Finding Meaning in Life

In a split second, we make judgments. Is a person tidy or dirty? Creepy or beautiful? Whether we are determining the fate of another person or choosing which shirt to wear, these observations slip in before we can reject them. And do we know why we’re attracted to another person? Is it their looks or kindness?

Do you want to get real with yourself? Find out what you value. I’ve spoken about this before in a previous post, How To Be Strong, but I believe it’s worth repeating.

And if you don’t know your values at this moment, there’s an easy way to learn. What excites you? Angers you? If you don’t give a shit about it, then I’d say it’s not a value. There’s also a link to a helpful site at the bottom of this post.

So how does knowing a value change your life? Well, maybe you’ve always let life happen. Whoever was helpful or befriended you became your bestie regardless of their character. But this person might be a user, borrowing money all the time and smoking in your car. If you know your values, you can say, enough. “Man, it’s nice to have a friend, but I value keeping money in the bank and a clean smelling car.”

People who know their values such as “family time” or even “alone time” have more direction in life. Imagine knowing yourself that well, enough to know that being a charitable person is essential. It’s more important than taking an extended vacation. For some people this statement is true.

So, what do you need? A clean space? Steady work? Adventure? Family?

#Mindtools

#Self-authoring

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.

Muriel Rukeyser

How To Be Strong

Are You The Choices You Make?

bliss by jakki moore- painting shared from thegirlgod.com

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A Little Something More

Contentment hasn’t been an easy topic for me. It’s a subject I’ve struggled with since I don’t understand it. I rarely feel it. There are moments when I lose myself in a movie or a good book and forget about contentment, and I might even feel bliss.

Don’t believe anything is dead until you’ve burned it, poked around in its ashes, and then waited a day or two to see if anything rises from them.  Jerricho Barrons in Bloodfever, by Karen Marie Moning Ch 10

IS IT DEAD?

I get angry when I hear the outrageous lies of quick schemes for getting rich told to simple people and that’s probably an expected reaction, but I’ll tell you the one that caught me off guard recently. It’s a simple, cute blog, it’s called, Cupcakes & Cashmere and I like it. BUT. I like fluffy and sweet, mostly. I hate my reaction because I wish I could be content with being the type of person that reads blogs about fashion, dating, and cupcakes. BE HAPPY, JANET! Then there’s the entry -> The Moment I Knew G Was the One. Oh dear! I swoon. I think that was probably my issue. It wasn’t her fault. I blame the darkness within. You did read the quote above by Jerricho Barrons, right? Darkness.

WHY IS THE FLUFF NOT ENOUGH?

Making assumptions is easy. I can frame or reframe any scene as scary, happy, cheerful or content based on the wording that I use. Music has the same power to change perception. Play a bit of sad music along with any reel of video and most women will feel the need to cry. The music will pull at our heart strings, loving creatures that we are. Watching little children playing on the beach seems innocent enough, but I dare you to play the music to Jaws while you’re watching.

THE GAME OF MORE

Is a person’s life all that it appears to be? A picture may be worth those thousand words claimed, but today’s gloss & splash advertising has trained us to polish ourselves as beautiful as the photo. And what if we don’t match up? Try harder. Buy more product. People will buy just about anything for the promise of perfection.  What does this have to do with contentment? Heck, if I know. For me, there is no ONE, of anything or anyone. Most of life is a game we all play. There are a lot of adventures in life and a lot of experiences.

Here’s an interesting blog – Calm Things, A Monday Morning Blog – To Carry Joy

“She wanted something else, something different, something more. Passion and romance, perhaps, or maybe quiet conversations in candlelit rooms, or perhaps something as simple as not being second.”

Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

Is it Judging?

I was a naive child. Usually playing on the playground with the same group of kids every day. We’d played games like tag or tangle. But one day I was playing in the dirt with a different group of kids. And then there was “Dee,” obviously not her real name. She said open your mouth and close your eyes and I’ll give you a big surprise. Suspiciously I asked if she was going to put something in my mouth. Of course not she said. Okay, silly person that I was, I opened my mouth. Guess what? I got dirt in my mouth. I spit and sprayed while grabbing dirt to throw on her. She was long gone laughing all the way. I need to find her and thank her for a lesson that should have been well learned. You know the lesson, don’t believe everything you’re told. People lie. Be skeptical.

I grew up in an honest home. My parents are upfront, trustworthy, salt of the earth people. You could hand them your entire life savings and when you returned to pick it up, you’d get it all back. My mom would drive back across town to return a penny if she was given too much change. Of course it’s also true that if you did them wrong by trying to cheat or harm them, they will never darken your door again. So I didn’t know deceit. Elementary school was a wake up for me. It was my first experience with lying and cheating.

I’ve learned. I can make better judgement calls now and more so as I get older. I try to discern if they are intending to scam me or if they are honest. What I’m uncertain about is if there is a difference between discerning and judging. I looked the words up online since I’ve always thought there was a difference. Judging was something the Sunday school teacher taught that we shouldn’t do. And it was left with that. No talk about it’s okay to decide to avoid people who appeared dangerous, just Don’t Judge. Judging is wrong. Which left us good little girls in a bad situation. If you prevent judgement in all cases then we don’t have any defense to prevent rape, murder, or any other harm. Surely that’s not what they meant. But God protected us. Where was he when the girl put dirt in my mouth or when some boy was pressuring us into sex? Did we have the right to say no?

Being good and subservient does not go well with standing up for your rights. At the same time purity was taught. If you don’t understand the dilemma I completely understand. I’m not sure I do either. There were very few secrets from the all-knowing God or the pastor that God spoke to continually. He knew every evil thought and every judgement you made about another.

Today, I hate and despise these ideals. I don’t believe kids need to sit down and shut up. I also believe they need to learn how to decide. I say eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eat often. Learn, decide, choose, and be skeptical. We were not meant to be sheep thrown out into the pasture with wolves and dogs. I was unprepared for life and I know that I was not alone. It was a sad trick someone played on us. Dressed up in our frilly pink dresses, we were told to go outside and play, but don’t get dirty.

Maybe I’m just angry. I was powerless and told it was right. Any power I had felt wrong. I worried for years that someone would find out and reprimand me. NO MORE. I’ve worked very hard in my life for freedom. To have the right to discern and judge for myself. I now decide if something is good for me or will do me harm. It’s not based on anyone else’s ideal, only my own well-being. And it feels right.

There are other words. Maybe you can tell if there is a difference.

Discern – discriminate, distinguish, differentiate, separate, contrast

Judge – examine, determine, evaluate, figure out, inspect, interpret

Skeptical – cautious, suspicious, leery, unconvinced, not following

Running a day in my shoes

I went running yesterday. It looks so easy when you see someone else doing it. Let’s just say I thought I was dying there for several minutes. I was only active for 30 minutes but the after-effects were felt for a couple of hours. It’s crazy because running, like other activities, seems so harmless and painless, until you’re running in your own shoes.

Reality check. I can give advice. Dish it out cold and with a full set of instructions. Because I know. Like saving money. At the end of the month I have big plans. I’m NOT going to spend money so freely the next month. I’m going to budget and put more into savings! That’s right about the time I get the clever idea that I will wash my car and my kitchen will stay clean. Yep, I have grandiose plans.

While I was going up the hill, I kept thinking, this is what it’s like when reality hits the road. It’s a good thing. It helps me to filter through my whims. I can decide what it is that I really want, not just the fun ideas from Pinterest or the things the commercials tell me I want. Reality checks help me see through the romanticized life.

A perfect marriage is one of those things. I knew of a couple which from all appearances were wonderful together. Both entrepreneurs and similar lifestyles. They traveled worldwide together. It all seemed so beautifully romantic and perfect. But it wasn’t  They are now going their separate ways. If you are working on a marriage and both parties are cooperative you can come to a workable solution. You live and alter your expectations continually until you have a realistic livable life.

Life feels different when you’re stepping out to do your version. No matter how many books and videos you’ve seen it never feels like you think it should. You may know how you want it to look. As you walk out your front door, when you are out there alone, you can feel naked and vulnerable. It seems everyone is looking at you and judging you. All of your doubts are exposed and your ineptness is showing. But it’s not. Truly other people rarely notice your flaws in the way that you do. Mostly we rarely notice anyone but ourselves. When we do see them, we see them as “that other person” and we get back to our own life. 

There’s a reality check in actually doing an activity. So as I was walking up the hill struggling to get my breath, cars passed and kept on driving. I continued on in my introspective way, knowing what it feels like to begin running. To begin a process and work it through. No one was critiquing my stance or pace. I was simply someone walking up a steep hill. I do enjoy the running, just not the wheezing and the hills. I will look for some alternate running places and maybe invest in some better shoes. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=reality%20check

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TO JUDGE OR NOT TO JUDGE


What are your Core Judgments? In your mind, what makes a person good or bad? Have you ever thought about it? You know the saying that your initial impression is usually right? Well, yes and no. Yes, it is true to your Core Judgement, but no, it may not be accurate for everyone.

Does it matter what type of car they drive? If a person drives an expensive car, are they rich or snooty? Is a person driving a beat up junker poor or frugal? One of my Core Judgments is cleanliness. I’m not a germ-phobic person but I like people who wash and who care about their physical appearance. My initial reaction to someone with body odor is repulsion. I admit that I’m a bit of a clothing snob also, and I tend to be impressed too quickly by someone who seems put together clothing and style-wise.

Now you know my dirty little secret, I’m curious, what is one thing you consistently notice about a person? You know you have one.