Sunday, August 28, 2016

Resilience

I am titling this blog entry Resilience  for reason.

Without resilience, life can be a disparaging array of starts without finishes, invoking some pretty hefty feelings of failure and inadequacy. This blog and all 3 of its posts have laid dormant for 2 years. I thought about starting a brand new blog now that I am ready to pursue blogging again, but then thought: No, I need to reinforce my resilience, and stay with this one.  

As I get older the one big thing I am learning, that adds the most value to my life, is to give myself permission and credit for being resilient. I am human. I mess up. I drop the ball. I get confused by fleeting 'goals' (usually brought on by a brittle promise of happy), and create some sharp turns and redirects along my path. Like a lot of people, I get confused by marketing... not so much TV advertisement marketing, as I have removed a lot of that from my life, but marketing from friends, family, work... all telling me, subliminally or directly, that they have the answer to my happiness. 

"I feel so much better now that I ______________. You need to do it too!" 

This here statement gets me on a few levels. 

1. I want to be happier and feel better than I do now. 
2. I will already have a buddy to share the experience with. 
3. I will impress them.
4. I will give them a support person as well by joining their journey.
5. Will they like me more?
6. Do they think I am inadequate and need this? I should take their advise.
7. Maybe then they will like me more.
8. I like being better than average.

A few years ago, I left my marriage, city and job (read about that here) and prepared myself to move to a more authentic life. Since then I have noticed that I have again become hypersensitive to this thought process, and it has taken away the very thing that I had sought when I made the changes. Maybe you find yourself in that position as well? (feel free to comment below if you have) 

As is always the case when I am feeling overstretched and misaligned, I have consulted the great interweb. I have a few blogs that are near and dear to me, from people who's language I understand. 
zen habits, the minimalists, and becoming minimalist have all had some very inspiring blog entries on changing your story, redefining yourself and paring back down to find what is important and authentic. With my internal compass ready, and positive inspiration in my pocket, I feel it is time to challenge these points, and add some meaningful quality assurance questions back in.  

Let's change some of the thoughts from the list above to start. 

1. I want to be happier and feel better than I do now. 
How will this make you happier? Is there a simple way to find this without this marketed solution?
Why are you really unhappy currently?

2. I will already have a buddy to share the experience with. 
Reacting to another persons journey by changing your own is a steep price. Do you need this? How else might you relate to another person without altering your own journey?

3. I will impress them.
Will you impress yourself? Impressing others should not be a driving factor, unless it is for an interview of some sort. Respecting and being kind to others is much more rewarding and authentic. 

4. I will give them a support person as well by joining their journey.
We all have the ability to empathise and think abstractly. You can do this even without changing your journey. What other ways can you support this person? Is supporting this person with much of your precious time essential? For who? This isn't to say don't support people, but HOW and HOW MUCH is entirely up for debate. Support yourself first. (remember the oxygen bag in the air plane analogy?) 

5. Will they like me more?
Why do you need to win approval, when so many others will just love you for you. What are you gaining by them liking you, besides a friendship from a person that you see as judgemental? Networking? The illusion of self-confidence? Followers in social media game? 

6. Do they think I am inadequate and need this? I should take their advise.
Why does their opinion of your adequacy equal fact for you? Are you mirroring your own fear here? Consider meditating on what is keeping this fear alive in you, instead. 

7. Maybe then they will like me more.
See answer for #5

8. I like being better than average.
Ugh. My Achilles heel. I am working on this one. What in your head is creating this tier system where one is better or worse? Still working on that one here. 

So with that, I will not ask you to join me on my renewed journey, but if this resonates with you, and you intrinsically feel the same, please feel free to follow me, or comment below.

"It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop." ~ Andy Warhol

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