It is no secret that my days 15 years ago were comprised of needles, vodka, knives, blood, vomit, powder, pills, and self-destructive behavior. It is all a blur, but I know that sometime soon (15 years ago) I almost died and became handicapable. As I reflect on my life tonight, I can honestly say I’d change nothing. Indeed, I am supremely happy with my life. No, I don’t have a great deal of material possessions, but I am supremely content within; something I lacked for much of my life. If I tell you something it is this: you’re alive; if anything be grateful for that. We so often chase that which is elusive; feel inadequate and never enough. You ARE enough! Don’t sell yourself short 🙂 To my friends struggling: you are not broken; maybe scratched, but you’re worth salvaging! I am not special; if I can come from THAT, trust that ANYONE can! Whatever you do, believe and have faith that anything is possible!
Sorry I have been gone for a little while; I am having technical difficulties! (Seasonal affective disorder) Eh, I’m used to it! We had a hurricane a few weeks ago and it brought cold weather. Add low sunlight and presto! It is obnoxious, but I have tools to deal with it and while a thorn in my side; it is nothing to write home about. Just know you CANNOT control your thoughts and emotions, but you can deal with them in appropriate manner. NOTHING happens without our permission! Negativity in life is inevitable, but it only overcomes us if we ALLOW it! I challenge everyone to concentrate on the haves, rather than have nots! Example : I have very good health (kind of haha, my labs are great!), 2 cats who love me, love in my life, and a roof over my head. I have my life. I will be grateful and slay the day!
When you think about it, life is pretty damn beautiful. I am no stranger to chaos and death; amidst it, there remains beauty. I have been thinking recently of the incongruity and chaos of the world around me; it is still marvelous and good. Think of the yin-yang; in everything good, there is bad. In the bad can be found good. Everything has a complimentary opposite; this completes it and makes it whole. Without suffering and pain, there would be no good; so it is. Life just is; how we choose to view it is just that: a choice. Those who know my life story are well aware that I speak as someone who has suffered tremendous pain and loss; I do not deny ANYONE’S pain. Pain is pain is pain; I have repercussions that affect me to this day, and will affect everyone around me. I am aware; however, I cannot use my pain as an excuse to feel sorry for myself. I absolutely do NOT. Believe there are so many reasons to feel bad, but feelings aren’t FACT and I know MINE attempt to make me sit on my pity-pot. I attempt to remain grateful for that which I have, rather than ruminate on that which I lack. Even if there is only one thing for which to be grateful, it is SOMETHING. Yes, life in its chaos is beautiful!
“Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A world of optimism and hope. A ‘you can do it’ when things are tough.”- Richard M. DeVos
There are so many opportunities to do this throughout our day, yet few take advantage. As human beings, I believe we are always seeking encouragement; this often stems from the most unlikely places. Being fellows, we can, indeed, be the color in someone’s otherwise grey world. Personal circumstances may dictate otherwise and life may seem all but hopeless, but know that it is absolutely NOT. Whether it is a smile, kind word, or random act of kindness; actions indeed make an impact. Know that you are loved unconditionally. Even if I don’t personally know you, know that someone loves you for the simple fact that you ARE and nothing more. Know that you are worthy of being loved and of giving love to others. We sometimes feel as though we are alone, you are NOT; trust that I have been and continue to be on the front lines right along with you. And if no one else tells you, “You can do it and I love you!”
“If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.” Epictetus
Some things I have learned thusly: Not everyone will like you and I cannot take myself too seriously. I have (and still do) face criticism. I have found that the best way to stay out of controversy is to completely avoid it. If one does not do anything negative, then when we find ourselves amongst gossip and chaos, we can rest easy and simply laugh it off knowing that it is baseless and completely unfounded. I am indeed overly happy and all over the place, but I am harmless! I have received reminders of myself from 10 years ago and I must say, it’s COMPLETELY embarrassing! I must call myself out (aside from things done to me) I have been a thief, a liar, a cheat, an addict and alcoholic, completely out of control; this hardly touches the surface. If you are any of these things; do not count yourself out and feel damaged beyond repair. There is always hope; I know but little, I do, however, I know something about and believe in humanity and goodness. Trust that I am well versed on current events, much of my life revolves around them. I am well aware of all of the negativity and atrocities in the world; many of which (and I am EXTREMELY sad about) involve people I love. If I do not involve myself, I can laugh off negativity and realize it is not ME, but the other party. I have spent too much of my life spent at the whim of others; we choose this, no person has control unless permission is granted. One need not waste needless energy on worry of other’s thoughts about them, but rather remain secure with themselves.
“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” – William Shakespeare
We are each ourselves up to this point; yet the present is malleable and the future not yet written. That which will be is unknown. We all have a choice as to our situation; one can choose positive or negative. Trust that the former me did not have the present me on the horizon. I knew what I was, which was absolutely a wreck, but absolutely! had no idea what I’d become. Quite frankly (I was told this by medical professionals) if I had continued my lifestyle, I would have been dead by age 24. I did not expect that I’d be healthy and happy at age 37. I realize each day is but a gift, today I appreciate each day I’m alive and choose to live to the fullest. I am no longer in mental anguish; no one is required to be, yet so often are. The philosopher Epectitus held the idea that a person is free if they choose to be, despite the confines that restrict them. I am quite fond of Epectitus, as his values hold court with mine. I truly believe each man and woman cannot control external circumstances, yet has the power of choice regarding their minds. I know well, we cannot control our brain chemistry, yet we choose things such as deep love, gratitude, and whether or not we will be positive in the face of adversity. Whatever we presently may be is subject to change. If you are clinging to pessimism, negativity, and formerly or presently horrible situations; there is no time like the present to change and be what you may be.
“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”
― Saint Augustine
Humility is indeed an art form; I write and talk explicitly in the hopes of encouraging and inspiring. The mere fact that I am writing publicly about humility is indeed any oxymoron. I am definitely not the most humble person in existence, yet I try my damndest. One need not be boastful about their accomplishments (I often am), but let their life and actions speak for them. I am indeed very little if I am mere talk with no actions behind me. Talk of one’s humility is extremely ironic, for often if one speaks of their humility, they are not such. I have many friends who are humble to a fault and do not like to be recognized in ANY fashion. I respect the hell out of them! It is not in my nature to do such; I try my best, but often fall short. I am well aware that I am not the smartest or most beautiful person that ever was or will be; I am neither a saint nor brilliant nor supermodel, but I am loved and that is good enough! I will attempt to practice humility as best I can… while still blogging J
“One filled with joy preaches without preaching.”
I hope I never come across as preachy; if I do, I apologize. Someone who has had great influence on me once told me: we walk this path shoulder to shoulder. Woe be it to me to stand on a soapbox and attempt to control people. I cannot; each person will do what they want to do; I simply aim to encourage and inspire, never preach. Let bygones be bygones and you can indeed affect the world; not letting anyone affect you negatively. No one! If I make you angry, I apologize in advance. Some people despise love and happiness and find it obnoxious; it strikes me as very funny. Let your actions speak for you. I am simply a conglomerate of my words and especially deeds; these must be congruent if I am to live a fruitful life of balance. Today, I am filled with joy, despite external “things”.
I am fine! Life just got away from me; I have been busy adulting. I belong to an organization that requires MUCH of my time and effort, and have been writing for them; I simply haven’t had the energy to write for my own blog! As adults, we are often tasked with things which we don’t necessarily enjoy, but are the right thing to do. I am beyond fortunate; I enjoy EVERYTHING I do. Even cleaning cat poop is a joy for me; when you have a grateful heart, even the mundane becomes wonderful. Cleaning cat poop means my cats are healthy and I HAVE cats. Waking up super early means I got enough sleep the day before; attending things I’m supposed to and participating makes me a productive person and not because I HAVE TO but because I WANT to. These days, I only surround myself with and participate in things that bring joy to and enrich my life; I have spent much time simply going through the throes of life; working to make ends meet, having relationships and friendships expected of me (luckily, I have also had some WONDERFUL friendships built on love), and feeling deep shame for not being and doing that which I felt was expected of me. Today, I can truly that these are things of the past. I challenge all of you to break your chains and step out of your boxes; to truly enjoy your life and be grateful for what you do have, even if it is not much. There is absolutely plethora of things to be grateful for; simply pause and count your blessings 🙂
You are you, here and now, take it or leave it (YOU take it!) If other people fail to”take it” , that is ok; not everyone is alike (and that is alright!). People are people, all fallible, but we do have commonalities that unite us; the most glaring of which is that we are all human beings. Ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs, political vantage points, etc. aside; we are all fellows on this planet. This may sound hopelessly optimistic, and a flawed viewpoint; think back to when you were young. You probably didn’t have prejudices and convictions until they were taught to you be some social influence. We were all blank slates once; it is easy to forget, yet rememberence serves one well.
Mental: You are enough; whatever you’ve been told or taught. You might not be what society (or you or your social circles) expected, but you are where you are in this world. Don’t let your own or others’ expectations of or disappointments in, take that away from you. I have seen people’s fear of others’ ideals and judgements keep them frozen with terror, and ultimately almost destroying them because they feel as though they will never be “good” enough for other people. Disregard what others think; be you for you, not others.
Physical: Keep moving; maybe not literally! It is hard to do this , quite often; but finding ourselves stuck in an unproductive rut can lead to feelings of uselessness and futility. Best to attempt to do SOMETHING, even getting out of bed is SOMETHING! Something is better than nothing (so I hear),sometimes you have to just put one foot in front of the other and soldier on… even when it’s difficult. Whether working out, in sports, LIVING, business, volunteering, anything!! just DO it.
Social: It is good to have friends, not yes men or social buddies or an entourage, but real FRIENDS. People who love you for you; not your social status, your money, clothes, car, hair, yadda. Real people who could care less about these things; focusing on such hinders the person in question from seeing the true qualities and attributes an individual may possess. Judge not.