It’s Not Who You Are, But Who You Think You Are Not…

It’s alarmingly easy to beat oneself up – never mind our own inner dialogue, society is ever-imposing “shoulds” on us. For example, it’s difficult not to associate one’s worth with one’s work when the first question anyone ever asks when meeting for the first time is, “what do you do [for a living]?” 

I recently was discussing this with someone – the idea that when we have a certain job or title or paycheck, we feel better about ourselves. When we are looking for work, out of a job entirely, or even trying something new later in life, there’s a sense of unsuccessful.” Why is that?

There’s a huge pressure to live up to this unspoken-but-understood standard when, in truth, it’s nothing more than a society-made, human construct. Certainly that depends on where you live, but as tech has gotten bigger, and more is thrust onto our psyche…it’s tough to ignore the global definition(s) of success. It looks a lot like ostentation and pop stars from where I’m sitting. But in my heart, I don’t actually believe that’s the way it is…or should be.

I struggle with this one myself – big time. I beat myself up for choices (past tense) that I need to completely let go of – the past had its place, and…it’s done with. I sit there in a funk questioning my contribution to life in general…and then I get the glimmer of “I’m doing pretty damn well!”

I remind myself of all the good that I do, including giving back to others for no other reason than I care. I am not able to say I have some remarkable title, I’m not paid to do the work, I’m not a celebrity…(all things I know I currently am NOT)…but what about the true value?  Those facts don’t have a right to determine my self-worth, my success (in my own eyes or those of others), or my validity as a wonderful human being. And such facts have no right to determine yours either.

We are all on a different path, and we have no way of knowing how the journey will end. But while we are trodding along, we need to remember all the GOOD that we do, and all of the ways in which we DO contribute – to ourselves, our lovers, our society and community. We need to remember that a definition of a word to one person may differ from our own – sometimes wildly. That’s okay.

If it takes a mantra, self affirmations, meditation…whatever…that’s all well and good. Just make sure the reminders are FREQUENT. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle and pace of “today” but we are with ourselves 100% of time. As such, we deserve to feel good about who we are, and what we do…and we need to let go of all those things we aren’t (because…that isn’t part of the equation for a reason.)

We don’t need to impose any other false limitations on our lives… We deserve to live and love life fully – whatever that means to us. Success is not black and white, and it isn’t up to someone else.

We are so much more than we often give ourselves credit for and we must remember…leading by example means we set the tone as much for ourselves as for others.

Be more gentle with yourself today. Write down, or speak aloud, all the “AMAZING” that you represent. The energy we put out, and the things we tell ourself in the silence are the very foundations of our own success.

 

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Martial Arts Wisdom – Revenge and Anger

In Martial Arts we say we hope we never have to use what we learn – the idea isn’t about trying to prove something, nor to assert any kind of feigned dominance.

Along those lines, we are taught that ideas like “revenge” and “anger” serve only as injurious deviations from our true paths.  The Universe finds a way to right things without the heavier, shall we say, karmic repercussions of going down that road.

To seek revenge or harbor ill will is, as Buddha says, holding the proverbial hot coals and assuming both that they will burn another…and also that we are impervious.

The truth is the reverse – to seek such things is to diminish our own self-worth. It is a disservice to ourselves as willfully negative actions and thoughts hinder the flow of “good” that has the potential to continually manifest in our lives.  It is far wiser to let go of resentment, and to be as the Martial Artist aspires to be – free of the burdens that come with animosity and bad blood. 

It isn’t always an easy pursuit, but it is a noble one and worth the aspiration. Neither human being nor circumstance has the right to turn us from the higher road.

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Humor, And The Perfect Woman

I give myself a SERIOUSLY hard time sometimes.  I’m not exactly a typical female and though I am thankful to be as I am, there are times when I have felt badly when other impose their own interpretations of what a woman “should be” on me.

Heaven forbid I say “I don’t cook.”  I mean that generally.  You won’t find me with an apron on baking casseroles, for sure, but that doesn’t mean I’m a total dolt.  I can manage with the smaller variety of things I eat…and I’m absolutely certain I can follow a recipe (I cooked a lot with my parents when I was little.)  But just because baking isn’t my favorite hobby…or being ultra feminine won’t work for my sportier lifestyle, I shouldn’t feel badly.

And you shouldn’t EITHER.

Don’t let anyone else define you, put you down, or place you in a box. 

Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that another person’s definition of “perfect” may well deviate (even substantially) from our own.  There is nothing wrong with that!  

We all have gifts, and all have room to grow.  

We all have preferred activities, and those that just aren’t so much our thing.  

And in the end, that’s kind of what makes the planet so interesting, isn’t it?  If everyone was cookie cutter, I think I (for one) would be highly disturbed! 

I appreciate my glamorous friends, as much as my sporty ones, my bohemian ones, and the workaholics… I love them all, and appreciate most that THEY are happy.

Conforming just doesn’t work for me – it’s such a drag, and not worth anyone’s time to stress about!  If, as a human being, you do feel down about it, remember that YOUR “prefect” may not be everyone’s “perfect”…but there are countless others to whom your ideal is also perfection.

It’s all in the way you define your terms anyway.

I DO cook.  

I definitely “IRON.”  

And I always make sure home is nice and clean. 🙂

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