Do you ever stress out about things out of your control? Do you ever imagine a scenario to take a turn for the worse before even having gone through it? This kind of thinking can lead to anxiety and an eventual state of being unhappy. Your palms sweat, your muscles tighten and ultimately you age a little bit quicker than the calm and carefree person.
So why is life so stressful? It really shouldn't be. You have a job which pays for your home, car, and lifestyle. You plan ahead for the future and save when you can. You see your family and friends as much as possible to cultivate relationships and maintain closeness. You take up hobbies like singing, writing, crafting, hiking, running, cooking, etc. in order to keep your passions alive. You find someone on this Earth that loves you for who you are and you fall in love with them for exactly who they are too. All these things are in place so why would you feel so stressed out and on edge?
Well, the answer is different for everyone. On our paths we either feel light and airy or we feel like we’re carrying a 500 Lb satchel on our back. Though the one thing we tend to forget is that we are in control of the way we walk through this world. We are in control of what weighs us down and what we simply move along from. The key is to determine what we need to drop off on the side of our path so that we can walk more purely and freely.
I remember a time in my life - between the ages of 16-20 where I was one of the "light and airy" people whose path was easy and my stride was calm. I didn't have anything to worry about because I was living at home and experiencing anything and everything that came my way. I made some horrible choices in my freedom, but they all turned out to be great learning experiences and made me stronger. If my nature would have been uptight or unwilling to try new things, I would have lost out on so many lessons and life in general. I wasn't stressed or expecting the worse. I had no expectations and was happy with every scenario that played out because I hadn't thought it over to death. I hadn't killed the experience before it had even come to fruition. I was too busy living to think things over so heavily. In my early 20s I became a deeper thinker. I had a lot of things to still fully process and I took this time to do so and I slowly shut down... took a full 6-8 years, but I began to stress on things of my past. How I handled this or that. Started regretting things I had done and people I let into my heart. I became bitter. I had no religion, no real direction. I kept doing what I "thought" I should do instead of what I really "wanted" to do. I became a depressed robot and so 2009 was a very dark and dreadful year for me. I was introverted and cynical. Many things had become clear to me that as a "light and airy" person you just wouldn't have time to worry about. People whom I invested time and love in didn't give me any respect or love back. It hurt and instead of brushing it off my shoulders I internalized it all and became very sad. It hurt me and I just didn't want to become close to anyone new because they may hurt me too.
Then - *POOF* - a realization, a rebirth if you will... The weight of the world had been so light for me because I hadn't tied anyone else's baggage to me. I hadn't let anyone weigh me down back in my late teen years. That was the difference. So, I started to take note of each and everything I was tying myself to. How was it fair that I carry all that on my shoulders when others walked free and clear of it, even if it was theirs to carry? I became aware of my control over my actions, my feelings, my deep cuts that felt like they would never mend. And guess what? They started to heal. I saw in myself the girl I used to be in the “good ‘ol days.” I got back in touch with the girl who didn’t have such “heavy boots.” This girl is still there! She was just covering herself in other people’s bull.
Just this past weekend - over the holidays - I saw more of “her” in me. I was more open and truthful. After all, if I allow anyone else's words to cut me down, that's my fault. I need to stand proud and stand firm in my life because it's where I'm at, it's what I'm planning, it's who I am. And I did. I shined in my silly, unique way and felt proud of me. I also was able to communicate in a more effective manner without overwhelming emotion so I was better received. I felt heard, I felt understood and I feel so much lighter and airy now. I still have a lot of work to do, but this was a big step for me. I didn't feel ashamed of my place in this world because I own it and I know it's where I'm supposed to be to get me healthy and to the next phase of my life. No longer did I feel less than for not having a house, a fancy car or some high-falutin job... I am enough. What I do is enough. What I own is enough. I feel good in my skin and with every piece of what I’m doing. That is a huge step for me. I’m confident in every aspect of me and my life.
It's been an amazingly hard year for various reasons. The end of life is always hard to process and I struggled with that earlier this year and struggle with it again now. It's a sad thing for all of us here to go through, but those who pass into the other side of life are finally at peace and no longer have to wonder what it is all about. As Betty White would say, "Now they know the secret." And isn't that the truth. It hurts to miss someone, but it hurts to see them struggling to live even more. It's just one of those oddities of life that we aren't really supposed to be comfortable with. We all go... It's the memories we hold tight to and the legacy we carry onward. Live for all those who cannot... REALLY LIVE! That's the message I believe we need to take away from the dark side of life.
I've dealt with the death of unhealthy relationships as well. Hurts, but if you're constantly being pointed out as the one to blame and being tormented by other's words then all you can do is take back the power. I no longer will allow anyone to hurt me so deeply. Some call me unkind for cutting ties, but those who really KNOW the ways of evil people understand how the cycle just spins round and round and round. I'm not above my own mistakes and I will never play the victim. My words have gotten me in trouble a time or ten, but I'm no different than everyone else. The most important thing is to be honest with you. Know when you've really screwed up and do your best to make it right. If your apology attempts go without acceptance - there's nothing more to do. I think the biggest red flag in a relationship is when there are disagreements and each time you are the ONLY one to apologize and make things right again. If the other person stands firm and doesn't entertain the fact that they had any wrong doing at all and you're forced to beg their forgiveness... the relationship is done. It's become too one-sided and selfish. We are all here to help each other and love each other and family should always support each other and COMMUNICATE.
My recent relationship meltdown was a 3 year progression. I don't want to go into all of it, but I will say that lately I've gotten a lot of flak for NOT "respecting my elders." It kind of makes me chuckle because it’s so far from who I am. If anyone REALLY knows me - you understand that I'm very nurturing and loving and respectful of my family and especially of my elders. When certain "elders" break my trust and hurt other "elders" in the family... it's hard to continue a fair level of respect. So, just to touch on this subject quickly - I feel that you "get what you give" and respect of any capacity - especially when you're both adults - is to be earned.
Some thoughts on maturity... I believe that in certain environments you must act your age and be business oriented. Work is a formal setting and it's very important to act accordingly. To show respect and dedication, you must show that you are serious in your appointment. Still, I have learned from both my parents and all my family that you should never grow old in spirit. We all have to grow old in body, but if you hold tight to your youth, stay active and enjoy yourself as much as possible - you've found the Fountain of Youth. To look at a Ferris Wheel and have eyes that still light up or to sit down with a coloring book and just color for a half hour. To enjoy the innocence you have managed to hold tight to. That's so important. Now, that's not to say that some people act way too young for some situations. Those who make up stories for attention, have a fit when they don't get their way or want and steal other people's toys. Well, those are signs of not growing up at all. High School is over people! No need to make up stories about how "Judy and Jack were caught behind the bleachers," or how "Rhonda and Jane went to some party and drank too much instead of going to the library." Even though the gossip has elevated to "who's divorcing who" or "what amazing thing happened to you last week." If it's not true... it's an immature way to live. Live for the now and enjoy the reality. If you can't enjoy this time and space - the present - real life... you will never be happy.
I am 31 years old... I feel like I am a sponge soaking in the "what to dos” and "what not to dos” from my own experiences and luckily from watching others. I don't have to go through each thing to learn. That's what we're all here for - to teach each other and to learn from each other. I feel that my learning curve is pretty good, but I’m not devoid of error. I, as we all do, fail at times. I am going to make mistakes. My intuition is going to lead me astray – that’s life. Still, I will definitely own it and apologize if necessary and then move on.
I am so in love with my family. I feel like we're ALL Good. We can only do what we can do and we can only control what we can control, but it seems like all the people I love really grasp that. We understand each other. We have respect and love for each other and we are supportive of every goal and dream we're chasing. It's a great space to be in... to be happy, driven, and proud of where we stand. No more baggage from anyone else is holding us down. We own our thoughts, our feelings and we're looking at this New Year as a treasure to be discovered. Another adventure begins…
To everyone who stopped to read my mind’s musings… Thank you for your support, love and guidance!
May each and every one of your 2012 voyages be safe and successful!
(photo found on http://www.googleimages.com/)