Monthly Archives: November 2018

Working for a Paycheck or Waiting to Win the Lottery?

In a gratitude circle last week, the group went around listing what their hopes and goals were for the next year (2019). As people shared, I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that everyone was looking for the same thing: their life partner.

My turn was coming up and I couldn’t think of anything I had, specifically, laid out as my goal. I was content with my life. I didn’t feel like I needed to change anything. I didn’t feel like I needed to set any goals to meet someone special. But I remembered a message that came to me during meditation that reminded me: “If you want more joy, go out and give joy to others.” So I said my goal would be to find ways to bring more joy to this world.

I walked away from that meeting feeling confused. Why would anyone want to make a “goal” out of meeting their life partner? Coming from someone who has experienced so much loss, I always felt that people will just come in and out of your life as they are meant to, with or without your goal-setting efforts.

No one walks into a marriage thinking that one day they will lose their partner. No one has children thinking that their child will be ripped away from them. But you know what? It happens… ALL THE TIME. And it sucks… And most often, it’s the times when we weren’t doing anything that the most meaningful people walk right into our lives and end up staying. At least that’s been my experience.

I’ve found that when I put checklists on people’s existence in my life (who I need, when I need them, how I need them to be, etc.), I lose them pretty quickly, but when I keep my hands and heart open and let them just “be”, our relationships evolve and thrive. But that takes work, because love is about making the other person feel free. Free to be themselves, to be authentic, seen and acknowledged, accepted just as they are, and appreciated just as they are.

Driving home in the rain this song came on. There was something about the words that got me thinking…

It takes work. Relationships take work. Lots of work. But most of the work is internal. It’s about how we are showing up as the partner we want to be, the parent we want to be, the friend we want to be, the employee we want to be, the boss we want to be… Every day, little by little, with every encounter, and every relationship we chip away at becoming this person. And I couldn’t help but think: I don’t think “finding your life partner” is the goal. I don’t have enough life experience to say for 100%, but I don’t think being in a relationship is a means to an end to anything… If anything, it just adds to the work you’ve gotta keep chipping away at internally (figuring out how to live in peace and love someone other than yourself).

The lyrics:

“So if you wanna be with me
With these things there’s no telling
We just have to wait and see
But I’d rather be working for a paycheck
Than waiting to win the lottery
Besides, maybe this time is different
I mean, I really think you like me”
Relationships are hard (even when we find our “life partner”). We’re constantly looking for someone to come and fill the missing pieces inside ourselves, when really we can just work to be at peace with where we’re at. Because eventually, our life partner will walk into our life, and inevitably there’s still gonna be work to do both internally and now with the new relationship.
But as long as your partner really likes you and thinks working with you is just awesome and totally worth it… now that is when you hit the lottery. So why not work on liking yourself. Why not just work on liking being alone with yourself first? Then maybe someone will wanna like being with you too…

First Day of My Life

 

Finding “The One”

the one

If you want to find “the Perfect Person” you must die and go to heaven, because the Perfect Person does not exist on this Earth…

And what if we die and we find out there is no “heaven”?

What if we are all perfect, in our own unique ways. What if here, right now, is Heaven? What if we are creating our own Hell?

No one is without flaw. No one has their shit together. We don’t need to look for the perfect person, because that person does not exist. Nor will you ever be perfect, so don’t feel bad if you come with your own baggage.

Rather, focus on developing skills that help you cope with and overcome your unhealthy behaviors. Be with someone, who in their imperfections, also develops and cultivates healthy coping mechanisms to overcome their own unhealthy behaviors.

It’s inevitable that we will find ourselves with imperfect people. This is life. This is something we have absolutely no control over. But we always have a choice to put our focus and energy on cultivating healthy coping and processing tools, and to be in relationship only with those that value and commit to that same level of accountability.

We can spend our short earthly lives searching for things and people that simply do not exist… or we can put our energy on finding peace with who you are, and where you are in life right NOW…

Ironically, where we are in life and who we are is also constantly changing. Being able to flow like water in that inevitable changing… now THAT, I believe is heaven.

On Purpose

When we feel we belong, when we feel we have purpose, we thrive. Not only do we feel more motivated to do our daily tasks, but we are also less likely to get stuck in depression or remain discouraged when various things in life don’t go our way – because the external events don’t take you off course from your purpose.

purpose

Even if our set goals don’t work out as planned, we still see the bigger picture – the bigger PURPOSE, because goals aren’t our purpose. Goals are bullet points you put in place that enable to to act on your purpose.

goals

Your purpose is why you are here. Your purpose isn’t limited to one thing either. We can have many purposes in our life. Our purpose(s) aren’t what we “should” do, either, but rather what we feel in the depth of our heart, what we are called to do. And sometimes that isn’t always in line with what we want to do.

One of my purposes in life is to be the best mom I can be to my kids: to make them feel that they belong, to feel that they have a forever home, and to feel that they have an unconditionally loving and supportive family. In order to fulfill that purpose it takes work. I have to do things I don’t want to do, and be patient when I’m reeling inside and exhausted. I have to be a kind, loving, and cooperative co-parent with their father. That brings me to the other purpose: to be the best teammate I can be when working in collaboration with others.

When working on a team, this means I have to be considerate of their needs, wants, feelings, and also be patient and forgiving with them. If they slack off or drop the ball sometimes, I can extend compassion and patience, because I would want to be afforded that same level of patience and forgiveness when I inevitably screw up.

Being a good teammate is a learned skill. We aren’t born with it. It takes practice. In order to fulfill my purpose I have to practice it daily and look for opportunities in how I can apply it in my every day life. When I’m driving, I’m technically “collaborating” and working as a team with other drivers on the road to drive in a manner that does not reject their needs, desires, or safety. To do so I must be the best driver I can be. I should not text and drive, drink and drive, speed, or drive distracted, because to do so prioritizes MY desires over theirs, which is not good teamwork.

But putting others first NEVER means putting myself last. Being a pushover does NOT make a good teammate, because that would mean I’m lying to myself and others, and liars don’t make good teammates. When my teammates are not being a good teammate, I don’t need to hold resentment, because it is MY goal; it is MY purpose to serve as the best teammate, and my purpose may or may not be theirs. There is no “me” in team. It’s “we”. If I am thinking about doing something and my mind goes to, “well, what am I gonna get out of this?” it is best to simply not do whatever it is I was thinking of doing, because to do something in expectation of receiving something is NOT love. It is NOT good teamwork. I do it because it is in me to do it, because I want to do it, because it is action I choose to take (or not) to fulfill my purpose. To give with expectations of getting something in return is just begging to break my team with my bitterness and resentment. In being a great teammate, I know that my goal is not to shove the burden of carrying my emotional baggage onto someone else.

If I want to connect with them, and to share my feelings about their behavior, I know that the way I do that can be the way of a good teammate (loving, compassionate, open-minded, inquisitive, honest, and vulnerable), or like a bad teammate (accusatory, withdrawn, and resentful). Obviously, if I know what my purpose is, I know what I need to do.

Part of being a good teammate is being a good listener because it sends the message: what you have to say matters to me. Not just because I care about you, but because if I can’t understand you or where you’re coming from, I can’t serve my role as a good teammate very effectively. Being a good listener requires that I listen with the intention of understanding; not to judge, or respond, or defend my position.

The list goes on and on about how I can be a good teammate. But the point is, when we focus on our purpose, everything else just seems to make sense. Everything else just seems to “fall into place” just as it should. Every action or event in our life seems to perfectly serve our purpose. Every moment, every micro-moment, and every person that comes in and out of our lives has come to help you fulfill your purpose. Sometimes we think if they are not doing what we want them to do, they are not being a good teammate to us. We think they are trying to prevent us from achieving our goals. But what if we just changed the way we looked at things?

If you try to change the way you view the world, there is never a dull moment! Each opportunity is another grand opportunity for you to challenge yourself, to practice and polish your skills at whatever purpose you have, and become truly successful and fulfilled.

On Feeling Lonely

lonely teddy

A sinking feeling in my lower gut.
A dull feeling, almost that of feeling tired, sluggish, slow.
A lack of appetite.
A lack of feeling at ease.
A desire for distraction.

Run!
escape
Where is my phone? What’s on Facebook? Instagram?
Nothing.
Should I text someone? Start up a conversation? Will they sense my desperation?
What else can I look at, read, or do to take my mind off of things?
I know! I can work! I can bury myself in work. It makes me feel productive…
I’ll check email. All five accounts.
I’ll look at old pictures and re-read old texts.
Ugh, I feel worse.
Should I take a nap?

No matter where I ran, Lonely was right behind me. I couldn’t escape it.
The more I ran from it, it just got faster and bigger than me.
The more I hid from it, the louder it got.
The worse I felt.

So I decided to stop running from Lonely, look at it right in the eye and say…

“hello”

I was surprised at what I found:

Lonely was… me.
Not all of me. Just a part of me.
And she was beautiful.

She wasn’t the monster I had envisioned.
She wasn’t angry. She wasn’t crying. She wasn’t desperate and ugly.
She wasn’t weak and pathetic.
And when I looked at her right in the eye, she didn’t even make me feel any of those things I was feeling when I was running from her.

Lonely didn’t cause those feelings I was feeling.
It was running from her that caused them.

I asked her, “why were you chasing me? I was scared!”

She said, “why did you abandon me?”

Loneliness is an important part of us, and it is NOT the opposite of Joy. It’s a PART of Joy. You see, without Lonely we wouldn’t know Joy. Just like without Sad, we wouldn’t know Happy.

Joy expresses herself when we are with those that we cherish; Lonely expresses herself when we lose someone. It’s a beautiful part of us that tells us so much about ourselves. We aren’t “just Joy”, we are ALL of it on that spectrum.

Teddy bear

Lonely, in its hidden beauty, reminds us that we are human, that we are capable of and desire love, and that we care. It reminds us to keep our hearts soft, flexible, and open. It reminds us to say “sorry” when we make a mistake, and to forgive when we’ve been hurt. And that requires a tremendous amount of courage.

But the difference between Lonely and Joy is that Joy embraces us. Lonely requires that we embrace it.

There’s a fundamental rule in all relationships: that we can’t just take, take, take. We gotta give a little too. If all we do is sit and expect Joy to embrace us, Joy will leave us. So be brave and embrace Lonely. Don’t run. Just like you, all she wants is a hug and to be acknowledged.