The Ugly Confession

Dear Diary,

You know what hurts so bad? It’s all my fault. I know I said it wouldn’t happen again, but it’s my period and my thoughts got the better of me and I–wait. No. I know I can’t say that. Those are my thoughts, they’re my responsibility. But whatever. I thought them and they hurt so leave me alone!!

(I just want to quickly note here that Welsh boys have beautiful square jaws. I had not noticed this before today, but there are two guys in our chem class and they’re from Wales and they are h-o-t. I digress.)

So, I saw Dave sitting with this girl. This woman. I know I probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Yes. My thoughts drove me to do that too. My thoughts. Yes. My responsibility. Okay. So I guess what I’m saying Dear Diary is that I had a choice to go bra shopping with my sister, and I need bras, and instead I drove across town to stalk my own boyfriend.

I am so grateful that diaries do not have eyes to stare at me in shame.What good could come of an emotional girl alone in a car with her worried thoughts? I. Should. Have. Known. But no, I went in. Yes Dear Diary. I went in.

Of course she had the audaciousness to be gorgeous. Just what I needed. For my boyfriend to be having meetings with an accountant who looks like Beyonce. I feel sick. I thought this shit ended when I was a teenager.

For the first time in my life I’m too ashamed to tell you what I did. It’s that bad. It’s U-N-F-O-R-G-I-V-A-B-L-E. It was awful for her, it was awful for him, it was awful for anyone who even saw it happen. And here’s the best part….

It wasn’t a romantic lunch.

That was his boss’s daughter. I called him a two-timing cheat–I told her he beat his dog! Have I lost my mind? Why would I say something like that? I was just so…. MAD. I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW. Mad because of my thinking. I couldn’t have been mad about her. She was trying to help him. And do you know the worst part? She was nice. Super really truly nice. I #*&%ing hate that.

So there I was, without you, on the weekend, with Dave. I can’t write to you, I can’t get these feelings out, and I am just avoiding too much eye contact with Dave because I have no idea what to say. What do you say after something like that? What do you say to your own girlfriend when by 22 she has totally destroyed your career and your life?

I know. You would think he would want to dump me in the street. But do you know what he did? He told me he’d never seen me this quiet before. And so he sat down with me and he asked if it was about what happened with Tina (her). I told him I was afraid if we started talking that he would break up with me. That seemed to really hurt him knowing that and he hugged me.

He told me I was horrible. He reminded me of times I was horrible before. And he told me he didn’t want to live with me doing things like that for the rest of his life–BUT… he also thinks I’m the most beautiful thing in the world and he wants to be with me forever!!!!!!!

CAN YOU BE-LIEVE THAT!????????He said he loves me. Not just good me. And he knows loving bad me is harder. but he loves all of me anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. He loves all of me, including the horrible parts. He loves my horrible parts because their they’re mine!!!! Can you believe that?????

If there was ever a man to learn to control my own thoughts with it’s this one. If he can love me like that then I want to love him like that back. Can you imagine how that would feel!!!!????

I have to stop speculating and live in the now. I just don’t want to wake up one day and he’s with someone else–Okay. Oops!!! There’s the future right there. Sorry. I guess I’ll just keep this in mind and do it moment by moment.

Do you think that one day I could forgive myself and love myself the way he loves me? Dave’s self-love doesn’t feel egotistical it feels like respect. Maybe I should start there. Tomorrow I’m going to treat myself with respect. And I guess not having to be perfect means I can at least relax into being me. I just wish “me” hadn’t ruined Beyonce’s dress like that. I’m so sorry Dave. I’ll think less and love more. I promise.

peace-out. Dave’s <3 Love <3

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

The Friday Dose #128: Loving Relationships

1008-fd-relax-and-succeed-what-destroys-an-intimate-relationshipI’ve written about it many times. You can’t ask another person to create a great relationship for you. Those things come from the inside. If you’re always in a state of want, if you always have something you need from that person then who are you to them? You’re a burden. But you weren’t a burden when you were falling in love. You were practically willing to be a servant!

1008-fd-relax-and-succeed-to-come-upon-love-without-seeking-itWeird isn’t it? It’s counter-intuitive at first, but not after some meditation. If we’re always asking others to live for us then they are forced to defer their own life to lead the one we claim we need. But if I’m a servant I’m always helpful and worthwhile and valuable. If I’m so picky about how the house looks for company that I torture my family with anal-retentivity then is the beautiful home really valuable at all, or is it now just a source of abuse?

Some people have huge insecurities that lead to jealousy, leaving partners having to live their entire life in their partner’s fearful context when that’s not their own context. It is literally a form of being a prisoner. All actions are dictated by that identity. The same with people with tempers. If your spouse blows up the moment something goes wrong then you stop living your life and you just start trying to make sure nothing goes wrong, even though that’s inevitable. It’s a life on eggshells.

It is not other people’s jobs to live to your script. No one made you the screenwriter, director and producer of the film of all of our lives. We are not co-stars in your movie, our jobs are not to get things the way you want them. We are individuals and we have hopes and dreams just like you and they’re just as important as yours. Healthy partners don’t ask, they offer. We can all take turns at being unhealthy, but if someone lives their life in that state then that is not their partner’s problem to fix.

Have a great weekend everyone.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.

Emotional Conversion

938 Relax and Succeed - When you have a choiceThere are people–maybe you’re one of them–who genuinely enjoy pain just like you might enjoy a foot massage. I know that seems odd to many of you but the only reason most of us have similar-ish likes is that we were all raised in a similar way. Add just one oddity to someone’s upbringing and they can easily end up liking something like being scared or in pain or in danger. This can happen based on even one notable but pretty basic experience.

There are people who get tattoos for the pain, work out for the pain, run for the pain, lift for the pain, there are people who enjoy piercings and S&M and BDSM, not to mention the people on Jackass. So that proves that people can take unpleasant feelings and somehow rewrite them to positives, and if they can then you can too. You can take the negative feelings you currently have and you can rewrite them into something enjoyable.

Anger is a reaction to a fear. Find out what fear is holding your back and realise that your growth is on the other side of it. The place where you expand is outside of your comfort zone. So to develop a skill of any type you must be willing to fail and be wrong. But those are also the steps that lead to ability, so rather than be afraid of failing and being angry about having to face it, we could convert that feeling into the big, confident sensation we get when we know we’ve prepared well.

938 Relax and Succeed - Until we have met the monsters in ourselvesSadness is a reaction to disconnection. The sadder people are the more their discussions are sad and the less people are motivated to listen. If the person is sad long enough people surrender hope they’ll change and they just see them as a generally sad person. But if someone can’t help their friend’s sadness and low energy and they’re no fun to be with then it makes sense that disconnection will eventually happen. It’s healthy for the healthy person to disengage.

If you’re the sad person you can use those departures as fuel for your negative self-defeating narratives or you can see it for what it is: information. It’s no surprise that people hang around other people who are fun and interesting and people who are sad all the time are neither. By enjoying yourself you’ll attract other happy people and that will create more connections and a greater sense of belonging and happiness. But to do that you have to be out there.

Keep in mind you can also pervert good feelings into pain. I know people who hear about the struggles of others but don’t care at all. Their lack of empathy robs them of the rich feelings that go with connecting with others. Some people care but they don’t really give it much consideration so they skip over some bad feelings but they miss out on the good ones too. And then there are people who are tortured by the plight of the less fortunate and they are angry, hurt and largely ineffective.

938 Relax and Succeed - Some people want it to happenThose angry hurt feelings could be wonderful feelings of rich connection if they were converted from thoughts about how things should be into actions of leading to how they could be. Your compassion is worth far less to you if it’s not going and helping out and connecting with friends or helping at a shelter or something somewhere where you can convert your compassion into a wonderfully meaningful shared experience.

Just like with pain we can use compassion to hurt ourselves or we can use it to teach ourselves to consciously enjoy a rich life. The choice is ours.

Feelings are feelings. You tilt them with your thinking. Anxiousness can be excitement. Worry can be potential. Fear can be determination. Sadness can be connection. It all depends on what you actively do.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.

Surrendering Control

Everything about our society encourages us to think of the future. We work for the bills we will have, we place on a calendar where we will be in the future, and many times we take courses and jobs not for themselves, but as a way of working toward a future we’ve imagined is ours. Even the hourly news speculates constantly on what might happen.

924 Relax and Succeed - I don't know where I'm goingHere’s how the future is a dangerous thing: there’s other people creating it too, so the combination of your efforts will not always take you where you want to go. It may take you somewhere better, but even if it is better you’re likely to not want to go there if it’s not what your expectation was. If you stop and think it’s not hard to find examples of things and people that you didn’t expect to like but you ended up loving them anyway.

You’re actually not very consistent at picking what you’ll enjoy most which is why when you’re more enlightened one of the things that will happen is you’ll be a lot more okay with the unexpected events. Rather than thinking you’re now off-target, the enlightened person realizes the odds are just as good that the unexpected events are an improvement. So they just wait and see while others start using words and actions to push against the unexpected and toward the expected.

Can you see that one is flow and one is resistance? It’s like the God-Universe is an octopus and each bit of reality is a tentacle on this magical octopus. So “you” are like one tentacle who feels separate and distinct from the other tentacles and yet if we had enough vision would could follow your own creation backwards until you came to realize that we’re all a part of the same being. That’s what the act of becoming enlightened is. It’s a slow realization that you are one with everything.

924 Relax and Succeed - Let go of what you can't controlSo if the Universal Octopus wants us to create, each tentacle will grab a piece of Lego and with the legs closest to itself it will appear to cooperate to create new things in the universe. New experiences, new friends, new creations, new ideas. It all counts. So we use our creativity to form an idea and then we attempt to realize it with the Lego.

Only the other tentacles aren’t so much cooperating with us as they are also, through their own pure creativity, becoming aligned with us. They’re not so much cooperating as they’re like two boats that happened to be on the same course. That still makes them close enough to be able to work together but they will always maintain the ability to surprise each other.

So one tentacle thinks it’s building this out of Lego and the other tentacle thinks it’s building that out of Lego. They’re working together because it appears they are going in the same direction. Eventually we find out that we’re still individuals even though we’re all connected and they may not be ultimately building what we were. Especially when this happens in a relationships, we experience this realization as anger, disappointment, betrayal, frustration and fear.

924 Relax and Succeed - Breathe the universe is taking careIf we think we’re an ego–a tentacle–then we use our thoughts to create the separateness that allows us to feel we can come into conflict with another tentacle. We can feel it has let us down by not building the same thing we thought we were building. Of course it’s important to note that they feel exactly the same way; that we’ve abandoned their creation.

Only the Octopus knows we’re confused so the weird thing is, we don’t know enough to really lead ourselves through something so infinite. Which means that thanks to the Universal Octopus, sometimes these “mistakes” end up leading to a creation far superior to the one we had planned. Early on we tend to credit the other tentacle for this success but eventually we come to realize that we deserve credit too. We just have to temper our credit in the same way that we temper our blame because the creation didn’t come from just us, just as any failure doesn’t come from just us. There’s a lot of cooks in on this broth.

So stop thinking you can decide your own future. You’re not even able to comprehend what might be good for you because you have no idea who you’re going to be as a result of the experiences you have between now and that future. All you can decide is what you put in. There are no guarantees after that. But even if someone “fails,” we have no idea– that failure might actually be pushing them toward something much better.

924 Relax and Succeed - Rather than remove your desiresIf this all sounds like– well you just never know anything then! –then you’re right. It is that. But that’s not bad news. That’s good news. That means you can surrender. You can relax. You can stop trying to get somewhere in your future and instead just focus on being an octopus now. Rather than try to create what you want, you start to wonder what it is this other tentacle is creating. And so you try to get in alignment with it rather than trying to get to align with you.

Eventually you come to understand the other tentacle enough that if you both have surrendered control then you both are acting on behalf of the Universal Octopus and then you’re cooperating on a whole new level. Eventually all of the tentacles will do that and we will again have singularity. We will be One.

If you stop to think about it some of your best friends and jobs and activities grew out of things you did not want to do. So rather than resist what’s happening, start flowing with it. Because your friendships are great examples. Those have no plan, which is in part why they go so well. In friendship you’ll actually let the Universal Octopus run things. Because in the end what you build with the Lego doesn’t matter. But the building of it is your life, so put your energy into enjoying that process rather than waiting to enjoy what you hope your outcome eventually is.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

Scott’s Favourite Blogs of 2014 #1

724 BY14-1 Relax and Succeed - I have found that

There is probably no greater issue plaguing our society than excessive worry and anxiousness. Phones are beeping, emails are piling up, the house is a mess, you’re late on two projects and you’re exhausted worrying about how to add more. Instead lets take some away. Because my favourite blog of last year was about taking all of the energy you use to worry and using it to live instead! You have more fun and you get more done.

CLICK BELOW TO READ:

Winner: Scott’s Favourite
Blogs of 2014 #1

peace. s

Shaping Identity

I do have favoured ways of using the skills I developed as I learned to study the human mind. Because people fall into less than a dozen fundamental groups, you’ll see huge patterns in the sorts of challenges that each group habitually faces. So for instance, if I can identify a very rigid and unequivocal mind then I will know that the greyness of life will be the bane of the person’s existence and that most of their problems in life will stem from avoiding that greyness.

709 Relax and Succeed - A little spark of kindnessThat being the case, as with all of our fears, I know they will either suffer for decades and then either develop some level of comfort with life’s uncertainties, or they won’t. Some people grow through life and approach death with interest and wonder. Other people find the world didn’t turn out the way they want and they’re bitter and want more time to make it right. So we either fight the flow or go with the flow. One we know as suffering and the other as life.

What this means is, if I see you destined to fight with the flow—and particularly if you’re still young—I’ll often gently set you on a direction that will encourage you toward having some very early experiences that are highly likely to reduce the impact of those kinds of challenges throughout your life. Because of this I’ve had the distinct pleasure of watching several friends excel at a variety of things where they otherwise would have had much, much more resistance to realizing their own abilities.

When a acquaintance’s son approached me a while back, I knew I was spending time with a kid who got lost in a mall once and now he sees the world as a pretty scary place. He often overwhelms himself with fears and paranoia over any manner of the unknown. It doesn’t take someone like me to see what sort of adult this person will grow into without any intervention. He’ll continue to see the world as scary and it will influence everything from his romantic choices to what he eats to how well respected he is at his job. This is no small obstacle in life. In fact, it’s one of the biggest things that holds people back from enjoying their own rewarding lives.

709 Relax and Succeed - Beleive love dream inspireSimon likes spending time with me in the same way that he’ll be attracted to adventurous people in life. That’s who he’ll admire, who he’ll date. And for most of his life he will beat himself up for not taking various opportunities the way those people would. Those people. Who are those people?

They’re people who are comfortable with the unknown. So when Simon asks me if the kids in the jungle get scared of getting lost, I know I have a chance to place the idea in his brain that maybe getting lost is good, and if it’s not good it’s at least okay. Simon needs to be okay with that floundering period everyone has before they get a grip. He needs to understand that feeling isn’t him failing, that feeling is normally associated with new things.

So I explain that everyone knows the kids will get lost. But that’s fine because not knowing where you are is necessary before you can know where you are. Before you’re lost you don’t even know there’s such a thing as found—which is why this idea bothers Simon. That mall event was the most traumatic thing that ever happened to him. That freaked his mom out so much that Simon is now terrified of this happening again. To the point where he sees kids in the jungle through eyes formed by that early experience in a mall.

709 Relax and Succeed - If you learn from defeatI explain to Simon that even an old path is brand new to a new set of eyes. So no one can really be taught the way back. Everyone finds their own way back in their own unique way, even if they take the same path. So before you can know anything you have to accept not-knowing it. Before you can be comfortable with anything you have to traverse not being comfortable with it. And because Simon trusts me, and because my voice is relaxed and my expression says no big deal, Simon frowns at this new knowledge. Hmmm he’s thinking. I didn’t know being lost or confused could be okay. And that’s all I need.

That one little idea will mean Simon will live a much richer life, and he will offer more of himself to the world because he won’t be wasting as much of his life-force spinning in place, questioning decisions he’s either made or has to make. Simon will live more fully. And nothing pleases me more than inoculating someone like that. And it even makes Simon and I closer because he associates me with feeling great about himself, which just makes my job easier going forward because I will reinforce his capability every time I see him.

709 Relax and Succeed - You don't need a reasonYou do this with everyone you interact with all day long. Your long time spouse. The kid you talk to at the door for two seconds. Your 85 year old grandmother. They all have ideas about themselves and they’ll overwhelmingly be far too self-critical. Don’t surrender opportunities to buoy their spirits. Give compliments. Support people. Believe in them actively. Because they’ll certainly have to deal with their share of diminishing egos as well.

Don’t beat yourself up and don’t stand for others doing it either. Remind others of their strengths and you of your own. Life’s hard enough that we don’t need to add to it by attacking ourselves. And at the same time it’s plenty rewarding, so it’s important that we’re not filling our consciousness with self recrimination or fears about our inability when we could be using that energy to absorb this great big beautiful world and all of the amazing people like you who are in it.

Now go have yourself an awesome day and affect people in an awesome way.

peace. s

Other Perspectives #66

676 OP Relax and Succeed - Life heart vs mind

This is such a common metaphor but it really doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. What we really mean is that we make one argument to represent our desires and another argument to represent our fears and we bounce them back and forth inside our own heads in the hopes that we can stay balanced and on some fictitious tightrope of life. But of course there is no tightrope. That would imply there is some correct way to live and there isn’t. There is no right step for you to take. It’s not a battle between your mind and your heart for the right thing. You’re just going to pick a thing, not the right thing. So the battle in your head is over an answer to a question that doesn’t exist, meaning the entire mental exercise is a waste of time. So since both the heart-voice and head-voice are both just your hopes and your fears being relayed back to yourself, that’s all pretty meaningless. You might as well just save yourself the drama and be quiet-minded instead. Because without constructing the notion of a rope that you then need to balance on, the possibility of making a mistake disappears. And that’s what real freedom is. The freedom to get off the narrow confines of the rope, where any wrong move is sure to tumble you out of existence. Instead you can be firmly on flat ground, free to move in any direction you choose. Stop your mental arguments with yourself. Get off the rope. Go peaceful instead. Live with a quiet mind. The rest is all theatre.

peace. s

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