Maybe it is time to be who we are, to love like we mean it, to smile from deep within, to give not expecting a gift in return. Maybe, just maybe, it is time to stop fucking pretending and get back to who we are.
Deep inside, we know what we want. It’s time we do it. If we can only do it on the weekends or the evening, so be it. I write on the weekends. I hike when I can and travel as I can afford. When my last day comes, I want to say that I have lived as I wished to have lived.
I Have Agency!
When a doctor walks into a medical emergency, he or she isn’t faking their authority. They might have been playing golf or at a dining table minutes before, but at this moment, they’re a physician. Once, I was eating with a doctor and his wife when he had an emergency call. He didn’t stop by his home to don his surgical clothing like a superman cape and become Dr. Perfect. Nope. He went straight to the hospital. He knew who he was.
In social science, agency is defined as the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices. By contrast, structure is those factors of influence (such as social class, religion, gender, ethnicity, ability, customs, etc.) that determine or limit an agent and their decisions.
Agency is the sense of control that you feel in your life, your capacity to influence your own thoughts and behavior, and have faith in your ability to handle a wide range of tasks and situations. Your sense of agency helps you to be psychologically stable, yet flexible in the face of conflict or change.Jan 31, 2015
In one place in your life this week, create order. Be in charge. You are the person who makes it happen. It may be your hair or your laundry, but you’re the bad-ass here.
Sometime after the blame and the anger, you realize it’s no one’s fault but your own.
Recently, I realized that I can take care of myself. And I kept saying those words, aloud, I take care of myself, over and over. I’m sure my family thought it strange, but for some reason it seemed more real to me than at any time ever.
Yeah, I’ve always wanted to and struggled to be independent, but something inside of me these last few years finally grew up. Yeah, I’m responsible for me. And there’s no easy way to describe that feeling other than the reverse. I know what it feels like to not have the choice. To be the one who waits for someone else to decide. In those cases you somehow disengage. You stop caring. You forget how to want, how to choose.
I have always been taught that I must forgive. I must not hold onto unforgiveness or hatred. I tried for years to heal and forgive. Finally I stopped and decided it was actually normal to hate and be angry. And I don’t mind my anger anymore.
When you no longer fight your feelings, fight your needs, fight your wants, and fight your loves, you can look at yourself as you are. I can stand and say, I want this, I need that, I hate this, I love that. I don’t know exactly how it works, but I know that by acknowledging the facts I freed myself. I realized that I provide for my needs and I can take care of myself. I’m not the sad little girl who waited as in Amelia Pond on Doctor Who. Twice.
Amy Pond: In fact I think I can now definitely say I hate him. I hate the Doctor. I hate him more than I have hated anyone in my life and you can hear every word of this through those ridiculous glasses, can’t you, Raggedy Man?
It’s not necessary for me to actively try to forgive anymore. It never worked anyway. When I realize I’m a free agent and I’m the responsible person here, I am free to walk away or stay. Being responsible helps me forgive. No, I take that back, being responsible helps me not to notice that there’s anything to forgive.
Which is better, momentary happiness or long-term fulfillment? Do I eat the cookie or imagine losing 10 pounds? It’s easy to diet when there’s no ice cream melting in the bowl in front of me, but it’s not easy late at night and the craving for something sweet starts. There has to be a way for me to stay with my goals.
Plan All the Way to the End
The ending is everything. Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the glory to others. By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop. Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead. – Robert Greene 48 Laws of Power
I’m wondering if it’s possible to have a goal, plan a way towards it, and create road markers or breadcrumbs to keep myself motivated. I can sometimes get so caught up in a goal that I forget the short-term pleasures. I’ve got the nose to the darn grindstone and it hurts. Getting up and resting can feel quitting. So I’m thinking that if I mark my path with simple reminders, I can take up where I left off and not feel lost along the way.
Let me tell you, I’m a bit obsessed with the show Doctor Who. In the The Parting of the Ways(2005) episode, Rose, by cracking open the power core, absorbed all the energy from the time machine, Tardis. Why? She was separated from The Doctor and had to save him. Oh the craziness of love. With eyes full of burning Tardis light, she tells The Doctor how she made her way back and found him. Of course it’s not her talking, it’s the possessing force of the time machine that’s glowing through her.
Rose Tyler: I am the Bad Wolf. I create myself. I take the words (“BAD WOLF”)
[Rose lifts her hand and takes the words from the Bad Wolf Corporation sign]
When I go for a run I make a point to find one moment of thrill. Whether it’s the grass or the trees or the view of the city, something along the way should make me smile. What do you think? Any ideas?
Here’s a video of Robert Greene at TEDxBrixton – The key to transforming yourself
I have a game I like to play because I love word games. I took the idea from an episode of Doctor Who, Season 6. In that episode the companions to The Doctor, Amy and Rory had a locked door to open. They were given the pass code, but not told how to use it. Now we are all familiar with passwords and security codes. A jumbled bit of numbers and letters. Very secret things. The password was Crimson, Eleven, Delight, Petrichor. First the couple tried saying the words, Crimson, Eleven, Delight, Petrichor (smell of dust after rain.) Nothing happened. The door didn’t open. Then Amy tried a different way. Instead of just saying the words, she imagined the words. She felt the words. She pulled out the emotional link from inside of her that matched the words of the pass code. Crimson (crisp red flag flying in the breeze), Eleven (her eleventh birthday cake), Delight (the day of her wedding), Petrichor (a water droplet hitting the dirt.) The doors open.
Once an idea is opened, many can run with it. Today many are revealing ideas. Opening doors. Exposing secrets. Teaching long forgotten truths to those around us. It’s not enough any more to merely go through the motions and do the job. The more effective way of living, the one that causes us to engage our emotions, demands our active cooperation. These aren’t new methods. They are forgotten tools. These were common in times past by Druids and Shamans. Modern commercials grab us and persuade us to buy their product by using our emotions. For example, Jif brand peanut butter once used the phrase, “Choosy mothers choose Jif.” As if to say, only mothers that give a damn about their children choose Jif. And if you don’t buy Jif peanut butter, you are an unfit mother. Much like the days when humanity learned about little things called germs causing disease, today we are learning to use more of our minds. Learning to open doors by engaging our entire selves.
Wake up. We are learning to fly by intention instead of brute strength. It’s a new day. Pay attention. We are learning new ways of seeing the world. New ways and long forgotten ways. If germs make us sick, what about our emotions and the emotions of others around us. I agree that actions count, but actions without connection is dry and blows away.
My game is simple. I want to use the game to learn a new way of being. I want to engage my emotions with words. Random words or thought out ones. Why? Because I’m now aware of being able to do this. Because I believe humanity is evolving.
Buddhism teaches us to “be” no matter where we are or what we are doing. If you are washing the dishes, be there washing the dishes. If you are eating, be aware of eating. I admit that most of the time I avoid the unpleasant and forget to pay attention during the pleasant. Being awake in the Now is a habit to practice.
We learned well how to be robots and act out our parts. We learned our roles. We learned to put things in boxes and to analyze and dissect. We can take things apart to see how they once worked. We learned to distract ourselves when things are painful or boring and when everything is pleasant we are afraid it won’t last.
Four words: Crimson, Eleven, Delight, Petrichor (the smell of dust after rain.) Or try picking your own four words: Color, Number, Feeling, Smell.
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