Take Reality…there is no “happily ever after”. Wake up and smell the roses AND the fertilizer. I myself thought that once I had my career, a man, a child, that life would become magically happy. But the good bad and ugly of life has a habit of interjecting itself every day. There are not-so-positive AND wonderful interactions with my family, there are illnesses with loved ones, there are illnesses in my own body. There are politics and successes and unfairness at work and in my play. That is what life is…a bed of roses on top of stinky but helpful manure. So quit trying to avoid feeling human, and stop immersing ourselves in busywork, doing—doing—doing—often ending in “doo-doo”. After all, we’re Human Beings not Human Doings. Reality is so much more gloriously complex than Happily Ever After. So ENJOY BEING FULLY ALIVE!
Take Responsibility…for who we are and are not, for what we have and have not, for who we want to be. Life isn’t fair sometimes, and people who shouldn’t hurt us, do. “Can’t change the past so don’t dwell on it” seems is good in theory, but what actually happens is like the pressure in a garbage truck crusher…sooner or later toxic gasses escape. We need to deal thoroughly with our pain and anger, and then make new conscious purposeful choices for our present. If we don’t deal with our past…it WILL deal with you, often consciously/unconsciously sabotaging your relationships at work and at home. What is the Balance between denial and wallowing in the past?
Take up Purposeful Living…taking care of yourself so that you are not living in a sea of automatic drama, bobbing helplessly from event to event, reacting reflexively and hurting yourself and others in the process. I have a friend who has, not an answering machine but a questioning machine which asks, “Who Are You? and What Do You Want?”. Self-care begins with answering these questions courageously and thoroughly so that you are not defined by, or looking for constant validation by others. Purposeful living is a kinder gentler approach to your life…and most importantly, learning how to love and find fulfillment in and by ourselves.