Sunday, February 12, 2012

Taking a chance on ourselves

So, needless to say, I haven't written in a while. In truth I've been finding myself kind of resistant to it lately. It's a combination of things like spending more and more free time painting (such as the piece here)

But it's also been a time of more reflection after all that has gone on the last few years. I focused so much on writing about what was happening that now it's been nice to just gestate a while.

Of course there are still plenty of things to talk about or that flit through my mind on a regular basis, so hopefully the writing bug has bitten me again; even if just a little.

One thing that I'm always pondering is the perception people have of me going through the various disasters of my life: financial collapse, relationship challenges, being un-homed for a year, and so on. It happens regularly that people think that I weathered it without scars or plenty of moments when hope seemed dismally low. The only thing that I can claim with some reasonable sense is that I tried to keep the difference clear between how I felt and how I treated people around me.

And it's always interesting to me how different people fill in the gaps of my story to fit their inspirational needs. For some it seems that I must be calm because I must meditate several hours a day. For others I must do Tai Chi all the time, or never eat pizza, or drink a beer. One thing is for sure, I could never live up to those standards. I'm much to flakey to remember to do everything I should be doing, and I'm much more easily distracted than people would give credit for.

It makes me smile to think of the super human abilities that people ascribe to me, but if given a chance, I will generally encourage people to do what I work on doing: embrace their own quirks and idiosyncrasies before trying to live up to any other standards that don't ring true to their hearts.

I have firm belief that we spend so much time and effort living by someone else's standards, or what we imagine should be our standards, that often we forget to ask ourselves the simple questions that really matter to us as individuals. Such as: What do I really like? Who do I really want to be? They're simple questions but so easily overlooked. And too often I see people feel like it's too late once they do ask those questions of themselves. But I don't think so.

I am a strong supporter of doing whatever is necessary in order to get through life's ups and downs. And we should give ourselves a break when our capacities aren't quite up to the level we'd like. But sooner or later I hope that anyone asking those questions of themselves does one simple yet fairly frightening thing: Take a chance on yourself! Whether it's job related, hobbies of one sort or another, or especially the relationships we want, it's gotta be you that steps up.

I know some have said to me that they are afraid that what they find on the other side of those questions might be something they don't like. But in my opinion, and experience to date, you always find yourself on the other side. And if that is going to be true then ask one other simple question: What is wrong with you that you'd be afraid to be you?

So lets hope the writing bug is back. And in the meantime, back to some painting...

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