Taking back my control


“Responsibility is not the Truth with a capital T. Its a point of view which I can choose to take regarding all of the events in my life. If I choose to approach life from the responsible point of view, it means giving up my excuses, my avoidances, all the manipulative games I play when I feel like a victim. In return, what I gain is freedom, clarity, and the empowering experience of being in control and in charge of my life.”
Robert White

I have been playing the victim in my life for a quick minute now. I was able and willing to fess up to all of my mistakes, issues and most of my excuses, but because I couldn’t have the one thing I wanted, I moped and cried and overall just let my emotions run rampant. Since I don’t like to deal with my emotions (I hate crying for sure!), I got angry that I was having to deal with all of these crazy wild emotions. Then I got angry because others didn’t/could’t/wouldn’t deal with my emotions and so on and so forth.

Today is the start to a new week. It is the start to a new holiday season. Today is the day that I take back my control on my emotions and the things in my life that I need to stop letting others control. I am going to be responsible for myself and my words. I am going to do my best to stop letting my emotions control the decisions I make and start thinking with my head. Where my heart is, is not necessarily where my body can be and letting my heart do all the talking is certainly not helping me take back my control.

I am making a vow to myself to think before I speak, not let myself be controlled my emotions, give up what I can’t control, and take control of what I can. I am no longer going to do what others want just because I don’t want to deal with their feelings. Their feelings, wants, needs are no longer my concern. My feelings, wants, needs are my concern (this statement excludes my daughter). If someone doesn’t like what I have to say, what I am doing, how I am handling things, well guess what? Tough crap, that’s not my problem.

I realize I was letting others have all the control in my life because I thought if I did, then they would stay. If I give up myself, they’d realize I’d changed. When I gave them all the control, I gave up myself and they let me. Maybe they didn’t know I’d given them all the control, maybe they were taking my approach and didn’t give a crap. My guess would be the latter.

I read this last night on one of my new favorite blogs High Existence. It pretty much sums up my new life philosphy and has some great reads in there too!


The Secret to Life in 2 Words

“I must learn to love the fool in me the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries.”
Theodore Rubin

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Lies, lies they’re everywhere


“I suppose everyone tells little white lies. Quite often they’re necessary to make someone feel better or prevent feelings from being hurt. Whoppers? No, that’s dangerous and they’ll boomerang.”
Richard Chamberlain

Lies. Everyone has told them and most likely on at least several occasions. We never intend for them to be hurtful, damaging or cause others to do something that they wouldn’t have done without being told a lie. But yet we do.

There are several types of lies. There is the sometimes useful “white lie,” the (as I like to call it) “grey lie,” and then there is the “compound lie.”

White lies are generally thought to be the best type of any of the lie categories because they’re usually about something that won’t cause damage. These would be things such as amount you paid for a pair of shoes, how long it took to do something, the crazy antics of your child. We tell them to exaggerate our stories, make something funny or keep ourselves out of minor trouble. We tell them and then forget about them because they seem trivial.

Grey lies are the ones we tell to save our bums when we (or our friends!) could get in major amounts of trouble, when we forget to do something important, the ones we tell to keep from hurting people or to protect ourselves and our feelings, pride, etc. Grey lies are the ones that can be good or bad dependant upon what type you are telling. When used to protect a person’s feelings, we usually feel that these are good lies. When used to protect a person’s feelings because we refuse to look deep and find the true answer, these are most likely bad lies.

The last type is the compound lie. Usually these types of lies start out as simple white lies, turn into grey lies and then they cause us to compound lie after lie. We never intend to tell the “whopper” lie, but because we have started out with a lie that we don’t want to admit to, we tell another lie to save ourselves and then another and another.

Pretty soon we can’t even remember what the original lie was, we just know that we’re so far in we can’t dig ourselves out. Once you get that far in, you don’t even know what the truth is anymore and you start to believe your lies. Your truth and reality are being altered by your lies.

Lies are addictive. They are the drug of the human mind because once you tell one, you almost always have to tell another and the bigger the lies is, the bigger the next one will need to be to cover the last one you told.

The thing is that most of the time, the person you are lying to knows you are lying. Even though liars think they are telling a great believable lie, they are usually giving themselves away to some extent. They may have just a piece of information a slight bit off that gives them away. They may not actually be where they say they will or they just have too many tells that notify others that they are lying. Reality is, the only person the liar is lying to is themselves, they just don’t know it.

Just as quitting cold turkey is the only way a drug addict will break their habit, telling the truth is the only way a liar will break theirs. It takes hard work. You have to know that you are going to hurt people’s feelings, that you won’t always have that great story, that life won’t always look as great as you’d like to portray. You also have to know that things will be so much simpler because you no longer have to remember the lie you last told. You just have to remember the truth.

I’ve told my fair share of lies, the kind that compound. My lies were used to cover for the fact that I was human, that I make human mistakes, that I had human emotions. I told one white lie that turned into lies that people knew were lies. They wanted so badly to believe that I was telling the truth that they let me alter their reality and caused them to tell lies to others for themselves and me. My little lies affected the lives of others.

Lies do not help protect people’s feelings, lies destroy them which is why I am refusing to let myself lie anymore. I am telling the truth, I am making myself an open book for everyone to see. It may not be what they like, but until they can see what’s in between the cover, they can never make that decision for themselves. My story is out there for all to see, so come have a peek, let me know what you truly think. Just do us all a favor and keep your lies to yourself, I don’t have a need for them anymore and they aren’t helping you either.

“The process turns you off, and it’s got to where I don’t even know who’s lying and who’s telling the truth anymore.”
Betty Ford

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Choosing the right choice


“There are good choices and bad choices. In the end, everyone must decide for themselves what those choices might be.”
John Bell

The definition of choice is this: The act of choosing; selection OR The power, right, or liberty to choose; option.

My motto in life has always been, “I’m a big girl and I make my own big girl choices, good or bad.” I have tried to take responsibility for my decisions, actions, and the things that I have said because I am the person who made those decisions, actions and the person who spoke the words. No one forced me to make that decision, I chose to do that on my own.

In my mind a choice is a decision that I make. Choices may or not be influenced by others and their decisions, but ultimately what you choose or how you behave is completely determined by your choice and your choice alone. What we decide is right can lead to other choices being taken away or given to us, but the only person who determines the outcome is oneself.

The thing about choices is that we don’t always agree with the one that someone else makes and how it may influence our life, but we can’t necessarily do anything about it. As much as we like to think we know the right choice, only the person who has the choice to make knows what is right for them. So instead of just agreeing with the person, we voice our opinion and try to change the other persons mind. And once someone makes a decision we don’t agree with and it messes with our plans or ideas, then we blame them for making us choose a different option then the one we originally had in mind.

Here is where I need to remember my own motto. “I am a big girl who makes her own choices.” In the reverse, “Big boys and girls make their own choices.” Just because someone makes a choice I don’t agree with, doesn’t mean that they have shut off my option to do what I feel is the right thing for me. One choice does not mean that another choice is shut off, it just means that I have to figure out how to reroute and make it work so that I get the result that I need.

I can choose to make a decision good or bad, it all just depends on how I look at it. A prime example of this, I chose not to talk about myself and my feelings for the last year. The bad part of the decision, I shut out many of the people I love and am now trying to rebuild those relationships. The good decision, it forced me to take a hard look at myself and figure out what was making me unhappy…and then forced me to fix it.

Each bad decision a person makes, has an equal good decision that comes with it. There may be several bad decisions before a great decision comes along, but in the end they all balance out. That’s the thing about life and nature in general, everything in the end has to balance out (i.e. life/death, summer/winter, male/female). Without the balance, nothing works right.

This week, I am challenging myself to remember my motto. I make my own choices, regardless of what others do. I am choosing to make the best choices for me and I will find a way to make it work if a choice I don’t agree with comes my way. I will hold myself responsible for all good and bad choices I made and will make.

“Until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.”
Stephen R. Covey

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Things I don’t have…


“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
Dr. Seuss

The question? Name three things I don’t have.

The answer for $200 is this. A voice, money and answers.

So far this week I have come down with a cold of some sort, a fantastic cough and lost my voice (to the great delight of my co-workers!). I want to thank my daughter and her germ infested friends at school for this wonderful bit of sickness, because without them, I wouldn’t have it.

I also had to replace the alternator in my vehicle which took all of my extra money for the next week or so and left me poor. I did save some money by learning to replace it myself, but for those of you wondering, to replace the alternator in a 2004 Ford Explorer, plan to spend over $200. And that is if you do it yourself and save the labor. On the plus, I did learn how to change it AND the oil. Negative on spending money, positive on saving lots of money. Now that I’ve vented on these matters, on to much more interesting and zen-like topics.

Since I was young I have loved to ask questions mainly so that I could hear their answers. I have always felt that everyone has a story to tell, you just have to ask the right question to get it out of them. I can remember the most interesting person I ever met was a homeless man in Chicago who asked me for some money for food. Instead of giving him the money, I took him to lunch and spent the day quizzing him over his life and how he got to where he was. I learned about an amazing person because I wasn’t afraid to ask the questions.

Here’s the thing, I love to hear a person’s answers to my questions, as long as they are the answers I want to hear. When they aren’t…well hold on because you’re in for a ride.

Answers are always right to the person who is giving them, even if they are really wrong. No one sets out to give a wrong answer and I don’t really believe we set out to deceive people with our answers. The answers that we give to the spur of the moment questions are the right answers…at that moment. Once we have the time to sit down and think over the question our answers may change because we aren’t in the spotlight anymore.

Sometimes instead of immediately answering the question, we need to turn the question on the questioner. Ask them what their answer is, what they think about the problem, what they think should be done. Sometimes two (or three or four) heads really are better than one. Sometimes the answer just needs time to formulate and work its way to right.

The downfall to not allowing time to come up with a fully formulated answer is that once the initial answer is out, people don’t always want to hear that you gave them the wrong answer. They have already taken the answer you gave them and told it to others so the wrong answer has spread like wildfire and as we know, wildfires are quick to burn and slow to put out.

I have been trying to apologize for my wrongs as of late because that is what I need to do. Admitting your wrong is by no means the easiest thing to do, in fact it may be one of the toughest things for me, but it is something I am making myself do because I need to do it.

I know that people are choosing to believe my wrong answers, even though they know I have sat down and taken time to come up with the right answer. They don’t want to hear that I gave them the wrong answer, they believed the wrong answer and they worked with the wrong answer. The thing with continuing on with the wrong answer though is that you will never come to your own right answer until you at least listen to the correct answer to the question that was asked.

Sometimes you just need to stop questioning and listen, not always to what the person is saying, but instead listen with your heart because your heart will always give you the right answer.

“Be willing to trust your instincts, especially if you cannot find answers elsewhere.”
Brian Koslow

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And then there was silence


“Silence is a friend who will never betray.”
Confucius

It’s 12:15 in the morning and all I want to do is sleep. But I can’t. There are a million and two things running through my head, things that I want to say, maybe even scream but I don’t. I won’t.

Why? Because some of them are things that have been said, some of them are things that only matter to me, some of them will hurt others and I’ve done enough of that for a lifetime already.

I was silent for almost the last year of my life. I only said what would get me by, and for a while it worked or at least I thought it did. Then I decided to start talking. Then it all became a jumbled mess and everything became confusing because I couldn’t stop talking. Everything that I had wanted to say over the last year came out in a haphazard tangle that didn’t seem to make sense, but to me it did. These were my thoughts, my feelings, but no one seemed to understand.

Here’s the thing I have come to realize. When you are silent for so long, people stop expecting you to talk so when you do, they no longer understand what you are trying to tell them. They are used to the silence just as much as you are and they no longer know what you sound like. They can’t decipher your jumbled mess, and it may just be too much for them to figure out. They almost prefer the silence at that point because that’s what they know.

I want to keep talking, to share my feelings, to have people understand, but at this point I don’t know that they want to. So I am going to do what I know they need me to do. Just be silent, stop telling them what I want them to hear because they don’t want to hear it. I am doing this because it is easier for them, because that’s what they want. I am just going to keep the things I want to say to myself because I am not making it easier for them, and in not making it easier for them, I am making it harder on myself.

To be honest, at this point I just want to stop talking because I know I am not being heard, or if what I want to say is heard, it will most likely just hurt people more and I am done hurting people. I don’t want to be silent but I have nothing of importance to say anymore at least in the minds of the people I most need to say things to.

I am sure that sooner or later I will start talking again, but for now to protect myself, I just need to go back to silence. Silence is easier and I need easy because I have worn myself out talking and others are worn out trying to listen. Don’t think that just because I am silent that I’m not thinking or feeling, reality is I’m over thinking, I’m over feeling and I just don’t know what to say anymore.

For now, silence is golden.

“My feelings for you shame me into silence. The truth of this and your name will never be revealed. It is you who has made me realize the failure of my life. The thought of you fills me with longing and at the same time, a burning humiliation that produces scar tissue and dead brain cells. Your existence mocks me and I am unable to confront this. You have no idea of any of this. None of this is your fault. It is completely with me. It is you who makes me see what I really am. I am weak and out of touch with myself.”
Henry Rollins

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I don’t care (but really I do)


“I don’t know, I don’t care, and it doesn’t make any difference!”
Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein in all his genius ways, had this statement COMPLETELY wrong. The truth of the matter is that we all know, we all care and everything makes a difference.

In the past (and sometimes still now) I find myself and others saying “I don’t care.” I don’t care what you want, I don’t care what you do, it doesn’t matter to me, it won’t make any difference what I have to say. I say bull.

People say “I don’t care” as a way not to have to say what they really mean or want. It’s a game we play with our own minds. If I don’t say what I mean then I can’t be let down. If I say “I don’t care” or “I don’t know” then I can’t look foolish. If we didn’t care we’d speak our minds regardless of the situation. We do care, we just don’t care to put ourselves out there.

We’re taught from a young age to be respectful of others feelings and emotions, don’t hurt them, keep your opinions to yourself. Really? What does that accomplish?

If we can’t tell someone I want to go to dinner here, or I really don’t want you to go there then how do you ever get what you want? How is the person your saying I don’t care to suppose to know that you really want to eat Chinese instead of McDonald’s?

The more person one hear’s “I don’t care” the more they begin to think person two really doesn’t care. The more person two thinks person one doesn’t care the more angry they get because things aren’t going the way they want and they don’t think they’re being heard.

Really what needs to happen is both person one and two need to communicate. Speak their minds, say what they need, what they want, what they think. They need to put themselves out there to be heard even if it’s not what the other wants to hear because until it’s all out there, nothing can be changed. They need to respect and trust each other enough to say, “This is what matters to me.”

We need to stop being so scared to be heard. Every opinion is important. It may not be the same opinion for each person but it very well could be the same, you just have to be willing to put yourself out there and show that you care enough to say what you mean. Even if it’s not, once your feelings, wants, needs are out there, it’s much easier to make a compromise on what needs to be done to make both parties happy.

We as a society make things more difficult for ourselves by not speaking our opinions (and I don’t mean go out and offend everyone in sight!) It’s a continuous cycle of I don’t care, I don’t know, I can’t make a difference. Once one person speaks up and says I do know, I do care, I do know how to make a difference, that’s when things start to happen. That’s how things get done.

I am making a vow to myself (and to anyone else out there that might read this) that I am going to speak my mind. I do care, I do (think) I know, I can make a difference. You and I may not always see eye to eye on things, but if you know what I am thinking, wanting, trying to do, then maybe we can compromise. Maybe we can find a solution that doesn’t involve giving up on each other out of frustration. Maybe just maybe we might even have the same ideas, one of us just needs to break the ice and speak our minds.

“It’s your unlimited power to care and to love that can make the biggest difference in the quality of your life.”
Anthony Robbins

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Pride and Stubborness


“Pride is a tricky, glorious, double-edged feeling.”
Adrienne Rich

Pride IS a double-edged sword. It’s great when you have pride in others, pride in your accomplishments, pride in yourself. Everyone should have these feelings because they are important. They show that you care, they show that you know what’s right.

There are two parts to pride, one being good and one being bad.. According to Webster’s (that all-knowing book of knowledge) pride is: satisfaction or pleasure taken in one’s own or another’s success, achievements, etc. In the reference to the negative side of things pride can mean: a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.

I can honestly say that I have experienced both on more than one occasion. I take great pride in my daughter, my ability to put myself through school, the things I have managed to accomplish on my own. I take pride in the people in my life, even though I may not always show it.

On the flip side, my pride has caused me to do things I did not want to do because I would not admit I was wrong. My pride refused to let me ask for help from the people I should have been. My pride refused to let me say I screwed up.

I have let go of my pride because I realize that my pride was not helping me, only hindering me. I was using it as a crutch to not have to say the things that I needed or wanted because it was easier. Turns out pride is a tricky thing because many of the times that you think your pride is all that matters, it is slowly sucking out what really does matter.

Along with pride comes stubbornness. stubbornness again can be good or bad. If used to avoid dealing with things, ideas or emotions, it’s never a good thing. stubbornness used to get what you want or achieve a goal, in my opinion is always a good thing. Absolute stubbornness and strong will can get the job done.

I can say that I am one of the most stubborn people you will ever meet. Once I have myself set on an idea (whether right or wrong) I will continue on with it because my pride and it’s friend stubbornness tell me that I am right. I mean seriously, how could I be wrong?

Guess what pride and stubbornness, you were wrong.

I kept telling myself that this or that was what I wanted. That this or that were not what I wanted, that I had to do things. My pride and stubbornness insisted I was right. That I knew it all. Turns out, I wasn’t right, I didn’t know it all. I needed that help I insisted I didn’t need. I was wrong.

My pride and stubbornness caused me to not listen to what people were saying. People were saying exactly what I was wanting them to say/do but I didn’t know what to do with it because I already had it set in my head that I knew it couldn’t, that they wouldn’t.

I am no longer afraid to admit I was/am/will mostly be in the future wrong. Everybody has those moments, it’s what we do with those moments that determine whether we turn pride and stubbornness into something good or something bad. I am choosing the former as opposed to the later.

I am choosing to use my stubbornness to go for what I want, what I know is right, whether anyone else chooses to see that or not. I am choosing to make people see that yes, I am a confused, uptight, unrelaxed, stumbling jumbled talker who has emotional hiding/running problems and tends to say what people need me to say as opposed to what they really need to hear (aka: what I really feel.)

My pride in being able to do it myself got me where I am now, and it’s not where I want to be, so I need to try what I didn’t before and that is communicate. Tell people what I mean, stop being stubborn when I know I’m wrong, ask for what I want instead of assuming people automatically know.

I am stubborn, but I am no longer stuck on my pride. These friends have been split apart because they never work well together. I am hoping that my stubbornness to achieve my goals (no longer just ideas!) will pay off and when it doesn’t, then stubbornness and I will pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and try again.

“I know of no higher fortitude than stubbornness in the face of overwhelming odds.”
Louis Nizer</blockquote

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