To be honest with you, in this life, I don’t know how to separate myself from the roles that I play. I also don’t know how to not play a role. For example, I don’t just write, but I’m playing the role of a writer.
Is there some holistic, penultimate, unifying person that I’m supposed to be? The Self? Maybe, but I’m not completely aware of it.
So I continue to play the various roles of my life, all the while being aware that I’m doing it. There’s someone there at the heart of the matter who feels like me, but he/she/it is invisible and often imperceptible.
I woke up from a dramatic dream at 3am and consulted the I Ching about its meaning. That led to several more questions, and the answers had to do with blocking my own progress, needing to maintain equilibrium, being impartial, and prioritizing. I want to make myself, my life, and my work a top priority.
Things have shifted on a deep level. It’s easy to lose focus, so focusing needs to become a habit. It’s all about priorities.
Pretty much all I do these days is a way for me to focus on making myself a priority. Stop putting others first to the detriment of my own life. I’m learning to value myself in a healthy way.
I asked the I Ching:
“What can I do to have courage and strength?”
The answer was so powerful that I had to write it down in my journal so I could internalize it, and I also wanted to type it up on my blog to share it with you, because it’s just good advice in general.
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It is time to eliminate bad habits and behaviors and free yourself from relationships and situations that drag you down. Deliverance requires inner resolution and perseverance. You alone can save yourself. No one else can do it for you. But if you stay the course, people who undermine your self-worth or have an unhealthy influence in your life will see that you cannot be taken advantage of and they will withdraw of their own accord.
“Delivering yourself” means treating yourself with respect and developing a positive attitude toward who you are and what you do. Deliverance requires a narrative of redemption. It means believing in a vision of yourself and in a story of your life in which things can get better. If you hold fast to this vision and make this story your story, your life will indeed improve.
By believing in yourself and becoming committed to your deliverance, you will no longer attract harmful people, and you will no longer get yourself entangled in unhealthy behaviors and difficult circumstances that you could have avoided.
Jack M. Balkin, The Laws of Change
I need to stay focused on this message, because I need courage and strength in order to stay on the right path. After a lifetime of approval seeking and people pleasing, I finally know what it’s like to be free, but there are still backsliding and self-sabotaging habits that I need to be aware of. Only I can save myself.
I’ve just had a realization about most of the relationships I’ve experienced so far, and why I’ve often struggled with them. I’m deeply honest and sincere, and while that may seem like a virtue, in many relationships (that I’ve experienced) that’s actually something people are afraid of. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong for me to be sincere, but that I’m just not around like-minded (or ‘like-hearted’) people.
For example, I understand that people are going to be self-interested; I believe in that, actually. However, let’s say someone in a (romantic) relationship with me says they would be happier by ending the relationship–I genuinely support that–but what I don’t support is not being honest and up-front about it, and basically making me the bad guy in order to have an excuse to break up. Or maybe someone is talking about improving their life in some way; I wholeheartedly care and want them to do it, and I want to support them in whatever way I’m able to.
What I don’t like (or understand) is when I’m talking about improving my life–or being honest and sincere with someone–and I’m met with disinterest, falseness, or even passive-aggressiveness. Because I very much want to get along with people, I used to contort myself in all sorts of ways that ultimately left me feeling depressed. Now, instead of beating up and betraying myself, I choose to stand by my values and attract people who value the same things as I do.
Up before dawn, with hardly any sleep, I get ready for my new job. It’s been a couple of months since I’ve had to get ready for work. The fan belt of my car squeals in protest at the cold morning air.
Starting a new job is like stepping onto the set of a new sitcom. We’re introduced to the characters. We begin to play our part.
I put on an apron and a name tag. I weigh roast chicken and slice and dice fruit to be delivered. I come home–exhausted–do my usual routines, and take a nap.
There are people who—from a societal standpoint–have more of an obligation to be responsible to their family than me, but they simply don’t care (or let it bog them down) and go about their merry way. On the other hand, as an only child, I’ve felt overly responsible for the happiness of my family, which, of course, happens to be me and my parents. I now realize that I don’t have to be that way, and I can just as easily do whatever I want.
It’s been such a struggle for me to be my own person that I chalk it up to paying off karmic debt. How do I know that I’ve paid off my karmic debt? I don’t feel guilty anymore, and in fact, I’ve replaced any feeling of guilt with anger, which feels a lot better than depression.
Emotional well-being, mental health, and self-improvement is a daily job. Being happy is intrinsically rewarding, and we all deserve to be happy.
I deserve to be a happy.
In this recording, I talk about choosing the right path in life, being intuitive, and overcoming insecurities.
Devil’s Advocate: a person who expresses a contentious opinion in order to provoke debate or test the strength of the opposing arguments.
Thanks for listening!