suffice for the time-being. Defriend me, block me, rally against me. “Like” it if you wish, re-post and share as needed, but do not presume to teach me about my own faith and my god-given life experience any further. I do reserve the right to limit further commentary in my space. My inspirational playground, my rules. A clear statement of healthy boundaries that I expect you to respect.
Re-posted from my personal blog
Everyday I find I am more and more grateful for the fabulous people who have entered my life. Lately, in particular, I’ve been associating with therapists and social workers. I have found these friends to be grounded, positive and rather insightful not just into the human condition (which interests me greatly) but about the impact of simplicity on our overall wellbeing as a society. So when one of them passed along this article to me (one of the many, many great articles he has posted over the few months I’ve known him), I was inspired to pass it along.
Here are the suggestions from that website with a brief example of how I’ve tried to integrate this into my life (I’ve only hit on the first 10 of these….but hopefully it gives you some practical insight)
- Stop spending time with the wrong people: For years I was known for not letting anyone leave my life. I stayed connected with anyone and everyone, even if they hurt me. Whether they were negative, whether they were cheaters, whether they were abusers or emotional vampires (who are not as bad as everyone makes them out to be). This is changing. It’s not just about choosing to spend less time with these kinds of people, it’s about spending less time on them. At some point along the journey in the past 3 years I learned to separate myself from the problems that my friends and loved ones were encountering. And at the same time, I redefined which kind of person really made my soul soar with love, joy and fullness and which kind of person made my soul sink with regret, disdain and obligation. And when I chose to do both simultaneously, suddenly the influence of the “wrong” people lessened and I was feeling less and less hurt. This enabled me to be able to heal much more easily and much more fluidly. So it’s not just about stop spending time with the “wrong people” but it’s about spending more time with the “right people”.
- Stop running from your problems. I still can’t manage to do this in my financial life (in part because I’m not making any money at all right now and my savings are almost all gone). But I’ve been employing this in my personal life. I don’t run away from problems. I do try to face them head on. What they don’t tell you is you can face them head on with compassion….both for yourself and for those you might have a problem with. It takes work and it takes trust, but it is possible.
- Stop lying to yourself. No one else can do this for you. This isn’t about beating yourself down brutally. But it’s about seeing yourself fully. Both your flaws and your strengths. They make up the whole of who you are. The sooner you choose to see yourself as a whole and vibrant human being, the sooner you start living your life with authenticity.
- Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. It’s one of the hardest lessons to learn for those who us who were a) brought up to believe that our needs are selfish and therefore shameful and b) have a natural inclination to give. Resolving this issue is far more complex than you might think. However, giving yourself permission to be cared for and to *gasp* receive that care is so vital to the process. If you find that you have trouble receiving love and self-care, I highly suggest reading The Power of Receiving by Amanda Owen. It has been tremendously influential in my life and shows the balance necessary for those who give and those who receive.
- Stop trying to be someone you’re not. So hard. So very hard. And even for someone who is absolutely adamant that you should never be someone other than Who You Really Are. Anyone who has watched Mad Men knows that one of the central conflicts within the show is the pressure that the characters have not just to conform to what society tells them they are supposed to live like, but to be the ones putting the pressure on the rest of America by feeding them pictures of a perfection that none of them actually experience. It’s brilliant really. I wish there could be a movement in this culture for us to live exactly as we are meant to. To pursue our happiness, to live our lives with authenticity and love. For inspiration I suggest listening to Frank Sinatra sing “My Way” a couple hundred times. And frankly if you’re trying to live the life of a happily married monogamous heterosexual life mate and you feel a dissonance in any of these things let me say very clearly….LIFE IS SHORT. No matter what pain and heartache you may endure, you are entitled, called and indeed destined to live your life with authenticity. And I will guarantee with certainty you will be miserable the longer you keep trying to hold up the mask and hide the beauty of Who You Really Are.
- Stop trying to hold onto the past. This one has been particularly difficult for me. I love the past. I am nostalgic and sentimental. I love re-living the magical moments of my life. And yet, it’s kept me tied there in an uncomfortable and limiting way. I didn’t realize just how much until I encountered my ex over the summer. While reunions are always tinged with nostalgia, it wasn’t until he was back home that I realized I had been holding him to old expectations of our prior relationship and expecting him to be the same person. I was feeling pressure to be the same person I once was as well. We were in a unique place to start something new and learn each other all over again. But holding on to the past also meant holding both of us to the actions, behaviors and ideas of the past as well… let it go and live right where you are in this very moment.
- Stop being scared to make a mistake. Amen! And yet, lookie there…this is hard for me too. Especially in the past 3 years, I have been terrified to make a mistake. Even when I decided to leave my old job and start my own business, suddenly the cost of each of my mistakes was going to be squarely on my own shoulders. I hadn’t expected that. And yet if you constantly are looking to avoid mistakes, how can you really accomplish anything. One of the hardest things for me to learn is that the mistakes offer opportunities to do something truly amazing and by avoiding them, I’m avoiding those opportunities as well. And despite what that voice in the back of your head tells you about what “everybody” is going to think, I can promise that there aren’t a cadre of reporters outside your window ready to report, analyze and criticize your every mistake. And if your friends and lovers really do this, then maybe look at #1 again.
- Stop berating yourself for old mistakes: Yes, another hard one. (If this list were easy would it be necessary?) . I beat myself up for everything. Even being Catholic and having the opportunity to confess my mistakes and receive forgiveness isn’t enough. I continue to punish myself. It wasn’t until I saw my youngest son doing the same thing that I decided enough was enough. I can’t change the past. And my past failures and mistakes are a part of me….but they don’t have to define me. I don’t have to be defined as a “failure” because I didn’t pass the bar exam both times I took it. Half of the work here is reframing the perceived failure or mistake as something new and controllable. Because frankly your perception is under your control. I didn’t fail on the bar exam. I didn’t have the right frame of mind walking in because I was so conflicted about the legal profession itself. I have delayed passing the bar exam and i’m glad I did. I am more mature, more capable and better ready to accept the responsibility it requires of me. I am not my mistake…I am who grew out of those mistakes…something magical and beautiful in and of itself.
- Stop trying to buy happiness. We are told that if we have this kind of home, this kind of car, this kind of equipment, this kind of vacation experience that we will be happy. I’ve had to choose to stop surrounding myself with things. Just like the first suggestion above…stop spending time with the wrong people….stop spending your money on the wrong things. We all desire things, but what will truly make us happy is shifting our perspective about our own selves, our place in this world and our contributions to it. When you find yourself buying something, make sure it isn’t to fill a hole that one of these other suggestions could better fill for you.
- Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. Oh yes! But I want to take this a step further. Your happiness is not in the control of anyone other than you. If you cast your hopes for happiness on another person you’re fighting a losing battle. You are investing in their choices so heavily and resting your happiness on whether or not they make the right choices –for you-. I have made myself crazy doing that. Caring so deeply for others and expecting them to act in a way that would make –me- happy regardless of whether it was making them happy or whether that choice fit with their experience, desires and ideals. Fact is, we are all on our own individual journeys. You don’t know what another person is dealing with or what is fully riding on their choices and decisions, no matter how intimately connected you are with them. They are their own person and you are yours. They can’t make your happiness for you. That’s your job.