Expressing what's going on in my head has brought clarity to my life. These are some of the articles I've written.
- Intensity Seeker (poem) (Aug., 96)
- Choices: A Story Of A Tomboy (Sept., 97)
- An Amazing Coincidence (March, 98)
- Radical Honesty, What A Concept (Jan., 99)
- Dialogue With God On Money (May, 99)
- Meditation Experience (Sept., 99)
- Procrastinating (June, 00)
- The Difficult Boss (Sept., 00)
Mid-life Crisis at 34?
"Who knew the pen could be a savior."
In 1992 Bernie and I started a business in addition to our two careers. We hoped the business would fulfill our dreams of being financially independent. The business relied heavily on our ability to lead people. Since we had no prior experience leading people, we knew we'd have to change if people were going to follow us and take our advice. So we read books, lots of books. Listened to tapes and attended seminars on leadership and personal growth. I had always been into personal growth so it was wonderful that I got to do it for business reasons AND Bernie, who had never been into it, could share my passion. The business grew, we changed, life was good.
One of the concepts I got out of all those books, tapes and seminars, was that attitude played a huge role in our lives. I really dove into the concept of having a good attitude. Having a good attitude wasn't difficult for me, I already had one. The whole concept that reality was a perception, that it's subjective, and what really mattered was our reaction to that reality, became a major base from which I operated. To me, the glass was definitely half full.
I also learned that you can change the way you feel by changing how and what you say to yourself. Your internal "self talk." Its difficult to be sad when your smiling and thinking about the good things in life. Saying "I feel great!", independent of what you're feeling, works! So anytime I felt fear, hurt, anger or doubt, I would just smile and think "Happy thoughts." I also wanted to be supportive of Bernie. I didn't want my negativity to effect him. So the only things he heard from me were positive. I focused on seeing only the good, turned a deaf ear to my irritations, suppressed any anger, and swallowed my disappointments. This worked wonderfully for almost two years. The business was thriving. The money was rolling in. We were becoming better people...then, something happened.
I became intensely depressed. I mean, we're talking big time. I have never been so low in all of my life. Crying on the couch, pleading to God to tell me what was going on, and desperate for any sign that would help me understand what was happening to me. I withdrew from people, withdrew from the business, withdrew from life. The more I tried to snap myself out of it, the worse it got. Pretending everything was great wasn't working anymore.
Unfortunately, Bernie was still in intense-business-partner mode, not in compassionate-husband mode. So most of the feedback I got from him was, "just change your attitude...do something...do you want to feel this way, change it...read a book or something"...etc. etc. (Mind you, this is NOT how he remembers it) But deeper and deeper I went into this swirling, sucking, festering eddy of despair.
This went on for about 3 months. Then I met a group of people at a place I started freelancing for. They were "live for the moment" type people. No thoughts of the future, fun was their goal. They didn't expect me to change, they thought my attitude was great, they liked me the way I was. With this encouragement, I rebelled. Rebelled from the business, rebelled from Bernie, rebelled from responsibility, rebelled from the books, the tapes, and the meetings. I went a little crazy. Ok, a lot crazy. I left a wake of destruction in my path. Eventually I "came to my senses".
After mending some wounds I created from this craziness, I found myself in limbo land. I didn't want to go back to the world of "pretending everything was grand". Massive feelings of negativity had now been generated in regards to discipline, goals, and "shoulds". Yet I didn't want my life to have no purpose either. I couldn't live a life void of responsibility. So I drifted, and floated, and wandered what the hell I was suppose to do now.
It felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff. Looking to the left, looking to the right, not wanting to go in either direction. They both looked precariously rocky below. So I was living my life at the mercy of my feelings, yet feeling that to "change" them, was pointless and a denial of who I was.
Questions, so many questions. Questions like, there are times when I feel unmotivated, but don't feel any great urgency to change that. Why would I want to stay unmotivated? What could possible be good about being lazy? What happens if I don't feeeeeeel like changing my attitude? How do I know whether feeling boredom is a sign that a change is needed or to keep plowing ahead in the same direction? How can I change my emotions without denying what I'm feeling?
Then, I found Options (more about the Option Method) and everything began to turn around for me. Here are the changes I experienced..
-high energy level
-ignored my wants
-outwardly success oriented
-thought money was king
-confused but enthusiastic
-in search of "truth"
-self disciplined thru guilt
-others MADE me feel things
-I made people unhappy
-loved to laugh
-agonized over fitting in
-ability to FORCE success
-inquisitive, curious, interviewer
-constantly working on changing myself
-passion for reading
-loved the ocean/nature/animals
-outwardly confident/innerly insecure
-whatever the majority thinks, is "right"
-wanted to change the world
-anti-traditional male/female roles
-faster was better
-awful at maintaining friendships
-high energy level
-only move if its fun
-focus on my wants
-still never do enough
-just want to be happy and fulfilled
-believes money gives you options
-less confused but enthusiastic!
-we create truth
-motivated by wants
-don't hang w/ those people any more
-I MAKE myself feel things
-people make themselves unhappy
-princess-warrior against guilt
-if I fit in, great, if not, so be it
-working on following my wants
-me and Oprah are pals
-constantly working on understanding myself
-obsessed with reading
-now live by the ocean in nature
-self righteous, but aware of it
-outwardly confident/innerly secure
-sometimes serious, sometimes dingy
-what the majority thinks, doesn't mean anything
-want to change lives
-less militant about male/female roles
-faster is better but now w/ patience
-awful at maintaining friendships, but that's okay
next: Intensity Seeker (a poem)
Staff, H. (2009, November 10). My Writing, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, October 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/relationships/creating-relationships/my-writing