Having Courage and Strength


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.



Choosing the Greater Good


Living and working with my dad in a small auto body shop can be challenging. When it got especially tough earlier today, I went for a drive. I parked under the shade of a tree and did my best to calm down.

It’s funny, because nowadays I often find myself feeling like the way my ex might have felt during our relationship. By the way, my ex’s name is Jessica. I’ve always felt weird calling her my ex.

I returned to the shop after choosing to do it for the greater good. I continue to be guided by what I believe to be my true purpose. I’m also guided by my personal integrity and self-respect.


Sleepless in Austin

Nighttime has been the most challenging for me, because for many years I lived with my ex-girlfriend, and sometimes I find myself missing the physicality of human contact. Since I’m not working on anything, and I don’t want to, my mind begins to reminisce and get sentimental. It doesn’t help that my ex told me she’s been dating other guys, which really threw me for a loop, no matter how strong I tried to be.

I guess I am working on something by writing this article, but I felt inspired to because I was thinking about how my dream girl is out there somewhere, and all I have to do is believe that she wants to find me as much as I want to find her, and act the way I would if that were true, because it is.

I thought of my ex as my dream girl, and for all I know, maybe she still is, but I’m definitely going to respect myself by letting her be the one to pursue me if she wants to rekindle our romance, but if that doesn’t happen then it lets me know she wasn’t the one for me. She left me and started dating other guys, after all. I can at least have my dignity and self-respect.

This whole break-up experience has helped me to finally throw away my old people-pleasing ways, and has made me into a man. After being rejected by the woman I love, I really couldn’t give a rat’s ass about anyone’s opinion of me, which was the last piece of baggage I needed to let go of. Now I do things because I feel like it, I want to, or it’s aligned with my values, and not because I’m afraid of what someone else will think.

Tonight, I asked myself what I would do if I knew for sure that I had great friends and potential lovers out there just waiting for me to play with them. How would I feel? I’d feel excited and would look forward to hanging out with them. I’d feel confident about myself, and lighthearted about my life. I remember when I’ve felt like that before, when I expected to have fun, and by focusing on those good memories, I become what I think about.

I know that the best of friends and the best of times are out there waiting for me. As for my dream girl, this blog is one hell of an amazing personal ad, so I’ll be waiting sleepless in Austin.


I Am Getting Better, Man


It’s not as if I can deny nor erase the mistakes — conscious and unconscious — that I’ve made over the years. It’s not as if I haven’t relentlessly beaten myself up over those mistakes, and feel as if I’m continuing to pay for them.

I find it difficult to salvage any self-respect and personal dignity, but it’s there. I won’t tell people not to feel sorry for themselves, when I’m currently suffering from self-pity.

There’s a light within all of us that greets the sun like a kindred spirit.

It’s possible to do the right thing for yourself; to have some pride, dignity, respect, and honor. I haven’t always bestowed those same virtues upon others, which is a mistake. However, despite any mistakes I might have made, there is such a thing as human dignity and rights. So many times I’ve sold myself short that today, as I finally take a stand, I’m shaking with grief.

I affirm that I’m a valuable human being who has the right to be happy.

I have self-worth. I believe in myself. I am getting better, man.


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The Test of Love

The Test of Love

The test of love is to know that we are one, yet see each other as individuals.

Love and respect are not the same thing. Respect is the recognition of another person’s boundaries.

First we must respect ourselves, which means recognizing that we actually have a right to have personal boundaries, and to get clear about what those boundaries are. Then we recognize that other people have boundaries, too. The challenge is in agreeing to respect each other’s boundaries, which sometimes means defending it.

My own experience with building a healthier self-esteem (an ongoing project) was defined by having weak and unclear boundaries. Weak boundaries create fear, guilt, and shame. I’m still learning how to define my boundaries.

Love is a powerful force of attraction, but without our own orbit, our sense of personal integrity, we would simply crash into each other. To lose one’s identity is a high price to pay.

One person’s self-respect is not someone else’s, just as one person’s boundaries are not the same as another’s.

We are individuals drawn together by love.

It’s in the space we give one another, that we can see one another.