How many of you have seen the movie, “Moonlight Mile”? This is how I have been feeling all weekend into Monday…”I feel like I have been in a place where nothing’s right, where every moment’s backwards, every sky’s without color, without hope…”…so I am sitting here determined not to play games, waste my time nor anyone else’s – no games, only hope…
Category Archives: Clinging
So it’s almost the end of June and I just realized that I tend to start dating in months that start with the letter “J”…January…15 dates….so far, June has only seen me on one date….what will July bring?
I do find myself giddier this time around – maybe it’s because I am finally, really putting myself first. I can’t wait to do so many things this summer that I wasn’t able to do the past few summers – go to the beach, go to Atlantic City, dine al fresco, have adult sleepovers (a girl can dream), lose those pesky 15 lbs, wear a skimpy two-piece bikini, smile until my face hurts…
I am determined to be more social – maybe actually attend a friend’s BBQ…I need to learn how to lose some of my inhibitions and rid myself of this social anxiety.
This past year, I have come to appreciate the power of truly loving myself. Most of my life, being alone was one of my biggest fears. The past ten years, I found myself in two relationships for the wrong reasons and ended up settling in ill-fitting ‘partnerships’. Ever since I found true appreciation for myself, the quality of all of my relationships has been better. I have discovered that the more I loved and understood myself, the less I feared being by myself, and the healthier relationships I was able to attract into my life.
I started doing what I called “Dates with myself“. I really do like my alone time – now I kind of force myself to schedule time with just me, myself and I. I literally take myself out on a date and spend that time totally focused on myself – pampering myself –pedi, mani, massage, read a book – uninterrupted T time. It’s my time. We spend so much time and energy focused on others that we forget to recharge the source of that energy. It is only when you are well that you can have the energy and internal resources to make a positive difference and help others. This is a simple, yet powerful concept that can dramatically improve your wellbeing, effectiveness and mental health.
This is me…“I’ve spent most of my life and most of my friendships holding my breath and hoping that when people get close enough they won’t leave, and fearing that it’s a matter of time before they figure me out and go.” ― Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet
This I am learning…“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” ― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum LP
Some people bring out the worst in you, others bring out the best, and then there are those remarkably rare, addictive ones who just bring out the most of everything. They make you feel so alive that you’d follow them straight into hell, just to keep getting your fix. Wow – I wonder if this is what I have been holding out for??
The secret isn’t to find someone you love spending time with, I love spending time with few people. The secret isn’t to find someone that you find attractive. I find a lot of people attractive for many different reasons. The secret isn’t to find someone who is nice; there are tons of nice people in the world. The secret is to find someone who wants exactly what you want. Someone who is ready to give you all they’ve got, and in turn be ready to accept all the love you have to give. The world is filled with people in relationship teeter-totters of “loves you more” + “I have to act mean so they will like me back” or “I am just not ready.” Please do not waste any more of your precious time. We are all amazing people. You deserve to be loved until your insides melt. I know I do! Don’t give up on all the things you want. I know I won’t anymore. When you meet the right person you will have zero doubt in your mind. Zero.
“When you are attracted to people, it’s because of the details. Their kindness. Their eyes. The fact that they can get you to laugh when you need it the most.” – Jodi Picoult, Sing You Home
I think you could fall in love with anyone if you saw the parts of them no one else gets to see. Like if you followed them around invisibly for a day and saw them crying in their bed at night or singing in the shower or humming quietly to themselves as they make a sandwich or even just walking along the street. And even if they were really weird and had no friends, I think, after seeing them at their most vulnerable, you wouldn’t be able to help falling in love with them…I hope someone can see me at my most raw and accept me and all my quirkiness.
“I mean I got everything I need right here with me. I got air in my lungs, a few blank sheets of paper. I mean, I love waking up in the morning not knowing what’s gonna happen, or who I’m gonna meet, where I’m gonna wind up. I figure life is a gift and I don’t intend on wasting it. You don’t know what hand you’re gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you, to make each day count.” (Jack Dawson, Titanic).
Life is all about taking chances. It’s about doing something you initially thought you could never do. It’s about being a little crazy, following your heart, and not worrying about every detail of what everyone else thinks. And above all, it’s about learning to love who you are, what you have, and what you want.
Happiness is a choice. For every minute you are angry or irritated, you lose 60 seconds of happiness. Be happy. Be yourself. If others don’t like it, then let them be. Life isn’t about pleasing everybody.
If you have the courage to admit when you’re scared, the ability to laugh even as you cry, the nerve to speak up, even if your voice is shaking, the confidence to ask for help when you need it, and the wisdom to take it when it’s offered, then you have everything you need to get yourself to a happier state of mind.
So I am gearing up for the next month of July…the month starting with the letter “J” where it may rekindle a relationship dilemma as I try to balance my innate need for security and my attraction to individual freedom. And although I know I can be quite obstinate at times in my unwillingness to compromise, I have to keep telling myself I don’t want to be alone. So I am going to choose my battles carefully, and I bet I won’t need to sacrifice what is ultimately most important to me….ME…♥
So as I continue to find myself in moments of absolute whirlwinds of stupidity…I will also cling to the absolute moments of clarity…
“Cherish this moment, for happiness is elusive”…how many of us really believe that happiness is elusive? I used to believe this…I am slowly realizing that we can learn to sustain our happiness.
Okay – so we can’t beg for it or buy it or even barter for it. We can however create it and better yet sustain it. By deciding to be happier, making it a priority – happiness won’t be so elusive. The old adage, “people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be” is true. Choose to live a life of happiness. When you are not ask yourself why and begin to erase the unhappiness. For me sometimes all it takes is a really good piece of chocolate, a nice pinot noir and some music – can turn my day around.
Learn to be present in the here and now. Placing emphasis and attention on the past and the future makes it impossible for us to fully experience this moment right now. One way to remind yourself to be present is to take a deep breath any time you notice you are worrying about the future or experiencing regret about the past. Yesterday is your history, the future is a mystery. The here and now, this moment is life’s true present to ourselves.
Take responsibility for your thoughts and feelings. Learn to communicate honestly about what you want, expect. Do not wait for people to make you sweet offers; do not fall into the trap of assuming people should know what you want. Learn to be less judgmental of ourselves and others.
I am finally learning that I deserve to live the life I want to live. But in doing so, I also have to allow other people the ability to live the life they choose without judgment and criticism. We can only control our life, putting our attention on how other people ought to live their lives will cause us nothing but disappointment and frustration.
I have stopped worrying what other people think of me. My opinion of my life is the only one that matters. I will never make everyone happy – so I choose me. One way to stop judging others is to stop thinking about what other people think of you. Trying to live up to other people’s expectations is hard, never ending work. This is your life. You are the only one who has to approve of how you live it.
Happiness is less elusive than you might think. It is also contagious. One way to be happy is to be with happy people. Smile more. Seriously do the things that make you happy – worth repeating: chocolate, wine…lol
“If you let go a little, you will have a little happiness. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of happiness. And if you let go completely, you will be completely happy.” ~Ajahn Chah
I won’t lie – it has taken me many tears and years to find happiness that is not so fleeting. I used to experience some very high and low moments. So many moments of complete happiness, bliss, peace, and then it used to just dissipate without notice. Boom! Like when on vacation, then coming back home! I started to spend more time by myself, writing, and exploring what was really going on with me – deep inside. Mainly asking myself: Is it because I can’t focus that I experience a deflation in my mood? Do I become bored too easily? Or maybe I have lack of patience that often leads to dissatisfaction?
Several pages later, I arrived at: I can focus; but I am impatient, so I involve myself in multiple projects and events to even out the pace. When one project or event ends, I fully dive into the next to prevent boredom. During this gap of engagement, my mood shifts.
I used to work only part-time, many temporary consulting positions just for these reasons. I found comfort in moving around, connecting, accomplishing, engaging, clinging.
After many days, months of soul searching, I learned that I cling. I realized that many of my mood dips, the occasional creeping feelings of dissatisfaction resulted from my clinging – clinging to past accomplishments, the next stimulating thing, the next anything in the future. I would bet that many of us, at some point in our daily lives, find ourselves clinging:
- We cling to old habits.
- We cling to daily comforts.
- We cling to pleasing others.
- We cling to the next vacation.
- We cling to a stubborn attitude.
- We cling to the love in a relationship.
- We cling to a perfection of how we should be.
- We cling to the security of a paycheck.
- We cling to memories of the past.
- We cling to the someday: the someday of when we reach retirement, or when we win the lottery, or when we get that awesome job, or when something uncomfortable in our life passes.
Often our clinging is to satisfy our ego—an attachment to prove to ourselves and the world that we are good enough. To prove that we are worthy. To prove that we are somebody special. We each want to be heard, loved, and appreciated. So we attach ourselves to the needs of those feelings and, in turn, we seek out fulfillment by clinging to external outcomes. I know in the past, I found myself clinging to the comfort of an unhealthy relationship because of some false belief that I did not deserve better. I have seen many people cling to over-committing at the office because they don’t fully enjoy their life outside their careers. Many cling to other people’s opinion or approval because we have not tuned into what we truly want. Most common, I believe is how we tend to cling to old habits because of the fear of the unknown and change.
Each day we have the decision to choose the constant of peace or the erratic peaks and valleys of satisfaction and dissatisfaction.
Once I recognized that I was clinging, I began to reflect on memories of when I experienced true happiness. I found, in each these moments, there was neither attachment nor expectation. I was, simply, fully submerged in the present – completely surrendered to the moment, the present. Clinging disconnects us from being here. When our mind clings to replaying the stories of the past or worrying about the future, we wander, and wander further away from the present, further away from happiness.
Clinging detaches us from our ability to live freely. It removes us from the flow of creativity and flexibility. When we box ourselves in with expectations of a plan, we distract ourselves from seeing a grander picture. When we cling to expectations of people, desires, and situations, we become shortsighted.
I plan on sustaining my happiness by accepting that happiness is an ongoing practice. It is a conscious choice. I’m learning to spend more time here in the moment, while reminding myself that happiness is a choice: I can choose to cling less to the past. I can choose to wander less to the future. I can choose to marvel more in the present.
Be happy…live wisely. ♥