Tonight, while I was doing laundry and washing some dishes, CJ decided he couldn't wait for his bath to pass out. Trust me, I'm not complaining. The news was bombarding my living room with the tales of robberies and murders... I'm sorry, but I have no time or space in my living room for that crap, so the TV was promptly nixed. As CJ sways in his swing, I kicked my feet up and started reading an article in March's issue of SELF magazine; "Get Real. Authenticity is key to happy, healthy, more meaningful existence, research shows. And yet, what sounds easy-Just be yourself!- can be surprisingly hard to do. Find out how to be your truest self and love your life more every day."
I have felt so lost lately and as I read the article it was like the author knew I would pick up that magazine on this night. It goes through a step by step process of coming to an understanding of who you are, what your values are and how to not be afraid to let your actions reflect your values. ((almost reminds me of that segment, "when keepin it real goes wrong...lol.))The author, Marjorie Ingall, encouraged the reader to grab a pen and paper and jot down thoughts and responses to the steps she gives. If you think about it, it's so hard to march to the beat of your own drummer. We, as women, are taught that we need to couple up and have kids in order to have a fulfilling life, that we need to be concerned about fitting in than to be authentic to our own rhythms. So, naturally, I grabbed my laptop and here we go:
Four keys to living authentically....
1) An awareness of what makes you tick.
What makes me tick:
a)I'd rather be living in a clean artful home
b)I'd rather have a basic knowledge of something before it's sprung into my lap.
c)I hate incompetence, poor customer service and poor communication.
d)I prefer structure in my day to day life, but still enjoy the fun spontaneity can offer
e)I hate infidelity.
f)I prefer a close circle of great friends than a broad circle of acquaintances.
2)The ability to gauge your weaknesses.
My weak points:
a) I'm always late and stressed
b)I have a tendency to stretch the truth when telling a story
c)I often confuse my dreams with reality
d)I am as lazy as I am a hard worker
e)I spend entirely way too much money, that I don't have, on things I really don't need to impress people I don't even much like.
f)I am messy
g) my expectations of how others need to act and treat me are often unrealistic
3)A willingness to act in accordance to your values.
I often act against my values in order to mesh with someone else in a relationship. That obviously hasn't gotten me anywhere. I then get so fed up (as per my last 3 relationships) that I finally leave after flip flopping the issue and weighing circumstances to be more important than my life and values. I also hate rejection and hate that I know I am hurting someone else. I don't do this with friends or family however... hmm.
4)Honest and sincere relationships.
I have no problem with honest disclosure to people I have personal relationships with. More often than not, that's what get's me in trouble and therefore eventually shuts me down. Fuck them. lol
Pinpoint what matters to you!
-What makes you happiest? Playing with my son, painting/drawing, great conversation over cocktails or coffee, cuddling up with someone who really loves me, looking great, my hair, being rewarded for my hard work, volunteering in my community, helping a friend, coming home to my family, not getting those antagonizing phone calls from bill collectors, midnight margaritas or "fuckitall" fridays, being in nature, peace and quiet, a good book, living in a clean home.
-Next, consider what upsets you most. Being disconnected, lies, being disappointed in other peoples behavior, shitty friends, child abuse, injustice, homeless/hungry children, racism, egos, shitty sense of humor, people not exercising their ability to help others, selfishness, crimes against women.
-What are your deepest fears?Disappointing my son and settling for less than what I deserve.
-What gifts do you want to share?I love making people feel beautiful, I'm a great writer, I enjoy volunteering and impacting my community in a positive way, I'm a great Mom.
Know your weaknesses.
-A time you ignored your gut. The moment I met Chris, I knew I should've walked away. But, I did get my amazing boy out of the whole deal.
-A time you tried to whitewash one of your flaws. Whenever a relationship ends on terms other than my own, I flip out, go a little crazy and always blame the other party for my heartache. ie: "I was fine until he said/did ...xyz... so I had to key his car/stalk his ass/not let him get away with it." Deep down I know I did my fair share of dirt to ruin the relationship, but it's not over until I say it is..otherwise I'm making your life a living hell...<---lol my warning label :)
-A time you blamed someone else for your mistake. I think I'm pretty good at fessing up what I mess up. However, I do make excuse from other peoples actions to validate my reactions, as in the example above. "well, if she just minded her own business, I wouldn't have had to put her out on front street" etc etc.
Align your values and actions.
-Think of a time you didn't act in concert with your values. I could think of a hundred times in my relationship with Chris alone.
-Reflect on the possible consequences if you had acted differently. Chances are, I would have bared my pregnancy alone, I would have left him when I read a letter sent to him from another girl, but by that time I was already pregnant. I probably would have moved away and never have told him of his son. There was countless times I should have left him...
Dare to reveal your true self.
-Consider whether or not you express your true emotions. I honestly think that I do. When I'm jealous, I state it... when I'm sad I cry openly. I don't shut down and I sure as hell don't stay quiet. I do however think that I use the wrong outlets for my frustration and anger , ahem.. facebook...I need to develop that maturity to choose the time and place to discuss my feelings with those who have impacted me to the point of negative emotion. Then I have my blog... I know I can vent on here and if anyone has an issue with it, it breaks down very easily. You chose to come here and read what I have to say, you can also choose to never come back.
Authentic living is something I truly want to strive for. Something to think about while I decide on what to give up on friday.