The Crazy Truth

I hold these truths to be self-evident (and freeing):

1. None of us are normal.

2. All of us are more screwed-up than we realize.

3. It’s okay to be a work-in-progress. (Embrace criticism.)

4. We make things worse by pretending to be normal and projecting blame and shame on everyone else.

5. Delighting in each other (and ourselves) in spite of the crazy is the way out of self-inflicted torture.

6. “The only way to beat my crazy was by doing something even crazier.”  (from Silver Lining Playbook) Translation: By focusing fanatically on a larger goal and larger world outside of my suffocating angst, I overcame it.

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Accept it and laugh on.

Middle of the Night Assessments

Thinking, thinking, thinking of all the ways I have screwed up, relationships I had marred, the many flavors of stupidity I let fly out of my mouth, and my inaccurate estimations of myself at the root of all these embarrassing displays of weird. In the middle of the night I can quickly label myself as unredeemable or I can remember that it is the middle of the night when I am most prone to be out of whack.

I can wait until morning for judgement, when rested, when I will see that I am more than this: still a work in progress, a mixture of bright and dull, awesome and not so awesome, light and dark, sunshine and shadow.

 

Distilled Power

My romantic relationships and my work relationships improved when I quit worrying about how I was being perceived, or how I was being treated, what had just happened, or what was going to happen next. So did my tennis game. And my relationship with my kids and in-laws. And my health. And my joy. And my ability to have a good night’s sleep.

It took me over thirty years to figure that out with relationships. Over ten with something as inconsequential as tennis. Still working on it with new clients, new challenges, and strangers.

Most of us spend our waking hours splintered out in so many directions that we don’t even know what true focus is. People who bring their complete attention and focus with them wherever they go are so rare that when we are lucky enough to meet one, we cannot forget them. They are distilled and refreshing power: the power we have always longed for.

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About Time

If you haven’t seen this delightful 2013 movie About Time, it is a refreshing reminder to relish life, one ordinary day at a time. If you don’t want to see the movie, or feel like your life is too ordinary to get excited about, try this:

  • Look out your window as if you were on vacation, traveling to your city and your neighborhood for the very first time
  • See your family and friends as if for the first time
  • Forget about what you want them to do differently and delight in them just as they are

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Stay tune for great joy. And…it’s about time!

Dark Messages from the Night

I wake peacefully in an orderly room.

Yet, here, in the dazzling new light

Myriads of dark voices speak from the night

Of sirens, terror, and trouble

Obliterated rooms in cities of rubble

I throw off the cover and move fluidly to my feet

Hearing pained whispers of those incomplete

With missing limbs, children, and necessary things

My face wet with water while the desktop dings

Then, I choose my breakfast from a chilled collection

While feeble voices moan for help and protection

It is there I digest the message, You are not quite safe

Perched here, precariously, on the edge of fate 

 

This poem is not about fear, it is about awareness of the troubles millions experience on this planet right now, and about how easy it is to be oblivious to, and surprised by, the imminence of change.

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Miracle Cure

With ample supply of this amazing elixir, I can:

  1. Overcome pain
  2. Disregard criticism
  3. Persevere through obstacles
  4. Smile at the future
  5. Heal my dis-ease
  6. Accomplish goals
  7. Forgive others’ faults
  8. Love fully

What is the elixir?

Confidence in my own worth;

Knowledge that my value is equal to the value of any and every created being that ever lived or will live; knowledge that even death cannot destroy my eternal presence and purpose; awareness that my value is something given freely to me. My value does not have to be earned or defended.

What time, energy, and sanity I would have saved if I had taken this elixir early and often.

(originally posted in 2013)

And the Worst Fault Is…

When I am preoccupied with the faults of exes, politicians, competitors, or relatives, I may be with the majority, but it is the mediocre majority.

When I am preoccupied with the faults of others, I will be tied and bound to ineffectiveness, derailed from happiness, and blind to my own culpability.

When I am preoccupied with the faults of anyone, I will miss the best opportunities of my life while groveling for my own self-worth at the muddy feet of jealousy.

And even worse, by my example, I will pull others down with me, to wallow in the smug and dirty alleys of vanity.

Belonging to Ourselves

No hustling for worthiness.

No valuing myself by someone else’s measurement.

No comparisons.

Shouldering responsibility for my own happiness.

Allowing others to belong to themselves.

Drawing nourishment from the one and only, unique relationship with my Creator, from which all sustaining relationships are born.

Honoring the fleeting, fertile moments in this body, here and now.

Loving the Attention Too Much?

In a recent, vivid dream, I was being treated with great care and attention in opulent surroundings. I loved the special feeling this gave me, yet, in the dream, I also knew the lavish treatment was frighteningly subject to change; based completely upon my money and allegiance.

On the other hand, in real life, I can be okay with “third-class treatment” if I am detached from others’ opinions of me. Not in-your-face, making-a-statement detached: instead, a healthy independence where I care about people simply to care about people (not to influence what I might get in return).

This is the purest state of peace I have ever known.

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The Nature Doc

It’s nothing new that nature soothes, heals, and puts our senses in order. The problem is often our inability to access nature.

  • If I am caught up in self-pity or the pain of disappointment, sucked into my couch’s black hole…
    • Someone asks me to go outside, I say no
    • And, if I don’t go, it will be more difficult to go later
  • If I am stuck inside working (or sick in bed) all day, I can’t visit the “Nature Doctor”…
    • That’s when I must go to my stored-up memories of mountains and waterfalls
    • Or use my Google machine to call up images
    • Or “switch apps” or “change the channel” in my brain to refresh
  • If I see nature everyday, but it has lost the power to impress me…
    • My callousness to miracles is the most difficult problem to fix
    • I have to imagine being confined underground, in prison, or in a hospital
    • And see the sun and sky for the first time
    • Taste the water, smell the grass, feel the wind, touch a leaf