One of my good friends left the state a couple days ago.. [a little background] She and I always have great conversations that help me to come to some type of self-realization. My relationship with her is actually one of the healthiest I think I’ve ever had with a person of the opposite sex, maybe because at its heart its centered around some pretty consistent and deeply entrenched ideals/beliefs for us both. God/Dreams/Self-actualization and self-knowledge specifically.
Anyway after helping her throwing a couple things in the Prius we finally got to walk around the block and talk. We’re right in the middle of a Georgia summer ..but on this particular evening the weather was perfect; it had rained just minutes before and we were in one of those older neighborhoods where the tree’s were all generous.. sharing their shade.
We started with catching up. She’d taken the summer “off” from the regular activities of what was expected from her [summerjob+resumebuilding+blah]. She decided to take this summer to meditate, rest, and really work through some issues. It actually seems dishonest to try to cram her decision to step out of the rat race into such a short sentence. It really took a great deal of faith, a lot of soul searching, and then a little more faith – (all of which I admire in her)
Anyway there were a couple things I learned from our conversations.
1. Trust God. Easier said than done usually. Really believing that we shouldn’t worry and that we should just believe that He’ll take care of us is hard for me. I’ve spent a lot of my life – worrying. Worrying about money, about my future, about being able to afford my dreams, etc. I work overtime and save extra in the fear that one day there will not be enough money. I go to school for years because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to fashion the life that I desired.. “Its hard to turn off something you’ve lived for 26 years” according to my friend.
2. Don’t do “prerequisite” thinking. This goes something like ..in order for me to be happy I’d like to be a chef..in order to be a chef I need to first buy a million books on becoming a chef, then maybe go to school for chef’ing, then finally I’ll be qualified to be chef…or in my case in order to travel to France..first I need to pay off alll my loans, and then save up enough to be comfortable, and ..so on and so forth. She really pointed out to me that I was falling into the same traps of thinking that had gotten me to where I was unhappy in the first place. I need to decide what will make me happy, then allow myself to go after it. Anything extra is unnecessary, unhelpful, and perhaps a roadblock from reaching your happiness.
3. I don’t need half as much as I assumed I did to be happy. During the course of her search for herself, she had stumbled upon this room for rent. It was a nice-sized room, with an attached bathroom, and a small kitchen. There was a comfy couch, a cushioned arm-chair and duvet. It was perfect. And while I was there I just leaned waaay back on the arm-chair with my legs up, listening to people I cared about have a good time, I was really content. I didn’t need a phone (in fact I left it in the car), didn’t need Facebook, just needed the bare necessities and people who I care about. In fact I think the simplicity of the surroundings enhanced, rather than took away from my contentment.
4. Don’t worry so much. I’ve always had this problem where I’ve believed if I thought the wrong way or didn’t pray fast enough after terrible thoughts, or didn’t ask for forgiveness..there would be hell to pay. I’d be banished from God’s presence, or cast out for blaspheming, etc. Well, I came to realize that all that is, is a form of “holy” worrying. I’m dressing up anxiety and giving it more power than it ever possessed. My thoughts don’t determine God’s course of action, or change whether or not I’ll be involved in a car crash. “If your going to worry, why pray? If your going to pray, why worry? [courtesy of Kia]”
So yea..now just comes pulling the trigger on this wisdom. *sigh*