I Have Retired!!!!

cake

But before anyone brings out a cake, I must clarify – I have not retired from my work. At 55 I feel I am at the top of my game and still have a lot to contribute. Plus, I love getting up each morning and heading off to work – the people, the satisfaction … the paycheque!!!  No, it`s not that type of a retirement. However, at this age, I have finally retired from some things that have been dogging me for years. They are as follows:

I have retired from Meaningless Drama and the People that Cause it

Lets face it, some people are only happy when they are centre stage. And to ensure this position, they are more than willing to create many incarnations of the same old sh*t storm and pull you right into the middle of it! (Be honest. I know you know such people!) I have put in my notice to them and all their nonsensical drama. I wish them well, and am continuing on my own journey of peace and sensibility. There is no room or time left in my life for irrelevant issues. No, I will not be laying awake tonight, crying into my very comfortable pillow over them and their self-created soul-sucking cyclones. At this age, I need all the beauty sleep I can get!

I have retired from spending time and energy in places and with people I would rather not interact with

It`s nothing personal, but you are either my people or you are not. Period. I  no longer feel the need to justify why I don`t enjoy certain company. I just don`t.  It is what it is. And I will no longer, out of politeness or a misplaced sense of duty, be accepting invitations that I really do not want to be a part of. It`s a waste of my time as well as the other person`s time. And it`s phoney. I`m well aware that I most likely have less years left than years I have lived. I want to spend this time with the people I enjoy, doing activities that bring me joy. It`s as simple as that.

I have retired from worrying about all the What If`s

It seems to me that I have wasted too much precious time worrying about the future (what if I lose my job! or my house! or my relationship! or all three!!!), worrying about how I am presenting myself (what if people don`t like me!) worrying about how well I am doing (What if I`m not the best mom, wife, employee, friend)  etc, etc, etc ad nauseam! Truth be told, I have majored in the art of worrying my whole life. Like, I have a doctorate in it! (Flexibly Worrying, PhD!) I am ready to leave this tendency in the dust. It occurs to me that throughout my life, most of what I have worried about NEVER HAPPENED! And the times that difficult things happened were situations that I NEVER ANTICIPATED! They blind-sided me! And, to be clear, I hold a 100 percent survival rate over each and every one of these disastors! Those are some amazing odds! So, to Life, I say: Bring it! I`ve got this!

And finally,

I have retired from being hurt over unfair and hurtful treatment from other people

At the end of the day, not one of us is perfect; not me, not you, not any one of us humans. So, I am quite content to boomerang any hurtful behaviour right back to the source of it. Not one ounce of my self esteem depends on anyone else`s opinion of me, or their treatment of me. I know enough now to not take personal the behaviour of other people. I am responsible for me; you be responsible for you. You do you. I`ll do me. And that`s the end of it.

Truth be told, I did not enter my 50`s on a happy note. I was so down about aging, wrinkles and grey hair. But, as I am half way through this decade (unbelievably, time goes so fast!) I am loving and embracing it. I have worked hard, built an adult life, and learned so much. I know how much I can survive and I know how strong I am. I would not trade my life now for any other decade. Freedom 55! I am loving it!

Laurie

Yes, I Have Changed …

change

Queen Street West, Toronto

I simply could not continue to survive in this world the way I was.

I’m surprised I lasted as long as I did.

Yes, folks, there is such a thing as being too kind, too giving, too compassionate, too forgiving and too loving.

It becomes too much when it is done without regard for oneself; when serving others is prioritized to the point that the giver’s own needs are sacrificed.

What follows is a state of being which is decidedly not spiritual. What follows is the definition of martyrdom. In my case, martyring myself to useless, superfluous and thankless causes.

Take it from one who knows, this mindset attracts the wrong people.  Interestingly enough, this mindset can also extend to attracting the wrong reactions from the right people.

Not a happy place to be in.

In my own personal situation, it was very easy for others to push the right buttons to manipulate me into agreeing with and doing things when my heart and spirit were screaming “NO”!

Simply:

allude to a lack of compassion or hypocrisy;

mention selfishness and sprinkle on a little guilt;

add a dose of “What will other people think?”

And certain characters had me exactly where they wanted me – doing backflips and jumping through ridiculous hoops for their viewing pleasure.

As I look back, I see it was almost comical.

Until it wasn’t.

Until I was so exhausted, and so resentful and so burned out that I did not even resemble the original kind and compassionate person I started out as. All that was left was a threadbare, used up doormat.

So I changed.

I realized kindness and compassion are only authentic when they are first applied to oneself. And this is where boundaries began. Take it from me, there are some things we cannot do for others, because the resulting impact on ourselves is far too great for us to bear. Which brings me to the next point –

Sometimes we will disappoint people, and this is perfectly fine. They will survive it, and so will we.

In the same manner, sometimes we will be misunderstood. Also fine. Things generally become clearer as time passes.

Now we come to the hardest part –

Sometimes when we stand up for ourselves and exercise our right to say “no”, we will not be liked. Not always. But sometimes. I have come to accept this. I have no control over what other people think of me. Their opinion of me is their business – not mine. In the end, a “friendship” that is based on us not being our authentic self by saying “yes” when we mean “no”, is no friendship at all. Rather, it is an “entanglement”, in which both parties are better off without. (Trust me on this one. I spent over 30 years on such an “entanglement” and barely made it out with my heart and spirit still intact).

Over time, I have come to acknowledge that not all people carry positive motives in their hearts; that “acquaintance” is not another word for “friend”; that people can say one thing and in the end do something else entirely; and that, even those who are close, will sometimes make choices that are not in our best interest. I am okay with all of this. I have learned to look after myself and my own needs. This is my job to do. Nobody else’s. I truly am a “grown up”. Finally.

I still believe in love, compassion, kindness, goodness and having a generous heart.

But now, this is tempered with reality.

I  still am a “nice girl”.

But, make no mistake, I am no push-over.

My eyes are wide open.

The Strength of a Woman

strongWhen you know exactly who you are and decide exactly where your personal boundaries fall, you can face the world with strength. Even in difficult situations.

It’s okay to feel afraid, or angry, or insecure, or any other emotion that arises within you. Acknowledge your emotions. Breathe through the difficult ones Then let them slowly dissipate.

Life is for living. Life is for enjoying.

Lovingly embrace every minute!

Religious People, Misbehaviour and God

I am so over seeing one particular male “Christian’s” name in the news. I am sick of hearing about his “sins”. He will remain nameless here and I will not post a link.

This is not the first pop-star famous “Christian” who has made the news in a negative way. There seems to be numerous examples over the last few years.

Let me say right from the beginning, I am not a judgmental person. I do not hold religious people to a higher standard than anyone else. I believe we all are human, with our own lapses in judgment, flaws, things to be worked on, etc. Nobody is above making mistakes.

What is bothering me so much that I have to write a blog on this, is the attitude of a certain type of Christian. The type that always seems to bring God into the mix. The type that seems to skirt around acknowledging that their behaviour is their choice and they are solely responsible for it. It’s like they think they are entitled to a “get out of jail free” card just because they spend Sundays in a church or say the odd little “prayer”. The type that clearly lacks Integrity and Authenticity.

Lets say one such religious person hurts another person, whether through cheating, or lying or any other type of insensitive behaviour. Their response? Blah blah blah, and God forgives me so you are wrong not to blah blah blah  bear with each other (but really this means bear with their bad behaviour), blah blah blah Grace and Mercy. It’s ridiculous! And it’s not just done by celebrity “Christians”. I’ve noticed regular people-next-door religious “Christians” pulling the same nonsense.

Why do they do this? Why is God pulled into their sordid mess?

When I make a mistake, when I act selfishly or inappropriately in some way, I take responsibility for my actions. Then I apologize, and I learn from the whole experience.

That’s what grown adults who are well-adjusted do. They take responsibility for their own behaviour, and do what they can to clean up the mess.

As I have mentioned in previous blog entries, I am a very spiritual person who believes there is a wonderful beautiful Creator of this world. I believe this Creator loves me as I believe we all are loved.

But I do not believe I should hide behind this Creator when faced with my mistakes and messes. I find this tendency to be disrespectful to anyone I have hurt, as well as disrespectful to myself and the Creator.

Make no mistake, the way we treat other people matters greatly. It’s an intricate part of the story we weave about who we truly are, no matter what kind of fancy words we spew.

Bottom line to me, whether you are religious, spiritual or an atheist, take responsibility for your own actions. It’s part of being an adult. And it’s how we grow into the people we are called to be.

yoga

Living Your Authentic Life Story

The beauty of taking responsibility for your own choices, is that you owe nobody an explanation.

You are the author of your own life.

You get to choose when you stay in a relationship, and when it’s best to leave.

You get to choose what is good for you now, what was good for you in the past, but is not anymore, and what is and always was toxic to your spirit.

Give yourself permission to immediately leave any situation that makes you uncomfortable. You do not need to justify your choices to others. When you live true to yourself, you become acutely attuned to your spirit. Follow the gentle soft whisper of your spirit.

you