Co-Parenting : Forgiveness Required

I may need to do a search through all the posts on this blog to find it, but sometime back in 2011 I wrote a piece about forgiveness. The act of forgiveness, how and why and the importance of it all. Four years later I can finally report back.

Four years ago I was still rather bitter about getting divorced. Hurt and angry, but I had decided that maybe forgiveness was the approach for me. So, I took a deep breath, said many prayers and chose to forgive my ex husband for his behavior while we were married.

This was not an easy choice.

There is something that happens in a break up that makes everything seem worse. Everyone you know chooses a side. You may think that I mean his side or my side, but I don’t. They decide how each single parent should co-parent when the other party hasn’t lived up to their end of the bargain during the marriage.

The most popular among my peers was the one that removed my ex-husband from not just the marriage, but from our life. As though POOF I had two kids and POOF I magically get a check every month to help cover their living expenses.

I was so angry at the time that I do have 100% parental custody. I could fly to China tomorrow without my ex-husbands permission and he would just have to deal with it. I won’t…but I have the ability. Anger makes us do so many things.

Then I thought about simply arranging supervised visitation. Only I was so poor. We were barely scraping by so there was no way to cover the cost of providing supervised visitation. I was quite irrational at this point so I maintained our distance. We saw my ex-husband about once every few months and not for very long, a couple of hours at most.

Then something I found sadder than the possibility of having to see my ex-husband on a more regular basis. It was our sons. They didn’t know him.

As a child of a single family home I know what that is like. My father was not a good person, at least as far as his behavior back in 1985, but we were raised by my mother and maternal grandparents. I had a relatively happy childhood. We had our drama, but what family doesn’t? Perhaps we had more drama than average, but I think we are all more interesting to talk to because of it…anyway. That’s a different story. I didn’t know my father. I knew what other people thought of him. I knew where he was from and what I thought of the people from that place. But I didn’t know him and that is a great cloud over the happy times. All of those times I saw my friends with their dads were sad times for me because I had never known what that was like.

As I became an adult I tried looking for my father to no avail. He didn’t want to be found in the digital age and therefore had no digital footprint. That didn’t mean the sadness was gone. “Who was he?” “How was he?” “Did I have other sisters or brothers?” “Did I have a step mom I didn’t know about?” Always having those questions is sad. I didn’t want that for my kids. Who was I to make that choice for them?

That is what I found to be this sad thing. I was an adult who had lived in a set of circumstances that made me mad. So mad that I thought it a good idea to remove the person that held the other half of their DNA in his genes.

But was I so angry that I couldn’t find it within myself to forgive a man for his behavior? How could I call myself a good person if at the first test of faith I proved to have none? It is no secret that I am a Christian, perhaps a different breed than the ones you read about, but I try to have a simple faith, based on love. In our church we are taught to love and forgive.

I was faced with two options.

One my kids didn’t really remember who this guy was that we sometimes saw really was, so we could just gently fade away and he could become a memory.

Two embrace the pain, and allow them to fully know their father and make the decision for themselves.

To do the first would have been the easiest choice for someone as angry as I had been. He didn’t know where we lived, who we hung out with, where I worked, all I would have had to do was change my phone number and we would have been done. Simple. Clean. Heartbreaking for him and for me. I would be setting my kids up for the same thought process I always had. Always wondering why I wasn’t good enough to be loved by the people who are supposed to love you the most.2015/01/img_2354.jpg

So I embraced the pain. The hardest and easiest choice on so many levels. The cold aloof anger has been replaced by hesitant resolve. Hesitant because everything we went through leaves a mark on the psyche, but resolve because it has turned out to be the right thing to do. My kids are 4 and 8 now. They know their father. They’ve seen where he sleeps and we know how he lives, where he lives, and why he lives.

Over the last four years we have fought and cried and been angry for past ills all over again, but there has been so much forgiveness and contrition. So much of what we have worked through together has made us better people for our next partners. We know more of how each of us failed the other that we will continue to work hard to not make the same mistake. We know that finding that next perfect person for our new selves will be hard, we each have a longer list of must haves…okay at least I do..but I am optimistic about the prospects.

Forgiving him has taught me more about my faith than any pastor could ever tell me. Forgiveness is not something that you do once and it is done, it is something you do every time you wake up and face the day. It’s choosing who you are and not wavering from that path every single morning. Choosing your words and actions before your emotions, and never letting the bad times get the best of you.

It’s also choosing to put the best choice instead of the popular choice.

Special note…A physically abusive spouse should be handled differently. An alcoholic husband or wife who did not exhibit abusive traits is very different from an abusive spouse. Alcoholics tend to only want to inflict pain on themselves though they learn to manipulate what they want out of people to get what they want. That’s how so many nurturing people become enablers. It’s like they can smell your ability to empathize on your sleeve don’t fall for that either.

All the wonders

Twelve months have gone by in a quick succession of rapid fire days and short blissful pauses. January turned to March which turned to November before I knew is it was today. Saturday…the last Saturday in December 2014.

How did this happen? What happened to my sense of time that it feels as thought it should still be January. Not January now, but January 2014.

This year has been so joyous and hopeful that it is a wonder I have survived with my head clear and mind in one piece. Peace.

Peace seems to be an ever changing anomaly. The busier I got this year the clearer my mind got and in turn the clearer my goals became. Some goals…not all. I’m still unclear as to my professional direction in a business with endless possibilities. If only I could be a normal person who didn’t dream dreams the size of Texas and have expectations of a life bigger than it is. However I also want a small life. If that makes sense. I want to do gargantuan amounts of good, but live a life of simplicity.

Dreams of bigger houses aren’t what I want.

Dreams of bringing shelter to the homeless, food to the insecure, selfish dreams of changing lives are purely selfish as much as they are altruistic. I wouldn’t want to do it if it didn’t give me and the person in receipt of the help a smile. If it didn’t make me feel whole. It’s what I dream of though in the quiet moments and loud.

I would also choose a small life in a tiny apartment in the city. Just big enough to have friends over for coffee and muffins or family over for a Sunday dinner. Close to shops so I wouldn’t have to drive and parks so that I could walk around in the grass.

I’m closer at the end of 2014 to seeing these dreams become real. I have gotten to meet like-minded people during the last 12 months. People who want to create a place of peace and community. A sheltering tribe of new friends and colleagues. People who want to see us all reach our potential and see the limitless potential of possibility. I’ve been more active in the community. More excited about the prospects of what is to come.

Beginning in 2015, I will be a steering committee member for my companies non-profit and I will be continuing my role with TEDxYouth@Houston. I had so much fun with each group in 2014 that I can’t wait to see what we do in 2015. I got to do arts and crafts at a group home with some colleagues and help organize the big event for the youth in November. I’m excited.

I took some small advice to heart last year and it helped make it a splendid experience.

If you stop limiting yourself, you can do so much more. You will do things you dreamed because you aren’t holding yourself back because you don’t think you are qualified or you don’t think what you want is valid. Hogwash. It is valid and you can do it.

Repeatedly throughout the years I’ve heard that what you put out into the universe is what you get back. I try to live this way. I try to live better because of past missteps and errors in judgement. I try to see the joy in each moment because at any moment we could be gone. I work each problem as it comes up because if I don’t there is no super hero who will do it for me and the problem will only persist and/or grow.

2014 has been full of wonder.

2015 promises to have just a bit more.

I hope you get to hold the joy of this year’s end near, and embrace the future with an open heart and a clear mind.

Galveston Beach - Sunset September 29, 2013

Galveston Beach – Sunset September 29, 2013

Feel like a phony?

02Last week I had dinner with a friend and he felt the need to point out that I belong. I constantly second guess myself and any abilities that I do or don’t have which may be why I start a lot of things and don’t finish them all or I do some things really well, but the little bits that would make the completed project perfect are crap.

Maybe I do this to prove to myself that I am a phony.

Some times

Really I just feel like a phony a lot and never quite feel worthy of the things that I have worked for and the accomplishments that I have earned. I’m a mish mash of ideas and thoughts and theories that make an interesting person who doesn’t want to talk about them so when they come out on paper they make me sound mad.

I can talk shop with anyone…to a point. I don’t share my best ideas and I often hold back from the conversation all together. If I talk to you with any depth it’s because I’ve decided your trustworthy. But I still don’t share. Not vocally.

I share here, but even there I haven’t shared much in the last year and a half. I have plenty going on I just don’t want to sound showy or “Hey, hey, look at me now!” So many of the bloggers that I connected with at the inception of this blogging journey are still struggling with their finances and lifestyles. I’m not. Sure I have problems, but they are nothing when compared to the stories that I read and the struggles that I have faced and I feel like a phony finding a complaint. Clearly this isn’t a humor blog. I don’t do obvious humor.

I feel it is now my mission to not dawdle in the past strife, but to build up others as much as possible. How can I share a piece of the good word, a good idea, a good thought that may make a day brighter. Likewise I share stories of others that need to be shared because it’s news that you won’t see unless you’re looking. That takes a lot less space, so it’s all on Twitter or Facebook (Friend me I will accept).

Often I feel like a phony, an imposter, a person who does not deserve all this goodness. I feel the past follows me like a cloak waiting to wrap itself around me in a swift wind. Not that it warms me, but it makes me cold. The emotions of the craziness that didn’t feel crazy until I stepped away and looked back. I feel like someone somewhere is just waiting to throw the cloak on me even though I’ve grown up, I’ve changed, and there is so little of that person remaining. That sad girl who wanted so much to feel the warmth of love and being needed that she clung to the first person who passed her way. I still haven’t figured that out. Why did the thing that damages have to be the thing that stuck for so long?

That may be a question I can never answer.

I feel like a phony to have bigger dreams. To want to be and do more in this world. All the dreams I write about on this blog…I want to see them realized, but that cloak of doubt keeps the fear inside me. I don’t deserve my dreams to become reality because I didn’t do this or that, or I don’t look a certain way.

Why is that? How many of you feel this way? How many of you hold yourselves back because you don’t feel worthy?

Damn it – FEEL WORTHY!

I say this to myself as much as I say it to you.

We belong. We have earned it. We fight for it daily.

The things we have accomplished are worth talking about. Every day little wins are worth sharing. Letting people know that this day is an awesome day because you woke up and set out to conquer the day is worth being said!

Don’t be afraid. You are not a phony.

Surround yourself with positive reinforcement and bring light to the world.

When you see that light in someone else – that kinship – reach out to them!

It’s only by building ourselves and others up that we finally begin to feel worthy.

For a bit of inspiration tonight watch:

Why Not Overestimate What You Can Do?

This afternoon I had every intention of coming home at the end of the day and posting a blog reworking day one of The Purpose Driven Life. Well…crap…life happens and things change…so I don’t get to write that post because there is other stuff going on.

Life…the eternal brevity of life.

We are all here forever in our minds. Our days become months that turn into years that form our lives. We don’t know why we are here in the grand scheme of things and where are we going?? Only time will tell us.

But we are here and we are intelligent and for better or worse we will make it work.

There was a quote that I shared once on people overestimating what they can do in a day, but underestimating what they can do in a life. What can we do? What can we change? How can we live to our potential in the quick succession of our many days?

Is it even important that we change the world to effect change on the world?

I don’t think so.

We can change the entire future of our planet by simply changing how we relate to it. We need to realize our power is not in the halls of government or the corner offices of commerce, but in how we live out each and every one of our days.

Today several things have happened that I think will have an impact on me for a while. First, something as simple as a book club. This book club was not just a small group of girls gathering to read fiction. This book club is at my office. I now work for a Fortune 100 (plus a few) company. We are a STEM company and are trying to stay the leading company in our field. The book we are reading is Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.

Here’s the thing. Our industry is traditionally dominated by men. They are the great builders, engineers and designers…at least in theory. But our office has something special that I don’t think many of the women (several thousand) understand the value of – we have a female chief operating officer running our campus.

Our big cheese is a woman!

This is abundantly important for us as women!

I am not going to look up the exact statistic now, but the ratio of female to male COOs of companies our size is miniscule! Then considering our industry…I was shocked that there weren’t more women at book club! I don’t think we would have had this book club if it wasn’t for her belief in possibility.

I have heard so many times women complain that they do all the work but never get the reward. The men get to have all the glory, but the women are the one holding it all together. Head down, pencil to paper, getting shit done.

Simple truth is – if your head is always in the muck – it will only ever see more muck.

How many women are so wrapped in their work that they don’t look up and see the opportunity? How many are concentrating so hard on what is that they don’t see the possibility of what could be? I am just getting into the book, but I challenge women to stand up, find their power, show up to the meetings, be heard. Make a difference!

So much happens when we are present, not just in body, but in mind and awareness.

Second thing that happened today…an awareness of self, not self-awareness, but an awareness that if I just keep working, growing, learning, and pushing that I will be where I always thought I would. It may not be the exact place or thing that was in my mind, but it is working out exactly how God made it.

This reminded me that we each on a different path and that there are no shortcuts to ease the pain. The pain is there to make you stronger. The hardships we face are intolerable when they happen, but when we finally taste success the result is sweeter because we can acknowledge the pain of the past.

Finally, TED. Dear sweet, amazing TED. This week is TED active and my inbox has exploded with massive amounts of info-porn. Seriously. My favorite week’s are TED week’s because the ideas and information that come out of them are transformational for each of us individually and all of us globally. So many things that changed as a result of putting these ideas into ACTIONS.

What is an idea if it can’t be put into action?!

A waste of freaking time!!!

I love the philanthropic, socially aware, more political ideological discussions, and today was mind-blowing. I am still watching, because I was late to the party, but it is all on video. I highly suggest you all watch it.

Here’s what ties the day’s events together. When we look up from the day-to-day and we see the possibility of what could be it is up to us to grab it, to hold it, to nurture it into existence. We must breathe the life into the thing that gives us purpose, that gives us life.

If your thing is simply living life as joyfully as possible and showing that joy to everyone you meet then do it. Your smile and easy laughter will change hearts and won’t cost a dime. If you are Bill and Melinda Gates and your thing is creating a planet that sees the best possible future in vaccinations and education improvements for children. Then do that!

We are each blessed with different gifts, scopes, and thought processes. The important thing is that you do it.

Please watch the evenings TED events here. TED2014: The Next Chapter
http://conferences.ted.com/TED2014/

1912281_10153897808160652_349877729_n

Kiev : A Little Over a Week Later

Wasn’t it just a little over a week ago that people were dancing in Kiev’s Independence Square ecstatic that they had the ability to change their stars?

Didn’t they laugh and sing and enjoy being “Happy”?

Kiev Happy

Isn’t it amazing what has followed? Is amazing the right word?? More like astonishing or unbelievable or terrifying…

I keep wondering about the varying storylines. Who is really pulling the strings?

No…Conspiracy theories help no one.

What I get caught in is the politics of intimidation and watching the most powerful political leaders of the world dance. One is leading, one is following, and then they reverse rolls.

During different points of the week you could see where Russia was gathering up the Ukraine and pulling her around the floor. Then the next day the United States would have the Ukraine bound for the other side of the dance floor. This constant back and forth following one then the other all over the dance floor…all the while the audience of watched.

The audience changed depending on who was leading. When it was Putin you could hear the echoes of the people in Crimea chanting their allegiance to a Russia few of us recognize. When Kerry finally took the lead you could hear the people who believe in the possibility of a free Ukraine.

I’ve been watching this incredible event escalate and diminish. I’m just dumfounded by the insanity.

Ukraine is a country. A democratic nation that could and should be free from the trappings of a parent nation. Ukraine does not need to be a state of Russia…or anyone.

What do you need when building a successful nation?

I think it is the same as what you need to build a successful future for a business. You need to know why you want the changes that you do and you need to stand by them. Write out a vision of what you need and want. Live by that vision. There is also a reason for beliefs in tolerance and understanding and an intrinsic openness and transparency.

Maybe this is more about building a nation that will last in this age, the age of Wikileaks and NSA Surveillance. The people that want to ask you to dance are going to know everything about you already, so you may as well be honest about it.

If Putin had simply acknowledged and validated the changes that occurred in the Ukraine instead of having violently restrained outbursts about the changes that will happen, none of these problems would exist.

For a summary of the days events please visit Human Rights Watch for the storify timeline.  http://www.hrw.org/the-day-in-human-rights

I had and still have high hopes that Ukraine is able to become the country that it wants to be. I hope that the Russian government and more pointedly Vladimir Putin realize that times have changed. I hope that “The Western” nations that are helping Ukraine set up for the future do not trap her in the methods and practices that won’t lead to success.

It’s been a week, I said last week that the fight was just beginning, but this is not the fight I had in mind.

candles

Kiev : Get Happy!

Tonight on Fast Company I watched the video of Ukrainian revolutionaries dancing in their encampments at Independence Square to Pharrell’s Happy. I watched a bunch of people my age and younger celebrate the idealism that so many people hold dear.

We believe the world can be better if you just give us the opportunity to show you what you taught us before life and scarcity got to you.

We know that the world is a good place. We also know that power breeds corruption, so we know we have to be careful if we are given the chance.

No we don’t have all the answers, but we think we can fix what is broken.

Even if we can’t fix it we can replace it with something entirely different.

We want freedom.

I don’t know how closely you have been following the events in Kiev or if you have scrolled past them in an attempt to keep your blinders on, but something amazing and perhaps scary just happened.

The revolutionaries in Kiev won.

The dictator who was in charge was removed from office by the parliament and there is an opportunity for a new, freer society setting up in Ukraine.

To me this is amazing because we get the opportunity to see what they do with it.

However it is also terrifying because they must be careful how they proceed. Do you want to be like Egypt and have three new governments in almost as many years (They resigned today.) or do you want to form a new land of peace and freedom and show others how a revolution is done.

This is the problem with revolutions. Some people do it for the power. It remains to be seen if there are many in this group who are only in it for the power, but wouldn’t it be a testament to the revolution if this remained about freedom and liberty and less about a transfer of power from one party to another?

To highlight the key element in most elections from one side to another is that it’s the same ideals just with a new face, a new label, a new rhetoric, but the same end game. Power.

The end of the video shows that all Kiev wants is to be happy, but will they be?

I applaud and encourage you all to keep the correct goal in mind.

You’ve done the easy part and that is get the power, the hard part starts now…what will you do with that power??

Be happy, Kiev, you’ve earned it.

"What is happiness for you?"

“What is happiness for you?”

Practice: My favorite spot

I am trying some basic writing practice because well…I need it. I have been gone too long and I’ve been far too inconsistent with my writing. I hope the practice will get my groove back and if you have anything you think I might find fun as a prompt please feel free to leave it in the comments.

My Favorite Spot

My favorite spot warms in the sun under a giant oak tree. The massive trunk is my support as I sit among the knobby roots that have grown out of the ground all around the tree. The sunlight filters through a high canopy of leaves dancing like fairies on delicate blades of grass below. Full branches stretch higher and higher coming full circle and skirt to the ground as though they’ve long grown tired of their task they sit in repose on the lawn. I stare out from beneath my perch and hear children laughing in the distance, a dog barking a block a way and the constant echo of traffic not far away.

I try to read, but it does not work.

I try to write but words fail me.

So I sit and I watch the light dancing and find where the children are laughing. There is a class by the look of them twenty students boys and girls about age seven running and jumping and playing in the neighboring park. A park bare of playthings, but a broken obelisk and more knobby oaks, but a park just the same set free from the being broken and spent as a plot of land for consumption. Green space in a vast city is a many splendor thing and often a hard battle was fought to keep it green. I watch them for a moment as the children study the statue and the teacher explains its meaning.

The breeze sends my hair tickling my nose as I turn to ponder the lawn. It stretches a full city block in front of me luscious and green. It is bisected by two stone paths leading to the door of the museum. But…this museum starts out here. There are three steel statues built into the ground and the inconsistency of them has always set my OCD on edge. One is a jagged line another has smooth round edges, I am sure it all means something very deep, but it’s lost on me. I enjoy art for the sake of art and beauty for the sake of beauty. This lawn is a work of beauty.

To my left is a great structure of grey and glass, built out of the love a man had for his wife. It is thoroughly modern and a testament to good architecture it is so serene it makes you wonder of the couples life, was it so serene? I am sitting outside the Menil Collection in midtown Houston basking in the sunlight, patiently awaiting the 11 am opening time. Picking up my pen again I write of dancing sunlight and sunken treasures.

photo

“We are Stardust”

I know I am not the only one who believes in my right to speak my mind and not agree, but some speakers with bigger world views than mine bring my mind to focus.

On a cold cool night in a place outside the city I can be reminded of my space when I lay down in an open space and gaze up at the cosmos. For a few brief moments your breath is caught in your throat and you are humbled by the vastness that is before you. Billions of tiny dots a trails of dust light up the night sky, and for a moment I remember that I am on one of the smallest dots.

If someone were looking back at my sun – they probably wouldn’t see me.

Pale_Blue_Dot_Carl_Sagan_ANnotated_copy

When I consider this truth I wonder why we go to war. I wonder why we have to work so hard to pay someone money that thy world provides for free if we just let her do her job and stop trying to change her. It is difficult to perceive why we have allowed this to happen. As you will see in the video below all the history we have ever known, all the blood that has been spilt, all the violence that we have seen all in the name of what? For something that may or may not be true on a bit of dust the size of our planet.

I would love for you to take a drive out in the country on a clear night and lay down under the stars and just remember how tiny we really are and how non-existent any perceived problem really is…it’s only a problem because we let it.

I think this may have posted the whole playlist, but for the perspective I was looking at scroll to the end and watch the 11th video.

If you have more time than that, please watch them all. You will not regret it.

Jobless isn’t the end of the World – Right?

What do you do when you are faced with a problem?

Do you tuck tail and hide? (Because that’s what I feel like doing.)

Do you ignore the chatter and rise from the ashes? (Hope to do)

Eat pumpkin anything and gain 20 pounds? (As I type I am eating delicious pumpkin bread pudding…and it’s amazing!)

Here is the problem – and it’s not really a problem – just something else on the path to understanding. I am losing my job. I have been here since April 2012, and I have worked my tail off letting everything including this blog suffer and for what? To be told that since your boss was a bad boss we had to let him go and since we have a whole team assembled who can do your job in another city we are going to let them do it.

Sure, they have offered to move me to one of two locations – without an increase in pay – one is in the middle of desert surrounded by the pollution that I loathe and the other is deep in hickville away from proper civilization. I don’t require much, but for a girl who loves theater, symphony music, and museums…hickville’s not going to cut it.

So I am here…arriving at decision time with three months to decide my fate.

Pulled from Google Images - If you know who made it I will give them full credit.

Pulled from Google Images – If you know who made it I will give them full credit.

I guess it’s really not three months, more like two and a half, but it is also right at the holiday season when NO ONE wants to hire!

It would be perfect if I could leave here at the end of the year, take a week off, and start right up somewhere else, but to get them to even look at my resume. No actually it would be perfect if “they” could find a way to keep me for at least a few more years, or if they could pay me more, or if I didn’t have to be on the road 3 hours a day just commuting to and from work.

I figure that’s just part of life living in one of the most spread out cities in the country.

I get excited at the idea of leaving…but where would I go? What will I do? Where will I live?

Do I move to get out of a city full of smog?

Do I find something that keeps the rest of my life as it is and just humbly soldier on?

Honestly, I do have responsibilities here.

I lead a Cub Scout den. I will start leading Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map book club for the “South of Houston” area in January (I would have to give that up – and I don’t wanna.) I am a member of a church that I have grown to love and get excited to attend every week.

I would love to work locally though, heck – I’d love to work from home! Wouldn’t that be awesome! I could do a lot if I worked from home. I would save money and not be on the road so much. I don’t think it will happen, but it is fun to dream.

I feel stuck. I shouldn’t because I have time, experience, and options on my side.

I feel let down because something I thought would last is ending.

I feel nervous because of timing and possibilities. Fortunately some of those possibilities are out of my control and with a little prayer and meditation the nervousness can be tempered.

I also feel excited by those possibilities. What could happen if I just step out of this shell that I’ve encased myself in? What if I find exactly what I am looking for in a job and career?

What if something amazing happens because now I get to look for it out in the open without recourse by my employer because they told me to see what’s out there?

Now time to reread my post from last week…I think that line of thinking is key to my next step.

Until next time –

Just found on Raw for Beauty’s facebook page, by way of the Desire Map group. It’s long but so beautiful and appropriate for this post.

What makes You itch?

What makes you itch? ~Alan Watts

I love that.

I hear that and so many ideas come to mind. Writing the great American Novel, Globe School, having a Bed and Breakfast, being a stay at home mom, or being a successful independent business woman. But what really makes me itch? More pointedly, as Alan asks at the end of the video

“What do I desire?”

All kinds of things.

Galveston Beach - Sunset September 29

Galveston, Sunny Beach, Sunset – September 29, 2013

I challenge you to ask yourself every morning while you are brushing your teeth,

“What do I desire today?”

Where will you be if you work to create the feelings inside of you that fulfill that desire?

Do you desire happiness? This is a choice made each day. Make it and own your happiness.

Do you desire freedom? We are not as free as we once were, but we are as free as we want to be to drive down the road with the top down, to run around the beach, to go out into the world and experience it. We are free to be ourselves. Claim your freedom.

Do you desire love? This is trickier, but I think you must love yourself broken and bruised before anyone else can love you. Until the day you meet someone who is the shining reflection of your inner light keep yourself a work in progress.

Don’t let yourself be defined by the people who may have broken you before.

You are worthy of love. Believe it.

But these aren’t really what this video is about. This video is about way more than that.

Alan Watts is speaking about the quality of your life.

“What would you do if money were no object?”

Imagine for a moment that you are the most wealthy woman (or man) to ever inherit money on the planet and never had to work another day in your life.

How would you fill the hours?

Would you paint?

Would you write?

Would you buy a farm and tend the land?

Would you fight for the causes that cause you the most heartache?

Would you simply live life and raise a family?

Would you spend your life in selfish pursuits? I’m not judging, it’s a valid choice.

Dock for Post 10-10

Galveston Bay, Sometime in April, from the balcony of Noah’s Ark Cafe

I think I would not hesitate on globe school a moment longer. My sons and I would head out as soon as the money was in the bank! But even traveling and educating them would leave me with a hole, a void that would need to be filled.

I do not exist in a vacuum. I see through the façade too easily to be able to live so solitarily for too long.

After our journey I would buy a B&B somewhere and settle into writing books and cleaning toilets and making delicious gourmet treats. I would find a way to give back to the community.

But life isn’t this way. We have to work. We have to live. We have to make money for the things that pay for the fact that we live in the world we do.

On second thought and as Alan Watts states in the video,

“If money IS the only thing, then you will spend your entire life completely wasting your time.”

I have moments where I know I am completely wasting my time. I do too much that I have to do and not enough of what I want to do. I ignore the desires. I hide in my happiness because that is a choice I make each day, but it’s not always how I feel.

That’s not right!

We all enter the world with a purpose that is ours to discover and we are blessed with the abilities to do it, whatever “it” is.

Money is a means by which we have to live, but it should not define us.

What if we stopped focusing so much on monetary value and started to focus on our worth?

What if we focused on our passion?

What would you do?

Would you write? Would you paint? Would you have more children? Would you give of yourself to charity?

It is baffling, but there are actually people who love to sit at a desk all day maintaining ledgers and making the world run.

What if we each did what we were meant to do instead of what we have to do?

So much of our daily activity is soul crushing and menial.

Statistically as our society and culture became center more on money, than on pursuits of passion, the need for mental health treatment has risen – dramatically.

That should tell you something.

We have problems because we were not made to have money as our only focus. We were not made to be slaves to a clock or to sit in cubes and offices all day doing nothing but mindless tasks.

We were made to create!

We were made to be free!

We were made to love and live on this miraculous planet.

So, what makes you itch?