Why It Truly Doesn’t Matter

Love

I’ve noticed an interesting pattern with myself and many people that I know. It’s the pattern of assigning meaning to the things we should, in fact, ignore. 

Ever notice how we tend to look at our successes with an almost shoulder-shrugging, disconnected and strangely indifferent attitude, while we take rejection to a whole new level of cray cray? When I take stock of my life on a logical level, I’d have to see that my wins clearly outnumber my failures, and yet, I still often find myself measuring myself by the times I experienced rejection, loss or defeat. My brain seems to have an uncanny ability to zoom right in on the negative, mourning the loss of an opportunity or relationship, while it quite deliberately ignores the greatness I achieve/have achieved.

Somehow, I assign great meaning to rejection. Being turned down for a job, promotion or by a guy suddenly means that I am maybe insufficient, not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough or otherwise simply undesirable. This is the great lie I was lead to believe a long time ago. And yes, it is a lie. Let me tell you why it is important to choose the right perspective and how to go about it.

Beating yourself up and blaming yourself for what someone else chose and did is the most hurtful thing you can do to yourself. The truth is that people do, think and say whatever they want and there is nothing you can do about it. You don’t have control over another’s actions; you only have control over your own actions and perspectives. Yes, if certain situations keep repeating, you may want to evaluate why you choose people who treat you a certain way, but to believe that their actions reflect on who you are in any way, shape or form is simply toxic; and again, not even true.

In the past, when a guy rejected me I’d make it about me being not good enough. But what if it merely means that they are not the one I want!? Why would I want anyone who doesn’t clearly see me? To quote one of my Besties, “you are one of a kind. Anyone who does not recognize that isn’t worth it.” I thought about this statement long and hard and realized that I truly had it backwards.

When I would meet someone that I liked and they didn’t like me back, I’d go back in my mind and have the conversation of “If I would only not have said/done this or that, and done/said such and such instead.” I am sure many can relate to that. And yet, this is the very thought process we should reject. Why in the world would anyone even do who requires censoring? Why would we blame ourselves readily, instead of standing proudly in who we truly are? Why would I beat myself up over being too intense, when I know that there is someone out there who’d look at my intensity with a great big grin and a “whoohoo!” Why do we assume that this one person, who usually knows nothing about us, is more valuable than the ones who love and like us precisely for the things that truly make us the unique people we are?

Yes, being rejected is uncomfortable. I think it’s human to respond with an initial knee jerk reaction of “ack,” and feeling sad. But in the great big scheme of life it truly doesn’t matter. So I got rejected? Next! All rejection means is that I am still available for the awesome person who thinks I am the best thing since sliced bread. Because I want the man who looks at me and thinks “HELL YES!”.

Sometimes people look great on the surface and sometimes we may project what we want into them, but the truth is that nothing feels quite like the true, authentic click and spark that happens when you meet your true match. If I have to censor who I am, what I say, how I look and what I stand for, I am not with the one; it’s as simple and honest as that. True connection is not built on superficial attraction and projection of what we want to see and would like to have. True connection is built on trust in knowing that you are safe being yourself, and admired, wanted and loved for just that. So don’t attach meaning to someone rejecting you. Instead, realize that your “whoohoo” is still about to happen, because that is what you want and deserve anyway.

The key is knowing that what you truly deserve and want is, in fact, possible. It’s the how and when you gotta let go. Lightning could strike tomorrow – in the most unexpected ways and places and everything around it will fall into place, without you censoring who you are.


Love, Best Friends and Douchebaggery

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“I deserve much better than this.” How many times have you heard someone say that; or worse, how often have you said it? There is something profoundly unhealthy about staying with a person because you have to make a point or prove that you are worth it. “But I am a good person! Why can’t he see that.” Or how about “once I am gone he is really going to realize that he lost the best thing that’s ever happened to him.”

I hate to break it to people, because I also hated breaking it to myself: NO, he is NOT going to realize that! Maybe he misses pieces of you, maybe he hates being alone, but no, he is not in some magic slumber that will suddenly end when you choose to leave. Chances are, he is going to move on, the way he always has before you came around. Maybe there is relief in knowing that he no longer has to work so hard or pretend or fight, or whatever. Maybe there isn’t. But what most of us don’t want to admit is that it doesn’t matter what the other one thinks, feels, wants, needs or doesn’t. What matters is what you feel, think, want and need. If you cannot believe that you are worth it or “deserve better” you won’t convince anyone else of it. It’s as easy as that.

Running around the world and telling everyone how beautiful, deserving, smart, ambitious, amazing and loving you are is not going to make you so. If you cannot believe in yourself, no one else will. If you don’t set boundaries, no one else will. If you don’t decide what and when it is enough, well, I’m sorry to say then you have it coming. All I can say is, “brace yourself and get ready for the next round of crap.”

Love…what a wonderful notion – and yet I think a lot of us have it wrong. Love isn’t pain and it isn’t hard work. Love isn’t misery, fighting, struggling and proving your self-worth. Love is not about power, control, dominance, fear, anger and selfish whims. Love is not an addiction you have to fuel like an addict. And no, it’s not about fear and adrenaline rush (often mistaken as the initial “in love” experience). Love is about deep appreciation, respect and admiration for the other person. It’s about the joy you experience when spending time and space with them. It’s about mutual interests, but most importantly same values! If your core values do not match, you won’t either. This is not about compromise. A compromise is about taste in food and music, not in areas like being monogamous or loyal, for example.

While we are talking about the foundation for love; let’s also discuss friendship for a moment. We often use the reason that the other is our best friend. And again, I come in with the brutal truth: Wow! Your bar when it comes to friendships must be set, not just super low, but probably be buried underground; unless it is OK for your friends to be dishonest, disloyal, selfish and mean to you. I often see people put up with stuff for the sake of friendship and honestly, it amazes me what they consider a best friend. Truth? A person who consistently puts their needs ahead of yours, does not treat you with kindness, respect, care and consideration is not only a lousy partner, but definitely not a friend either. I wouldn’t even acknowledge them as an acquaintance. Don’t mistake the few good times you have and the few times he/she actually listens and attempts to care or do the right thing as being a friend. Friends don’t hurt you consistently and/or worse, deliberately!

It is sad, maddening and hard to stand up for yourself when you don’t know how to. It is difficult to understand that no one but you is responsible for your happiness. You can roll over and stay in denial, blaming the other(s) for your misery, but in the end, it’s all on you. Your quality of life is on you. Happiness, success and health – yep, also almost 100% on you. Even when life deals you crap cards, it’s still on you. There is power in this! Trust me. I view these trials and crap times of my life as badges of maturity and wisdom. There were times when I kept sticking my finger in the electrical outlet, electrocuting myself over and over,  wondering why I was in so much pain; until I learned to stop doing that.

So the question remains: Are you done yet, or are you ready for the next round of pain! The choice is 100% yours.

 


Small World

I am about 8 years old. For the past 2 years I have had ongoing issues with migraines and asthma. My mom took me to our primary physician, who sent us to specialists for both. I had EEGs, EKGs, allergy tests and anything else one can imagine. For summer break, mom’s health insurance sent me and my brother to 6 week vacations for the past 3 years, because he also suffers from asthma. We are sent to the Northsea, the Alps, the Black Forest and each time we come back refreshed and finally, better. My mom is a single, cleaning woman, making about 1,000 Marks a month, sometimes a bit more when she gets a second job; barely enough to make ends meet. But, we don’t go hungry, even though we do eat a lot of liverwurst, we live in a nice place and we never stay sick for long. That was in Germany.

I moved to the US in 1992. I knew, ever since I was a child, that I needed to be someone and do something that would make the world a better place for others. Living at the bottom of the food chain had sucked, but taught me a lot about what is truly important in life, as well as being grateful and willing to share or help those who were worse off. I have kept that promise to the best of my ability; and even when I was unemployed, would always find a few extra dollars to support the Human Rights Campaign, Environment California, Stand Up for Kids, The Humane Society of America and Equality California. Growing up poor, bullied and abused, I knew how it was to be on the short end of the “acception” stick and being helpless about it. I never wanted to turn my nose up on those who were less fortunate than me. And while I haven’t become rich, yet,  it hasn’t stopped me from doing what I consider to be the right thing, no matter how often I get attacked for it and how much that means swimming against the stream. I realized that doing something, no matter how little, would still contribute to the bigger picture.

In times where everyone screams about voting for a better future for their children and the rest of the country, while doing the exact opposite, I sometimes get discouraged. I am not sure how they are making a better place for anyone, while yelling hateful, mean, bullying and ignorant remarks.

In America, we proudly proclaim to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. And yet, we have a sense of entitlement that makes us unwilling to see outside our own little box, thereby rendering us arrogant, cruel and very intolerant.

Many have grown to believe that those less fortunate must, by design, be freeloaders, losers and definitely abusers of the system. They have chosen, yet again, to make the exception the rule, thereby penalizing and judging everyone who doesn’t live up to their ideals and ideas of what is right and what is wrong, good or bad. And why not, there are plenty of politicians who will tell them that their perception is right. So, I am openly pondering and asking you how that vision of creating a home for the free and brave can be achieved, when some people are voting for anything, or anyone who restricts rights for those who think, believe or live differently.

How are you making the world a better place, while only being interested in your own best interests? How are you being compassionate and kind, while calling helping those less fortunate handouts? How can you proclaim yourself a true disciple of your religion, when all of them supposedly teach love, tolerance, compassion and living by example, while you are out preaching hate or practicing intolerance, selfishness and superiority? How do you talk about peace, while justifying war?

I am not gay. I am not rich. I don’t subscribe to any religion. I live a fairly good life in a wealthy community, and I can afford healthy foods, an environmentally friendly car, yoga, benefits and my medication; latter only as of the last few years.
I have, however, been unemployed, sick, poor and hopeless. I have paid $1,200 a month for a PPO insurance, who denied the charge from my pulmonary doctor, because my asthma is a “pre-existing” condition. I have paid thousands of dollars to ERs, doctor visits and tests, while being insured and paying a small fortune, just so I could get turned down or told that my treatment wasn’t covered.
I have watched gay friends being denied the right to marry, because religion makes them an abomination, by people who claim that they are not restricting their rights. After all, they can set up a will so their partner inherits their money when they die. “I am not restricting their rights by not allowing them to get married.”
I have watched people, who were well off, or living a nice life, having a higher sense of entitlement and demanding more benefits, breaks and higher wages than any of those so called slackers they are always complaining about; even when lacking the education, experience or skill to perform the jobs that would pay them those high wages.
I have watched and listened to many people who claim their religion to be above all others, while having no compassion, not living by example and actively preventing those who are different from pursuing their lifestyles and their happiness, calling it “freedom of speech” and their right while trampling all over other people’s rights, because when you do it in the name of “god” it makes it acceptable.
I could go on about abortions, stem cell research and the closing of Planned Parenthoods, as well as the blatant attacks of science, while forcing creationalism to be taught in schools. At the end, none of it matters to those who believe themselves to be righteous and merely defending their freedom.

Maybe I am off my rocker, but somehow I’d feel like a complete douche if my freedom and success/wealth would be built upon the misfortune and unhappiness of others. Yes, I am aware that this land was stolen from the Indians, that the Nazis killed millions, but my point is that I would hope that we have progressed as a human race. I hope every day that we will become more civilized and more advanced as time goes on.

Because I do believe in these values of being a decent human being, who really cares about others, their equality and their well-being, I find that I must lead by example and do the best I can, while hopefully inspiring others to do the same. I still believe that there is hope and that being kind, compassionate, tolerant and caring are virtues that are not only important, but must be strived for, if one considers oneself a civilized person.

I consider remembering where I came from and what I endured one of my greatest strengths when it comes to relating to others. I don’t always get it right. I make mistakes, I get angry, I lose my temper and yes, I judge people pretty harshly, once I consider them dishonest, selfish, mean and intolerant. Yes, I know that judging these folks makes me a hypocrite to some. It is, however, not the people I judge, but their willful choices and words, indifference, apathy and intentions that hurt, harm, violate or deprive others of their right to choose. At the end of the day our overall behaviors, choices, words and actions make us who we are and define us in society. So due to my trials, struggles and hardships, I consider it my duty to fight for those who can’t defend themselves and are oppressed by others in a country that promised said rights to everyone equally.

I choose to not live in the small world that small-minded people are trying to force upon me, but instead realize that this world is and will be as big as I allow it to be. I believe this world is and should be big enough for everyone, not just a few, privileged and selected individuals. I will keep doing my part, how about you?