Life is good, like almost grossly good. I’m not kidding – I eat, sleep, breathe, and ooze joy from my pores. I wish there was an equation, a remedy I could give to people who are struggling and say “If you do a, b, and c then you will be happy.” But it’s not that simple and if it’s in the works you don’t even realize anything has occurred until you wake up in the midst of it and look around. When you do you’ll be grateful as shit but also a little unsure of how you got there. I know I am.
When I arise, I can’t help but to grin like an idiot for the chance to decide whether or not I want to take a shower or make a pot of coffee. It’s not that I’m really into hygiene or coffee beans but the fact I’m alive and well and have options is what thrills me. I am lucky, but I also understand that I had to endure what I had to endure to get here and I am certain there will always be things we have to bear. I felt compelled to marinate a little bit in this spot though – what are the things I’ve learned in the last year of my life that helped me and continue to help me on a daily basis? Without further ado, here are some of my mantras and the things that came to mind that I’d like to share.
You don’t always have to speak your truths, just know they exist. You know who you are and what you’re about. You know your shadows and the things about yourself that you both like and dislike. We don’t always have to confront our demons because they will come to surface when we’re ready for that battle. Ultimately it’s your choice if you want to be candid with others; but if nothing else remember that you are the keeper of your truths and you can always talk to yourself about anything.
In a similar fashion, be compassionate with yourself. Think about the way you comfort others and realize right now that you’re probably not extending that same privilege to yourself. For instance, I had a conversation the other day with a friend who was involved with another person who quite frankly treats them like an a-hole. Do I tell this person that they’re stupid to even be in the situation in the first place and that the guy is a jerk and she should just forget about it? No. I listen, I connect, and I extend genuine compassion. I meet her where she is and offer up anything I possibly can that will be of service to her. Why is it so hard to do that for ourselves?
I think it’s a Barbara Streisand song that says: “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world,” and hot damn did she hit the nail on the head with that one. I am who I am because of the people who touch my life, both near and afar. I got complimented the other day on the excessive amount of jewelry I was wearing and I responded by going into full detail about each piece, and who I had received them from. I realized that a.) I don’t think I own any jewelry that I bought myself, and b.) this is my way of literally – carrying people with me. There is so much love in the world that exists past a romantic connection between two people and I am so blessed to have so many good people in my past, present, and future that I feel like I can barely handle it.
However, it’s just as important to be careful of who you allow in your world. There are good people, bad people, and in-between people. And people affect us probably more than anything in this world. It’s kind of dangerous. I’ve found a new side to this by how I’ve recently opened myself to dating again. I had several experiences when maybe I thought I connected with someone and perhaps they didn’t feel the same connection. I think it’s called “rejection” and it doesn’t feel good. In fact, the first few times it happened it was fucking earth-shattering. I was worthless, not good enough. Then I realized how heavy these things were and that it was utterly insane I could meet someone I barely know and give them such an immense amount of power. When you date, you’re meeting strangers and somehow their opinion of you becomes a way you judge your value and worth. You are the only person who can judge yourself in this way, but this is a prime example of how dramatically we let people in. So don’t forget to be mindful of who gets in your pearly gates, and not to forget who you are and what you stand for.
I’ve also learned to give myself the simple permission to be who I am. Allow yourself to be authentic, 110% of the time. Sometimes your authentic self is awesome – you climb mountains, save babies from burning buildings, you’re confident and brilliant and completely self- aware. But sometimes your authentic self cries on the couch watching ASPCA commercials and Lifetime Movies. They eat Cheetos and wipe their hands on their jeans and feel fat and sad. Let you do you, unapologetically and unconditionally.
Check-in with yourself often. Ask yourself how you are. Allow yourself to check-out when you’re feeling overstimulated. Assess and minimize negativity. You’re going to get back what you give, so if you offer the universe a ton of negativity and sit around talking shit all day – don’t be surprised when life hands you lemons (and no, you’re not allowed to make lemonade with them.)
The most important thing is to never take life to seriously. Find things to be passionate about and pursue them. Get in touch with your intuition and let it serve you, not scare you. Pay attention to both the messages you give and receive. Never stop being grateful for the people who surround you and hug them a lot because it’s important and it feels good. Do whatever it takes to find peace in yourself, even if it ends up being hard work because it most likely will be. But at the end, when you get to wake up and decide between making a pot of coffee or taking a shower, when your humbled by the thought that every day is like, the best day of your life – it’s beyond worth it. Get there.