Not With The New, But With The Present Too

I don’t give with expectations of something in return. When I give, I give with love and with love there is never any regrets.

I’m in a job that I don’t enjoy. Every morning I wake up to a tape already playing in my mind about how miserable I am; creating ways to get out of going to work knowing full well I will show up, make the best of it, and give 100% (and then some just to make up for what everyone else around me isn’t).

I woke up thinking about another day at home trying to work and take care of my son, and shopping, and life in general.

Trying to take care of my sanity, find myself in this new day to day schedule that has what I knew turned completely upside down.

But, if I’m honest with myself, every day for the most part is like this.

I wake up hating my job.

I wake up wondering how much longer it’s going to take to find another; and then I feel resentful.

Resentful for what I don’t have, resentment for what I think I am entitled to by praying, trying, and giving.

I wish I could say I pray, give, and do all while expecting nothing in return, but that would be a big lie.

I do pray to change my life.

I do want change, especially in a job that I know I have grown out of.

But, try as I might to understand why things are running at a snail’s pace and why nothing seems to be moving in the direction I’d prefer; I’m reminded of how many times I complain about the world (others) not giving me what I want when I almost literally forget that I too am not giving what I want.

I’m not giving myself the permission to heal.

I’m not giving myself the permission to feel without resentment.

Showing up for life isn’t about winning a trophy or getting some prize.

I wish I could recognize this sooner.

Instead, it’s about loving what life isn’t giving you, so you can appreciate what you have.

In that mindset I can look forward to the time I’m going to get with my son today; and I can show up for the times when I simply need a break.

Often, we want what we’re first not giving.

We want validation for a job well done when we’re not showing gratitude towards what others have done for us.

We want a new job without truly showing up with a good attitude for the one we have.

We want our loves to be more attentive when all the while we’re complaining about what they’re not giving.

Turning our judgement back around on ourselves offers light (hopefully not more judgment).

It illuminates where our minds and hearts are at any given time.

It shows us the love we want is not the love we are giving.

And while I know it can be easier said than done to change this, I do know that when I do and when I stay in that space even if only briefly, I see what true freedom really is.

It’s not a new job.

It’s not a new relationship or winning a million dollars (though I wouldn’t turn it away if I did)

It’s about showing up to your thoughts and where they’re taking you (the feeling associated with them most importantly) to see what you’re first giving.

And as you do, you may understand that the world was never doing anything to you, rather it was returning to you what you first gave it.

So, I hope today you (like me) give yourself a break.

Give yourself the freedom to feel, to think, and to be; and depending on where that’s all taking you (and others) give yourself the permission to change, to be happy.

A happiness that goes far beyond how we’ve traditionally defined it.

Not just with the new, but with the present too.

Living Without the Do’s and Don’ts

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief. – Proverbs 14:12-13

I work in a world where I often hear folks say that feelings are treacherous, that they don’t care what people feel, they want to know what they think; forgetting entirely that the two are so intertwined that they bring forth emotion and belief; the two main principals of our lives, shaping them at all times.

Growing up in church I was often told what not to say, and what was wrong (with me and those around me).

Don’t have sex before marriage (which in reality made me all the more curious).

Don’t kiss on the first date.

Don’t be gay; gay is bad, God punishes gay people.

Be nice.

Be positive.

Be a good girl.

Get married.

Have children.

Be happy.

And above all else, don’t curse (especially as a woman because that would be the real tragedy in life).

As a result of these do’s and don’ts, coupled with the confusion I was living with at home, I had no idea how to process anything I was feeling about all the above.

Why was sex bad?

And why couldn’t I have sex when there was so much abuse surrounding what I thought sex was?

Christians and all of humanity I believe must come to realize that telling people what not to be or what not do (instead of telling them what’s natural about being human) causes so much unhappiness and destruction.

I know for me growing up with that message about sex led to fear; fear of my own body, and shame for what I naturally experienced.

When man stops being afraid of his own mind, his own thoughts, and his own reactions to both; he can begin to love himself in a new way.

Not through analysis or over thinking, and certainly not through punishment or the “someone’s gonna get ya!” mentality, but through observation, which is what I think Proverbs 14:12-13 was attempting to address.

Feeling, emotion, thought; all of them will take you to both destruction and joy.

But, showing up and observing them through the power invested in all human beings will bring about a a much different kind of result.

A result based first in acceptance, showing people that they don’t have to be afraid of themselves.

They don’t have to be afraid of death.

And they don’t have to be afraid of life.

Because both were already conquered through a spirit and a name that resides in all of us when we freely accept it.