Friday, September 30, 2011

I feel like something new is about to begin. Or possibly has already begun. And it's not just fall I'm talking about...There's been a healing quality to this last week for me, and though my house is a bit of a mess right now, I feel like I'm getting my shit together. I'm bravely embarking on new projects, that I wouldn't even have considered a year ago. Clearly my confidence is growing....

One of the reasons for the shift in my thinking is that I'm letting go of blame towards myself. Many of the self-help-books that are out there tell us to Take Responsibility, Take Responsibility, Take Responsibility! And I totally agree with that point of view; except for the fact that it doesn't always apply. This week I finally recognized that I've taken responsibility even for things that were in the end other people's responsibility: I've blamed myself for other people's neglect and abuse towards me.

No book out there will ever be the complete truth. No book out there will have been made Just For Me, no matter what it is. No one way of doing things works for all of us--instead, there are 6 billion ways to do things, and we really do have to work to find the way that works for us individually. All our stories are different, and thus a different manual applies. We have to create that manual ourselves.

So, I'm writing a new chapter in my personal manual.. Taking responsibility is a complicated, multi-faceted matter, and I need to consider it regarding my life specifically. Yes, I can and I will choose healthy reactions and actions to things that happen to me; I can change my negative patterns of thinking into positive; I can take responsibility for my life now and going forward, but other people's hurtful actions towards me in the past are their responsibility, not mine. I am only responsible for how I deal with them now that I know better.

I leave you with two quotes that I find appropriate today:

You are not responsible for the programming you picked up in childhood. However, as an adult, you are one hundred percent responsible for fixing it. ~Ken Keyes, Jr.

Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off. ~Colin Powell

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hitting rock bottom is a gift, though it certainly doesn't feel like it in the moment. I don't know that I've ever been able to make major changes in the way I live my life, until every bone in my body has known that I absolutely have no choice but to do so. Hitting rock bottom is the moment that one (ideally) starts climbing back up, which is actually pretty fucking empowering.

Hitting rock bottom tends to come as a total surprise to me. I didn't know that I was anywhere near the edge, and all of a sudden I'm free-falling. Looking back, the signs are always clear, and there were many events leading up to it. But usually when I'm already headed towards the edge a fog appears seemingly from out of nowhere, blinding me from the present moment--from reality.

My rock bottoms seem as low as they ever were, even now. But I'm sure they are not; it's just a matter of perspective: I've gotten used to being healthier. I certainly wouldn't change my rock bottom of now to my rock bottom of two years ago.
That shit was bleak!

I've said it before in this blog but I'll say it again: healing is not a straight line. It's a jagged-y zig-zag type of deal. If you look up real close the dips can seem pretty intense, but if you zoom out you see that the line actually does go up all the time. One has to keep in mind the big picture, even in the darkest of moments.

Fall seven times, stand up eight. ~Japanese Proverb

Yeah, motherfucker!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I find it scary to talk about these things, as I have a fear of rejection... This shit is bound to turn some of you off. Nevertheless, it is too important for me not to talk about it, so here goes:

Last night I attended an event here in NYC organized by The Climate Reality Project, where I heard Al Gore speak on the subject of climate change. As he spoke, the screen behind Mr. Gore showed scene after scene of the most horrific destruction I've ever seen caused by extreme weather, which has now become our 'New Normal'. We are getting used to a completely new reality, where record-breaking storms, floods, droughts, fires and mudslides are commonplace. Unfortunately it's just going to get worse in the years to come.

It is hard for me to accept, that so many people are still debating the reasons for this shift in weather, when 97 percent of scientists in the world agree that climate change is mainly caused by human activity. It is hard for me to accept that there are numerous esteemed politicians and trusted news reporters, that are still spreading doubt about our responsibility in this. They are playing into the pockets of big corporations, and disregarding the rights of people in this world. Perhaps this is not intentional, but that doesn't excuse it. We are not to be gullible in matters of such seriousness. Yes, this shit is scary! Yes, we would rather not it be true! But 'ignore it, and it will go away' does not work here. (I don't know that it ever does, actually.)

Walking down 34th street towards the subway after yesterday's event was quite shocking for me. I rarely go to that neighborhood these days, with big department stores like Macy's, H&M, Forever 21, etc., back to back to back.... It made me reflect on the plastic nature of our culture, and the entertainment that we're being fed these days; possibly to counteract the harsh reality of what's actually going on in the world. We put on the news and we see the Worst Tornado Ever, that just narrowly missed our neighborhood, then we soothe ourselves by watching our chosen self-centered and irresponsible reality-TV-hero obsessing about minutiae. The shallowness has a mind-numbing, relaxing effect, and it gives us license to drop some of our responsibility too.

But we Can't drop our responsibility. We are not powerless to sway the minds of politicians, as Al Gore said last night. If we communicate to our leaders that what we want is clean, renewable energy; at the risk of us not voting for them, they will listen! We need volume and participation, but unfortunately our culture is trying to keep us and make us into passive consumers. We can't afford to allow that. The only way to make positive changes is if we the people take charge. I can't change anyone else, but I sure as hell can be active myself. I will be writing my frickin' senators, presidents and governors, even though I still can't even vote in this country. I'm doing it as a citizen of EU, concerned for the well-being of all of us in this world. If you're interested, please check out these sites below. There are so many ways to be active and make change happen. I'm just getting started....

Friday, September 9, 2011

I have a newfound responsibility to be consistent and constant in my life.
I remember when I first moved to NY and mingled at parties, socialized etc., it became clear to me very quickly, that most promises and plans made with people in those circumstances were empty. They had no substance, no merit... Any attempt to follow up on those promises and plans was seen as naive. It was a social code not familiar to me from my youth in Finland, and after a few blunders, I gradually learned to become a cream puff of sorts myself. Double bookings, empty niceties, meaningless promises... It seemed as if it was the norm to be flaky. Perhaps I was socializing in the wrong circles?

Today, I don't even like to use X's and O's, if I don't mean them. There are very few people I want to kiss and hug in this world, and even them I don't want to kiss and hug all the time! It is my preference to say what I mean, and to mean what I say. I do my best.

The responsibility becomes even more profound, when it comes to a fragile and beautiful relationship that I'm building with two small children in my life right now. To become someone that they can count on; to be reliable and consistent in their lives, is perhaps the biggest personal contribution in this world that I can think of. It was a life-altering experience for me recently, to understand that they look up to me -- that the things I say to them are sinking in, very deeply. Yikes!!! It makes me very conscious of the need to be considerate, compassionate, truthful and kind with them at all times. While clearly also keeping my personal boundaries intact...

For one reason or another, there have not been many constant or consistent people in my life. This is why I still find it hard to trust anyone, even those who actually are reliable. Learning to be trustworthy myself is important to me, because I don't want to pass that shit forward... By learning to trust myself, perhaps I'll learn to trust others as well? I know that there will be times, when I decide to depend on a white lie... but ultimately, I'd like to get rooted in truth, like a rock. Not rigid, but solid.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Having recently been the target of passive aggression, I feel the urge to write a passively aggressive blog. Or even an aggressive one. Truth be told, in my anger, I've written several drafts of my aggresso-blog already! All of them end in frustration, and me wanting to shake some people into waking up. Alas, I have tried that in the past and it hasn't worked. (Quite the opposite actually. Apparently, people get quite pissed off at someone trying to shake them awake...)

Aggression and negativity is such a cycle... A cycle that seems to never get resolved.
It continues on, from person to person, unless a conscious effort is made to dismantle it. Perhaps today, I will attempt to do just that... I'm already exhausted, why waste any more energy on other people's shit?

Marcus Aurelius has this to say:
"You can hold your breath until you turn blue, but they'll still go on doing it."

How about I just breathe easy? How about I just breathe easy.