Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lessons Learned

You know how sometimes things go horribly awry in every possible way, right when you least need it to happen because your guard is totally down and sense of self so fragile? Well, here are some lessons learned about just that sort of thing, so that maybe, just maybe, you can avoid learning the hard way, what I found out:

1. Do not expect people to be nice and normal. This may sound jaded but seriously, don't walk around in life all snow white like and doe eyed assuming that everyone has noble intentions and nice interaction habits. They don't. I am not telling you to shut out nice people, but really, keep your guard up, even in supposed professional or academic institutions.

2. Always keep your personal boundaries in tact.  Seriously. I cannot emphasize this enough. How you feel about you is up to you and you alone and is not any other human being's business. Do not let your sense of self, and self worth rest on another human, institution or concept. Develop a meditation practice to hone this, or some other zen like activity.

3. Don't reach for the bait, do not argue with crazy people or engage them. Some people want to be nasty, despite logic or anything else you throw at them. Disengage, surrender, do not take their bait. It is not worth it. Surrender is not weakness, it is embracing change, and your own sanity for that matter.

4. At all costs, manage your own stress levels because nobody really cares how you feel. If you whine, are dramatic, or generally dependent on outer circumstances to make you happy or peaceful, learn some new coping mechanisms. People can only tolerate your complaining so much. At some point, you have to self rely on your own stress management skills. Nobody cares if you are oversensitive, or keep getting dealt a bad hand. Its harsh but true, and if you can make yourself feel better, you can just spend time with others not complaining, and rely on yourself for your own needs. Everybody wins.

5. Even if you are sensitive, force yourself not to be. Sensitivity has a time and place, like if you are an artist, a writer, or a song writer. But in the rest of the western world, nobody cares about your feelings. Again, this is harsh, but for you sensitive types, it is better to accept this, forge some strong skin and mental boundaries, and self-help. The western attitude is not sympathetic to your princess and the pea complex.

6. Brainwash yourself to believe that the things that other people do that bother you, really don't. Just keep telling yourself, "this doesn't bother me" over and over again, and learn to put other people's actions away, somewhere else, and enjoy your life

7. Be thankful for the things that you desire and they will magically appear in your life. What you appreciate, appreciates. Make your attitude, gratitude. Appreciate the bird in your hand instead of chasing two on the roof. Really, trust me, this works. Write ten things a day that you are grateful for. Every day, and write even more if you can think of them. Or write the things that you are grateful for that you wish you had. Do both. Knock yourself out. Trust me. Good things do happen.

8. Make sure you have a life outside of work or school so that when things disappoint you, you actually have something else to focus on, besides the things that are hurting you or pissing you off.

Some people are talking to God and begging for him to talk back. I am one of those people. But I have learned, that God's strongest language is experience, how you feel about those experiences, and letting the logic of others who care for you, sink in, and tempering the three together to distill your own truth. I am not religious, but I once heard a preacher say that all of your experiences and the things that people are doing TO you, are God's tools, and he is telling you something with them.  So don't take my word for it, everyone's journey probably has something a little different to teach them. And if you are uncomfortable with the word God, replace it with the word, Universe, Nature or Mother Earth, and re-read those sentences. Meditate, listen, find your truth, and be well.

if you have a suggestion, or experience or helpful tip, share it!