Choosing to no longer seek the approval of (and trying to please) others may be the most challenging thing we ever face. Sometimes anger is our only way out, but when the anger subsides, we can feel the familiar pull of old habits. However (and whenever) it happens, turning the corner is the difference between night and day.
The Great Equalizer
Happiness is the great equalizer. We can never really tell if anyone else is truly happy. We can never truly make anyone else happy unless they really want to be happy.
I have to admit that as focused and (authentically) happy as I am now, through everything I’ve learned and overcome, there’s still pain and resistance to being happy, which requires all of my wisdom (as well as others) in order to find peace. It takes a deep and abiding appreciation of the journey and the process of life. We weren’t born to please others; we were born to be true to ourselves, and the sooner we realize that, the better we’ll feel.
The searching and seeking part of me – maybe that’s my ego – he wants what he wants, and he’s good at finding things that are wanting. So I – maybe that’s my ego, too – am aware of how and who I am. Sometimes it seems like I can’t take “it” anymore, but somehow I become stronger every day.
“You’re so angry!” she told me through tears, and it’s true, sometimes I do feel very angry. I feel angry for various reasons, and about various things, but I choose not to be angry about being angry. I’d do things differently if given the chance, and I suppose today, and every day, is that chance, even if it’s by myself (which is how change begins, anyway).
I can tell when my mind is tying itself into knots. Simplicity, sincerity, and starting over gives me peace of mind. I enjoy being my own friend.
I’ve learned that anger is my friend. Not knowing what my anger is about – and not knowing what to do with it – might be a problem, but when I feel angry, it’s actually a guide for me to come into my power. I believe in making the best of things, being positive, and improving myself rather than try to change others or complain about my circumstances, but sometimes anger is necessary to break free from the bullshit.
That’s why I admire my ex-girlfriend for being with me for as long as she did – and now cutting off contact from me – because there was a lot of bullshit (both hers and mine) that needed to be dealt with. Sometimes I miss being with her, but in any case I admire, love, and respect her. Needing to move in with my mom has shown me her bullshit, and as yucky as it may be, I’d rather see it for what it is, and clean it up for good.
I want to respect my mom, but it’s more important that she respects herself. When she tells me about her problems in order to gain sympathy from me (especially about her idiot husband), I feel a surge of anger go through me, and it’s because she’s being a trifling person, and I’m definitely not trifling. As my mom, she needs to be proud of herself and her son, and it pisses me off when she acts like a victim.
There’s no one that knows it all, or is completely right about everything, and there’s no one that knows how you should live your life more than you. Not your parents, friends, lovers, or government. Your life is between you and your God/Source/Soul. I’ve tried my usual tricks on my ex, and I’m glad it hasn’t worked so that I’ll change my ways. Now my mom is trying her usual tricks on me, and I’m happy (and angry) to say that it isn’t working, either.
It can be difficult to convince someone that you don’t have to do anything to earn someone’s love, or to be worthy of it. In this case, I’m thinking about my relationship with my mom. I’ve worked on enough self-improvement, and experienced enough life to know that my anger has value, and it’s telling me something. Again, in this case, it’s shaking me out of a rut. Since I’m her only child, my mom has given me a lot, but she also asks for a lot (maybe not explicitly, but implicitly). I’m ready to move on from all of that.
Without anger, I might just go along and continue to feel unhappy. I see that my mom is motivated by fear, and I don’t believe in that. I believe in being inspired to do things. I’ve seen glimpses of who she really is, and that’s what I choose to focus on.
No matter how painful this past year has been, it’s also been blissful, and being able to have mental clarity and emotional stability has been one of my long-term goals. I’ve learned that the only thing I can truly trust are my feelings and my inner guidance.
I’m taking a Starbucks break from the illustration I’m working on. I’m making progress, and it’s looking great (I’m not trying to be deadpan here; it just feels odd to put an exclamation mark at the end of this sentence).
Sometimes “what-is” is a bit much for me to take. There’s a voice in my head that keeps berating me, while another voice feels victimized by it. Yeesh (this one does need an exclamation)!
I feel angry about certain things, and yet I don’t want to feel angry, so there’s inner conflict. I’ve learned that it’s better to feel angry than have inner conflict.
I like that I can do things by myself that I used to do as a couple, and enjoy it!
You know how you can’t really tell you’re physically growing until one day you look in the mirror and think, wow, I look different! Well, emotional growth is similar, and you can’t really tell you’ve grown until you think about something and realize that you feel very different about it. It’s like the old emotions don’t fit or matter as much anymore.
That’s what I’m experiencing a lot of these days. I’ll think about something that used to bother me, or experience something that I’d react to in a certain way, and the main thing is that I’ll either find it amusing, or realize that it doesn’t matter. Sometimes the old emotions are still there, but now I’m supportive of myself about it.
Last year, I was dipping into feelings of despair, and I learned to support myself through it. Now I seldom feel despair, but I do feel angry at times (anger is a step up from despair) and I continue to be my own friend.
We naturally grow emotionally, but sometimes we need to direct the growth by nourishing ourselves with positive feeling experiences. As we grow our good feelings, the bad stuff will fall away like so much dead weight.
Today, I found myself feeling very angry, frustrated, and sad; sorry for myself, and blameful of others. But I found a way to feel better because I wanted to, and now I know that no matter how angry I feel, I can feel better. I did an I Ching reading and as usual, received accurate, timely, and wise guidance. I’ve been using The Gnostic Book of Changes every day, and these definitions from Hexagram 22 line 1 are words I want to live by:
- At the outset, the man is tempted to create a falsely flattering public image for himself. A simple demeanor is more gracious and fitting to his position.
- Move forward under your own power and avoid false appearances, dubious shortcuts, or ostentatious behavior. It is more important now that you rely upon your own worth.
- Now the attribute of art, or grace, consists of discarding all nonessential adornments. It consists of leaving out everything superfluous, and of confining art to its appropriate place.
- One must rely on one’s own inner worth rather than a “vehicle” of ostentatious superficiality. Suggested is the need to abandon a crutch of some kind.
- You are able to make your own decisions.
- You can stand on your own two feet.
- Rely upon your own resources and initiative.