Step 1: Stop being an asshole

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath   

I want to live a life writing and being introspective.  I want to live a life of being outward and loud.  I want to find what my meaning is and share it with the world.  I don’t want to be punished for wanting more. Now….how do I do that?

I’ve been given great career opportunities and I’ve taken them as far as I could.  The only advantage of seeing those jobs in my rear view mirror is that I remember being relieved when I walked away.  I saw another chapter being closed.  Another attempt at trying something and it didn’t work out.  Today I was asked a question that made me question every choice I made to walk away.  “Is something going on internally that is causing you to self-sabotage your life?”  I said “Of course not!”  However, I just realized that I lied.

Do I have the outgoing guts to do this?  Do I have the imagination to improvise?  Where in the hell did self-doubt creep in?!  What am I doing?  Where is this path leading me?  So many questions and I don’t have any of the answers.  While I believe that it is healthy to question one’s existence, I don’t think it’s fair for someone to look at you from the outside and determine that there is more going on than what there really is. Knowing that what was being said to me was being said out of concern and friendship, I couldn’t help myself:  I wanted to be angry.  I wanted to take two steps back and make excuses – blame!!!!  I couldn’t do it though.  I knew – I mean, I really knew – that this was all on me.  Obviously, I have been displaying behaviors that would cause him to question my motives.  I’ve been aloof, late, not here – you name it – I’ve been all of those things and probably more.  Now all I hear is my inner voice telling me, “What the fuck are you doing?”

That’s the problem, I don’t know what I’m doing.  Oblivion is a lonely place and I think I’ve been letting myself fall deeper and deeper because for some reason, going back to old habits is the easy thing to do.  We all do it.  We all revert back to the darkness – mostly out of fear.  Fear of what might happen if we actually have the balls to make the changes we need to make in order to find that elusive happiness!   We need – I need – to remember that happiness isn’t elusive…it’s all in what you perceive and if your perception is that happiness will be achieved by some magical factor, like money, fame, materialistic things – then I think you will never be happy.  I was reminded of this yesterday. I have nothing – no money, no fame, nothing materialistic, but I have never been so at peace and happy in my life!

Step 1

Where do I go from here?  As my new and very wise confidant just reminded me, “Just take the first step.”  Then after that, I need to take the next one, and so on and so forth.  Even though it’s insane that I needed to be reminded of this.  My God, I’ve taken so many “first steps” these past few years – I should recognize when I need to stop, (hammer time – sorry, I always thing of that when I write “stop”)  re-evaluate, process and move through the confusion.  However, I often myself get too introspective and I want to know all the answers and I want my life to start right now!!!  I know what the tools are – I know how to get there!  Why did I think I could skip Step 1?

I was also reminded that the best way to get out of my head is to focus on others and their needs.  In all of this journey, I’ve been so wrapped up in my self-care and self discovery that I forgot that there are other people around me who would like my attention.  How did I let myself get this far off course? I took that to heart and after I let go of the overwhelming guilt, I did exactly that…I put my craziness on the back burner for the evening.  I was full on present for the people that I live with in the house on Main Street.  I can’t even explain the love and happiness I felt when the day was done.  Such a simple thing to stop feeling sorry for yourself.

I think many of us tend to do that – wallow in that huge smelly vat of self-pity.  We think too deeply and search too hard for things that are simply right in front of our faces!  We all struggle with how to achieve that all-encompassing altruistic peace and harmony in our lives.  Some people are much better at it – mostly because they take the steps necessary to achieve it.  Not everyone is so lucky.  I’m a great example of “Why can’t I just be happy?”  The question should be “Why can’t I just be?”  I’m learning and that the beauty of living life – you learn.  You learn from your past, your success, your failures, your losses – all of it – you learn.  Then you take the next step and use what you learned to keep moving forward.

Discovery

What I have discovered on this path is that there are people who are willing to show you how to find your peace and harmony.  There are websites, books, blogs, newsletters, workshops, meditations, exercises and medications that all promise to make you a better you.  They are all basically saying the same thing, “Get out of your own way. Don’t be afraid to take the steps needed to get where you want to go – start with Step 1.  Relieve yourself of the negative people, places and things in your life.  Surround yourself with positive energy.  Ask the universe for what you want.  Pray. Meditate. Practice good habits like sleep, hygiene and healthy food.  Exercise.  Practice self-care.  Be grateful every day.”

I’m sure I forgot something, but I’m also sure that I will be reminded.  I have an eagerness to learn, so I do keep searching.  I may never find the answers I’m looking for, but along the way I’m going to meet some great people who think like me.  I will find peace in one place and in others I will find more questions.  I will never know everything I need to know to be perfectly happy and peaceful because there is no such thing as “perfectly happy and peaceful.”  There is only the journey.

On my journey thus far, I have learned that in order to love others freely and without conditions, I need to love myself freely and without conditions.  My problem?  Practicing and putting into action all of these life lessons! I’m always looking for that magical switch in my head that says, “Get off your ass and do something!”  Funny thing is:  that switch is there isn’t it?  I have done something –

I’m writing about it.  I’m sharing this hot mess with my 10’s of people and they keep coming back to read what I’ve written.  So, maybe that is my something that I can do right now.

My step 1:  Get out of my head and stop being such a self-involved asshole. (Check)

 

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