I Need A Few Vices.

“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.” – Abraham Lincoln

As the year was winding down, I was listening to someone tell me that coffee was their last vice and they were in the process of giving it up. I thought to myself, “Why would you do that?” What is the purpose of living a life with no vices. I understand the importance of moderation (although struggle to moderate) but I don’t want a life with out coffee, cocktails, or television. Needless to say, her viceless life comment gave me a bit of anxiety. Naturally, I related her life goals to my own (as we always do when people assert themselves). I think Amy Poehler said it best when she said:

Good for her not for me.”

A life without vices stinks of perfectionism. And we all know the dangers of perfectionism. I also struggle to believe that someone can life a full life without a few vices. Where is the depth? What about experience? Really, what does a viceless life even look like? Is it possible?

I appreciate the fine line between a vice enhancing your life and a vice becoming an addiction. I think that many people struggle to walk that line. And, there may be a good reason you are giving up caffeine (maybe you’re pregnant or you don’t sleep well). However, if the goal is living a vice free life, I don’t know if I believe that is possible.

The term vice may connote bad behavior for some but it does not for me. In fact, I think it helps people better understand what kind of person I am. My vices currently involve craft beer (if you knew where I lived you’d understand), coffee/green tea, wine, and vinyl records. These parts of my life are not always the best choices financially or health wise but so be it. I’m not about to live in a straight jacket feeling guilty about indulging on things that make me happy.

Isn’t anything in excess a vice? Even “healthy” things can be vices? 

I surround myself with a strong support system that has no problem calling me out when my vices become problematic and my self-awareness fails me. My partner and friends made mention when my box of wine a week habit became unhealthy. Begrudgingly, I heeded their advice and my migraines diminished (thanks, folks). I feel I am able to provide them the same feedback and this is how we keep each other accountable.

I wonder why we all try to figure out where we fit in relation to one another? Why did her comment related to eliminating caffeine cause me to reflect on my own habits? In fact, it inspired a post about my need for vices.

Perhaps viceless living is goal worthy for some people but I don’t think it’s feasible for me. As I enter the new year, I will gladly carry on with a few habits that may not be the healthiest. It might just be semantics and vices to some are indulgences to others. To each their own, right?

“I haven’t a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices whatsoever.”
Mark Twain, Stories

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My Dream Crushing Gremlin.

“Anyone whose goal is ‘something higher’ must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Aim high? Shoot for the stars?  No thanks, I think I’m fine right where I am. – The Gremlin in my head

Recently, I’ve noticed my an increasing tendency to crap on my own dreams. I am definitely the first to say, “it’s not going to work out” when an opportunity presents itself in my life. It seems that the more excited I get about potential opportunities, the louder the gremlin screams stop. That mean little gremlin voice really likes to speak up when faced with an awesome opportunity. That little shit.

I want to be better about this.

I know how self-defeating it is to shut down my own hopes and dreams. I think “would I say that to a friend or family member?” I wish the answer were no, but it depends. We talked about how I try to prevent future problems and save people pain (a futile and cruel practice) by highlighting what might go wrong in “Happiness Terrifies Me” . Overall, I think I try to be a supporter for those I love. But that little gremlin just gets going, “Don’t get your hopes up because what if it doesn’t happen” and sometimes this spills over into my relationships. That little shit.

What if I fail?

Interestingly, I am not too afraid of failure. I’ve “failed” at lots of things in my life and magically, life kept on going just fine. And, because of my job, I know that people talk badly about each other all the time and it is usually not personal. But, I am still a human with feelings so what other people think and say does affect me. And, the gremlin likes to use other people’s opinions as evidence that it’s not worth it to try.

For example, when I share a hope or dream and someone suggests that it might not work out that way. Or, when something good happens and someone I love can’t be happy for me, the little gremlin screams, “See! I told you it wasn’t a good idea and they agree with me!” Literally, one person might suggest that I take the safe and predictable road and ten others may tell me to go for it and the gremlin convincingly uses the one person (that I may not even like) as evidence to back down. That little shit.

The Revelation.

The mean little gremlin voice is just trying to keep me safe (in a rather crappy way). The gremlin is a firm believer in staying put where things are safe and predictable. I need to stop arguing with it or trying to convince it that it’s safe to take chances. Because it is not safe to take chances and the little gremlin is right, things might not turn out the way I hope. Maybe I should stop calling him a little shit? Maybe I need to thank the little gremlin for its concern. I think we all have little gremlins that want to keep us just where we are, We know what to expect here!” – Says The Gremlin. However, if eventually I want be somewhere else or do something different, I need to step out and take chances. The gremlin will probably never be a supporter of change but that’s his job. I get it.

“We are all failures- at least the best of us are.”
J.M. Barrie

Addicted To Fear.

“Then she told herself to stop her nonsense. If you looked for things to make you feel hurt and wretched and unnecessary, you were certain to find them, more easily each time, so easily, soon, that you did not even realize you had gone out searching.”
Dorothy Parker, The Portable Dorothy Parker

Are you watching the news right now? Please, turn it off. Humans are sponges and we’ve been absorbing the gross fear and negativity that the media is shoving down our throats for years. I am not encouraging ignorance. I am merely suggesting some moderation.

The 24 hour news cycle is destructive to our psyches because fear is addictive. Our brains are wired to seek out problems in the environment. When we turn on the news we are stimulated by the bright colors and sounds and we are sucked in by the the fear machine. We talk about it at work. We call our friends and share our fears. We beg them to be fearful with us. We want them to be safe. We are scared. 

Pause. Breathe. You’re safe.

Fear makes us reactive and defensive. Fear causes people to use the primal part of their brain when problem solving as opposed to the logical rational part of our brain . This leads to poor decision-making.

In small doses fear is the emotion that helps keep us alive. When we are healthy, our fear safely guides us through life. However, we are absorbing fear through every pore in our body by watching the news, scrolling through social media, listening to talk radio, and reading online. Then, we get angry. Fear tells us we are under attack. So, we end up in needless arguments or barricading ourselves in our homes.

Why do we buy so many guns after a mass-shooting? We do so to protect ourselves. But, how many guns can you use at a time if you were being attacked? The stockpiling of arms is fear based problem solving. Frankly and kindly, life is not like a Die Hard movie and most of us aren’t trained military or law enforcement. We are vulnerable even when we’re armed, no two ways about it. I would prefer not to spend my time here scared, worried, and angry.

Please, turn off the TV and step away from the computer. Take a vacation from the news this weekend. Hug and kiss the people you love. Play with your dogs and sit in the sun. Even better, watch a Pixar movie. I firmly believe Pixar is the best thing about this country. Soak up some love this weekend. The fear will be waiting for you on Monday if you want it back.

Image found here. 

Guest Post! It Is All Gray: Debating On Social Media.

Author: Bryan Worthington

“We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” – Jimmy Carter

Have you ever gotten into an argument or had a strong reaction to world or personal events? No? You may not be a human, go make a doctor’s appointment.

For those who have had a strong emotional reaction to comments or posts made by a friend, relative, or a forgotten Facebook acquaintance, I want you to try something: step back. Not literally (though that may be needed in some cases), but try to view the situation from different perspective.

It seems like everybody knows that his or her opinion is absolutely and unquestionably right and when someone challenges our idea of what is right, we have to tell them why they are wrong, right? Everything is either right or wrong and somebody needs to win. What if, no matter how black or white something looks to you, it’s actually a shade of gray based on a person’s upbringing, religion, socioeconomic status, race, or any number of factors that you know nothing about.

What if, instead of having a reactive response of yelling and trying to make that person think the way you think, you slowed down, validated their perspective, and responded with compassion?

Over the past couple of weeks, a lot of people have posted their opinion on social media regarding world events. Some of these points of view are helpful and some are hurtful. It is hard to be compassionate to someone saying hurtful things, but this is when it is most important. I mostly let posts on social media slide, but after seeing meme after meme perpetuating the same hurtful information, I could no longer remain silent. I immediately thought of things to say that would hurt or shame the other party. I wasn’t going to open up on facebook and lose an argument.

But then:

1.) I slowed down – I remembered that I was not responding to a bad person, I was responding to an opinion that differed from mine.

2.) I validated their response – This person was not necessarily wrong, I was not necessarily right. I found the common ground of our disagreement and worked from there.

3.) I responded with compassion – It is hard to get into a name-calling fight with someone who is being kind. It is also more likely that the other person will listen to what you have to say.

Being compassionate and kind to someone’s point of view does not mean you agree with them. You have to remember that they are coming from a place of strong belief and experienced life. Even members of the same family, where it would seem people would share perspectives, often do not.

Most of the time your best bet is to mind your own business. It’s almost never about you, anyway. Ask yourself if it’s worth it to engage? Which issues are worth it to engage (e.g. racism, misogyny, homophobia, but this list is not exhaustive)? I have an obligation to be mindful that as a heterosexual white man, I have privileges and a platform that must be used to promote social justice. How can I engage while respecting their perspective? If you can’t let it slide because you feel you have a moral obligation to respond, try to be kind in your engagement.

“Luke, you are going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view” – Obi Wan Kenobi

 

I Hope You Don’t Take This Personally.

“The same way that you are the main character of your story, you are only a secondary character in everybody else’s story” – don Miguel Ruiz

“2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” – don Miguel Ruiz “The Four Agreements”

The first time I read The Four Agreements I thought it was complete new age garbage. I spent a few more years doing my job and living my life. And then I happened upon the book again. The second pass differed from the first. The concepts Ruiz spells out in the agreements resonated with me this time and now I frequently refer to the text. I encourage you to read the book.

The four agreements are as follows:

    1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
    2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
    3. Don’t Make Assumptions
    4. Always Do Your Best

All the points he makes are relevant and applicable in our lives, but Don’t Take Anything Personally transformed my life. He proposes that what people say or do to you has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you. Each person goes through life on his or her own path shaped by their values, history, perceptions, faith, expectations, health, and etcetera.

I encourage you to spend one day just listening to people around you. You will find that people will talk about politics, faith, family, work, money, stress, hopes, and dreams. Some will be cynical and some will be hopeful. The people around you will show you who they are if you pay attention.

Maybe during this exercise one of the people in your world will give you advice or feedback. You have options when this happens: believe them entirely, believe some of what they say, or believe none of what they say. Take a moment to decide if the feedback they are providing is useful to you or not. If not, politely let it go. This applies to the feedback we receive from the people we love the most.

This agreement requires us to trust ourselves. However, when consistently told to listen to our parents, our teachers, our pastors, and our supervisors, trusting ourselves can be challenging. This is your life and only you know the best way to live it consistent with who you want to be.

I think when I am feeling my best I am able to step back and see how this agreement works. The internet is a faceless bully factory and some people feel the need to spread their misery around. When I am at my best, I know that mean people are usually the ones scared and suffering. I think it’s hard to not take it personally when people are unable to be happy for me when I do well or when they say “I told you so” when I struggle.

The times that I have acted cruelly were times when I was not happy in my life. I know that when I treat people poorly, it is because I am not taking care of myself. When I feel compelled to convince someone that “I’m right” or I get defensive about a topic, I am not trusting myself and my life experiences enough not to need their validation.

I try to remember that we are mirrors reflecting our own hopelessness or hopefulness onto the world around us. It is my favorite agreement and the one I struggle with the most.

Love.

“If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.”
Miguel Ruiz

 

 

 

 

Make Friends or Die Early.

In some ways it is harder to make friends as adults. We don’t have the fortune of being forced to interact socially on a daily basis like in school or even in college (or if you were like me and you kept going to college). But, as hard as it may be to make friends as an a adult it is as essential as eating healthy and exercising regularly if you want a long healthy life.

What is forgotten or not understood about social connections is that they are significantly linked to longer, happier, and healthier lives.” Brody (2012)

“The results show people with strong social relationships increased their odds of survival over a certain time period by 50 percent, the researchers say. That’s on par with ceasing smoking, and nearly twice as beneficial as physical activity in terms of decreasing your odds of dying early.”  – Rachael Rettner (2010)

I understand that balancing a family and work life are daunting tasks and the thought of adding additional social obligations may sound impossible. I am not suggesting that people have to go out and make a lot of friends and have a full social calendar to meet their social needs.

Each of us have varying needs related to healthy social connections. Some people may need one or two close friends and others may need larger social networks.

Only you know what feels right for you. But, starving yourself of social connection is not an option. That’s when you end up lowering your expectations and interacting with people that may be unhealthy for you. Because, being socially connected is a real essential need like eating or drinking. Unless, you are a sociopath? But, you’re probably not.

Also, some people are fortunate enough to have family members that double as friends and their social needs are met through those relationships. However, some people do not have those types of relationships with their families. In these cases, they can create a family through strong sustained social connections with friends and this I’ve learned is a pretty amazing thing.

So now that we have established that having social connections is essential to living a long healthy and happy life, how do we go about making friends as adults?

Today, I am going to focus on the communication component involved in developing a friendship. It does require some time investment but as I’ve mentioned it is worth it.

When is the last time you asked someone: “How are you?”

Or any variation of an open ended question:

What did you think of that?

What brings you here?

What do you like about this?

And then:

  1. Honestly cared about the response
  2. Really listened (patiently) to the response without interrupting or thinking about something/somewhere else
  3. Did not offer a solution if they presented you with a problem they were facing but listened with the goal of understanding
  4. Did not say “I understand because the same thing happened to me when _____” (which is impossible and also invalidating because no matter how similar your situations we are all different people)
  5. Patiently let them finish what they were sharing before interjecting
  6. Asked follow up questions related to their response to better understand where they are coming from.
  7. BONUS: Asked if there was anything you could do for them!

I completely understand that I am asking a lot of you in the above interaction. It takes a lot of time to go through that scenario (not really).

I think a lot of us are aware of how much we want someone to care about us and how WE are doing but for a friendship or intimate relationship to build you also have to be willing to regularly ask open ended questions and be then be prepared to do the work associated with listening.

Asking “How are you?” and then listening, asking follow up questions, being patient, and asking if there is anything they need demonstrates in a significant way that you care about the person and the person will feel valued and magically so will you through this interaction.

I think we are taught that we need to have certain things (cars, homes, kids, jobs) to be worthy of social connection so we put our best face forward in our conversations. I have watched this lead to people feeling immediately disconnected from the person. I believe we feel the most connected around our vulnerabilities and feeling validated in the: life is hard struggle we all face.

So saying you don’t have time for friends might leave you with less time overall.

Love.

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Just Say, “I’m Sorry”

Overall, there seems to be a cultural push back against apologizing.

Although, I think that some people (women) apologize too much. In that case it feels like you’re apologizing for your existence. Please stop doing that. You do not need to apologize for your space in the world.

The type of apologizing I’m talking about is when we say or do something that hurts someone’s feelings.

If I snap at my partner or a friend and say or do something hurtful, I think it’s appropriate and necessary to say “I’m sorry” because these relationships are important to me and should be treated as such. And, the sooner I apologize the better. There is no need for ego in our relationships. We’re all muddling around doing the best we can.

Sometimes we hurt people’s feelings without realizing that we did so and when we had no intention to do so. I may make a flippant comment at a social gathering about “trailer trash” and later realize that a person I was sharing company with lives in a trailer or has a family member that lives in a trailer. I’m responsible for my ignorance (and that’s a pretty mean thing to say) and I should say, “I’m sorry.”

In that instance, I may have intended to be funny or I was just making (mean) social commentary. The point is, I never intended to hurt the person but I did and for that I am sorry and I should say so.

In our closest relationships it’s necessary to say we’re sorry on a regular basis. Maybe we forget an anniversary, maybe we forget to pick something up from the store, or maybe we’re just being grouchy. We should take responsibility for our actions. It benefits our health and the health of our relationships. It also demonstrates self-awareness.

Of course, I’m aware that people intentionally hurt each other and then it takes more than an apology to repair the relationship. Sometimes, relationships can’t be repaired.

Saying “I’m sorry” can feel vulnerable and/or bad. I know the feeling of having said or done something and seeing a look of hurt on another person’s face. That feels awful. And, I get that acknowledging that I caused that feeling can also feel horrible. But, apologizing lets the other person know that you think their feelings matter because they do.

I also think people feel prideful when it comes to apologizing. Like, “they should know I didn’t mean it that way”

Or, “I didn’t do anything wrong, I have a right to my opinion”

Yes, you have a right to your opinion but you do not have a right to hurt someone else with that opinion. As we talked about in the Valued Living post. All of us are built differently and because of this, we sometimes hurt each other.

I am certain that there will be a time (or a few times) in the next week where saying “I’m sorry” would be appropriate. Maybe, you could give it a try and see how it feels?

Unlike what certain current political figures may say, I think It takes a lot more courage to say “I’m sorry” than it does to double down on being hurtful.

Love.

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Image from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/55098795415220170/

Don’t Take My Advice!

“Your values become your destiny.”
Mahatma Gandhi

I have an important question to ask you:

What are your values?

Examples of values: Love, Education, Family, Faith, Wisdom, Power, Finances, Security, Safety, Compassion, Kindness, Health, Fitness, Peace, Hope. Ethics. Experience, Stability, Trust, Harmony, Imagination, Creativity, Wealth, Achievement.

This list of options varies greatly so I encourage you to click on this link and circle your top five.

This should feel like a challenging task.

And then, I encourage you to define what those words mean to you. Because, what Love means to me and what Love means to you are undoubtedly different (as we are different people).

With words like love, courage, and faith, have to put them into context or they don’t make sense. I call that “pulling them down from the rafters”

We do this exercise to have a clearer idea of who we are and what we stand for. 

There are no wrong answers. 

Why are you doing all of this?

Because our values influence how we see the world, how we interact with one another and how we give and take advice.

Here are some examples of values in action:

In terms of power as a value, it does not rank in my top five or even my top ten. Again, there are no right or wrong values, we need CEOs, managers, and directors in the world and power would be an important value for someone in one of those positions. But, if I were asked to apply for a position that would require me to highly value power I would probably say no or not do well in that position.

Now, if you value power, you might tell me to apply for that position because from your perspective and given your values, power is important. This advice would be consistent with your values.

However, because I know that it does not rank highly on my list I know better than to take your advice. Because I’ve done a value assessment, I would also be aware that your values were guiding your suggestions. So, I would politely listen to you but not follow your direction. This does not mean you are wrong and I am right. We just value certain aspects of life differently.

Let me try again.

I love adventure. Some people I share time with love security/safety more than they love adventure. So, when I mention something I’m interested in (like shark diving). They look at me like my hair is on fire. If I did not know that I valued adventure I might take your reaction to mean there is something wrong with me.

Values exist on on a continuum. It is not that I do not value power at all but rather I don’t value it as highly as other things. It’s not to say that just because you don’t want to go shark diving you don’t value adventure.

Some values change over time as your life circumstances change. It’s important to reassess every few years to see what comes up.

The key is to take the time to get to know yourself. We are motivated by our values even if we are not aware that we are. If we don’t have this awareness we can force our values on people close to us and think we’re right in doing so. Or we can let other people guide our lives by following their values.

If you have a clear idea of your values and the goals attached to living consistently with those values you will feel more confident about the choices you make.

I also recommend that you to share this assignment with the person and/or persons you spend the most time with (like your partner and/or best friends). It might help illuminate points of contention in the relationship or why it works so well.

Living consistent with our values is something we’ll keep talking about on SissyBeard but if you want more information, please look into working with a therapist that practices Acceptance and Commitment TherapyThese clinicians focus on valued living.

Love.

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The Finish Line Is Death, So Slow Down

I think we have cultivated extremely unhealthy hurrying habits. 

We race around from task to task without looking up or around at life around us.

We go about our days like: I need to get this done, then I need to get this done, then I need to get this done, then when all of those things get done, I can rest and enjoy life. The problem with that line of thinking is there is always something that needs get done.

What’s worse, is that we encourage this behavior in each other. We race around making ourselves sick and stressed thinking it’s what we are supposed to be doing.

After all, these things need to get done.

Then, we proudly share with each other all the things we got done and all the things we still have to do! We respond by nodding our heads like,“Don’t I know it!”

Stop it!

You will never catch the carrot so stop chasing it. Really, there is no carrot (did that sound like The Matrix?).

The carrot is a mindset. It’s faulty thinking.

The idea of I’ll rest when _________.

OK, we’ve all reached the when and what happens?

POOF another I’ll rest when ______ comes up.

It goes on and on like that if you let it. It feels like avoidance to me. Like, I got to stay busy to have value and worth as a person. When I see someone in traffic losing their mind (hitting the horn and slamming the steering wheel) because the person in front of them did not burn out and race off when the light turned green. It makes me a bit curious.

Who am I if I stop racing around trying to do things? 

I propose a both/and solution to the race to death.

Let’s try this: I’ll enjoy life AND I’ll work towards __________ (insert your daily tasks and long term goals).

I bet you have at least a few things about your life to appreciate right now. 

Why not try to both enjoy your life and get stuff done at the same time?

How is that possible?

Pause, a lot. Yes, pause.

Just a few moments throughout your day.

Look around.

Notice what’s happening in your world.

“It’s a beautiful day”

“It’s a rainy day”

Smile, it will make you happier.

I live in a beautiful part of the world where we have seasons. I love to look out the window at work and notice the changing colors. I know it sounds flighty or silly but it’s not. It’s serious business intentionally enjoying life.

I think it makes me more productive and appreciative of my life when I take moments out of my day to intentionally notice what is happening around me.

For example, when you feel the need to rush, try and slow down. Take a few deep breaths. Appreciate the sound of the world happening around you. Appreciate your cuddles with your dogs and or/cats. Appreciate your children laughing and smiling. Appreciate all the sights and sounds around you. Have a little dance party in your car or at your desk. Why not, even appreciate the challenges.

I promise, life goes so fast there is no sense in rushing, time will move forward anyway.

What makes me super sad is when people spend their lives chasing the “carrot” and then they realize that they missed all of these precious moments with the people they love.

So please, pause. You will get there and you will get it all done and it will be fine.

Love.

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Image from: http://moiradesignstudio.com/paperprints/stop-the-glorification-of-busy-print

“Who Do I Think I Am?!”

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us. – Marianne Williamson

“Who does she think she is?”

When I read the above quote from one of Brene Brown’s books, I literally had to put the book down and take a few deep breaths.

Let’s be honest, she nailed it.

I had/have that thought every time I sit down to write one of these posts.

Who am I to have an opinion on forgiveness, relationships, love, friendship and on and on?

Who cares what I have to say about any of these things?

So, I take a deep breath and write anywayI know why I am doing this. I’ve been studying these concepts for over 15 years. I talk about this stuff all day. It’s a personal challenge to try and articulate these abstract concepts in blog form. And, in many ways, learning these concepts saved my life.

I’m doing this to create a dialogue and community around these ideas. Which has already started to happen! I love the feedback I’ve gotten about the topics and posts. And, I love (LOVE) the suggestions and ideas for future topics. So, please keep them coming.

I’m not trying to stand on some mountaintop and proclaim that I’ve figured this stuff out (that quote belongs to Kevin).

Let’s be real, no one has this figured out.

Also, I love to read real stuff and real stories, whatever that means. And, I love quotes because they feel like little bite size pieces of perspective.

What’s the worst that can happen? No one reads it. People think it’s dumb. People talk about how dumb it is.

What is the best that can happen? A growing community and open dialogue around compassion, love, kindness, happiness and understanding (ambitious, I know). 

When I sat and thought about those outcomes, I realized that the scary ones happen anyway. People talk about you behind your back, anyway. Some people will never like you, anyway. Some people are going to think this is dumb no matter what I say.

I’m reminded of the final scene from 8 mile when Eminem disarms the other rapper in the rap battle.

I know everything he’s got to say against me
I am white, I am a f-ing bum, I do live in a trailer with my mom

Forgive me, I know Eminem has some rather crass and homophobic lyrics. I don’t support his entire canon.

What I liked about his approach was his self-awareness. I feel like I have a pretty crushing sense of awareness in terms of what people could say about me and/or the people I love. There is real power in knowing those things and accepting them as part of my truth. Shame can only grow in the shadows and I’ve made it a goal to keep a constant watch on my shadows.

So, who do I think I am? Depends on the day, the hour, the minute. 

Honestly, I don’t think it matters. I don’t think that’s the point when one considers creating things and putting it out into the world.

I’m going to keep breathing, keep writing, see what happens.

YOLO, right?

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