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.

Making Sense

Order. Pattern. Sense. Understanding. Meaning. Our lives emerge from these things. In fact, you yourself are a pursuit. You are an action through the universe that skips and jumps and hops from here to there, all in an effort to construct or weave a life story that either makes some kind of sense to you, or that you will continue to work on in an effort to make sense of it.

It’s as though everyone is sitting around together weaving, and the threads are made of words that are then stitched into concepts that combine to create a life story. It’s like we weave the whole thing just to show it to other people who did the same. We’re just hanging out together, and yet what we weave takes on a life of its own.

It’s one thing to weave a lonely disconnected character but it’s another thing altogether to think that you are what has been woven. You are the weaving; not the weaver, not the thread, not the needle. You’re the action of weaving. You aren’t a dancer, you’re a dance.

That would be all well and good if you didn’t spend so much of your life wandering from person to person asking them what you should weave, and asking them to explain their own weaving. They will tell you what they’ve learned from their weaving, but only the basic principles are common to all weavers, so it’s not like they can really help you. Your job is to let go and weave what only you would weave, you’re not supposed to become some expert on weaving. Do you understand?

Look at how cloying your brain is about comprehension. You hate not knowing. You dislike confusion, or uncertainty. Your mind seeks order. It wants to understand. But the problem is the wanting, not the understanding. Your life is just a steady pursuit of understanding, but too often people are standing back looking at the shape of that pursuit as though it’s something to be judged. The path and the walker are one.

The good news is, this means your route through life has been neither good nor bad. It was merely the life that emerged from the choices you made, either consciously or unconsciously. Where it went in the end is irrelevant. What counts is that you felt the experience of being alive.

All great dramas are made of many kinds of characters and all play their critical role in the larger plots. Strangely, there is no more merit in playing the hero as there is in playing the villain. We need them all to feel like anything happened, and we will all take a turn (many times) in both roles.

As the comedian Andy Kaufman knew when he created a wrestler for everyone to hate, what we really love is the story. If we can learn to accept that we’re here to weave stories and not to do something important, then we can get on to the important act of weaving, just as Kaufman voluntarily became someone for you to despise. He wasn’t being a jerk. For our benefit, he was just playing one in the drama that is our collective lifetimes.

Stop looking for meaning. Like water, just flow naturally to your own low ground. The pool that forms will be what reflects your life exactly as it should. So stop striving, trying, or wanting. Simply be instead. Let yourself be yourself, and accept who you are, no matter what. Regardless of what your thinking says.

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.

Another Life

Today we’ll work on your awareness, your focus and your listening. Raising your awareness will get you out of your head and taking more into account. Increasing your focus will keep your attention off you and on someone else, and by doing both of those other things you will be able to listen much better and thereby take in far more actionable information.

883 Relax and Succeed - A wise man can learn moreFor your awareness we’ll get you to choose one specific co-worker or classmate or other person you see regularly. Someone you have opinions about, good or bad. Rather than think of yourself you’ll think about them for the day. So you have to understand them. This might lead to observations or questions, but again–it’s all focusing on them not you, so it’s all helpful.

For focus you just want to make sure that you really do consider that person’s life instead of your own. Instead of complaining about your office chair, wonder how uncomfortable someone heavier or taller than you manages to sit on the same one. Think about how others treat the person, think about their food choices, their schedule, their budget, their family commitments or lack of friends or whatever–them not you.

For listening, if you’ve managed to do the first two things then you’re clear-headed enough that you might just pick up details you’ve never noticed before. Maybe they use a lot of nautical references and it turns out they’ve always wanted to live on a boat again, the way they grew up. Or maybe you hear them talking about a dream they have that you’ve never noticed before. In short, pay attention.

883 Relax and Succeed - Be kind for everyone you meetYou should be able to talk to a person you see regularly and yet still notice something entirely new. If you can’t then you’re still talking to yourself about them–that’s not the same thing as simply taking them in. You’re interacting with your judgmental thoughts about them and not with the actual person. This is what egos do. This is the thing we want to prevent you from doing.

Stop filtering the world through your own personal thinking. Have a perspective but don’t take it so seriously. If you can do that then you have flexibility in all sorts of aspects of life. You can see your opinion as just an opinion rather than the way it is.

“The way it is” is always open to interpretation. Maintain that flexibility and you will always find yourself in a position to create a positive mindset. If you believe what you’re seeing is how it is then you’re doomed to live inside your ego, inside your judgments, inside your limited perceptions. Instead, throw the doors and windows open wide and be with the world with a silent, non-judgmental mind. What it will reveal to you from that perspective will explain to you why so many people are able to love life, and why you can too.

Listen. Feel fortunate. Get out of your head. Study the challenges of another soul. Quiet your mind by listening. This is the path to inner peace. This is the path to understanding.

Enjoy.

peace. s

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

Producing Peace

Okay, so you’ve had a week of starting your day off with what you feel grateful for. If you do that earnestly for a while it will really start to pay off. And how did you do watching for judgments? It’s amazing how many of them you make in your mind. I like this song, that hairstyle looks terrible on her, what’s he doing telling me how it should be done? Blah blah blah all day long.

850 Relax and Succeed - Tim is on the internetFor the rest of this week I want you to notice how seldom people make each other feel good and how often they reduce each other. Feel your own reductions so that you can appreciate how it feels for others when you insert an unrequired, unsolicited opinion on anything from their car to their childrearing. If the world needs our help it’ll ask. In the meantime, we could be giving compliments instead.

Most of the time when you say do it the right way you mean do it your way. That’s a judgment call. To each their own. You don’t want other people telling you how to do every other little thing, so just stay quiet in the driver’s seat and let your co-parent actually parent. Get out of the habit of thinking that your view is the right one. Stop thinking anyone has the right one. Realize that we don’t need better behaving people, we need a more tolerant society that can allow people to a) do things differently and b) learn while doing.

For the rest of this week stop at the top of every hour and check in on how many judgments you made of yourself and others, out loud and internal. Study them and realize how ridiculous they are–how they’re primarily just requests to act like you. See them for what they are: pointless commentary on the game of life. It’s time you and everyone else gave up all the judging and got back to the serious business of playing instead.

850 Relax and Succeed - Kindness is the new blackWhat kind of words show up when you judge? Watch for them. Better, right, proper, etc etc. Avoid those words. See how few judgments you can pass in a day. And do it very seriously for the rest of your work-week. If you want a more peaceful life you have to get out of the habit of judging every single step you and others take. The world doesn’t need referees or teachers watching our every move. We all need to get quieter minds. So when someone corrects you remember it means nothing to you, and remember the opposite is also true: your opinion lives only in your head. Unless asked for it we should just leave it dormant within us.

By the end of today you should have categories of judgments you’re aware of. Physical ones, philosophical ones, factual ones etc. etc. etc. Know them. Be familiar with what incites your judgments. Be wary in those situations. Each day work to reduce the amount of comments you make about others driving, work, attitudes and level of respect. Just Be you. If you’re doing it right that will keep you plenty busy.

Now go create an awesome day by quieting your mind by studying and stalling your judgments. Put it in your calendar so you’re reminded each morning: no judgments today. Practice will never make perfect but it will create a ton of peace for you to enjoy. Have a great day everyone!

peace. s

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

Other Perspectives #88

801 OP Relax and Succeed - I set my alarm earlyUsually the Other Perspectives series is to used to point out how ambiguous quotes can be dangerous to your spiritual health if taken the wrong way, but in this case the quote undermines your spiritual and psychological health by encouraging you to do what is already one of the modern world’s most widely practiced rituals. Getting your mind ready to be dissatisfied and judgmental is very seriously what a very large number of you do every single morning. This is a terrible tone to set for your thinking. The morning is important. You have awoken with a clear head. Do not start off your day by telling your brain to get ready to complain. Use that valuable time to wake slowly and comfortably–even if that means setting your alarm a half hour ahead and then taking a half hour to get up. That’ll also ease that rushed feeling you get. And while you’re laying there–at the time that feels appropriate to you–begin to tell yourself how you will be acting throughout the day. More patient, kinder, as a better listener–whatever you’ve chosen. Imagine you’ve already succeeded and it’s almost like you’re saying how it ended, not how it’s starting. And then slowly get up and you will over time see that this simple change will have lasting and very valuable impacts on your life. And don’t forget to tell yourself that you’re going to have a great week. 😉

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

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