People can Change

30 11 2012

You know you work too much at Food Lion when you hear this song in the outside world, and you automatically look for someone to check out in the real world.  I’ve heard this before I worked at Food Lion, and now, everytime I hear it, this song resonates with me more truer than it has in the past.

I’m in the middle of a lot of sucky situations.  I’m in the middle of some stressful situations.  They all involve people being dumb.  I’m angry at all of them.  The fact that this situation exists alone is enough to just make me want to give up on people, pack up my bags and move out of my life.  Never to see or hear from people again.  I’ll become a hermit, live in the woods of the Appalachian mountains.  Hunting game and catching fish.  Sleeping on leaves, under the starts.  Wait….can you imagine me doing that?  I’m apparently a city slicker!  I wouldn’t know what to do if I came up upon an unsuspecting bear or other dangerous animal.  Probably try to play cards with them.  It’s a nice fantasy, but this is reality.

The thing that gives me hope is this idea that people can change….if they really want to, that is.

Why do I believe that?

Because this song rings truer than truth to me and my life.  It really does.

Brandon Heath, in another video, describes the scenario behind this song.  I think it was when he was playing for AIR1.  I can’t find the video, but when I watched it, Heath talks about the scenario that moved him to write this song.

In my past, I cut ties like it was nobody’s business.  It wasn’t a big struggle to me, because I didn’t have the clear value for relationships like I do today.  And there are times that I still struggle with the old feelings of wanting to leave a relationship just because it’s not working anymore, or because I’m bored with the relationship.  But I don’t wanna do that anymore.  (And I’m not saying I’m wanting to leave a friendship or relationship…that’s not my main point, so don’t run away with that thought!)  I don’t want to be who I was, because that person wasn’t really the person that I want to become.  I want to be someone who values relationships so incredibly much, and I want to be a person that when ties are cut, it breaks my heart.

I believe people can change, because I changed.  There’s nothing fantastic or super-special about me.  I’m not some sort of perfect person.  I just decided that I wasn’t gonna allow myself to be stuck in my same old habits just because I was scared or something.

That’s why I continue to have hope for people, because they can change….if they really want to.  If it’s something you work on, day in and day out.  If it’s something you truly wrestle with and try to do your best to become your ideal….eventually it will happen.  Now, it may not happen immediately.  If it does happen immediately, we’re probably lying to ourselves.  But it won’t happen immediately.  Old habits are hard to break.  Have you ever tried to break a habit?  It’s hard.  Because it’s a habit.  Habits are hard to break and hard to die.  But…if we are intentional about it, and we really want it, I firmly believe you have the power within you to change everything.  Heck, you can even change your whole life if you want!

I believe it, because I did it.  And I’m no one special.


Lessons Learned

25 11 2012

I am learning a lot right now.  Now that I’m out of college, what do I find myself doing in my spare time?  Learning.  Odd, isn’t it?  I get out of school, and the only thing I wanna do is learn some more.

I am learning by reading.  I find myself researching and studying up on some of the things I never took classes on.  I love psychology, but could never find the time or space in my schedule to take more classes on it.  So, instead, now I’m learning about the things I never learned in college.

I am teaching myself.  I’m managing a household, managing money.  I’m making a career and I’m really learning about what it takes to take care of myself and other people.  I am making mistakes, and hurting people, but I’m learning from it.

I have teachers.  Friends, family.  They’re all teaching me and I’m learning from them and their experiences.  I am learning from living life with them and I am learning how to be living in relationships while pursuing other things.  It’s very difficult and very taxing upon me and my life, but I’m learning.

The thing about me and learning, is that I don’t learn without making mistakes.  I mess up.  I make a big mess out of my life, and then I finally learn a lesson, whether it be about love, kindness or balance.  I’ve literally crapped all over several relationships, and I cleaned up the mess, straightened things out, and have made things right.  But I have to make the mistake.  I have to hurt myself and sometimes others, before I understand and learn about things, and resolve not to do the same thing again.

Unfortunately, I do hurt people in the process.  Unfortunately, I do hurt myself in that process.  But rarely, do I ever, make the same mistake twice with the same intentions.

Right now, I suppose the lessons I’m learning involve love, relationships, patience and kindness.  Selflessness is in there somewhere.  Tough lessons to learn, but good ones.

Eat, Pray, Love…..another Review

17 11 2012

So, I have just recently finished reading the book Eat, Pray Love by Liz Gilbert.  For the like fifth time.  The more and more I read it, the more and more I see common elements and sometimes, people that are already in my life.  It’s such a wonderful read.  You take the journey with Liz, a divorcee who consistently throws herself headfirst into relationships, only to lose her identity of self, once she’s fully immersed into someone else.  Liz takes a journey, to find pleasure, devotion and balance.  In Italy, she finds pleasure in friendship, wine and especially good food.  She learns the beauty of doing nothing, and observes relationships as they should be lived out, partnerships of support and devotion.  In India, she goes to an ashram, a seclusion space, to where she practices the ancient art of meditating, and through that spiritual practice, learns to let go of her past.  It is only when she is able to let go of her past that she finds out who she is.  Then she ends the journey in Bali, the third I.  Bali is in Indonesia.  It is at this place that she tries to learn to balance the two, and seeks the help of an old medicine man, Ketut, who teaches her to smile, even in her liver.  There, she meets the man that she will eventuallly choose to spend time with, and to love.  She did not intend on falling in love in Bali, it just happens, because after all, everyone has a love affair in Bali.  That is basically the story of Liz, as she presents it in Eat Pray Love.

So what? 

What does Liz Gilbert’s story have to say to all of us?  Why is it such a popular book?  Why am I even mentioning this work?

I think the reason Liz Gilbert’s story is so popular is because it reflects something that we all need to learn.  I think the reason I admire her so much is that she was able to realize she had a need that she couldn’t fill with another person, but that she had to displace herself to find herself, to get back in touch with the innate person of who she is inside.  I think the reason I adore her work is because I can understand the desperation, to get back what was lost due to the passage of time. 

For the past year or two, or maybe a million, I have spent my time living a life of just going through the motions.  School drove me on.  My relationships continued or they didn’t.  But inspiration, hunger and thirst for an exciting life was gone.  Passion, non-existent.  Just rational.  Just going through the motions, and pretending to be still engaged and excited and passionate about whatever it was that I was doing.  I graduated high school and college.  And I’m just living life. 

Recently, it seems like some really significant people in my life have experienced some shifts in their lives.  And those shifts in their lives have really called them to question some pretty significant things.  It seems like relationships are ending and it seems like lives are re-beginning all over again.  It’s crazy, to be on the sidelines, watching this all go on.  Because in a sense, I have finally got to a place where my life isn’t falling apart every three months.  I’m Christmas shopping already!  I wash my dishes.  I mop my floors.

It wasn’t so dramatic as leaving the world and love that I knew to go find myself.  But i think it was in washing dishes, making a life for myself, living life with friends, learning how to cook…the basics, in order to find growth and contentment in me, and who I am.  Maybe not everyone needs a life-changing moment to redefine their lives.  But maybe it’s the learning to live life that teaches you how to have a life that is full. 

Liz Gilbert’s story tells us that we must find that serenity and peace in who we are before we ever start to figure out how to live in harmony with others. 

Part of Liz’s journey involves God.  Well, all of it does.  As a westerner, we pride ourselves on being able to fully label what is God’s doing and what is not.  Like Liz, I am hesitant to label myself as a Christian, because that label carries many connotations that don’t really communicate what I am.  There’s more to me than just the fact that I believe in God, but I am open to God moving in more ways that just in the “Christian” label.  She goes to a place where Hinduism is the chosen religion, into an ashram led by a Guru who is decidedly not Christian.  And the thing I really love here is that she doesn’t try to label something as evil or as not from God just because it doesn’t fit the Western criteria.  I remember there was one time where I was trying to volunteer with some friends, and there was a group of people who renounced our efforts because we refused to put it under the “Christian” title.  They said that anything that’s not done in the Lord’s name is futile and worthless.  But so is pooping.  I’m sorry, I don’t poop in the Lord’s name, that’s just not called for.  😉 

I like the fact that she’s open to whatever the universe or God has to say to her and teach her, that she doesn’t put these restrictions and ideas of what she thinks God has to do or be in order to teach her.  My way of communicating with God and myself is through journaling.  It’s an important spiritual practice.  There was a very important person in my life that claimed that because the spiritual being that I was communicating with wasn’t telling me that certain things were bad….this person claimed that I was overtaken with a demon or an evil spirit, and I should quit journaling.  All because this person is not open to God moving in unusual and peculiar ways.  That hurt really badly.  Because I have realized, that at the very moment you define God, you have made God into something that God is not.  Think on that.

This book puts me into a reflective spirit, and I am very grateful for that.  I recommend it to anyone. 

The Past

8 11 2012

I’ve recently begun to have many conversations with friends and various people about the kinds of lives we led in the past.  Part of this involves trying to allow other people the opportunity to get to know me, and part of this involves sharing as a way to cope or move on with things that have happened in the past.  It’s a very fascinating but interesting process, depending on which scope you’re working from. 

It’s no secret.  I’ve got a past.  There have been some crazy things that have happened to me.  I won’t go into detail here, because I simply don’t have the time, but I also want to keep this as neutral as possible, because some of those deep things, involve other people.  It’s their business too, so I want to respect their privacy.  But just know, I have a past.  Things have been good with what has happened, and things have been bad.  There’s a whole down and upswing of events, as with everyone else.  But the point is, things have happened to me.  Whether good or bad, all of these things have shaped me up into the person I am becoming, and the person I am.  So I’m grateful.

But I do live in a small town.  Everytime that I messed up in the past, I always knew that if I messed up, it would fare me better to go ahead and admit that I messed up rather than to try to hide it away.  The thing is, I can’t exactly hide all the things in my life, because in a small town, everyone knows everyone’s business.  It’s quite frustrating sometimes.  I hate that element of the small town for two main reasons:  1)Because everyone knows everything, and when you tell them about it, they already know.  2)Because this practice truly prohibits anyone from moving on from their past mistakes.

Seriously!  The fact that everyone knows what so-and-so did fifteen years ago is still brought up and dragged into everyday conversation, and this is hard for the person that once messed up.  It’s hard because they can never be considered the mature person they are and the changed person that they are, because their past holds them back.  Socially, they’re restrained by the mistakes they made.  It’s quite frustrating. 

People judge you in the present day for stuff that you did a long time ago.  It’s just the way the world works.  And it’s so incredibly frustrating.

Because (coming full circle now)….doing so, does not allow you to fully appreciate the ways that such a mistake has made you a better person.  Everything that I’ve done that was a mess-up, if people don’t remind me of it, in my own time, I learn to truly absorb what I’ve learned and resolve not to mess up the next time. 

So what?  You’ve got a past.  That means you’ve lived.  You’ve learned.  You have made a mistake, but are gonna do better now.  Congradulations.  I think that makes you an awesome person.