I’ve been dating for 10 years now. Having ended a 28 year marriage during one of the great financial recessions of all time, I’ve had the opportunity to rebuild myself financially, emotionally and physically. These time frames would lead you to believe I must be kinda old but I feel younger, healthier and more serenely confident than I ever have. There is a point in the life experience when I just made the decision to be happy and it wasn’t dependent on what others did or didn’t do. Other people are not here to make me happy, content or peaceful. That is my job.
No one knows what I need or want at any given time (sometimes I don’t know myself) but its nice to know I have people in my life who would love to help, if they could and if I would let them. I joined a 12 step group eight years ago when I realized someone I loved was an alcoholic and addict. That realization led to the awareness that I had been surrounded and raised by alcoholics and their caregivers all my life.
All of a sudden, addicts and addiction were all around me. It was the water I swam in. And I realized my own addictions…I had an addiction to people that needed me to take care of them, an addiction to the merry-go-round of living in a fantasy land where everything is beautiful and we don’t worry about money or paying bills. I had an addiction to how my partner looked…was he handsome, loving, supportive, loyal? Did my kids go to all the right shools and we have all the right friends?Did I have a visibly successful job? Basically, I was addicted to perfection in myself and others. I discovered I couldn’t breathe easily or deeply around me. I was frozen in a land of make believe of my own making. I had lower back pain and migraines that were frequently debilitating. I was paralyzed with fear about financial ruin and I was emotionally crippled to change anything around me which made me feel increasingly inadequate and out of control. I began to question my own sanity and suffered bouts of deep depression.
But I found a way through the pain and frozenness. I found a world where I was accepted as I was, paralyzed, wounded, beautiful, frightened to feel anything yet aware there was a Presence, a kindness in the universe that would show itself when I was at my lowest. Slowly, I came to believe that if this Presence was there when I was at my lowest, it must be there all the time. I have a hard time letting it in, especially if I think I’m doing okay. Who needs God’s Presence when I’ve got things going okay?
My journey is now one of being conscious of the kindness, support, beauty and thoughtfulness present at all times. I sometimes have a hard time remembering but it’s a worthy life mission and one I really enjoy sharing. Yesterday, I was in a slump because a project I had invested in heavily (and launches next week) is not looking like it will be full of participants.
So, I started down the rabbit hole of “what’s wrong with my life.” I decided my boyfriend is the problem. If he was the right partner for me, I wouldn’t have to deal with these problems, I wouldn’t feel bad, I wouldn’t have these feelings of doubt and insecurity. Then I remembered it was up to me and my concsiousness to be happy and decided to make a gratitude list, which is part of what I would be teaching next week. As the gratitude list grew exponentially, I noticed peace returning to my mind and body. I noticed I was creating a new me in that moment with my thoughts and feelings. Rather than investing in thoughts of what was wrong with my life, I chose to notice those things around me that I was grateful for.
As Dr. Joe Dispenza says, “We’re living in a time when it’s not enough to know. We have to know how.” We have to know how to talk about this information and share it so it can become our new reality. We have to train our minds and bodies through practices like meditation, gratitude lists, breathing, and sharing our lives with others to know we are not alone. We are supported and we are loved. Especially by ourselves.
The next thing I noticed was an abundance of kind and thoughtful posts and messages and phone calls from people in my life. A few minutes later, my boyfriend picked me up to go to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. I noticed he was trying very hard to be accommodating, kind, funny and thoughtful. The more willing I was to be still and let things unfold, the better I felt. All the years of believing I had to make things happen, to make people happy, to make the world love me, to prove I was worthy of love and kindness are over. My job is to make me happy and feel the kindness, love and support in the universe that is already there. It’s there. It’s always there. This I know for sure.
It’s not up to my boyfriend or my sons or my clients or my money to make me happy. Only I can do that and it's mostly a matter of letting go of the past and letting in the abundance of love in the moment. And only I can do that.