Have you ever thought about how many things cross our minds in one day? The purposeful, the random, the silly, and the emotion provoking. We spend a split second contemplating a strangers crooked smile or invest a few minutes asking a friend why they don’t sound like themselves today. We tuck away gut feelings until we’re able to decide if they go with or against our selfish motives. Time and dates on the calendar allow for rides down memory lane all why trying to figure out what being here, right now, even means. The what if’s and where would I be now if I’d only’s seem to make their way around our heads and where gratitude should be we smear regret and dissatisfaction. We process so much that to try and keep track of each blip that rides on our neuro highway is nearly impossible.
I’ve made countless decisions in my life. Some were stellar and some were absolutely shit. The result of some of those decisions was becoming a passenger in my own life. I let circumstances and people take the wheel and dictate the road I was on and to be honest, I don’t even know that I cared. I’ve been lost, I’ve been car sick, and I’ve stared blankly out the window as life passed me by for miles and miles. I don’t think it’s until you wake up and realize that you’re headed for the median, that you are going to cross the lines into oncoming traffic, you make yet one more decision to jerk the wheel back in your lane and start to navigate for yourself again. The desire to see new scenery from the drivers seat is one of the greatest gifts we give to ourselves.
The conquering of ourselves and our lives is a continual process. There are things we go in search of based on ideals and “must haves” that aren’t relevant for the person we are now. What I wanted at 30 isn’t what I want at 49 but, without some level of self awareness I’d keep searching for things with my minds eye that is looking from the past forward. That past forward view isn’t always decades behind us-it can be months or even weeks. It’s absolutely necessary to update our wants of yesterday with our needs for today. Hell, maybe they even look similar but the way you feel about them and the way you wear them will be different because you’re a different person. Without those updates the head and the heart get messy. At the end of the day, only you know what’s right for you and what’s going to keep you in the drivers seat.
I get why it’s so hard to update what we want. While in pursuit of those things it feels like you’re building and burning bridges to and from people and situations. It’s like we’re all in a giant Petri dish just waiting for a chemical response from another human being or job, or environment to ignite something in us. Sometimes it’s a dud, sometimes it’s a quick burning flame, and sometimes it’s a slow burn. All of those experiences come with a price tag. The good ones become priceless and the not so great ones add to our growing list of paranoid reasons to not fully engage in life. With all the regrets and fear swirling around our thought patterns, it’s a wonder we even try to do better, to be better, or to feel better.
I have a sticker on my car that reads “fear kills more dreams than failure ever will” and fuck if that isn’t the truth. I fear giving love to people even though it feels like I’m bursting at the seams. I don’t have a “W” on my cape for widow but I’ll sure hide behind that W and throw out words like “not sure what I’m able to give”, or “I don’t know if I have the ability to” when I fear giving in to something that could end up causing me pain or rejection. In doing that, all I’ve managed to do is create loneliness in places I didn’t know existed inside of me. My crudely worded advice is to be fucking honest with people about how you feel while you’re alive. The absence of pain isn’t an indicator of a good life. Living life while you’re in it is and the bravest thing you can do in this world is to be unafraid to feel.
The one thing I’ve feared just as much as loving someone else is loving myself. I talk about self love a lot because I believe it’s the most valuable thing you can do for you. I will tell you this- if you keep avoiding self love, the universe will keep sending you people who also avoid loving you with the hope you’ll get the clue. Value yourself and be confident in what you have to offer. Stop marking yourself down in hopes of attracting someone. Get off the stupid clearance rack. You know your truth by the way it feels and if something no longer serves to grow you or make you feel happiness it’s ok to walk away. There are moments and people and places that are meant for you- go in search of those.
Tell me about the people in your life who speak the language of your soul. Tell me about the people who you don’t have to translate your thought and feelings to because they just get it. Tell me about the people who have been your best decision or those who weren’t but ended up being a great friend or an even better adventure. Tell me about the people you want to call first when your world is right side up or upside down. Tell me all of those things and try to not smile. I’m guessing it will be nearly impossible because those are the things we love, the things that bring us joy, the things that dance in and out of the realms of bliss……and what a beautiful thing it is to love and be loved.