Why am I telling you all this?

I’ve felt compelled to share some of my history, simply because it continues to take me by surprise when people in my life now make comments like “Are you ever not smiling?” “Have you ever been unhappy?” “Do you ever get upset about anything?”

Because, of course things occur in my life and I don’t smile, and I feel sad, and I get upset. Heck, for a long time in my life, I “smiled” under such duress, I’m not sure I knew what a genuinely happy smile looked like/ felt like. I was so deeply unhappy, I couldn’t imagine there was anything else to be. And happy people looked so strange, and foreign; I decided they were fake. Or doing drugs. I was upset about damned near *everything* in my life.  I hurt, deep within the center of my being; I ached. And I hated it. And me. And everything.

And the events in my life have not magically changed. There are still things that are very sad and very challenging that happen in my life. What is different, is, oddly enough, that I fully experience them – no matter how crappy or even happy that they feel to me in the moment – I fully experience them when they happen. (We’ll talk about what that means, as we go along…)

I have come to realize that the pain and suffering that I felt to be the constant of my life, was occurring because – out of my fear of the pain and suffering – I was trying to NOT experience what was happening, fully. Heck, I was trying to NOT experience it, any at all. Hello!! It was crappy! Who would want to experience that fully? That would be fully crappy!!  Or so I thought.  And so I continued “living”  in this odd little story that I wanted to be happy, so I must push away, or push down, or choke on, every emotion that didn’t fit my definition of “happy” or “positive” or “good” or “right.”

I was flipping exhausted all the time, trying to stop all the “negative” “bad” “wrong” thoughts and emotions and events from occurring in my life. From occurring in me. And I was miserable. And the people I tried to love? Well, I’m guessing they were pretty miserable, too.  I say “tried to love,” because, tell me truly – how loving can a person be, when their core experience is misery?  Of course, there is love; of course there is caring; of course there is wanting the best for everyone that one loves…. But, again, how functional, how uplifting, how nurturing can “love” be, when it is sourced in a steady background of self-loathing and pain?

Does any of this sound any kind of familiar?  Now that I am not caught up in that matrix of misery, it is easy to see it around me, everyday; people continuing to do this crazy thing to themselves and the people they love, all the time.

And I am here, saying all of this, to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. That a shift is possible. And it is easy, if you want it. And the effects are transformational. And, while the focus is simply on your self – the ripple effects are impossible to stop!  This shift will impact your closest friends and relatives. And out into your community. And it will flipping Change The World.  And it is. Changing the World, that is.  And, if you come along for the ride – well, you can tell me if anything changes for you.  Talk to me, in the comments…