Wanting peacefulness, happiness and contentment is not enough. One must be a good gardener of the inner self so such feelings can take root. My discovery has been that peacefulness can only be had in the measure that I am able to know it. Happiness only comes when I have laid a foundation for it. And contentment can only surface in me to the measure that I allow it. I used to think that joy, serenity and gladness would someday come as sudden and welcome arrivals. The life lesson has been that such ways of being don’t arrive because of external factors. Quite the contrary. Peacefulness, happiness and contentment are not things that ever “found me”. Instead, my mind, heart and soul had to become fertile for them to grow in. One I did the necessary “planting, fertilizing and watering” the seeds of goodness sprouted and began to thrive. My life is far from perfect, yet far more perfect than ever before.
We can never obtain peace in the outer world
until we make peace with ourselves.
Conscientious about going to work is something I have always been. It would be a lie to say I never faked illness for a day off, but such instances have been very, very rare and always necessary. Even then there was usually a good bit of guilt. Life has been particularly busy for me the last two weeks. The accumulation of work and lots of concerts, shows and time with friends wore me down from not sleeping enough. So this morning I slept in several hours later than usual after leaving word last night at the office my arrival would be around lunch time. Self-care is not something I used to be good at, but am improving. Resting when I really needed it was absolutely the best thing I could do for myself and for my employer. When I arrive at my job today I will be rested and ready to get done what I need to. I’m proud of myself for taking care of me!
Our bodies are our gardens
to which our wills are gardeners.
What you think of me is none of my business! There is no phrase that has been more enlightening to me than those ten words. As one who spent the majority of his life ALWAYS concerned about what others thought of me, I know first hand how exhausting such worry can be. In time I began to wonder who the heck I was after so long pretending and trying to fit in. My tendency will never go away fully, but it does not haunt me so thoroughly as it once did. I have no control what you think of me, but lots of control about what I think about my self. As my opinion of “me” has gotten better, the less I care about what others think and the happier I am.
A man cannot be comfortable
without his own approval.
When asked if I need help my usual response is “no”, even though often I actually could use assistance. While in pain, physically or emotionally, when someone inquires about my well-being the typical response is “I’m fine” even when I am far from it. A friend can call and wake me up when I’m taking a nap and ask “did I wake you up?” and almost always my reply is something like “I was about to get up anyway” or “I was just dozing” although I was sound asleep. Whenever I “minimize, alter, or deny how I truly feel” the dysfunction of codependence is controlling me. Getting past feelings of not being worthy, difficulty asking for help and expressing my needs openly is not easy, but effort to alter that behavior has improved my behavior quite a bit. Slowly but surely, it is consistent effort by which one’s life can change for the better.
All the concepts about stepping out of your comfort zone
mean nothing until you decide that your essential purpose,
vision and goals are more important than your self-imposed limitations.
A young apprentice applied to a master carpenter for a job. The older man asked him, “Do you know your trade?” “Yes sir!” the young man replied proudly. “Have you ever made a mistake?” the older man inquired. “No, sir!” the young man answered, feeling certain he would get the job. “Then there’s no way I’m going to hire you,” said the master carpenter, “because when you make one, you won’t know how to fix it.” Moral of the story found in a Fred Rogers book: An unlearned lesson of a mistake creates a destiny for it to be made again. Making a mistake is usually not the worst thing. Not learning from it is!
The only real mistake
is the one from which
we learn nothing.
There is no possibility of accurately counting hours I squandered mourning ‘what might have been’. The sea of possibility used to nearly drown me. Very little life in the present happens while wandering about in one’s history. Making sense of what never made sense is as futile as flapping one’s arms attempting to get airborne. How did I become more present? By teaching the child within to grow up with self-guidance like a good parent consistently gives. When I drifted into playing in the past, I repeatedly with love told myself: “stop doing that”, “you’re going to hurt yourself” or something stronger like “stop it”. The process is no different from how as a child I was taught to say “please and thank you”: repetition and consistency of the message.
There is no relationship
between what is real
and what you think is real.
“A Course in Miracles”
At its best life is a combination of happiness and contentment mixed with heartache and tragedy. Why is it then we spend so much time believing the next thing, person or idea will cause the easier life we dream about to materialize? The fact is we never ‘arrive’ anywhere except in the lap of death. Between now and then is a mix of many contrasts. That is life! As a codependent with a strong compulsion to control I used to think it was possible to will myself into the “good life”. I thought a life free of major trouble was achievable. Complete illusion! Once I accepted that life was difficult, it ceased to be so difficult.
You’re always you,
and that don’t change,
and you’re always changing,
and there’s nothing you can do about it.