Posted by: youluckybum | June 15, 2012

The Writer Within

I have neglected this blog for a very long time.  It is interesting to me how I have actually come full circle back to where I started in some ways.  Writing is definitely a great way to process what’s going on in our lives and some of the feelings that go along with it. Knowing I was not alone was extremely soothing to me.  You know the saying, “Misery loves company” is actually very true.

Now I return to my blog to begin again.  To start from where I am and move forward.  I am hopeful that my need to look back has lessened and my focus now is on the present and the future.  Afterall, that is all we really have, right?  And yet, my past is a part of me.  It has helped to shape me into the person I am.  But I have made peace with it.  Luckily, I don’t have to forgive anyone except myself.  And that is actually not such an easy task either, at times.  But we really only have one choice and that is to keep going.  To keep pushing on and to begin to see all the incredible gifts that occur each and every day if we are aware enough to notice them.

So, let’s see where my writing takes me and you, next.  My belief that my thoughts truly do create my reality is stronger than ever.  I tell my grown children all the time that happiness is an inside job.  The longer I live, the more I see and the more I experience I am sure of it!

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Posted by: youluckybum | October 28, 2011

Trust and Faith

I had a good friend tell me last night that I needed to trust myself, trust my progress and trust the tools that I have learned to use in my journey through life. That really pulled me up by my ears.  I was telling him that I was afraid to start a new romantic relationship because I was afraid I would give myself away again.

I could actually feel the fear and loathing of losing myself.  Of people-pleasing myself back into a place of complete invisibility.  I was really allowing myself to go back and relive history.  To relive pain and fear and angst.  But thankfully, I have great friends that call me on my stuff.  Instead of allowing me to tell my old story, they usually demand the new story.  It truly is amazing when you start to think and talk about the present or even the future and not the past.

And my friend was right.  I do need to trust myself and all that I have learned.  I may start down a familiar unfriendly path, but I know that I would feel it fairly quickly.  I know myself and I trust myself enough to know that I can never walk the same path again, nor do I want to.  I get to make new choices and new plans every day.  And I get to take all that I have learned with me!

 

Posted by: youluckybum | October 28, 2011

Giving to myself, what I always wanted from others

Recently I have had some major ah-ha moments regarding my own happiness.  I have been catching myself thinking conditional thoughts about my own happiness.  Thoughts such as, “If he would just do ____, my life would be so much easier.”  Or, “when I lose this extra 20 lbs, then I can finally be happy.”  I realize I have done this my whole life.  I have actually people-pleased my whole life.  So, if my boss was happy, my husband, my father-in-law, my children, etc. then I would or could be happy.

Needless-to-say, this has not led to much joy in my own life.  Valuing myself through someone else’s eyes is exhausting.  It is impossible to keep all the people in my life happy at the same time.  So, the  people-pleaser in me ran around like a crazy person trying to keep everyone in my world happy.

Now I am trying to unplug from those old habits and just please me.  Sometimes that is fairly easy and simple, and sometimes I have no clue what I really want or what would make me happy.  I think I am beginning to believe more and more in the idea that we are all about as happy as we make up our minds to be.  No one person, place or thing can truly be the key to my own happiness.  I understand that the pursuit is truly an inside job.

I think the biggest gift for me  lately has been the realization that only I hold the key to my own joy and happiness, AND therefore, I am also not responsible for anyone else’s happiness.  Jumping through someone else’s hoops is an old habit.  One I am breaking more and more every day, and that feels good.

Posted by: youluckybum | October 19, 2011

Expecting something different

Why is it that I continue to expect something different from someone that continues to do what they have always done?  Why do I continue to allow myself to be disappointed with this?  In other words, why do I have any expectation at all? Or more importantly, why can’t I stop expecting other people to do what I want?

This personal expectation of someone else is a formula for disaster.  It is also a two pronged formula.  First, there is the feeling of expectation and disappointment on my part.  This prong is like a hamster in a cage.  I am going absolutely no where with it, I am exhausted by it and it benefits me, not at all.  The second prong is the deeper issue.  Pinning my happiness or well-being on someone else’s actions.  This is very unhealthy, unrealistic and causes me great discord.

Posted by: youluckybum | April 9, 2011

Stop! Breathe! Smile!

I have already shared the bat and box technique with you to unleash my anger, rage and hate.  I have also found that screaming in a closed car when I am by myself in the garage has been quite useful as well.  Let’s face it, there just are not that many places that you can go scream and not have someone hear you.

Once the deep dark feelings have come up and hopefully been released, I find that I feel a bit empty and displaced.  This usually lasts a short time and then I really don’t know what to do next. So I try to stop, breathe and smile.  I have no idea why this seems to work for me, but it does.  I think it is a technique that forces me to be in the present moment.

The overall point here is that it is okay to not only have negative feelings, but to actually feel them and let them have their way with you (so-to-speak).  I have often started crying and felt I would never stop only to find that after 12 minutes, I am done.  It can be exhausting and somewhat draining, but the good news is I ALWAYS feel better when I am done!

Coming from a family that didn’t allow negative feelings to be acknowledged,  this is all pretty good stuff.  How can you let go of your anger, hate, revenge, frustration, hurt or pain if you aren’t even allowed to admit you feel any of those things?  So to allow my negative feelings to surface and not stuff them back down again is huge.  To allow them to come up and actually feel them and accept them is monumental, for me.

I am not always aware that I harbor all that emotion. Not yet anyway.  But it is coming.  I am beginning to recognize the tightness in my stomach and shoulders.  And thankfully, I am not having any more migraine headaches.  So I am on the path.  What path?  The path of  freedom, balance, abundance, joy  and health.

Posted by: youluckybum | March 6, 2011

What is Happiness?

I have been aware lately that I really don’t know what happiness is. At least not for me.  I am not sure I have a good idea of what I consider fun either.  I can more easily say what I don’t think is fun or what does not seem to make me happy.

Happiness or the state of being happy seems to usually be about some outside influence, person, place or thing.  New shoes, clean sheets or tickets to a Giants game are all suppose to be avenues to happiness.  But maybe they are really just fun things.  It is fun to have new shoes, clean sheets or tickets to the game.  These things are not really the definition of happiness.  “Things” are not really the definition of happiness.  Yet being healthy or at least capable of taking care of yourself seems like a necessary aspect of happiness. Or is that a judgment?

The question remains; can I be happy or feel happy without any preconceived notions to define happiness?  I know I have spent many years thinking that I would be happy when I lost 20 pounds.  But putting this condition or any other condition on myself really limits my chance for happiness.

I have said before that I believe happiness is an inside job.  I stand by that.  Outside influences or conditions are so temporary.  My feelings of happiness can be fairly temporary too, but I still feel there is a difference.  When I am completely honest with myself and let go of all the desires and outside influences or worries as aspects to happiness something somewhat different occurs.  I become much more present in my “now” and I realize that I really do have everything I truly NEED (not want) to be happy right here, right now.

I also like the feeling of all the conditioning drifting away.  Happiness is not really about my clean kitchen or my washed car.  Happiness is about a moment in time when I stop all the thinking, start feeling and realize I am in that moment: happy.

Posted by: youluckybum | February 8, 2011

Anger and Control

After using the bat and box technique (see previous blog) and letting out some of my anger and aggression, I have begun to look at my anger differently.  I am beginning to own it.  I see that being angry at someone else is about control.  I am angry at my ex because he wouldn’t do anything to make life better for himself or those around him. I am angry because he wouldn’t or couldn’t find his voice and speak his truth to his parents.  I am angry because he wouldn’t go to counseling and spent 7 years of our lives being a shell of a person.  I am angry because he would not do what I wanted him to do.

With this realization has come the truth, at least for me.  My anger is ALWAYS about control.  I believe I get angry when “things” don’t go my way.  More specifically, when people don’t do what I want, or what they have promised or what I believe they should do.  From the customer service department that makes me sit on hold forever only to tell me they can’t help me, to a banking error caused by the bank, to a son or daughter lying, to an ex that cheats; these scenarios all have one thing in common: lack of control on my part.

I can not nor will I ever be able to control other people.  So why try?  It just doesn’t work and it leads to pent-up anger, rage, and depression.  Yet somehow or other I believe many of us live our lives trying to control or manipulate others for our own sense of happiness.  Viewed from a different perspective, the question is:  What have I decided has to happen before I can be happy?  The answers run from kick an addiction, get my kids through college, pay off my mortgage, find my true love to love 25 pounds.  We all seem to have conditions in our thinking regarding our own happiness.  These conditions are often dependent on other people.  This is the real issue to deal with.

If my happiness is not dependent upon whether someone does what I want or not, then two things happen.  One, I am much less likely to get angry because I am not trying to control or manipulate someone else,  AND I can be happy whenever I choose.  I get to own my happiness.  Which I am seeing as a much better use of my time and energy. Seriously, I would much rather contemplate my own happiness  than my own anger. How about you?

Posted by: youluckybum | February 5, 2011

A Bat and A Box

Who knew?  Who knew that a bat and a box could cure migraines?  Yep,  it seems to work well for me!  I am stocking up on cardboard boxes and I have an aluminum bat at the ready.  I take the box, write the name of the person or thing that I am wanting to pound and go outside behind the house and bat it to death.  It is the best practice I have right now.  Probably because I have a life time of anger, disappointment, hurt, sadness, etc. etc. to pound out.  I also am very proud to say that I am not stuffing these feelings with food anymore!  This is a MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH and something I have wanted for a very long time.

I am a true believer in the Law of Attraction and have therefore been hesitant to allow myself to go to feelings that were not what I wanted to have come back to me.  But I am beginning to understand the importance of working or feeling my way through the feelings.  In other words, I can’t just walk away from anger.  I have to let it out somehow so that I can be done with it, instead of just parking it in a holding pattern for a later date that never comes or stuffing it down with food.  This realization has come after developing migraine headaches and being forced to stop everything and just lie still.

With the help of a counselor I am learning that my negative feelings are really not as scary and big and awful as I always believed them to be.  I am also learning that these feelings can come up quickly and aggressively, but that they will pass.  I have been pleasantly surprised at how wave-like my feelings can be.  I can feel really irritated and bothered and go into the feelings and quickly move into sadness and grief and then move on to another set of feelings.  The process can be exhausting, but I think that is partly due to the magnitude or depth of the pain.  As the old stuffed feelings are allowed out and brought to light, I believe this whole process will get easier and less debilitating.

The best part of this is the connection I am developing with myself.  I am checking in with me more and I know that is a good thing.  As I am more aware of my own feelings, the tendency to stuff them, ignore them or rationalize them is less.  For someone who has been so mentally overactive as myself, this is definitely a change for the better.

So try it.  Try the bat and the box technique.  Even if you don’t feel angry or upset, just try pounding that box a few times and see what happens.  I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Posted by: youluckybum | February 4, 2011

My relationship with me

As I allowed my thoughts to carry me to a victim place, I began to hesitate.  Feeling a bit neglected and abandoned (old habits die hard), I was beginning to think some common thoughts about no one caring, blah, blah, blah.  And I stopped.  I stopped and realized that I was giving power to my relationships with other people, but I wasn’t giving any power to my relationship with myself.

I am beginning to realize that I never really have.  I have learned to listen to my intuition because it has been right more than not.  But I have not really ever considered my own connection to myself.  In fact, when I think about it, I don’t really ever check in with myself.  Or honor myself  by stopping and considering what I really want in any given situation.  I have played the roles of wife and mother and in those roles I have definitely made choices.  Whether they were choices for me or for others is a whole other issue and somewhat irrelevant now.  But this idea of being with myself and honoring myself and caring about myself and what I think is kind of new.

To be honest, maybe it is a luxury that I can now afford myself that was not possible in many ways when my children were young and my marriage was in tact.  I don’t know.  But I do know that I have valued myself through the eyes of others for ever.  This is who I have been.  A people-pleaser to be sure.  If my parents were happy with my actions, then I was happy. If my boss was happy with my job, then I was happy. In fact, I would strive diligently to make these people happy.  It was part of my job some how.

Now I see it differently. I see how I gave myself away in these relationships. As a child, I think most kids do. My parents raised me pretty much the way they were raised, with a lot of guilt, shame, intimidation. I parented in a similar style until both my kids rebelled. They taught me that I didn’t know much about being a parent and that they were not intimidated by me nor would they do what I wanted them to do purely because I said so.  This has been a hard and painful lesson for me.  I didn’t question my parents authority much, and was therefore completely unprepared for two children that questioned mine on a daily basis.

But they hopefully were able to keep something of themselves in the process.  I am having to relearn or possibly learn for the first time what is means to have a relationship with myself.  My children are part of the reason I am now realizing this.  They are both strong, sensitive, independent thinkers and I am very proud of them both.  They are also way ahead of me in valuing their own Self and their relationship to themselves.

The single most important thing I am practicing right now is checking in with me.  How do I feel? What am I thinking? Where do I want to go? What do I want to do?  Sounds easy, but it is not necessarily so.  Sometimes I am feeling tired, slow, and sad.  I don’t feel like doing any of the things I need to do, should do or even want to do.  I sometimes don’t feel like doing anything that will make me feel better either.  I just want to veg out and do nothing.  This is probably a sign of depression and I am beginning to understand it.  I have been such a mental, in-my-head kind of person, that I can truly make myself sick and tired with my thinking.

But I am learning some valuable things.  I am learning that feelings that I stuff or ignore can literally make me sick.  After developing migraine headaches for the first time in my life and being forced to do nothing but lay in bed, I am beginning to understand myself better.  I am also learning tools on how to let those feelings out in a healthy way.  Stay tuned for another blog on that.

In the meantime, I leave you with a quote that I really like.  “Your behavior is irrelevant to my connection with me.”  In other words, I can and will be responsible for my relationship with me.  I cannot and will not be responsible for your connection with you.

Posted by: youluckybum | January 14, 2011

We always have a Choice

Only recently did I begin to understand that our thoughts come before our feelings.  Or that our thoughts drive our feelings.  I use to argue that I felt an emotion, and then the thought came to me.  But that is really not so.

This explains why one day I can experience a lot of frustration and not be bothered much, and why another day will see me reacting to every little thing.  My mood can have a lot to do with my day. And my thoughts have everything to do with my mood.

Waking up in a good mood is a no brainer.  Good mood=good thoughts=great day.  Waking up in a bad mood is a whole another issue.  My thoughts are negative, grumpy, sarcastic and victimizing.  I see my glass as half empty and I begin to look for things that support my negative feelings. And guess what?  I find them!  Everywhere!  My clothes don’t fit right, my hair is having a bad day and I am racing against the clock all day long! Ugh!

But now I know I have a choice.  I don’t have to spend all day in a bad mood, looking for things to support my negative side.  I can stop and readjust my thoughts just a little. Then I can gently guide myself to an attitude of gratitude.  When I am really struggling  for something to be grateful for I know I am in a funk.  We all have a lot to be grateful for.  We have a lot we can complain about too, but that is not going to help us one bit.

As I realize how grateful I am for my family, my healthy body, my wonderful home, my fantastic job, I begin to relax a bit.  I often am not able to hold a feeling of gratitude very long when I am really in a bad mood.  But just shifting my perspective for a few minutes, changes me.   Once I have stopped long enough to realize that I am in a negative mood, my whole day can shift quickly.

The key to all of this is being aware; being present to how I am feeling.   When I check in with myself and realize I am on a negative roll, then I can make a change.  This choice is what I am blogging about today.  I HAVE A CHOICE! We all do!  So why is it so hard to come to a complete stop and decide not to continue down that long dark negative path? Because it is a habit.  Not a habit we may want to indulge, but it is a habit.  And maybe more importantly, we really have never been taught anything else.

Just like trying to stop smoking or drinking or any other addictive behavior, this is not a habit we stop or even lessen overnight.  Personally I think it is so ingrained in me, that I may never be rid of it completely.  But realizing it is there and acknowledging it are the first two steps.  Then distracting myself enough from the negative thoughts to stop the momentum is the third step.  Gratitude is next.

Oftentimes, this is all I need to remember that I do have a choice and I now choose differently.  Who in their right mind would purposely choose to be in a bad mood?  That is like a magnet for negativity that I truly don’t want to carry around with me all day!

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