We all do things differently. There’s no one way to get to the finish line. There is suggestions on how to make the journey more enjoyable. There’s choices that could make it feel like you’re starting over but you’ll never start from the same place twice.
You may even get to a point in life where you have to rebuild. You may have to buy new materials but this time, you know what doesn’t work. And just because you’re starting over doesn’t mean you failed. The fact that you showed up for yourself, is sign that you’re doing better than you think.
On the flip side, trying something brand new, is hard. It’s scary and complex and can feel overwhelming. You might fail. You’re apt to make rookie mistakes because you’re a rookie and this is new but that doesn’t define who you are and it doesn’t define your future.
So whether you’re starting over or starting from scratch, be kind to yourself but most of all, forgive yourself for not knowing. Forgive yourself for knowing and not doing. Do better next time. But don’t quit.
Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.– Arnold Schwarzenegger
Strength comes from perseverance. It comes from facing the fears we never thought we could handle. Strength comes from so many things but the one place it truly comes from is in the mind.
Strength is an inside job. It’s facing yourself with authenticity. It’s about learning to accept the parts of you that you hate so you can accept those parts in others.
I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ’Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”– Thomas Paine
Strength is about showing up for yourself when you don’t want to. It’s about advocating for yourself. It’s learning to change and heal so you can trust yourself. Because you are trustworthy, and worthy, and valuable. You deserve someone who knows and understands you to speak up for you and who better to do that than yourself?
“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” — Bill Copeland
When writers write a book, they have a goal for the characters in mind. Even if it’s not a concrete goal, even if it changes over time, they start with something. There was a time when I thought the goal would just come to me, but my teacher said, just make it up. And that stuck. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that myself. Anyways, I think this can be used in our real life. Don’t know exactly what goal to set? Make one up.
Your goals don’t have to be life changing goals when you just start out with goal setting. They can be anything from drinking the right amount of water everyday to going for a mile run every 3 days. Do anything that will propel you forward the way a writer would propel their character forward. The writer can’t wait for inspiration. They start propelling the character right away. So don’t wait around, propel yourself toward something.
Are you tired of giving more than you getting? Are you straight up miserable in your life? It might be time to cheat on your lovers with yourself.
There comes a time in your life where you have to step back and look at the bigger picture. What is the bigger picture and how do you step back? How do you become an observer? These are questions to ask when you’re feeling like life isn’t going the way you’d like.
When I step back to observe, I like to think about the decisions I make and how they will affect my future. I’m not usually an in the moment fuck up my future type of person. But don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a little spice here and there. Now that I’m focused on my goals and I’m able to step back and observe, the things that may have fucked up my life in the past have become the things to propel me toward my goals. So how do you look at the bigger picture? First you have to know your goals. What do you want for yourself? What do you want to leave behind? Does any of that matter to you?
When thinking about these things it doesn’t matter how much you fucked up yesterday. All that matters is that in the present you are consistently trying to work toward your future. Working towards a future means a lot of failing until you get there. So, for me, as a writer, it looks like, today I will write 1000 words and I will not sleep until those words are written because I want to write novels for a living. Start making commitments to yourself. Start small and forgive yourself when you miss the mark. Then get back on track.
Another way to look at the big picture is to think about how your choices will affect your environment. Your environment impacts the paths you take to get to your long-term goals. Your environment is impacted by those whose opinion you’d most likely listen to. So, surround yourself with those you respect and support and who would do the same for you, not because you did it for them, but because that’s just who they are. So, you need to build and nurture relationships with those who are interested in you. I’m not talking networking. This is building valuable relationships with people that you’ll miss while they’re away from you. These are the people you invest in on your free time.
And what about those who drive you away from your calling?
It also means staying away from those who drive you away from your calling. Who are they? They are the ones who: ask too much of you even after you say no, don’t support or respect your calling, don’t respect your time, bring you to the point where you’re unable to function properly. Those are the ones you have to love from a distance.
The best way to focus on your goals is to get your goals to weigh heavier than anything else around you.
I had trouble with my temper in the past. Thankfully, with a lot of hard work I’ve learned to control my temper and walk away when I feel myself losing control. But when I’m angry there is no bigger picture. The only thing I can see is the thing that stands in my way. In those moments, I can’t see around it. Even mantras didn’t work for a while because when I reached that point in my anger, the mantras had no weight. They had no meaning. I say this because your bigger picture must weigh heavier than anything else. Your reasons, your values, your disciplines, they have got to be fleshed out so that when something tries to deter you from your goals, you can walk away and feel confident in that decision. And when you start getting confident in yourself, your life is little less miserable. For that moment at least. Then you have to go at it again. You might fail but that’s ok. You’ll get eventually. And your confidence will grow. And you life will become fuller because you’ll start making better choices for yourself and for your future.
Unconditional love is an act worth living and dying for.
Yesterday, I posted something on Instagram but archived it because I wrote, my love is only for those who can face me with the truth.That is such a false statement and doesn’t describe my philosophy in any way. I act in love no matter what is going on outside of me or inside of someone else. Another person’s journey shouldn’t limit my ability to show love. I want to act in love no matter what.
What this means to me
My opinion is that love comes down to action. It’s not some theoretical abstract concept for me. It is knowing and understanding that we are all learning. We are all either acting out or healing from past wounds. We are all trying to survive and for some, survival requires a robotic lifestyle that doesn’t allow much thought. Let me make this clear, I absolutely do not belittle this behavior or mindset. I understand survival is innate and some of us are simply trying to live another day. I accept this. I listen. I use my own past mindset as a tool to empathize with the survival mindset. Loving unconditionally for me means showing acceptance to myself and others no matter where we are in life.
What this doesn’t mean to me
My desire to love unconditionally absolutely does not mean I will allow unhealed wounds to destroy my space. One of the most beautiful acts of love is stopping toxic behaviors. Whether that means loving myself enough to step away or owning up to and apologizing for a toxic behavior of my own. I understand why you are toxic. I understand that you are not ready to heal. I understand what you’re healing from regardless if you tell me with your words or actions. But what you are not going to do is manipulate me and treat me of little value. I will step away from manipulating words that have yet to be backed up with actions. You may choose to live that way and I can smile at you and hug you, but a line will be drawn once you attempt to limit me into submission. Not gunna happen.
The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.
― Stephen Kendrick, The Love Dare
I am going to continue learning to love myself and others unconditionally. How does it look to work on unconditional love?
1. working on my values so my character has something to fall in line with.
2. knowing and understanding myself
3. challenging my own limiting behaviors and beliefs
4. learning to value myself and my space
5. spending time alone
6. finding different ways to encourage myself
8. find ways to hold myself accountable
9. tell the truth
Doing these things for yourself is doing it for others. It helps after doing it for yourself because when you mindlessly limit yourself, you will unintentionally limit others. When you mindfully accept yourself, you mindfully accept others. These steps toward unconditional love listed above help you to bring your limiting beliefs and behaviors into a more concrete thinking space, or in other words, into awareness.
These actions are easy to suggest and write down but putting these into action is only a small piece of the hard part. When you begin to work towards unconditional love, it’s going to irritate the few who don’t feel they deserve it for themselves and they will automatically reflect that self-limiting belief on you, acting as if you also don’t deserve unconditional love. This is a lie. You deserve unconditional love for yourself.
Then there’s going to be a few who see your ability to love unconditionally and it will cause a ripple of acceptance, and what else has anybody ever wanted in their life?
There are things that should be handled directly. And then there are things like flirting, that have a casual build up. I think it’s ok to be indirect with a sweet smile when you’re flirting. Because most times it takes so many words in order to really process what a problem is. It takes a focused conversation. It takes patience. So, I like to think of flirting as an escape from needing to be articulate and that it just makes a suggestion in few simple words.
I might just like you, Ms. Johnson.
It’s vague, seductive, sends the point home, not articulate at all, but does its job. This is in my opinion an acceptable form of flirting. If you really Ms. Johnson, of course. If you don’t, well, that’s manipulating.
I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive. — Joseph Campbell
I have spent far too long waiting for my life to finally begin.
We are going to die, and I refuse to live one more minute of my life keeping my mouth shut in order not to ruffle any feathers. If my mouth ruffles your feathers, get out of the way because this mouth isn’t going to close. I’m going to say exactly how I feel. I’m going to explain why I’m upset. I’m going to walk away from the things that try to make me smaller than I was when I woke up. I’m not hiding my voice anymore.
Joseph Campbell said,
The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.
I’m going to say yes to being alive. I’m going to dive headfirst out of a plane in the sky. I’m going to approach the tough topics no one else wants to talk about. I’m not just going to approach them I’m going to rip those topics out of everyone’s minds and place them front and center so they have nothing else to look at but the ugly truth.
Being alive for me means walking down as many paths as I can. Finding as many stories as I can. And bringing people along with me here and there for the ride. We’re here, on this flying rock together, but most of the searching is done alone. My only interests in life are for my own growth, to admire the growth of others, and to do it all with as much hard work and enjoyment at possible.
I sign off with words from the great Hunter Thompson,
When I was a little girl I was scared of everything. After I had my first daughter, I realized I was capable of so much more than I thought. Not only did I push her out naturally, but I also successfully breastfed her for a year while working full time. The world became my oyster and that’s when I began to face my fears.
If you’re feeling like the world is getting to you, like you just can’t get a break, make some art. You will still hurt. You will still be soft but every time you share your guts, one more person will be less alone. But don’t do it for the others no, do it because this is the most important thing on your list.
There’s going to be a million people who tell you how to live, how to spend your money, when to laugh, but…Read More