Recent Lessons

I’ve learned a few things in the past few weeks during my relative absence here, namely:

  1. No matter what I do to move forward in the direction I feel I need to go, someone in my life is going to disapprove. In most cases, said someone will be a member or members of my family, who think I’m a flaky, idealistic nut most of the time for even thinking about going after what I want and what will be fulfilling instead of going after money and security.  It’s the old standby, “You can’t please everyone.”
  2. The desire for approval outside oneself is an ugly beast that needs to die. I’ve spent most of my life on a quest for approval, and it is unattainable.  See #1.  Unfortunately, I don’t know exactly how to slay this particular beast.  Will we always, on some level, desire approval from others?  Probably.  But it can be greatly diminished, and I’m working on that.
  3. I am not currently the lotus floating atop the river, blissfully above the mud in which it grows. I am deep down in the mud and am not entirely sure of which way to start digging to break the surface.  This, too, I am working on.
  4. I can’t let fear rule my life. At the same time, I know it’s not easy to declare complete independence from it, especially when the news as of late is making people practically afraid of their own shadows.
  5. I can learn to live with less material “stuff” if it means I can live with more satisfaction and authenticity. Yes, I said it.  I’ve done it before, and I’m sure I can do it again.
  6. Neither the newest album by my favorite band or one I’ve just heard of, a new novel, a new DVD, a new eyeshadow palette, a new nail polish, nor new jewelry is going to satisfy this longing for a different life. The only think that’s going to satisfy that longing is to leave and create that different life.  While going through the process of doing so, see Nos. 1, 2, 4 and 5.
  7. One should always take the time for things that bring you at least a little bliss.  If you don’t, everything else you have to do, or feel you have to do–sometimes entirely different things–will seem like an unbearable burden. For me, this means meditating, praying, and practicing yoga regularly along with the occasional day trip away on the weekends, talking with friends, bubble baths or baths laced with lovely scented bath salts, taking photos, dabbling in various visual art forms, singing, and reading and writing voraciously.  I’m not saying I’m perfect when it comes to doing so, because I am far from it, and definitely have been far from it the past few weeks, but it does make life easier.  The things that are taking you away from what you enjoy will still be there when you finish doing something you love.

As it turns out, what I thought were unproductive, repetitive days and weeks have turned out to be quite the teachers.  Of course, isn’t that often the case?

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