Many times in my life I didn’t join in on fun with others because I thought it was “weird” or those people were weird. I didn’t want to look weird. I didn’t want to embarrass myself. I didn’t want to look silly. I didn’t want people noticing or judging me! I was so damn judgmental of what was weird. In reality, I really was different and didn’t like it. I had mental illness and I was uncomfortable in my own skin. I didn’t like myself. I didn’t love myself. I missed out on so much.
Some people will enter their 50s or more and suffer with depression, anxiety and regret because of the choices they made or didn’t make. They feel like they wasted their years. It took me many years to learn to not care what others think about the way I walk, talk, dress, eat, sleep, or live my life. Live your life on your terms. Get in touch with your inner freak! We’re all different and special, and weird in some quirky way. Get over it and get on with your life!
I admit I was also a very shy, introverted and ultra conservative person! I had numerous mental disorders as well. I didn’t want to “look” crazy or scare people. I was just a mess! And here’s the thing that is most heartbreaking is allowing what we perceive someone else to be thinking about us to dictate our behavior. In my many years of living, I had to learn to take some huge risks in order to free myself from fears and limiting behavior. I am in the position now to teach my adult children how to embrace life and enjoy it’s beauty no matter what anyone thinks.
Go ahead and hug a tree even if it looks weird. Wear those clothes that look odd or some think are “weird.” Look ridiculous! Dance, laugh and have a jolly old time. If you’re going out in public and it’s scary for you, rehearse at home how you’re going to behave in public. I used to do that with my kids when they were little before we went to the store. We talked about where we were going, what they were going to do (like hold on to the cart, stay with me, not beg for things, use their inside voices, etc…). I had to do it to help keep me focused on what was necessary and to make sure I had their cooperation.
Spend time getting comfortable in your own skin. Embrace the weirdness! Nowadays, I look in the mirror and just laugh at myself and the things I used to be so afraid of. I’m defintely weird, too! I do not fit the “norm” whatever that may be and I’m okay with it! I love me and accept me just the way I am. I still practice how I am going to be when I go out. I have a tendency to be quiet and shy. I think about what I’m going to say, how I’m going to present myelf and be friendly. It helps to practice it with safe people, too, like a grocery clerk. Love yourself and share your light with the world!
I love my teddy bear! Sometimes people don’t understand how I’m feeling and don’t know what to do or say. But my faithful Reddy Teddy does! He just listens and let’s me cry. Sometimes we end up laughing! He’s very wise and always loving. Do you have a teddy bear who understands?
I’ve been working on a new book about being crystal clear. It took me a long time to get to this place. There have been many moments of revelation or aha moments over the years, but nothing too dramatic until I got very serious about it! Part of it is because I was so ill and dysfunctional. What if someone had told me what they did to get clarity? Would I have cared or listened? Perhaps I’d say, “You don’t understand!” Or, “You don’t know what I’ve been through!” Even better, “You don’t know what you’re talking about!” It’s my general response, because let’s face it, I’m an expert on me, myself, and I! At least, that’s what I thought. It’s not that I couldn’t hear anyone else’s perspective or opinion, but I wasn’t open to it. I could hear it, but easily dismissed it. I had many excuses for my condition, and couldn’t accept that someone else might know another way to help me heal.
My husband and I have been driving up the Mississippi River these past couple of weeks. We’ve seen the power of the river. It has served as the livelihood and the devastation of many people for many years. I see how people used the river to help their business, and then fought it as it flooded their towns. People put up sand bags, levees and took different tactics to save themselves. It was heartbreaking to read these different stories of the devastation many times. However, they survived! Those who didn’t lose their lives or move away rebuilt them! They adjusted their course. Built their houses on stilts or took other measures to protect themselves when the river overflowed. The river is constantly changing.
The world is constantly changing, growing, evolving and shifting. How could I possibly stay the same??? Yet, that’s precisely what I did for many years. I allowed my past to define my present. Very silly! I allowed myself to live in a mental and spiritual rut which kept me very sick. I lived in fear of people who had hurt me in the past when they no longer had power over me.
I didn’t give myself permission to be happy because I had always been sad and depressed. Not only that but I didn’t feel worthy to be happy. The world was scary and dangerous! You can’t control a river but you might be able to contain or work with it. You can’t control other people, but you can shine your light and be an example for all to see how to shine their own!
Treat yourself with love, respect and dignity so others can see how to to do it as well! I love to ask questions to get myself and others thinking to come up with their own answers. Asking questions helps to gain clarity. What needs clarity so you can change and adapt to the changing times? How can you be part of the solution and not the problem? What needs clarification?
In the last few weeks, my son turned 18 years old, my daughter blessed me with a second grand-daughter, and I planned with my husband across the country away from my new little babe! We’ve spent long hours planning this trip, on the road, trying to sleep, and enjoy myself. Life is just frustrating at times! I miss the kiddos back home, but we did Skype once. There’s also the unreliable GPS, and at times nonexistent internet connection! Such a trip! Prior to the internet, there were other frustrations like maybe we had the wrong map or we had no idea how far it was to the next town for a potty stop. Times have changed drastically!
Even more so are my personal changes. We all change at some point, for better or worse. Some of us are moving forward, others are stagnant, and still others are going backwards. That’s why it’s important to be flexible, go with the flow, take a breath, relax and keep your head up. Don’t let these little nuances get you down! Also, if take advantage of the precious moments, you never know what could happen just around the bend. Here’s a really hard one I’ve had to learn, don’t stay stuck with the same information! We get inundated with new information all of the time and sometimes it’s because an application gets updated, or new details are added! It’s easy to get frustrated and say, “but I thought….” It’s simply time to go with the flow and adjust your sails for the new information or I can ignore it, too, especially if it’s irrelevant! That’s where your intuition needs to kick in. Do you trust yourself to make the right choice? Be flexible to be wise!