Wednesday, January 16, 2008

FEELING BRAND NEW

BY GEORGE, I GET IT...

I can't really begin to tell you how good I feel this weather. I feel so good I wish I could bottle it! For more than twenty years, I've constantly read all the "Godfathers" of self-improvement (Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, Wayne Dyer and the like) and it wasn't until recently it all started to sink in. Along with the birth of a New Year it feels as though I've been born again too. I don't mean in a "Christian" sense. But rather, I feel like the "old me" went out with last year, and the "New Me" has risen like a phoenix from the ashes...Or perhaps a better analogy would be like a caterpillar to a butterfly. I feel so much freer - but I seem to lack the terminology to describe what I mean to other people when I try.

I've said it quite a lot lately on here and on the forum on SYBD - but I feel like I wasted as much as A WHOLE YEAR of my life (over the last 20+ years) WORRYING or OBSESSING over other people's actions, thoughts, comments, feelings (the lot) - about me. What a waste. It's not like it ever made the situation better. It's not like it made me feel better...quite the opposite.

If someone ignored a text, an email, flaked on me or did anything that I didn't deem as "right" - well God help them. They felt my wrath! I can be honest with you, I think, I've lost more friends then a (so-called) "self-aware woman" should have (and if you were one of those friends, I am truly sorry...but Old Thea is gone and I'd like to present New Thea...)

These days if someone cancels on me or doesn't reply to a text or email (in an "acceptable time") then so be it. I've literally thrown out the concept of "right and wrong" or "good and bad" and "should and shouldn't". Really there is no "right" or "wrong" - there just IS. How we view things is what determines what's "right or wrong" and these days - I don't pass judgment on anyone - myself included.

Gosh 20 odd years ago my mother was banging on about "surrendering it" and I never got it, but I get it now, mom. You'd be so proud...I am going with the flow. The ebb and flow that is life. People come in - people go out. Some of my friends may have 'issues' with New Thea and they will go - but I fully anticipate - new more like-minded people will come in.

At the end of the day I can't CONTROL how anyone acts, reacts, or feels about/or toward me. I can't coerce someone to stay in my life if they want to go. Those who are meant to be here, are.

Bottom line is that I can only ever be responsible for how I choose to interpret these sorts of experiences.

Let's face it - no one likes to feel "disappointed" when people let us down, but has it ever occurred to you that you can CHOOSE to not feel disappointed? Really, I mean it. You can. I know cos I am doing it!

Honestly, I choose to react differently these days - to everything. I choose to interpret other people's behavior different - namely with more love, empathy and compassion. I choose to take responsibility for my own life - my own thoughts, my own reactions and my own actions.

I now know that I can either be "bummed" by other people not living up to my (sometimes) UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS or I can take a more fluid stance and simply not have them.

For years I've been the one spouting to people "we teach people how to treat us" like Dr. Phil (or whoever) - and on some level I still agree...but 'you know what? On the other hand I realise we can't ever really CONTROL the other people. Not really. We can't make anyone treat us better, love us, want to be friends with us - without their consent. So can we really "teach" people how to treat us? I am starting to wonder...

What we can choose to do is walk away and wish them well on their path. Or we can continue to work through the stumbling blocks that appear in all of our relationships at times...These are choices we have control over.

Do you know what? Since I've made this inner shift, I've found people are responding differently toward me. Conflict has been non-existent. The happier I've been the more I've been able to help and counsel others. It's a ripple effect. A joyous one at that.


ALL BOOKED UP


I was at HILLHEAD Library today. I took the notion last night to go and I think I'll continue to do it because working from home can be such a distraction for me.

Anyhow I was there to do some reading/writing (as you might expect given the location) and I ended up reading books on ANGER. Now I find this funny because I may very well be the most serene and happy I've ever been in my entire life and yet there I was being drawn to and reading three different books about ANGER...(pictured).

What really sparked my interest is I have so many people each day show up on SYBD and they're spewing with anger at their ex (and in many cases at themselves).

I remember the anger when the so-called-love-of-my-life left me (for another woman to boot). Angry wasn't a strong enough word to describe my emotion at times...but I also was aware enough from the moment he left me to know that I needed to work through the anger and right past it to FORGIVENESS...(they go hand in hand).

Because anger, if left, ends up turning in on US...We get ulcers, high blood pressure and other such lovely ailments...Nope, I knew better. Within a week of his splitting I was writing in my journal how I wanted to make the PAIN pay. I knew that anger would only hurt me...NOT HIM. Why would I want to punish myself any more? I felt bad enough!

But so many people I hear say, "I can never forgive him/her for doing _______". (Insert some real or perceived misdemeanor there). While I can appreciate it can be hurtful, gut-wrenching, frustrating and so forth to feel abandoned by someone you loved and trusted, the forgiving is what we do for us - to heal and to move on...

Unfortunately, instead of letting it all go - these angry people choose to wear their anger like it's ARMOUR somehow PROTECTING them from the pain (when quite the opposite is happening - they're prolonging it). Angry people tend to feel that "forgiving" someone is somehow letting them "off the hook". Honestly, I don't view it that way at all. Again, forgiving is what we do for us - not for them, per se.

Though I don't see myself as an 'angry' person as I have said - I did notice one area where I have 'room for improvement'. In the "ANGRY ALL THE TIME" book - there was what was described as an anger ladder. The first rung of the latter was "sneaky anger" - most of us feel that at some time or another. The next one up though was the one that struck me "The cold shoulder". Oops. Guilty. If someone in the past hurt me in some way - they got mine alright...

Even as recently as Christmas my friend D "flaked" on me in a not very nice way. As I said earlier, it's common to feel some "disappointment" when you have plans with someone and they "flake". Well sure, feel the disappointment and get over it...not me. "Old Thea" decided to ignore all his calls and texts for a week (or so). Real mature. And when I did speak to him - he took no personal responsibility for his actions and I didn't articulate what had upset me. Again - not the most healthiest of responses. But as I've said many-a-time What's done is history and can't be changed and "I will vow to do better next time a similar situation arises"...

Instead of saying "Damn him, we've planned this for a month. I was really looking forward to seeing him" - I'll say "Well OK, I'll go to the gym and have a swim" or whatever. I can CHOOSE to not feel disappointed. That's so liberating!

DETACH FROM THE OUTCOME - is my new motto pertaining to everything in my life - men, books, films, friends, all of it...Am just trusting it's all transpiring in Divine order.

I received an opportunity - recently when another gentleman canceled meeting up (at the last minute no less) - and this time I simply didn't get upset, mad, or disappointed - I just did what I'd planned to do without him! And it felt great. So progress indeed.

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Ross dragged me to see "No Country" at the weekend did I say? I lasted about fifteen minutes before I walked out. Ross knows better, the cheek. He knows I vow to avoid violent films and when I asked him what it was about - he was vague. Within the first few minutes I'd seen about 20 dead bodies and I just thought - my life is too short for this - so I left and I went to Borders on my way to the tube...and I walked out with the DALAI LAMA's Little Book of Wisdom...

Section five deals a lot with the 'Inner Enemies' (Anger being one of them).

Pg 75 - "Anger, attachment, jealousy, hatred,...these are the real enemy."

PG 80 - "Hatred cannot be overcome by hatred...Hatred will only generate more problems."

Anyway - I am running out of time. I am sure there were more things I was wanting to share but they'll keep until the next time.

Tonight it's off to the wonderful BEANSCENE to see the wonderful KEVIN MCDERMOTT perform new songs! Been a fan of his for twenty odd years now (almost) so it's always a pleasure and never a chore. According to Beanscene founder GORDON - Kevin has done six Beanscenes today. He'll be knackered! Bless.

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