Regrets…. I’ve had a few…..

If you had asked me five years ago, possibly even a couple of years ago, if I had any regrets, I would have said no. And I meant it. I really did. Not in a haughty, conceited, or superior kind of way but in a comfortable with myself, realistic about my past limitations kind of way. And I was really proud of myself for loving myself so much that I could forgive myself for making bad choices, knowing that I was doing the best that I could do at the time.

At the same time, I would have extended that self love out to you, as you told me a story about some terrible choice you had made and now regretted. “Forgive yourself,” I would have said, “and move forward. You can’t go back. You did the best that you could. You’re a different person now.”

Of course, I might still say those same words to you now. But with a different outlook.

Recently, I realized that I do regret some of my choices. The very idea sort of threw me. Why was I suddenly changing my mind about this? I thought I was so comfortable with myself and forgiving and loving to me. And I am. But, the more I love myself, the more I realize I should have loved myself more in the past and made choices that reflected that.

Instead, I made a lot of choices to please other people. I martyred myself, too. I decided that if someone had to be unhappy, I’d take the hit. I’ll take one for the team. Let them all be happy, I can suffer for their sake. What a bunch of shit. Because what I realize now is that if I had thought about myself a little more, I’d be in a better place now. Instead, I’m in my mid 40’s and just now beginning to take steps toward the life I want.

And making a choice for myself would have meant a better, more authentic relationship with me and everyone in my life. The great part about allowing myself to regret some things is that I’m now finding out who I really am and letting her out to live and create my life. A life that I feel comfortable in. A life where I care less and less if the world approves.

Discovering this new freedom has also affected me spiritually. As I learn and grow and study life and metaphysical and spiritual ideas, I expect to change as I go and apply what I learn. But, the idea of having no regrets was, to me, the representation of self-forgiveness and letting go, moving forward, self love. So, to change my mind about it was huge. I wasn’t expecting it. And it brought up a few other things for me as well.

For instance, regret doesn’t mean that I don’t love or forgive myself. It just means that I’m acknowledging the fact that I would have, could have loved myself better. It acknowledges that I love myself enough now to try and choose me because I matter. Maybe that’s what this really is- me discovering that I matter.

It sounds so obvious, right? So simple. But, as I’m sure many women reading this will agree, we aren’t taught to do things for ourselves. We’re taught to serve others. Especially men (sorry guys). And if we do something that’s unpopular because we feel like it, especially something that isn’t “normal”, then we’re selfish. How dare we do something that isn’t going to ensure our normal career, home with mortgage, 2.5 kids, American Dream? Right?

And if you think that I’m being nutty about this, think back a few years ago (ten maybe?) to when Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love became a bestseller. A lot of women (and men) connected  with her story.  And I remember very clearly hearing a lot of people (women and men) criticizing her for being “selfish”. Selfish for cancelling her wedding at the last minute. Selfish for taking a trip to find herself, and God forbid, enjoy herself. Because doing something like that isn’t okay for her if I can’t do it, is what I feel they are saying. She had the guts to live her life with passion and joy and without a man in the center of it and she was called selfish. That is sad, people.

Criticism seems to happen no matter what you do, I’ve found, so why not just do what makes you happy anyway? I’m hearing this theme more and more these days and it gives me hope. I see a lot of young people making choices that aren’t mainstream and I’m cheering them on. A world where individuals can choose a path that inspires them is where I want to live. Think of the inventors and artists and musicians and innovators who would come out of the woodwork and have a voice if we stopped, as a society, telling people who to be?

Yes, I’m an idealist. A dreamer. So what? We all should be. I feel like the people who are against free spirits are just afraid. Probably to make changes in their own lives or that their lives won’t mean anything if the old structure disappears. And of course, there are those who say, “Who’s going to take out the garbage? Or work in the fast food restaurants? Or do the jobs no one else wants to?” First of all, we should nominate you, dear hater, to take a turn first. Ha ha.

The truth is, we have the ability now to change those systems to make them better. And those people following their passions, their dreams? They want to solve problems. They want to make things automated so that we can all chillax and make music and art and hang out. That’s what makes them happy. And there are always people who want to help make it happen. The muscle, if you will. As for fast food, no one should be eating that shit anyway. But, someone down the street from you who loves to cook would probably put some tables in his backyard and cook for anyone who shows up.  So, don’t worry haters.

Anyway, all I’m saying is that from now on, I’m trying to choose me. I’m choosing to enjoy my life without guilt. Which is why this week I’m taking about 12 of my 100 hours of vacation that I have accrued. I plan to take some more next week. Because, guess what? I don’t want to regret not taking some time to enjoy life and relax a little.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Space: not gonna happen……

I’m a Star Wars fan. And Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek and all kinds of spacey things. But, I’m not going to space. Ever.

Here’s why: the movie Gravity in 3D. You may have seen it. Maybe you liked it, maybe not. But, I went alone to see it. In 3D. With no ones hand to grab. All I could think of was: no way!

The thing is, if you’re in space and something goes wrong, you’re pretty much screwed. Sandra Bullock’s character was a smart, scientist kinda gal and I’m not. I’m a nerdy bookworm. But, I don’t understand computers or physics or anything that would come in handy if things go wrong in space. I don’t even know enough to know how to survive up there beyond the understanding that my body needs air, water and some stuff to eat.

The Martian- yet another example of my ineptitude. I think I would have just looked for a way to a quick death and called it a day.

Also, the idea of being in space just makes me uncomfortable. What is it doing to my body? Will I ever stop feeling nauseous? If I go into my sleep chamber for most of the trip, will I actually wake up? And on time? And will there be an alien intent on killing us all, including our cute cat? Will our synthetic guy freak out? Will the computer malfunction and decide that we’re expendable? These are important questions to ask before space flight.

The closest thing to space flight I’ll ever get is airplane travel, and I don’t like that either. While I have a mild understanding of the physics involved and how planes fly, there is still an air of mystery and magic about the whole thing that freaks me out. Every time I fly, I have to put it out of my mind that we’re thousands of feet in the air and try to forget how weird it is so that I don’t panic. When I do start to freak out a little bit, I breathe deeply and order a cocktail, which is not the best solution, so feel free to judge.

On top of the occasional panic on an airplane, you also have to deal with strangers sitting dangerously close to you and invading your normal 3 feet of personal space. I try to set myself up beforehand by visualizing an easy, pleasant journey and usually, I’m rewarded with nice people travelling next to me. But, sometimes, the universe is like, “You need a refresher course on tolerance and seeing the oneness and love and shit” and some ogre with smelly feet or a boring, overfriendly, chatty intellectually void fellow member of the human race will sit next to me.

Did you feel my struggle? I wanted to say how I really felt about my seatmate but I also want to be kind and love everybody. This is the struggle, people, and it’s real.

Now, if we’re talking about being a pilot, my feelings are totally reversed. I would never in a million years want to fly a plane. If I’m ever on a plane and the pilot dies or has a heart attack and I’m your best choice to land the plane? It’s been nice knowing you. I’m pretty sure I would have a heart attack or at the very least sob and shout to my angels and God and Jesus and anyone else I can think of that I do NOT need this lesson. I do NOT need this particular situation to prove anything so, please revive the pilot with whatever miracle you can perform immediately. Thanks.

However, I would love to rock the Millennium Falcon with Chewy any day of the week. Forget about your lame ass rocket or space shuttle. If I’m going to space, it would be in a galaxy far, far away where they have this figured out and there are space ports and some guy with a catfish face and a speech impediment will grant me permission to land so I can give him the secret plans to the latest version of the Death Star. When that is a reality, I’ll go to space. And it will be awesome.

 

 

What are we doing here?

Dearest Readers,

I thought I should make a statement about my intentions for this blog. What am I going to talk about? What do I want to say? What is the purpose?

Well, I’ll be talking about my personal spiritual journey and experience. But, if that isn’t your thing, stick around because it’s about being human and our moments of failure or idiocy in daily life. I’m going to talk about the uncomfortable reality of life, the moments we mess up despite knowing better, the moments we wish we could forget or erase from our movie.

I’ll try to be fair and include everybody. I want to talk about this stuff because if you study a spiritual practice or religion you are expected to be perfect. I’m guilty of pointing fingers myself and judging others for not being the personification of their beliefs. But, I want to stop doing that. I want to talk about how hard it can be to be to stay in communion with love.

I feel the need for this kind of conversation because spirituality and self-awareness and improvement are a focal point of my life and I miss the mark sometimes. But I don’t feel that I’m alone in this and nobody seems to talk about how hard it can be to choose love when someone’s pushing your buttons and being shitty to you. Or how often I want to give up because it just doesn’t seem to matter. Or how this world can be so overwhelmingly sad and awful and how can my kindness or meditation or prayers possibly make a difference?

So, please, comment, share, join the conversation and invite anyone you think would appreciate it.

Thanks to you all for reading.  🙂

 

 

 

What is love?

I got into a lengthy, fairly deep conversation with a customer today and he asked me a question: “What is love?”
It seems like an easy question, right? I thought I knew the answer. It’s a feeling. It can be an action. It’s showing respect for another person. I rattled these answers off to him while realizing that I didn’t really know how to answer it completely because what IS love?
For the rest of my workday, I wondered about it. How could I answer that question more honestly and succinctly? And how strange that something so huge and powerful and so much a part of our lives can be so hard to describe, yet understood by everyone.
So, what is love? What is love to YOU?
The answer that finally came and resonated with me is this: it’s recognizing our oneness. Feeling a connection with what binds us all. That makes the most sense to me. Because  when you are in love with someone, you feel connected. When you are acting  in love or doing something out of love, you are connecting and honoring a bond, even if you don’t know the person. And it goes beyond humanness. Ask anyone with a pet.
But, it’s more than that, too because you can love people and animals and things! How can I explain my love of Star Wars to anyone? And it really is love that I feel for it. I mean, I cannot understand why it isn’t everyone’s favorite. How is my sister so unaffected by it and I would immerse myself in a Star Wars universe given the chance? (Although, I would never really go into space, which I will have to explain in another blog post)
I guess it’s a state of being, too. It’s the mindset that I try to hold, even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard. And it is hard to maintain loving feelings sometimes or act in a state of love. A lot of people and situations don’t feel very loving, yet staying in a state of love can lift them up. It’s something that I have to decide to embrace and practice daily, in each moment.
And I fail. Miserably, sometimes. I fail and I let anger or judgment or fear or defensive behaviors and feelings boil through me like a hurricane. I forget who I am, who I’m connected to, and who I want to be and lash out in an attempt to protect myself, when really, I don’t need protecting. None of us do. But part of this experience of being human means being blind to your connection with everything and everyone. And the point is to find it. Again and again and again.
So, what is love? I’m still finding out. And I’m still exploring and committing and expressing it in new ways each day.