Focusing on the Positve, A-Z; Day 14: Nourish

Nourish (verb)

: to provide (someone or something) with food and other things that are needed to live, be healthy, etc.

: to cause (something) to develop or grow stronger

1

:  nurture, rear

2
:  to promote the growth of <no occasions to exercise the feelings nor nourish passion — L. O. Coxe>
3
a :  to furnish or sustain with nutriment :  feed

b :  maintain, support <their profits…nourish other criminal activities — Beverly Smith>

What do you do to nourish yourself, your soul? Is it taking that 5 minute break to just get centered? Or maybe saying no to going out with a friend so you can stay home and read that book? Whatever it is that you do to nourish your life force, to recharge the batteries, it is vitally important that it remain a focus in your life. If you are unable to provide that elixir, you will most assuredly find yourself less than content with life.
This is a great reminder for myself. I get to going, taking care of this, taking care of that, go, go, go, that I don’t stop to take the time to nourish myself until I find myself completely discontent with pretty much everything and exhausted. I’ve been working on that though.
I don’t know if it is my age or the path I’ve walked or the fact that I have started this blog (6-1/2 months now!!), but I have found myself searching for ways to nourish my soul while still taking care of all that I do. This blog is one thing that nourishes me. So is my camera. But, sometimes, a lot lately, it seems as if there just isn’t enough time to get to those activities as often as I would like.
My husband decided he wanted to try out Spotify last month. It didn’t hit me right away, but I soon came to the realization that if I downloaded some meditations I would have a way of nourishing my mind and soul while being the worker bee I am. Yes! And in true me style, I went a little overboard. I guess persuing the nourishment like a starving soul finding bread is just an indication that I have been needing more nourishment in my day.
Just the addition of this one method of feeding my soul has started to show me other things I have missed having in my life that I could have had all along. Why these other things have fallen to the wayside I’m not sure. Little things, like listening to music while cleaning. Simple, right? Yet, I have not been doing this. I couldn’t tell you why. Perhaps I’ve just been too focused on moving forward in my life. The silly thing about that is that if I don’t nourish the me, I am setting myself up for failure when I crash.
So, today I challenge those that are reading this series to go out today and find at least one thing that you haven’t done for a while that brings you pure joy and/or contentment. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it feeds you. Jump in a puddle like you did when you were just a kid. Bake something. Read that book you’ve been thinking about for months, even if you can only squeeze in 5 minutes of reading. Meditate. Dance like no one is looking. Laugh at yourself. Find your smiles, light up your soul, empower yourself. It really is about the little things.

Focusing on the Positive, A-Z; Day 13: Motivation

Day 13!! Half way through the alphabet! It doesn’t feel like I have done this series for almost two weeks. As much as I was looking forward to writing this series, I don’t feel its been very successful so far. I know that the likes I was getting before I started writing this series have dropped significantly so it makes me wonder if this was really the good idea I believed it was. Oh well, I guess. I’m motivated to finish it if for no other reason than it is something I started.

motivation

 

I actually started writing this post yesterday. I don’t know if I stayed up too late watching Netflix or if it’s the change in the weather, but I had absolutely no motivation what-so-ever. Not just for writing, but everything. I get myself up and moving, went to work, ran errands afterward because I got paid yesterday, but that was about it. It still took the whole day to do everything but it was as if I had an anchor attached to my waist that I had to drag behind me. I guess saying I had absolutely no motivation at all isn’t completely accurate. I was motivated to get everything done so I could come home.

A force or influence that causes someone to do something. What motivates you? I believe that motivation is like a car engine. It is the power to get where you want to go and desire is the fuel. Sure, not all motivation is based on something positive but I don’t think that means that desire isn’t the seed that grows motivation to reach the desired outcome.

I have decided its time to quit smoking, again. It is not my first attempt at this, but I really, really want to succeed at this this time. I wanted to succeed before, but I think there were some reservations about it. I have smoked for a long, long time…long enough that smoking just seems as if it is a part of the whole. What does a non-smoking me look like? Since I have smoked since I was 11 years old, I don’t know/remember.

I am extremely motivated to succeed at this. There are so many great reasons why I should quit. It would save money, improve my health, increase my energy level, potentially improve my attitude (once I’m over the withdrawals), I’ll smell better… The list is almost endless. It’s not like I didn’t know all these benefits of quitting smoking before, they just seem…more bold this time.

I have been spending the last 2 weeks envisioning myself as a non-smoker. Every time I have had a cigarette during this time, I have asked myself why I am having the cigarette: am I smoking out of habit or am I smoking because I want to have a cigarette? If it was because I wanted to have a cigarette, I questioned why I wanted to have one. This has made me realize something that is actually a very obvious thing: even the cigarettes I smoke because I believe I want one are cigarettes smoked out of habit. How dumb is that?

So I have developed a plan. I have downloaded three different stop smoking meditations and bought a good pair of ear buds. When I want to have a cigarette, I am going to put my ear buds in and listen to one or all of the meditations, even if I have the cigarette anyway. I have picked a date by which I will no longer be smoking: October 1st. This gives me two weeks of listening to the meditations during the day when I want to smoke and when I go to bed. By September 24th, I plan on having a set number of cigarettes I will allow myself to have in a day, with the hope that I will not want them all.

I want this, desire the outcome, am motivated to break this incredibly insane habit. I know there is the addicted part to this equation. I have gotten overly emotional during the physical withdrawal process before, which has always sent me reaching for a cigarette. This is part of the reason I have set up the plan starting the 24th, to reduce the severity of the initial physical withdrawal process.

I also plan on blogging about how I am progressing through this process. It’s an accountability thing. And here is my pre-warning: It may get crazy in here. :-) Wish me luck and have the most wonderful day, Everyone! Feel free to let me know what motivates you or about something you are extremely motivated about right now. I love to here the stories of other people. It helps me learn so much about myself.

 

 

Focusing on the Positive, A-Z; Day 12: Laugh, Laughing, Laughter

I love to laugh, but who doesn’t? And why wouldn’t you love to laugh? It’s the ultimate in happiness that involves the whole body, mind, and soul. It can be contagious.

I’ve always been one that is quick to smile. This is always a good quality, but there have been times in my life that I really wished I wasn’t so easy to make smile. Like when I’m really upset about something with someone and trying to make that clear, explain that, fix it, set a boundary…who takes someone seriously when they are laughing?

For the most part, I’m grateful that I can smile so easily. It means I am able to let things go pretty quickly and move on. Well, for the most part, anyway, but if you can get me to laugh, all is forgiven, or at least not so critical. I guess you could say that getting me to laugh when I’m upset is a great, easy way to get me to find a place of rationality to work from.

There are so many benefits to laughter. Besides giving you the feeling of everything being right in the world (maybe that’s just me), it has been shown to lower blood pressure and increase blood flow, reduce stress, reduce feelings of fear and anger, boosts the immune system, increases oxygen levels in the blood that aids in organ function, and can provide an all over body workout you can’t get at a gym (unless it is one full of comedy). With all of these benefits, you would think that everyone would have a comedy channel programmed in to there iPod, mp3 player, satellite radio device, and/or television channel selections.

What if every place of employment, at every job/career level had a mandatory comedy break once a day, about mid-way through the day? The idea amuses me, but think of the benefits that would have…happier worker bees which then results in higher productivity with greater results. I have to admit that the visual that comes into my head of a high-end corporation having a comedy break, a large room or rooms filled with men and women in their nicely pressed, expensive suits, doubled over with laughter, including the tears streaming down their faces…yeah, the image is giggle producing for me.

When is the last time you had a really great belly laugh? How did it leave you feeling afterward? Some of my best memories include deep down belly laughs that can sometimes trigger laughter in me now. So, get out there and laugh! Laugh at yourself, laugh until you cry, until your face and belly hurt, and you can barely catch your breath. You’re worth it.

Positive Affirmations…are they working?

meditation-technique

I’ve been listening to a positive affirmations meditation collection by Deepak Chopra called Soul of Healing Affirmations. The change of seasons, especially from summer to fall, always brings a lot of melancholy and this collection sounded like it could be something that could help with that. The affirmations are done from A-Z (yes, this is where I got the idea for the Focusing on the Positive series) and you can choose one or two or three or how many you feel you need to focus on that day.

I listen to them while I am doing a clean and sometimes when I am falling asleep at night. At work, I am not really focused on the meditations. It is background noise that part of my brain pays attention to while the rest is focused on whatever I am cleaning. Bits and parts will really catch my attention and I listen a bit closer to those affirmation because I believe that, since it caught my attention, it must be an area that I am needing more self-care in. I don’t know if this is right or wrong but I’m going with it. Couldn’t hurt, right?

At night when I listen, I let the meditations carry me off to sleep. What effect they are having on my sleeping mind I have no idea. I have read that the state reached in deep mediation is very similar to a deep sleep state. Sleeping with mediation music and guided meditations playing sounds like a good way to reach my subconscious without getting in my own way or being distracted by whats going on around me and never reaching that Delta state in meditation.

So, now is this working for me? Well, I’m not really sure. I’ve had a few days over the past two weeks of listening to the meditations where I felt…right. Not melancholy, not manic, not emotional but not emotionally dead either. I have had moments of extreme clarity and moments of feeling completely empowered. Maybe its the meditations, maybe its coincidence. Either way, I am grateful for the moments that I have had that have been positive. Any relief from the storm is an amazing accomplishment sometimes.

I didn’t get a chance to listen to the meditations yesterday. We were out painting curb addresses, which really provides no real opportunity to play and/or listen to the mediations. Last night, I was overcome by feelings of defeat. We are working pretty much non-stop and it just wasn’t feeling like we are making any forward movements as a result. I’m tired. I want a few days home to just do nothing, recharge, regain some perspective. Yes, last night I was having the inner pity party and it sucked. I just couldn’t seem to shake off the gloom that had wrapped itself around me.

What is my plan of attack for helping me remove this cloak of despair and defeat? While I am writing this post, I am downloading more meditations onto my phone through Spotify. The focus of the meditations I’m downloading are things like self-esteem, clarity of mind, soul healing, expanding consciousness, attracting wealth (who knows? might work), and open mind. I should have about a full day’s worth of mediations on my phone now. Can you see my cape flapping in the wind behind me? ;-)

Fall is Upon Us…

Oh my goodness its cold this morning!! NOAA.gov says it is 43 degrees out right now…brrrr! I’m not ready for fall! More accurately, I’m not ready for cold. I never am.

I’m going to take a break for the weekend from the Focusing on the Positive series I’ve been writing. I’ll start up again on Monday with L. Though I am happy I started the series, its making sure I write every day, its become more of an obligation, in some ways, than something I’m dong for the joy of it. Seeing as it is supposed to be a positive thing (and it is in some ways) I’m going to take the next couple of days away from it to see it again with excitement. Perhaps this will help me be able to write the Positive posts with more positive in it and less essay. We shall see. Either way, I will make it to Z in the series. I have set a goal.

Any who…

The mornings have been sooo cold lately. The sun is out, it gets gloriously warm during the day, but the nights and mornings are becoming increasingly cold. We have actually turned on the heat a few times. Where did Summer go?

I’ve started to see leaves changing colors as I am driving from cleaning job to cleaning job or on my way out to paint curbs. Fall can be so beautiful, though the trees haven’t reach the fireworks display in Earth tones stage, yet. I’m going to have to make sure I have batteries in stock for my camera. That is going to be fun!

With Fall, the holiday season is upon us. Growing up, it always meant getting together with family, seeing those I hadn’t seen in a long while. I don’t really have family out here so the holidays look an awful lot like most any other day, now. Sure, there are friends close by, but they also have family they go see. I try to set up getting together with family for the kids, but, after the number of deaths over the past 5 years, lots has changed and the dynamics are different from what they used to be.

Its kind of sad. The kids have always looked forward to seeing that side of the family during the holidays but they don’t seem as interested this year. I think that they may still be healing from the losses. As many deaths as there have been in that family in such a short time, I think it would be amazing if they were not still grieving in some form. The people who are gone are the ones my kids enjoyed seeing the most.

I, personally, haven’t really been celebrating the holidays over the past 5 or so years. Life got hectic, chaotic, when the economy crashed at the end of 2008 and we lost everything. Seeing as we have never really regained our feet, celebrating holidays just seemed like such an unattainable goal to achieve. How does one have Thanksgiving dinner in a travel trailer and RV? Where would I put a Christmas tree of any size? And holiday decorating? Well, that just looks tacky in our situation, in my opinion (Christmas lights on a travel trailer…no).

This year is the first year since we lost everything that we will have a steady income through the winter. This alone is a gift for me. Knowing that rent will be paid, phones will stay on, food will not be an issue, and I just might be able to buy my kids each a Christmas gift without using the gift card my mom sends every year (my Christmas gift) to do so… Yes, a glorious gift.

I also will be getting pumpkins this year to carve for Halloween/Samhain. This is something else I haven’t done since motorhome life started. I always made such a big deal about carving pumpkins when the kids were growing up. In our family, there has hardly ever been a pumpkin that had the traditional carving of mouth, nose, eyes. We have always gotten a book or two of pumpkin carving designs, or made designs ourselves, and the kids picked out the ones they wanted. The next day or two would be spent carving the pumpkins.

One year, we did a whole Halloween scene out of 10 pumpkins of varying sizes. I had grown pumpkins that year so we had plenty to choose from. My hands hurt for the next couple of days after the carving was done, but it was so worth it. The kids were around 11 and 5 at the time so it was incredibly wonderful to be able to do this for them. They are 23 and 17 now. My daughter has helped in the past with the carvings so she will be a great help with them this year. My son really hasn’t shown a lot of interest in carving pumpkins but maybe this time he will. Either way, whether I carve the pumpkins by myself or the kids help me, I will be carving pumpkins. I guess you could say the holiday excitement that I used to have is trying to make a comeback. Baby steps.

I still have no idea how I will handle Christmas, but I have time. I don’t know if we will have a tree or not. I’ll figure out something.

What do the holidays look like for you? What is your favorite part of the holiday season?

 

Focusing on the Positive, A-Z; Day 11: Kindred

Kindred

 

The kindred. There are two types of kindred: the family your were born into and the random souls that come into your life and instantly become family. Though both types are a gift, the random souls are the ones that stick out the most to me. They are the unexpected presence that walks into your life, or you stumble upon, that instantly sees you for who you are and says “Me, too!” Merriam Webster defines kindred two ways:

Noun:

a :  a group of related individuals

b :  one’s relatives
2
:  family relationship :  kinship
Adjective:
1

:  of a similar nature or character :  like <a kindred spirit>
2
:  of the same ancestry
I am lucky enough to have both types of kindred in my life. I have had kindred souls pass through my life enough times to cherish their presence. When they move on, as is the case sometimes, they are definitely missed but there are never any lingering feelings of  loss because their presence never disrupted any part of my life, of me, in such a way as now the space is vacant. If anything, they brought in healing, a better understanding of myself, an alternate point of view that perhaps I hadn’t stood from before. Each and every kindred soul that has come into my life has been an amazing teacher of lessons of myself. I am better for them and appreciate life more because of them.
It is said that the world is a mirror of ourself; a reflection of our truth, regardless of whether or not we recognize it or want to own it. I believe that a kindred soul is the clearest mirror we can encounter. They show us the good in ourself that we seem unable to see. A kindred soul can also show us the negatives in ourself in a way that doesn’t feel judgemental, providing an avenue for improvement by offering that safe starting point: acceptance. One may start to recognize the parts of themself that they are less than pleased with that may have gone unnoticed before because of the lack of an unbiased, objective mirror with which to safely look at these parts.
The kindred souls that have passed through my life and the ones that are a part of it now have been some of the best instigators of personal growth. Every last one has shown me parts of myself I want to improve on and led by example. They have also shown me the parts of myself I hadn’t seen before that I found lacking, giving me the chance to change these things, and making it easier than it may have been otherwise.
What have the kindred souls in your life provided you? How have they improved your life? Have they helped you change anything about you for the better. Tell me your kindred soul stories…they are some of the best stories I’ve ever heard.

Focusing on the Positive, A-Z; Day 10: Just Be…

I’m going to do today’s entry a little differently. No dictionary definition. I think today is going to be a ramble; a writing for the sake of writing. I’m liking the way I’ve been doing these posts, but I am really feeling the desire to just write without research, without trying to follow some format. Today, I’m going to just be me.

just be

 

Life has been really hectic. What else is new, right? I guess I’m reaching a point when I need some time to just be. I’m constantly working on something, figuring out this and that, making game plans for how to move forward with one thing or another or just stay afloat. My brain is always going and there is seldom a time when I am not directing its path.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It keeps me on top of what needs to be taken care of, but I’ve neglected the part of me that needs (yes, needs) to just let go of the left foot, right foot, repeat routine and just be. There never seems to be enough time for Mieke Time.

Well, ok, that’s not completely accurate. Blogging is Mieke Time, but even that has become something that is regimented into a time slot. I’m talking about time to just do whatever, no plan, no time limitations, no focusing on the day to day necessities of my life. Time to just be and let the day carry me where it does.

My daughter and I were talking about this last night. I’ve been so busy for so long when a day comes along with nothing in the schedule, I quickly fill it with all of the things I don’t feel like I have enough time to accomplish otherwise. Its not really me time. There is no goal of just being for a day. I’m not sure when or how this stopped being a priority for me but it has. That’s not good.

I could schedule a couple of days off…it wouldn’t be a problem work wise…but then I’d be worried about the money not being made on those days. A couple of days without work can financially alter our world a lot. I guess its time for me to pre-plan a few days off so that I can take some time to just be without expectations, from me or anyone else.

This can be hard to do, though, even if I have the time and inclination. My husband is one that needs to be going on something at all times; he can’t be idle. He’s uncomfortable being idle. I’m not saying that that is necessarily a bad thing. It’s just how he works. Unfortunately, this means that, whenever there is some idle time, he is filling it with projects and, as I am the hub of this family, he includes me in his plans and/or wants to talk them out with me; blueprint his plans with me. This immediately puts me back into the “solving the problems of the world” mode, which most definitely is not “just be” mode. Well, not my concept of ‘just be’ anyway.

Taking the time to just be is when I get to refuel Mieke. Not just my soul, but all of me. My brain gets a rest from problem solving non-stop, my body gets a break from the rigors of work and the stuff that needs to get done at home, my soul gets a chance to be center stage and direct the day, and my heart gets to just drown in the peace and joy of reconnecting with the very basics of being alive. It really is enormously healing.

How does just being show up in your life? Is it something you have to schedule in or does it just happen? What are the benefits of just being for you?

Focusing on the Positive, A-Z; Day 9: Integrity

integrity

I’m pretty sure that anyone that has been following the Focusing on the Positive series I have been writing saw this word coming. It was a natural choice: genuine, honesty, integrity. I believe the three words are part of a bigger concept: self-respect.

Integrity, to me, means doing what you say, saying what you mean and meaning what you say, acting from a place of equality, being honest and reliable. I also believe that integrity comes from a place of confidence and knowledge. One cannot act with integrity if they are unsure of where they stand within themself. Integrity comes from a centered soul.

Here is the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of integrity:

: the quality of being honest and fair

: the state of being complete or whole

 Full Definition of INTEGRITY
1
:  firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values :  incorruptibility
2
:  an unimpaired condition :  soundness
3
:  the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness
Honest, fair, complete, whole, moral or artistic values, unimpaired…sounds like a great platform to be standing on to give confidence to the self as well as provide confidence in you for others. The thing is, when you act with integrity, there is no searching for respect or trust from others. It just happens. Sure, if you have previously lived a life less than moral, one without much integrity if any, then it may take a while for others to recognize, have faith in, your integrity when you start to act with integrity but no one should ever let that deter them from pursuing being someone of integrity. I am of the thought that having integrity is something one does for one’s self with the bonus being it benefits others as well.
I have not always been a person with integrity. I was a leaf blowing in the wind. I could commit to nothing. I was unsure of myself, most everything in my life, and there were no guarantees to what tomorrow would look like. Plus, I was more concerned with protecting myself, pretty self-centered, and honesty could work against me in many situations. Or, at least, I believed that to be true. Then I got clean almost 10 years ago, sat in enough meetings long enough to find out I was worth getting to know better, found my feet (and my spine), and decided that being genuine and honest (with myself and others) was the only way for me to create a better life for myself. After enough time of facing my fear of judgement by others and showing my true self, integrity showed up.
Want to know how I realized I had integrity? Someone used it as a descriptor when describing me to someone else when they didn’t know I could hear them. I was over the moon. The feeling of wholeness that came over me was so amazing that I knew right then and there that I never wanted to ever be thought of as anything other than a person with integrity.
I started paying attention to what I said to make sure there were no small untruths in it. I made sure I never promised anything that I wasn’t 100% certain I could honor and if something came along to alter the timeline of the promise, I immediately informed whoever I had promised and provided them with the new timeline, making sure there was nothing that could ever keep it from happening. I never wanted anyone ever again to think of me as someone who had no integrity, and the inner peace that has brought me has led to so much more, not least of all, self-confidence.
What does integrity mean to you? How does it show up in your life?

Focusing on the Positive, A-Z; Day 8: Honesty

Dishonest people conceal their faults from themselves as well as others, honest people know and confess them.   Christian Nevell Bovee

Honesty

: the quality of being fair and truthful : the quality of being honest

1
obsolete :  chastity
2
a :  fairness and straightforwardness of conduct

b :  adherence to the facts :  sincerity

3
:  any of a genus (Lunaria) of European herbs of the mustard family with toothed leaves and flat disk-shaped siliques
Honesty…I believe honesty is a quality admired by most of the population. It’s an enviable quality that embodies a centered, confident person, in my opinion. At least, whenever I’ve met someone who has honesty as the foundation of all of their actions and words, I have felt as if this person held happiness and confidence in their grasp in a way few have figured out how to do. Though, I don’t believe that honesty is something one can hold; honesty holds you. Despite the peace and knowing that honesty can bring, it feels as if we live in a world that has pushed complete honesty to a back corner where it can be found only when absolutely necessary. Maybe I’m wrong.
I didn’t used to be someone who was very honest. It wasn’t that I strived to hide behind lies in order to construct a life or anything like that. I wasn’t honest with myself so there was no way I could have been honest with anyone else. I fudged lines. I lied to protect myself from uncomfortable situations. I lied to keep from having to deal with the unhappy feelings of another person, usually due to my own actions. The worst act of dishonesty I have committed in my life is the dishonesty I have had with myself.
honesty-quotes-1
I have learned to develop honesty in my life. I no longer lie to try to protect myself: I don’t feel the need to protect myself anymore. Lets change that. I don’t lie. I find no need to lie. My honesty shows up in being completely transparent in every situation. Sometimes, in challenging situations, I find the old habit trying to via for its old position, but I smoosh it with honesty.
I still have some dishonesty issues with myself, though it is dishonesty I see clearly. My life situation is not one I would have ever imagined myself in and have fuzzied out the edges of it to keep myself from striking into full on panic or frozen depression. I do make sure that I occasionally take the blur of the edges so I can look clearly at all that is my life. There is no way that I can find solutions for moving forward if I am not looking at the whole picture. These are brief looks, though. I know the life I’m in is not the one I want, or anything near it. I can be honest with myself about that much.
Have you ever done a gratitude list? It required being honest with one’s self. In my gratitude lists, I acknowledge the strengths in my situation, which usually looks like pointing out the positive of what is in it as opposed to how much worse it could be. This is an area where I am cautiously taking baby steps.
One of the best things I love about being honest is never having to pretend to be something I’m not. I never have to try to remember the story line. I am trusted. Others have faith in what I say and do. This is another way that no one ever needs to wonder where they stand with me or what I am up to because it is clear in my words and deeds.
How is honesty represented in your life? What areas do you wish you were more honest in? I’d really love to hear some feedback on this.

Focusing on the Positive, A-Z, Day 7: Genuine

genuine

genuine

Genuine

1

a :  actually having the reputed or apparent qualities or character <genuine vintage wines>

b :  actually produced by or proceeding from the allegedsource or author <the signature is genuine>

c :  sincerely and honestly felt or experienced <a deep andgenuine love>

d :  actual, true <a genuine improvement>

2
:  free from hypocrisy or pretense :  sincere
It seems there are many different ‘faces’ a person is asked/expected to wear in today’s world, even in times of distress and/or great loss. Admitting there is a problem is fine but openly expressing the feelings that may accompany the situation seems to fall into the category of unacceptable weakness. We live in a world where perfection is the bar we are expected to strive to achieve: perfect looks, perfect clothes, perfect life, perfect life skills. At least, that is what it looks like from where I am sitting.
There are tons of anti-bullying campaigns and promotions of acceptance but the one thing I have yet to see addressed is things like subliminal bullying. I’ve seen people say all the right words to imply acceptance of another but the actions, though not boldly expressed, are casually enacted that contradict the words. Its sad, really. I love the idea to teach the future generations to be better to each other than we have been but I think the message gets lost when the words and actions don’t coincide/contradict each other.
I’m a firm believer of being exactly who you are. Feel what it is you feel and don’t be afraid to show it. Screw anyone that doesn’t like it or is made uncomfortable by it. This is not to say run around throwing temper tantrums or being cruel to others just because you are trying to be genuine. There are mature, healthy ways of expressing unhappiness and discontent that don’t include taking victims or hostages. As much as I’d like to say I am stellar at this last one, I’m not. It’s a work in progress and I am amazingly better than I used to be.
I tend to openly share my feelings. I have reached a point in my life where the felt need to be the way I believe is expected of me in any given situation is something I have no patience or desire to do. I am who I am. I feel what I feel. Those that can’t accept that are probably people I don’t really want or need in my life to begin with. Yes, there are times when there are certain expectations, such as in business/work. Honestly, I have a really hard time not just being who I am anyway, and it seems to be working for me.
Part of being genuine is being honest. I am horrible at sugar-coating anything. Sure, if I have news that could be emotionally difficult for another, I try to share the news as gently as possible without losing the line of complete honesty. For everything else, I’m pretty straight forward, blunt. There is never a reason for anyone to be unsure of where they stand with me. No decoder ring needed here. This was something I had to learn how to do, and the key to it is completely accepting who you are, being good with it, and not being willing to settle for less from yourself.
You teach people how to treat you. If you can’t have enough respect for yourself to be genuine in your actions and words then how is anyone else supposed to treat you genuinely or have respect for you? Maybe I’m too closed-minded on this. I just can’t imagine not being able to say things like “I don’t agree with that” or “I don’t like that” (without having to justify it) or the simple act of telling someone “no” when I am asked to do something that I really don’t want to do. I need to be able to speak up for myself, to ask for what I need, to know that I have honestly expressed my position on something when it was called for. You will never find me just agree-ing to keep the waters calm, though this wasn’t always the case.
I didn’t used to really know myself very well and what I did know, I didn’t believe was acceptable to show or express. I was the best chameleon I could be, and I was miserable. Sure, I learned a lot of different things in many different situations but the relationship I had with myself was not good. I didn’t like myself. I based my opinion of myself on how well I was accepted by those around me. It really was no way to truly live.
I believe that the only way to live and be happy is to be as genuine as you can be, first with yourself and then with others. Say whats on your mind. Don’t edit out the most important parts just because you might believe someone else may judge you negatively for it. Appreciate the differences in others as opportunities to learn but don’t lose yourself in it. Those that you are going to want in your life are going to be the ones that see the genuine you, the you without dressing, and appreciate all that they see. This doesn’t mean that every person is going to be in love with every last bit of you. It means that they will appreciate the ability to not have to question your motives, your angle, and will have respect for your complete transparency. Give it a shot. Sure, there will be those that will be put off by it, but there are many people who are uncomfortable with attributes of others that appear to present strengths that those people don’t possess. Do you really want to have people you can’t trust as members of your inner circle?