Drop The “Should” List

May 2, 2012 by  
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Photo By Angie Rubin

I am thinking about how much stress and turmoil is actually self-created.  I’m specifically thinking about the terrain between that which we want and that which we think we SHOULD have.

As we go through life we start to adopt/take on a list of things that society has created as the bible to live by.  But, are these rules/concepts agreeable to all of us all the time?  No. And so conflicts are born between what we do and what we think we should do.

I have found the first line of defense in these situations is to ask ourselves what we really want out of an experience.   I ask myself again and again until I can give an honest response.  Once I know what I really want then I concentrate on that and try not to worry about the “should” yelling in my head.

I’m not saying it is easy to rise above the intense psychological conflict that ensues, but not taking it on means missing out on many opportunities that could provide us with experience and contentment.

Let me give you an example:  Sometimes we find ourselves in relationships that don’t necessarily fall within the long lasting, 100% fulfilling – or close to – realm but fall within “what we need for right now”.  So, the relationship is satisfying now.  But, if we hang on to thoughts of “I shouldn’t be enjoying this because I need to be in the “right” relationship, we will miss out on satisfying needs of now.

We never know what doors we open every time we go through an experience.  Not, living them because they are not perfectly right in our own minds, keep us away from opportunities and wisdom. And lastly, who knows what the future may or may not bring.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do – Mark Twain.





Thoughts On Self-Forgiveness

November 19, 2011 by  
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Self-forgiveness.   Now that’s a tough subject for me; the acceptance of being human which translates into the acceptance of not being perfect.

I’m not quite sure where it all started up for me but I have always hurt when I have fallen short of being perfect.  Of course in black in white even I can see the impossibility of success.  But we are not talking black and white.  We are talking psyche.

Maybe the need to be perfect comes from a compulsive sense of responsibility; if I don’t say or do the right thing then all things can fall apart and I don’t want that.  And if that happens, it will all be my fault.

It’s interesting to try to figure out the source of such feelings but it isn’t mandatory in order to change the way we feel and behave.

In my case it started with a continuous dialogue with my own self.  “I am not responsible for everything that happens.”  “In any situation or relationship, the outcome is the result of the inter-action of all involved.”  “There are things that even though I wish them to be different, I am powerless to do so.”

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How To Have Self-Respect

August 21, 2010 by  
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The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.  ~Joan Didion

I work in the entertainment business as a producer.  I have never done anything that has resulted in great financial compensation or fame but I earn my living producing documentaries, shorts, TV and feature films.

In every business, there is success, failure and ego but in the media business these accomplishments or lack of are actually commodities.   “You are only as good as your last thing” and “it doesn’t matter how good it is, only how much it makes”, are phrases often tossed around in this finicky world.  If you are wondering why I’m writing about this hang on a minute and I’ll make my point.

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Learning To Be In Relationship With Ourselves

June 19, 2010 by  
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I do understand the longing of being in a relationship or being part of a family.  I have lived away from home since I’m eighteen years old and am now a widow.

I do know we no longer need each other to fight dinosaurs or keep guard at the entrance of a cavern, but we do need each other for companionship and to love and be loved.

I also know the most intimate of all relationships is the one we have with ourselves.

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Love Thy Self

September 9, 2009 by  
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Today I read an Oprah.com article on CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/personal/09/07/o.self.esteem.repair.kit/index.html) about self-esteem. 

I don’t know if issues of self-esteem are more prevalent among women but I could certainly identify with the writer. 

I’ve been working on my own issue of self-esteem for a very long time.  People that know me would find this statement strange as I am a very self-assured and loud woman. But I never think I’m enough.  That is how my lack of love for myself or self-esteem issue manifests itself.

I’ve had many accomplishments in life but I don’t get to appreciate and enjoy them because when they are happening I’m already moving on, thinking it was nothing. 

Another way my self-esteem shows its ugly head is, I’ve always thought why would a man want to be in a relationship with me?  I’m not young enough or successful enough. Even when I was twenty I already saw myself as old and having to catch up with “so and so” – people I didn’t even know – because they were my age and in my mind were already ahead of me.I of course can trace some of this to my family life.  At home, I was the one who was dishing out advices to all the members in the family.  They appreciated that but favored my sibling as she needed more attention.  So as a child I felt, here I am being giving, mature and understanding but being pushed aside for my sister’s needs. 

I can also remember at age sixteen telling my dad that I had decided to start ballet to only have him say I was already too old to make a career out of it.

So for many years I walked around considering myself as a factory reject and getting into all kinds of situations with men who couldn’t possibly love me (not because of me but because of themselves) and if I could make one of them love me then maybe I was worthy after all. 

I’m not blaming my family for any of this.  We loved each other and continue to do so and we all try our best.  I’m also mature enough to know my life is my responsibility.  

I believe a life is really about getting to know oneself, changing that which makes us unhappy and becoming our own best friend in the most loving of ways; understanding and accepting.

I believe we can only affect a positive change in our life if we first change something within us that causes unhappiness and/or turmoil.   Easy to know that what I’m saying is true.  Just pick any rich, beautiful, intelligent, young person out there who is completely miserable to know that the problem is within that person.  On the other hand, there are plenty of simple people that are happy or satisfied.  I’m by no means saying that rich people are unhappy and poor people are happy.  I’m just pointing out that the ingredients that all of us consider being the ones to bring satisfaction in life, if not supported by an internal understanding, love and acceptance of our selves, become almost ineffective.

Orson Welles said “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”

I agree with his statement but I think it’s incomplete.  I really believe that in befriending ourselves we can find the companionship that we so much crave.

So what do I do about my self-esteem issue?  I slow down and try to appreciate something that I really enjoy.  In my case it can be as simple as a beautiful glass of wine or playing with my dog.  Somehow the joy of those simple activities brings me a sense of well being.

I also look around and think where I have been and what I have done and I take a deep breath and try to appreciate my accomplishments. 

And mostly I remind myself that my journey is my own and at the end only my best friend (myself) and I will know the entirety of my life and know I have tried to do everything that I set myself out to do and that I was human and I loved and it was a job well done.


Self Love…

May 30, 2009 by  
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Last night I had a small interaction that reminded me of when I was first putting this site together.

I asked a few friends of mine to write essays or post blogs for this site.  I have many friends that are writers and I thought it would be wonderful to launch with these very well written pieces. 

They all said yes but as the deadline approached, I started to get the “I’m sorry but I’m so busy can I write something next time around?” or the “I tried but I just had no inspiration to write about love”.

At the time I was reading Arianna Huffington’ book about blogging and one of the things the book describes is the process of reaching out to others to contribute to the blog. She was able to get commitments from many people including some of high visibility.

So I thought is the subject of politics more interesting or important than the subject of love? Or is Arianna more important than me?

Right about now you reading this could say that I have a complex of inferiority – maybe.  But the point I’m trying to make is that if I was highly successful it would be easier to get others to want to do things with me but I would still be the same person just with more money and maybe more self assured but basically the same person. What would be different would be outside of me. 

My point in discussing this seemingly small point is the fact that we/I can’t have a sense of worth or self love based on others as their interaction with us/me sometimes is based on things that are outside of us and not really about whom we truly are as people.

I for one will try to keep remembering that the truth of whom I am and my own value as a person is independent from how others see me and react to me.  And to those friends who have contributed to the site, to my life and love me for whom I am my deep thanks.