Every day I learn something new. Sometimes by error, sometimes by thought, sometimes by reading, but sometimes I learn by the world crumbling around me. From the ashes, the best lessons can be learned.
One of my very favorite quotes is “I can’t know what I don’t know.” Think about that for a second and really let that steep in your mind. Once people can grasp that concept about themselves then maybe they’ll learn to give other people a break every once in a while. We are all learning to get through life in our own best way that we know how. However, there happen to be times when we just don’t know what we are doing. We have to be taught. Someone has to show us.
Another favorite quote: “You are never too old to learn.” I’m on a continuous education plan with college, and I love every minute that my focus shifts from reality world into college world. I become a learner and the thirst is always ready to be quenched. There are times I can’t read or write enough! I want to continue conversations for hours and never leave campus…but real world calls me back. Thankfully, there is always plenty to learn in reality world! People never cease to provide me with material to write about and I’m in perpetual awe of what I can learn from others.
I do find that now that I’m older I have less trouble admitting when I’m wrong. I honestly believe that in every opportunity there is a place to learn something new. If I’m wrong, then that means I didn’t know about something and in that moment I have the chance to learn something new! We don’t go through our lives doing the wrong things because that’s what we chose to do – we do the wrong things over and over because we haven’t learned to do them right! Of course, some of us don’t like to admit we are wrong and keep doing the wrong things to prove a point – a non-existent point, but a point nonetheless. Stubbornness gets us nowhere, but to a place of self-righteousness. Who wants to be self-righteous? On purpose? That’s a very lonely place.
Some of us keep messing our lives up because we don’t love ourselves enough to give our poor souls the right things to thrive. We feel as though we’ve done something so evil in our past that whatever hell we’ve created for ourselves is just punishment for mistakes that we’ve made. This is such a “young person’s” way of thinking, and I wish I could change this, so that they don’t waste a moment of their young lives in self-inflicted punishment for past mistakes – mistakes that are just lessons that help us grow and LEARN! Why doesn’t anyone explain this to us when we are younger – like, over and over and over again? I know I would have lived a very different life if I had known that I could love myself, learn from my mistakes, grow from them and move on.
Demons of the past like to sit with us and remind us that we made awful choices. They like to stir the pot of regret and remorse. They turn our head away from today and stop us from living in the moment. They grab our hands and pull us back into their hot mess and help us re-live every bad, awful, crazy moment in our history. They wrap their snake-like arms around us and hold us there as that horror show plays over and over again. We are stuck there in the past. Sad. Alone. Miserable. Making the same mistakes again because we never see ourself growing and learning. The demons won’t let us love ourself. How could we love such a monster? How could anyone love and respect such an awful person? Demons are hard to get rid of once they set up household in your head. They pay rent every month and re-arrange the furniture every time we think we find a way to escape. Then one day we find that we’ve grown tired of their crazy antics. We realize that the demons are immature and unhealthy thoughts that aren’t letting us grow. We stop re-living the past, start being grateful for what we have and beging living for the present. Then we begin putting out the fires they’ve let burn in our hearts.
Regret is the first fire to be snuffed out. You know you can’t regret your choices forever. The choices you’ve made have led you to where you are now. Since then you have made better choices – you decide not to make that mistake anymore. No more regret. You’ve just sent one demon packing…you can’t regret things that you can’t change, but you can never do that again. You can LEARN.
Next up for eviction, is remorse and worry. That couple has been bickering in your brain for too long. You can’t feel so bad all the time! Life isn’t meant for being sad. Truth is – we are here to be joyful and happy! So be happy and don’t worry about yesterday, it’s over now…and don’t worry about tomorrow because it hasn’t happened yet! No one has any control over what happens in any given moment. We can plan every minute of every day – just remember that plans are just an outline. Plans are just something we can use as a guideline for how we’d like to get from point A to point B – how we get there is a different story. The “how we get there” may change from moment to moment, so be open to change. Accept that life is what happens to us. Love as much as you can and be present in each moment.
Finally, we are going to dump self-doubt/self-hate. Open your heart and let the love pour in…love for yourself. If you can’t love yourself as you are – all of you – then you won’t ever be able to accept love from anyone or give love fully. This demon is the toughest son-of-a-bitch to get rid of because he revels in holding up that mirror to your face to show you every flaw, every mark, every mistake you have. He reminds you that you are worthless and unworthy of love. He compares you to everyone in the world who is so much better than you and says the most hateful things: “you suck”, “you are fat”, “you are ugly”, “you aren’t worth it”, “no one wants to love you”, “your eyes are crooked”, etc…
I’m here to tell you that even this demon can be kicked to the curb. When you open your heart and let the right people into your life they support your growth. They remind you that you are worth everything in the world because you are YOU! You look into the mirror and you see your smile. You see a light in your eyes that no one else sees and you begin to love yourself. You start to see people differently and have a sense of calmness in your heart that you didn’t have before. Where you always had a sense of urgency for someone to “see” you and love you – you now have a warm light that beckons others to share your life. People that you never noticed before smile at you and talk with you. A serenity that you’ve never known settles in and you can breathe again. You can love others without any expectations from them. You become selfless and have an understanding about life that is like opening up a secret box of butterflies and setting them free! Such an amazing experience.
Once you’ve stopped letting the demons pay rent and torn down the building, you’ll forever change your life. A sense of peace will fall over you and every day will start with gratitude not trepidation. Unfortunately, when you realize that the demons are gone and you don’t deserve to be treated like a doormat by them or anyone else, you suddenly lose people who you thought would always be in your life. When you set boundaries and prohibit ungraciousness, thoughtlessness and unfairness, some folks don’t appreciate the “new you” and disappear from your world. They become memories and people that you used to know. Be prepared for those losses, but also be prepared for the peace those losses bring.
What is truly bizarre to me is that I feel like I’m the same person that I’ve always been, I’m just not afraid of putting myself out there anymore. I’m not afraid to love who I am or to tell people to love who they are. I’m just not afraid anymore. I just read a meme that said, “Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons.” Mind.blown. Can you believe I get that meme today? I absolutely love it when the universe and I are working in concert! I guess what all of this means is even though you are going to change into something wonderful and peaceful and calm and loving – not everyone is going to appreciate the “new you”. The “new you” won’t tolerate their behavior anymore and that sir, is an affront to their beliefs – their demons. Believe me, it’s gonna hurt like hell for a really long time, but you will be a happier person for letting them walk away. Remember, that walking away from you is a decision that they make based on their feelings, not yours. I still love everyone, I just choose not to accept their opinions and assumptions about who I am as truth. I know my truth and I know my life. I know who I am and I know where I’ve been. I don’t need reminders and I don’t need to apologize for anything I’ve already made proper amends. However diluted the apology may have been by the time it was heard through all of their hurt and anger, I can’t keep begging to be seen for who I am and to be accepted on the words I speak now.
There is nothing in between the lines I write. I don’t have hidden agendas nor do I have any wishes for pain or sadness for anyone in my life. Quite frankly, I don’t have the energy or time to do that to anyone if I wanted to. I’m also aware that I can’t stop anyone from feeling or believing what they want. We own our feelings and beliefs and no one has any business trying to tell you what they should or shouldn’t be. I would ask you though: Wouldn’t you rather want to err on the side of honesty, peace, love and friendship than distance yourself with anger, trepidation, assumption, and doubt?
I think in the end the most important concept to take from all of this is that no matter what direction our lives take us; no matter if we choose let the demons pay rent or evict them from our lives, we have the opportunity to learn and grow. We have the ability to be better (or worse), but we have the choice and what we decide is completely up to us. We own our power, our thoughts, our choices, our pasts, our today…ourselves. We can give love or take it away, but we all know what feels better and most of us choose love over all things.
Today as you ready yourself for bed take a minute to think over your day and pick out all the moments that were right. Write them down. Now – put the pen down. Even if you only wrote one thing down, that’s perfect. You had a wonderful day. Not everything was bad. Choose to focus on the good things that go right. Build your days from the good things and the bad things become smaller and fewer. Do this every night for a few weeks, then go back and look at the list. Some days you have more good things than others, but everything on that list is something that is good. Be proud of your good things…be happy for your good life and be happy. Don’t be afraid anymore.
Let your love light shine my friends. This is the day to be your best.