During transitions in our lives, we can be so challenged with what it is each of us must face, allow and forgive. I’ve been slowing down and feeling more, so I can be authentic in the moment. I've been able to observe myself when I get emotional. It’s OK to get emotional, It's human nature to have emotions! Holding it in a safe space so others don’t get hurt by it is mastery. I’m not there, and I’m not sure that is my mission, but it’s certainly a part of it!
This leads me to sharing a recent read called, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a #uck,” by Mark Manson. What truly is our mission here and who decides that? You’ll be surprised at how many of us, including you, care about things that upon reflection, don’t really matter to us. As Mark asks, are we giving a #uck about the things that we’ve decided really matters to us? And questioning even why things matter to us? Are they really our choices? Or do our traditions hold us under others’ expectations?
This is really a question of what are the big rocks in your life? Have you ever stopped to write that down? What are the non-negotiables in your life? Must haves? And what are the things in your life that are fantastic to enjoy, but not as important? And then the next slightly less important/smaller rocks? These are your values.
The next question is how do you measure yourself? By your bank account? The number of friends you have? How many likes you get on your social media posts? What truly are our most important values and how to we measure ourselves? Could it be that we may judge ourselves too harshly, and when thought through and perspectives changed...we find that there is no logic in that value or measurement?
This is pivotal because we can measure ourselves by the wrong measurement and never feel the satisfaction of meeting our goals simply because we have the wrong perspective. Manson’s rule of thumb is to choose a metric that you have control over. If you put the metric in the hands of someone else or something outside of yourself, you may never measure up. And if you do measure up, like buying that car you’ve always wanted…did that car really bring you lasting fulfillment, or did the excitement eventually fizzle out?
We are humans having a Spiritual experience, and it’s important for us to live intentionally and so by the end of our lives, we have some fulfilling meaning for our lives – our legacy. Each of us defines what to give meaning – what to give a #uck about.
Manson said, EVERYBODY has problems. The choice is in what kind of problems do you want to have? Some of us may feel like we don’t have a choice over what problems we have, and in many ways, that is true. And yet, we still have the power of which perspective to take on our problems, or which attitude.
When we give ourselves the gift of having this power to choose our attitudes, we realize that, damn, it’s a real responsibility! We can turn any situation into a hell hole, or heaven on earth. You know what I’m talking about because we’ve all made those mistakes!
At the end of the day, the mess will still be there when we are ready to finally clean it up. That mess was there for us to clean up in this life, so we can gain the insight on how it feels to finally heal, gain the perspective of having seen it through and hopefully the wisdom of learning a hard-won lesson.
Maybe our lesson is being vulnerable and allowing others to give us help. Or perhaps it’s to finally stand up for ourselves because, in truth, no one else will in the ways that we need. Have you given yourself the space to learn what are your lessons that keep coming back to you to learn?
This past summer has been a time of reflection for me. With the help of Mark’s book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a #uck, I took a step back from the fast pace I had set for myself. I was able to ask important questions like does this represent my values? Am I using the correct metrics? I saw that I needed to make adjustments. There is no shame in this because if we aren’t asking these important questions and making adjustments then we could be headed into a train wreck!
Life isn’t a straight, easy road….for long. There are hills, detours and straight out roadblocks – and we wouldn’t have it any other way, or life would be predictable and boring! It turns out that Mark has some good advice for us. It’s healthy to stop the bus at times, and review what #ucks we’re giving!
In my review, I found that the eternal positive mindset wasn’t reality-based. The stringent rule of keeping a positive attitude – no matter what – just isn’t a good value to keep. Sometimes things happen in life that can take the wind right out of our sails. And we need to feel that. It may be sadness, it may be anger, it may be jealousy…these are the detours. And at times we get stopped in our tracks.
Oh no! I’m feeling anger! I’m putting out a frequency that is just attracting more opportunities to get angry about! Now I’m creating anxiety around my anger! What a cluster we can make for ourselves!
It’s OK to feel! That’s part of being human. Feel all the feels! The best gift we can give ourselves in these moments is to give ourselves space to feel it. Don’t push past it. Take a step back and review it. Where was I mistaken? Is this my pattern? Is this mine? I will tell you that if you got triggered, it’s yours.
Perhaps the only part in it that’s ours is that we may need to set clearer boundaries with others. Sometimes this is a signal of deeper work. We may have uncovered a past trauma. Giving ourselves this time of self-reflection helps us heal what needs healing; learn what needs to be learned and ultimately be more of who we really are, not some ideal magazine cover image.
This summer, I gave myself the space to grieve. My dad passed last fall, and I've had many moments remembering him, the sweet moments and the not so sweet, when he just wasn’t there for me, and I didn’t know I needed him. I let the feelings wash over me, I didn’t stuff them back in, or distract myself. I went into my room and cried until I was done. In this instance, he’s passed. I can’t call him and tell him my discoveries.
I can learn from his example; the love he gave and the mistakes he made. I forgave him a long time ago, so now that he’s gone, I’m choosing to remember the sweet memories, and when I remember something disappointing, I give it a moment to release it with love. I believe he is an angel with my guides now, so really he is right beside me, cheering me on.
This summer I also found that I needed to adjust my expectations. I thought that what I was doing for my career was absolutely going to work as an entrepreneur! I was going to do everything it took! Then I got real with myself, and the truth is that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my family for my career. I wasn’t willing to do “what it took.”
Letting that idea go and reinventing myself, creating a new career from the ashes launched me into an exquisitely lethargic depression. And I gave myself space to feel, once again. I honestly believe that trying and failing is what makes successful people. If we don’t try – we’ll never know if what we think we want is a fit.
What motivated me to get back on my horse was because of the grandest undertaking, I believe I’m taking in my life. (until the next one…) In fact, I was deluding myself to think that I could launch a successful entrepreneurial career without addressing this blaring issue. It needed to come first.
I’ve shared that I am transmuting the victim mindset pattern in my life. And staying a victim is no longer an option for me. I’ve skirted the issue for many years, however, I learned that by not acting in a big way has its consequences too. And now those consequences are becoming more painful because others whom I love are getting hurt. I could allow myself to suffer, but now I was allowing others to suffer because of my choices.
My usual response has been to throw myself against the grindstone and *force* change. This past summer, I needed to be different. So, I gave myself compassion and understanding as to why it’s taking me a long time and how far I’ve come to reach this point where I stand now – it took courage. I reviewed my intentions, and honestly, knowing myself – I don’t give up easily – I needed to stay in the game (pain) until I realized that it wasn’t going to change unless I chose to be different.
I chose to be different and more authentic in so many ways, and now I face the big action choice. Standing on the precipice of big change can be daunting. One thing that I needed was support, and I can now say with confidence that I have the support I need.
It’s human nature to move away from pain. The great lessons come when the student is ready to take the next step. And not a moment sooner. We can authentically move into our next phase when and only when we are ready. The only question to ask is am I willing to take the first step towards that healing? Most often that first step is only one of many on a journey.
Where the journey leads….
is not our business. Our business is choosing what is our next step to take. Living in the present moment – real time – is our most authentic space to live.
Finding the next step is a dance between ourselves and what I call our guides. It can be Jesus, Buddha, angels…what fits for you? What this looks like is going within. The nudges, gut feelings or intuition help us decipher with precision what is the best next step. And truly, this can be liberating!
For all the controlling personalities out there – not having to know how every.single.thing will work out is NOT our responsibility! I am enjoying the carefree feeling of just taking that one step, and **allowing** the next step to unfold in front of me, knowing that in my authenticity – the Universe will respond with the best outcome for me. What happens next may not be hearts and unicorns. I may have more dragons to slay, and frankly, I don’t want to know about that! La La La La (plugging ears)
I have a bigger faith that the Universe or God, has setup this space for us to thrive. It’s our own choice to suffer through it, or to thrive. No matter what cards we’ve been given. I’m choosing to thrive, and in the process of choosing to thrive, I am healing the parts of me that have chosen suffering as a pattern. Now when I see it, I feel it. I give it my compassion and understanding – acceptance. And then I can forgive. I am at the point where the most difficult person to forgive is me. I’m the sucker who has made all the mistakes! And I keep having to pay the bill! And so it is. I will get there, and so will you.
If you want a good laugh and a kick in the a$$, I recommend the short read, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a #uck” by Mark Manson.