To Dream or Not to Dream. That is the Question.

Contributed by: Guest Author, Luc Omon

I don’t have a dream. Better men and women than me had a dream: A dream of life, liberty, love, and happiness. A good dream. But I don’t have a dream. Better men and women than me have a dream.

I do have a family to love, bills to pay, a job to go to, a home that needs repairs, friends to spend time with, a pantry that needs filling, a backache I can’t afford to be seen about, a car that needs repairs, a phone in my hand that keeps me connected to the world. But a dream? I don’t have a dream. Better people than me have a dream.

I have a life, not a dream. It’s not a hard life, but it’s not always easy either. I’m not stuck behind a pile of sand, flinching when I hear the hornet whine of bullets. I’m not in a dark alley, selling myself so maybe I can eat dinner that night. I’m not I’m not climbing a wall, hoping for a better life on the other side. I don’t walk down the street, stepping around the bodies the cartel left out the night before. My life could be harder. A lot harder.

But I still don’t have a dream.

I have a life, like everyone does. And worries. Not worries like the ones above, but worries, the same, that carry as much weight within my mind as anyone’s do. I worry about what can affect my life: Taxes, food, school, children, dating, bills, cars, houses, friends, family.

There are lots of things I don’t worry about.  I don’t worry about the two guys down the street getting married. I just smile, wave, and bring potato salad to their barbecue. I don’t worry about Sue at work who wants to be called Bob now. I just smile, say, “Hey Bob,” and go back to work. I don’t worry about the red-eyes guy staring at the chips in the grocery store. I just smile and tell him, “You can never go wrong with Doritos.” I don’t worry about the preacher in the parking lot telling me I’m a sinner. I just smile and load my groceries.

Life isn’t a dream. It’s life. We each live it the best we can, with decisions and worries that dictate how it turns out. Who are we to force choices and worries on anyone else?

I don’t have a dream. I have a life. And men and women just like me have one, too. We just want to live, love, and be happy, and not keep anyone from living, loving, or finding that happiness.

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Things slowly changed, and I slowly let them.

Written by: Editor & Guest Writer, Leah @ThatBFunLife

*If you are interested in being a guest writer on my blog, please contact me.

Guys hadn’t really shown an interest in me, other than being my friend. So, when I met this guy at a football game my sophomore year of high school, and he hung out with me the rest of the game and asked for my number, I was excited.

If I could turn back the hands of time, that would’ve been the end of the story. But I can’t, so it isn’t.

We hung out at school and talked on the phone. Three other girls liked him. I didn’t think I had a chance. But then he picked me. And I was happy. Things were great for a while. Then things slowly changed. And I slowly let them.

I don’t remember the first topic that began this sentence from him, but he told me, “You can do what you want, but you won’t be with me.” And I wanted to be with him, so whatever that was, I didn’t do. I SHOULD HAVE DROPPED HIM LIKE A HOT POTATO RIGHT THEN. But I didn’t. I wanted a boyfriend. He threw that sentence around here and there, until I was “trained” to be a good little girl and not do the things he told me not to do.

Little by little.

Before I continue, keep in mind that throughout all of this, my parents and my best friend kept telling me to break up with him, but I wouldn’t listen. I would take up for him. He couldn’t be treating me as badly as they said he was. There were some good days where it seemed like things could change. And that kept me hanging on. He would always tell me he loved me, and I believed him, even though his words and actions didn’t line up.

I wasn’t allowed to talk to guys at school unless he was with me. I remember telling a guy in our history class that I couldn’t talk to him when he said something to me, because my boyfriend wasn’t at school that day. If I had, he would’ve had a fight with me when he found out. So I only talked to the girls.

Little by little.

He called me every morning before school to ask what I was wearing. If he didn’t approve, I had to change clothes. He’d get mad if I wore my hair down and say I was trying to attract other guys.

Little by little.

I learned after several fights, that if we went anywhere together, I had to look at the floor so he wouldn’t accuse me of checking out other guys.

“I’m still trying to break the habit of saying, ‘I’m sorry,’ all the time.”

I would get random phone calls from numbers I didn’t recognize. On the other end, would be an unfamiliar male voice. The guy would pretend to have the wrong number or something and then try to talk to me. I always said I had a boyfriend and wasn’t interested. My boyfriend would call me afterward and tell me I “passed the test.”

If I left home at all, he’d blow up my phone every five minutes, asking how many guys I talked to (none) and telling me to go home. I’d tell him “no” multiple times and stay where I was. Then he would call screaming and cussing, telling me to go home, so I would. I didn’t want to fight. I didn’t want him to be mad at me. My friends would beg me to stay anyway. But I didn’t.

Little by little.

I did a lot of apologizing for things I shouldn’t have apologized for. I apologized for him being mad, even when I hadn’t done anything wrong. I’m still trying to break the habit of saying, “I’m sorry,” all the time.

I wasn’t allowed to drive with my windows down, have music up loud in my car, or listen to 98.7 FM (rap, hip-hop, R&B), because all of those things meant I was being a whore and trying to attract other guys. Who knew? I sure didn’t.

I had preset radio stations in my car—one of them being the “off-limits” 98.7. I listened to it when he wasn’t in the car. One time, I pressed the button for it and heard static. He had changed the preset to a number that wasn’t a station! I changed it back to 98.7. The next time he rode in the car with me, he pressed that button to see if I had fixed it. Then he got mad because I had.

I forgot to put my NOW 17 CD on a different song so he wouldn’t know I listened to a song he didn’t approve of. He got in my car and as we drove down the road, he turned on my stereo. A rap song was playing from my CD. He got mad, started beating the door panel, yelled at me, ejected the CD, and threw it out the car window. He beat my door panel a LOT when he was mad in my car. I’m surprised he never busted it.

He put a lot of effort into tearing down my self-confidence. He told me I was worthless. Nobody else would want me. Nobody else would put up with me. I was nothing special. I was a dime a dozen. I was fat. I weighed a whopping 120 pounds! But I believed every word, after hearing them so many times.

Little by little.

He also got mad if I used the Internet–even for homework. He said his mom cheated on his dad over the Internet, so he didn’t want me on it. That was a big struggle, because I had to use it for school. After about a year and a half together, he told me about a girl he became friends with online. How ironic, right? It was okay for him, but not for me. He claimed she was just a friend. Then told me he didn’t know if he wanted to be with me or her. I was devastated. My junior prom was just a couple months away, and I already had my dress. He ended up staying with me. That should’ve been enough for me to break up with him. But I didn’t. Nobody else would want me.

Around this time, I started having panic attacks, but I didn’t know what was happening to me. I went to my doctor and had all kinds of tests. I was told I have tachycardia, but my heart was healthy. My doctor said my boyfriend was the cause of my problem. I didn’t believe him. That just seemed crazy to me. I would continue having panic attacks regularly throughout the rest of our relationship. And he would mock me for it. 

When social media came about, a friend of mine told me about MySpace. I made a page. He called and asked me if I had a MySpace and I told him “no,” because I knew that would start another ridiculous fight. I deleted the account. He knew I had one before asking. He had me meet him somewhere to “talk,” because he threatened to break up with me for it. Then he spit in my face. Even then, I didn’t want him to leave me. I didn’t want to be alone. Nobody else would want me. He ended up letting me have a new account a while later. He would scroll through my friends list in the middle of the night and then call and wake me up to ask who each guy was. They were either family or long-time family friends. I had school and a job, but my sleep didn’t matter.

I started trying to stand up to him when he would tell me what to do or not do, but that didn’t work. I had already let him have control over me for so long, so it didn’t make him stop. When we fought at his house, and I would try to leave, he would stand in front of the door, cross his arms, smirk, let out a cocky laugh, and say, “You’re not going anywhere.” So I was stuck there until he would finally let me go home. That happened on an almost daily basis.

Over the years, I suspected more cheating, but he denied it. People would tell me they heard about him with someone else, but when I would confront him, he’d say, “Don’t listen to them. They’re just trying to break us up.” And I was stupid enough to believe him. Until the last girl.

A lady messaged me and told me about another girl being at his apartment. I asked him about her and he didn’t lie that time. Instead, he told me he met her nine months prior, had been seeing her since, and he loved her. Then he told me stories about a bunch of other girls he had been with over the years. Just on and on. Whether they were all true, or he was just enjoying upsetting me, I’ll never know. But he did laugh and say, “I’m a cheater. Everyone knows it.”

We broke up and they became an official couple. For a few days, I was upset because of all the years I had invested with the wrong person. BUT THEN I THANKED JESUS, because no longer being with him was the biggest blessing of my life! And a few weeks later, I started talking to another guy (which didn’t lead anywhere).

The ex-boyfriend’s cell phone was still in my name and I went to collect money from him to pay the bill. He asked me if I was seeing anyone and I told him, “Yes.” He got mad, and for the first time, he got physical. He put his hands around my neck and made me delete the other guy’s number from my phone while he watched. He told me he was going to break up with his girlfriend and get back with me, and that he loved me. I told him I needed to go home. At first, he blocked the door like usual. I was panicking. Hyperventilating. He let me leave. And I never went back.

Six months later, I met my husband. I immediately expected the reactions I had been used to. I would brace myself after saying or doing certain things, waiting to get scolded. But it never happened. It took several months for me to adjust to being treated right. I explained to him what I had gone through, and why I was the way I was. I told him about my anxiety and panic attacks, and thought he would no longer want me because I was broken, but he has loved me through it all. ♥️

***If you are in a relationship like the one I described, GET OUT OF IT! Maybe he doesn’t hit you, but it is still abuse! He isn’t going to change. Things will never get better. He will lie and say he will change. HE. WILL. NOT. CHANGE. You are worth so much more! Don’t be afraid to be alone like I was. Being single is MUCH better than dealing with a controlling, jealous narcissist! Someone better is out there waiting for you.

The “A-Ha!” Moments in Life.

So, I write a LOT about overcoming adversity and daily life struggles. I want to switch it up and do a piece on when things come together; When they are right, when you are right.

Yes, on one major side of the fence, life is all about learning lessons and overcoming. The other is the in between and the aftermath. I’m the kind of person who, even through sobbing tears and heart-wrenching cries, can see the greater reason in whatever life has seemingly thrown at me. I’m most generally a pretty happy-go-lucky and positive person (not always, but most generally).

I’ve come to cherish inner peace, confidence in myself, and acceptance of everything that life has taught me. Once you achieve it, you can’t unlearn it; You can’t get away from it.

Sure, we all require a certain amount of drama in our lives. No one in this world has a drama-free life, regardless what they may claim. We all have it. I’ll be the first to admit, when I’m bored or unhappy, I revel in drama. If there is little to no drama, or problems to be solved, I’m questioning what I’m doing with my life. That being said, I can only handle so much. I’ve never been one who does well in constant states of chaos and negative energy. Even more-so, now that I’m older. I think it’s because I’ve learned to not sweat the small stuff. I’ve learned the difference of what is important and worthy of my energy, and simply what is not.

I’ve mastered the art of being my true self. If you ask many of my friends to describe me (and this has happened), they will tell you there really isn’t an easy description. I march to the beat of my own drum. I do what I want. I don’t do what I’m not interested in. I feel what I feel. I say what I say. I find interest and passion in the things that bring meaning to my life and make me think on a deeper level. I chronically analyze everything. I truly have zero regards on who likes me, or who likes what I do, or how I do it. I am me. Period.

I used to be a follower, believe it or not. I was very interested in others’ opinions and keeping up with the Jones’. I was also very unhappy. My life had little meaning of its own. I had very little love for myself (or confidence). I found pleasure in gossip and other people. I did things I absolutely hated because I wanted to be accepted. It sucked! I had no control over my own life. My perspective of myself could be crushed at the drop of someone’s rejection or critical word. My life literally revolved around everyone else, except the person who it should have–me.

Following a bad, real bad relationship, I rebuilt myself. I packed up and moved away from my hometown. I stayed single and refused to date for over a year. I combed through every single aspect of my life. If it didn’t bring me happiness or peace, if it wasn’t something I completely enjoyed and got excited about, it got left in the dirt. I figured out every. single. little. thing. in life that BETH loved and was passionate about. I removed the layers of expectations and other people’s opinions one by one, and I found myself. I found acceptance and peace with myself and exactly who I was.

I’ll tell you one thing: Once a person finds self love (not to be confused with selfishness), it’s over. No one and nothing can ever get in the way of that and destroy it. Ever. Even more powerful–acceptance.

Acceptance: Such a small, jumbled mess of letters on a page, with a meaning so large and so deep, that very few will ever learn what it means. Acceptance. And there are endless lessons that come with mastering it and its many facets.

Acceptance of self.

Acceptance of others.

Acceptance of life.

Acceptance that you, and only you, are in control of your life–your emotions, your happiness, your well being, your treatment of others, your response, your decisions, where you are in life, your thoughts, everything. It’s your life, your story. And no one else can or has any power to write it for you.

When I stopped blaming the world around me for things that happened or situations I found myself in, my whole life turned around. The fact of the matter, I made choices the entire way leading up to wherever I found myself. I made those choices. Whether it was staying too long in relationships that were detrimental to me, allowing negative people in my life longer than they should have been allowed, made poor financial decisions–at the end of the day whatever it was, there was a trail of my own poor judgement and choices.

Such a hard, dry pill to swallow, but also one of the most liberating. Once you accept your responsibility over your own life and the outcomes, once you accept that just because someone dehumanizes you or does you wrong, that if you return the favor you’re just as bad of a human and low as they are, once you give up seeing yourself as a victim to circumstances and other people, you gain all control. No one can interfere, no one can bring you down, no one can hurt you, no one can destroy you, no one can anger you, unless you allow them the control to do so. Acceptance. My life is mine.

If you’re not happy, only you can change that. Once you become happy with yourself, it’s a whole different world. You learn that you, too, are important. In fact, you are the most important. Your happiness matters, and you will refuse to let anyone or anything step in the way. Once you love and accept yourself, you’ll tolerate nothing less from the world around you. And it will not matter how the world around you thinks, feels or views you or your life. True happiness and peace within one’s self is an addiction you cannot overcome once you find it. Within it, you find your voice. You become empowered.

That’s the good through the pain.

Let’s talk, Codependency: The Impossible Task: Fixing Other People.

When you finally wake up and after 10 years of trying to fix people and save them, you FINALLY understand that you cannot fix people. You finally, finally, finally grasp the concept.

Last summer, I was told something very important by someone I hold in very high regard, that I will never forget:

“A life jacket is only designed to save one person. You cannot share your life jacket. You can’t give away your life jacket to others. They will pull you under and you will drown, every time you try. You can throw them a rope, you can throw them their own life jacket, but at the end of the day, they have to save themselves for you both to survive it.”

Being through some of the things I’ve been through in life, I’ve felt responsible for people’s happiness; that the most unlovable people just need someone to believe in them, understand them, accept them and their flaws, and show them they are worthy. I will sacrifice myself, at any expense, to make sure someone doesn’t give up or feel like they are alone in this world. I will allow myself to be pushed and broken so that they can have pieces of me to fill the holes and cover the scars they bear. I don’t have to say this. You’ve all yelled at me or given me a reality check when I’ve gotten too deep and too lost in someone else’s troubled waters, with my efforts to pull them to the surface. I know unbearable pain. I also know overcoming. I also know that I have become dangerously codependent. I am a fixer. It’s my nature. Always has been. The thought that I can make someone’s life, and the quality of said life, easier and better defies any and all logical reasoning and stable rationale I possess. I go from being insanely intelligent to completely ignorant and blinded by it.

I know weakness and I know great strength. I know the disgusting truth of having your soul and mind broken. Not this 2018 romanticized version of “broken” on InstaGram; the reality of what it really is. But I also know the empowerment of picking yourself up and rebuilding yourself. I know loss and grief in ways I hope no one else ever has to feel, but I also know what it’s like to heal and the peace that comes with it. I understand the lowest points and the darkest corners that life has to offer. I also know more than that–the beauty that life offers on the other side of the darkness–and have learned how to keep a stronghold on it. I am an overcomer and it’s given me an overwhelming amount of empathy for others who haven’t quite yet made it through the storm. Maybe too much.

I’ve always understood the broken hearted, the lost, the lonely, the hurting, the damaged. I’ve struggled HARD with the unexpected loss of life because they lost their way in the walls of hurt and pain, with the heaviness and loneliness that come with it. I’ve spent days, weeks, months and years analyzing the “what ifs,” the “only if I would haves,” and the “I should haves” that came with it. I’ve lost myself trying to prevent ever losing another person in my life because they feel alone in that depth of pain, or feel alone and desperate for peace. Most everyone knows my story, and if there’s anything anyone can ever say about me, it’s that I’m always there for anyone–strangers, friends, family, exes, enemies–who needs someone. No hesitation, no questions.

Tonight, I finally get it. It is not my battle. No matter how much of yourself you give, no matter how much you sacrifice, no matter how much you love them, no matter how much you believe in people, you cannot save them if they do not want to save themselves. It is not my responsibility. And I do not need to feel guilty or apologize for knowing my limits. I cannot love them enough for them to love themselves. I cannot show them the good I see in them, or believe enough in the person they are, or build them up enough to make them believe in that person and be a better version of themselves. You cannot reason with someone who is not ready. You cannot fix people. That is their responsibility, and theirs alone. Period.

You will only dim your own light and lose sight of yourself trying to do it. You will destroy yourself in the process. You will drown. They have to love themselves enough to save themselves.

Damaged people damage people. Hurting people hurt people. Abused people abuse people. I finally, finally, finally have learned and accepted this lesson. It doesn’t make them bad. It makes them human. They have to be their own life jacket. They have to grab onto the rope themselves. They have to fight their battle and learn for themselves the importance of it.

I. Cannot. Save. Or. Fix. People. At. The. Expense. Of. Myself.

All I can do is wish the best for them, love them from a distance, and hope that one day our paths cross again–after they have pulled themselves out of the water, and I get to meet the person I saw, believed in and knew was underneath it all, all along.

I have to be my own life jacket. And that is absolutely more than acceptable and okay. It is more than okay to put Beth first, and I refuse to apologize for it ever again. ❤

The Human Mind- Exhibit 1

How true! Never thought of it like this, what an outstanding perspective!!

Although, I believe “yourself” comes into play with the way you view “you”- no one will ever truly know who YOU are-except you, simply because our minds all work in differing ways. It’s why I always tell everyone that I can give advice, but ultimately they know themselves and what’s best. You have to like that personal view above all others, and keep the ones who see “you”, as a positive close behind that- and realize that it’s not selfish, merely self respecting. Those negative “you” people, truly never matter in the end.

That being said, I also agree with not knowing who we are. And we won’t, until the end. As humans, we are constantly growing and evolving who we are. Learning from mistakes, going through painful situations, heartbreak, new environments, being introduced to new perspectives, exploring ideas, the biggest- learning. We’re always, always evolving. So who we are today, isn’t going to be the same person tomorrow or even 5 minutes from now-depending on any given situation we find ourselves in. Never hold a person in the same regard as you did a year ago, people change. I’d like to think most of us grow and change in better ways, there’s always that 5% 😂😂 but they’ll get there eventually.

I also believe, everyone who has the opportunity to create their own version of you in their minds, also shapes the person you truly are along the way- I know I wouldn’t be who I am without many, many, many people- and the influences/experiences I’ve had with them along the journey.❤️

Not a reason to go crazy, just something to marvel at, in the complexity of the human mind! Positive over negative!

When life doesn’t work according to your plans.

Rough patches. Bad moments. Hard times. Never-ending shit storms. We all have them. Life sometimes just doesn’t work out the way we envisioned it should.

One of the hardest things in life we as humans learn to accept, is we don’t get to create the blueprints. It’s life. It’s millions of choices, that lead to subsequent consequences and reactions, in a never ending cycle. One decision, affects many other happenings down the line – and one tiny choice can change everything. I’m pretty open about certain events in my life, especially when I feel like I can help, or offer insight. I’ve been through a lot of horrible hands dealt, to only be 30. I never see myself as a victim, rather hold myself responsible for the decisions I made leading up to the situations I’ve found myself in. Some things in life, we can’t avoid or choose better on. But the majority, are a direct consequence of our choices. We simply either see ourselves as a victim, helpless to circumstances and play our sad little violin all through town, or we realize we need to make decisions more wisely down the road and become a victor.

Another tough lesson we struggle hard with, is letting go of things not for us. I used to be the worst at this. Relationship would end, by God they were going to pay. You know where that got me? Miserable and looking like a complete fool. You can’t ever truly “get back at someone”. The only thing you’re doing is allowing them to control you, and adding one more negative to the already shotty jar of them. You are lessening the person you are, lowering your standards. Chances are you might piss them off- you might temporarily “win”. Later you’ll realize you only proved them right, that you weren’t something worthy of keeping. Keep your head up, keep your words kind, live the hell out of your life and be genuinely happy with it. Let that be your revenge. I promise, it works every single time. Don’t build their ego by letting your’s destroy you. A secret – your ego will destroy you faster than your enemies ever can.

Another thing about mastering the art of letting go; it creates space for better things to take root. I know your ex seems like God’s greatest gift ever received. That’s why they are still there, right? Problem is they aren’t. There is always a valid reason behind it – whether they (or you) are a dirt bag, or you just aren’t the right fit for each other – if you or they walk away, accept that and don’t revisit it. Again, there are always exceptions, but most generally it was for the best. Something better, or at least something that brings you further on your journey of development will replace it. I tell everyone, there’s no such thing as wasted time nor mistakes when it comes to relationships – as long as you gain wisdom from the “wrongs“. That isn’t limited to what the other did wrong, use it to reflect on what you can change and build from it, as well.

Moving on. Regardless if we think we’re super human or not, rebounds never, ever work out. Give yourself time to heal and heal properly before jumping to the next ship. It isn’t possible to create something healthy if you’re still covered in blood and grime off the battlefield of the previous. You’re infecting healthy tissue, and it will die. It will die.

The last – we all go through hard times. The only time we truly lose anything, is if we give up. It’s so entirely easy to do. Fighting uphill battles isn’t ever easy, nor is digging out of a hole that we’ve created. But the minute we quit – all the progress becomes stagnant. Always, always, always look to improve. Always, try to become better and learn from the times life kicks you in the teeth. Use them as a means of becoming better, instead of an excuse to stay the same. A person who gets beat is made much stronger than the person who sat on the bench and never had the experience.

Today, I was helping a friend through a difficult time and inadvertently ended up helping myself through a rough time I’m experiencing myself, with the advice I gave them.

“We’ve talked a LOT about growth. Look at it this way and let it motivate you – do you want to stay in the same place and digress over time? Or do you want to become better? I see my flaws and through trial and error I’m trying to work through through them and become better. Might be a ton of error but, eventually I’ll find the right combination.

That thought process immediately took me from a dark and dusty black hole of negativity, to reminding me of something I was taught long ago. Not sure about any of you – my biggest fear is to become stagnant and complacent. Growth, is never ending. None of us can ever achieve perfection. There will always be something we can work on within ourselves to become better human beings- always room for improvement for becoming better versions of ourselves.

As for me, I want to be happy, giddy, absolutely in love with life and continue being positive and inspiring- a bubbly, bright, smile provoking person in every path I cross throughout my day. I want to be compassionate and passionate in every avenue I take. Determined, strong and understanding through every adversity, inspiring others along the way. I lost that for a minute. I have zero space nor the time for anything that takes that away from me. The way I look at it, every failure is just proof I tried. At least, I didn’t give up. Through trail and error – I’ll find the balance and I’ll find a win, bigger and better than I originally hoped for. It will surprise me (always does) with how different it was from what I thought it would be. With every failure I see firsthand, through the process, how far I’ve come, how much I’ve overcome and how much closer I’m getting to achieving it.

Keep going. No matter what, keep freaking going. It will always get better. Always.

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Food for thought. This is where we need to examine ourselves.

2016; I was a bouncy, happy-go-lucky, overly positive person, who always had great things to say about the world around me as well as the people in it. Hardly did you ever catch me in a negative state. Somewhere along the lines, I’ve gotten away from that person. I’m not ashamed to admit that.

I know my social media and the things I post on my blog get discussed by “small minds” of which completely miss the greater lesson in the things I share, or write about. Believe me. I’m used to it. I’ve been blogging since long before the days of Facebook, and there is always a negative comment awaiting. I’ve been sharing my life experiences, the wisdom and knowledge I’ve gained from them, for years now, and I can promise you–snickers in the background, or haughty opinions on how I should handle my own life, are not going to change it now. The amount of people I have helped by sharing the real, human side of myself and opening my life up to those that benefit in even the smallest way, far exceeds the amount of insecure, judgmental, small minded individuals who use it or choose to view it in a negative light. Here is one thing that everyone who has even for a second come across my path can say: I am 150% authentically myself. And that is something I will never have in me to apologize for, nor will I ever water down the person I am to fit in another’s ideological box, in efforts to make them more comfortable.

We all get our own life and each of us only get one shot at it. I would rather be focused on sharing, helping, connecting, empathizing, or making someone else feel understood, than to worry myself to death over what someone else is doing that I don’t agree with. Your life is not mine to judge. If I don’t like what you do, great. I can promise you I’m not going to do it. But if it makes you happy, so be it. Knock your little happy heart out! As long as I’m not harmed by their actions, it’s none of my concern with how anyone else chooses to live their life, as it is no one’s place to condemn me for the way I live mine. Now if I hurt you, by all means point that out the instant it happens, and I will correct it as fast as humanly possible.

That’s the thing. A lot of time we are so quick to point out another’s shortcomings, wrong doings, mistakes, bad days, imperfections and so on, but we rarely ever address them directly about it.

Professionally speaking, I’ve seen this occur quite frequently. Parenting is another area I have witnessed it. Relationships across the board, it’s a common occurrence as well. It’s so easy as humans to get caught up in the drama, to succumb to frustrations, to lose our patience, even just to have bad days all of our own. So, when someone else commits an offense, or royally throws a wrench into everything, we directly point it out so they are aware and can (hopefully) take an initiative to be more mindful or just a chance to correct and learn from it. Hah, that would just be silly. No, we can’t do that! Instead, we complain to our co-workers, management, significant others and best friends. Or worse–we retort back with a nasty, aggressive response or passive-aggressive backhanded comment. Not only are we creating a negative image to those in our own lives, (and hate to say it guys, but this is the definition of gossip) but inadvertantly, we are creating a negative image and feeling surrounding the offender, within our own minds. When really, we ourselves, are the true person we need to lay our blame with. We have robbed them of the opportunity to become better, to lessen that stress on us. The opportunity for them to be aware there, is even a problem in the first place.

We can’t expect people around us to be better or to have healthy relationships, if we can’t achieve a basic level of honest communication with each other. Period.

We can’t expect better friends, significant others or coworkers if all we want to do is stand around complaining about the lousy job they are doing. How are we offering any type of solution by doing so? We’re not. We are part of the problem.

We need to stop wasting our very valuable time complaining about everything around us, and instead become doers: create solutions instead of thriving off the drama. Make change possible, instead of inhibiting each other to grow by holding each other down. Grab ahold of them and pull them up by trying to be constructive and possibly even just being a little empathetic. Let’s start building each other, instead of being the demo crew. I think we’d all find a little more happiness in life by doing so. And I know for sure we’d find contentment in learning the importance of just focusing on ourselves and what makes us happy in our own lives, more so than what so-and-so should or shouldn’t be doing with theirs.

My goal in life is to get to the end being satisfied by having lived more of my own life to the fullest, than the emptiness of attempting to live others’ for them. Food for thought.