My Life Class3:57 PM
I came across Oprah's Lifeclass through the newsletters I would get from OWN - Oprah Winfrey Network. It seemed to be what I needed at this point in my life (God, I sound like them). To be honest, just typing this makes me feel very vulnerable. It's as though I'm showing the inner me and the journey I have to take and I still have to learn how to be genuine with others.
Lately, I've been shifting the way I view myself and I realize that I've been living my life through other people's eyes. Does that even make sense? Now I look at it, no it doesn't and still I was doing it. I didn't like myself, much less love myself, and I was just living for everyone else. Living my life because others wanted me to be in this place or that place. If I wasn't doing what they wanted, I would shift so that I was doing what they wanted. Oh, so sad. I can't even remember when I gave my life away.
So what happens when you give it away? You pretty much give up, you don't live the life you want, you live the life others want for you. You don't discover the things you love, and do the things you love. You are simply living but not living. You can't even imagine being happy and doing the things that truly put you at peace and make you genuinely happy.
I don't have the answers, I just know that I have to move forward. When I say forward I mean to look forward, to stop looking in the past. Looking at the good and bad in the past. The past has been written and cast in stone and no matter how many times I go back, I can't change it.
Every now and then, I would look back and think that I should have gotten that first apartment I saw in Italy and lived on my own or I should have stayed in NYC. The hard one is I should have made a plan when I went into FIT, a clear and concise plan. I should have done some soul searching and truly understood what kind of career and life I wanted. The crazy thing is I tell myself that I should have done those things back then, but I don't do them now.
From the first episode of Oprah's Lifeclass, I gathered some tools to move forward. Honestly, there was a part that had my eyes leaking water, but here are some things I noted:
- PAIN - Pay Attention Inward Now. It is so easy to blame everything outside of myself or needing something outside to make me feel better, but it is truly coming to terms with the thing that is bringing me down and recognizing that it is not the stimulant that is making me feel bad, but the way I react to it. Also understanding why I react to it in that way. A lot of what I do is programmed, I was taught that and somehow I believed it was my own invention. I think when you recognize that something is not working for you and that it's not part of you or you don't want it to be part of you moving forward, you can easily put it away. Sometimes, the pain comes from when you don't live according to what you really want, what your soul wants. In my case, it was that apartment in Italy.
- Putting yourself first. I'm hearing this over and over and it was one of those epiphanies that are like small waves lapping at the shore instead of a tsunami. It isn't being selfish, it's about making sure you are at your best so you can help others. As a lady in the bank put it, God says to do onto others as you would do onto you, but if you don't love yourself, how can you love someone else? In my case, when I have given all of me to others, how can I survive and continue to give. I like what Iyanla Vanzant said - if you give too much of yourself to others, you are making them into a thief. Which is so true and you in turn end up resenting them, but in their minds they are only taking what you are giving. It's time for me to become whole for the first time in a long time.
- Living your story. I know my story, the story I've been telling myself over and over, but that is an old story. I am not the same person I was back then, in fact I don't want to remain the person I am right now. I want a new story, but this time around I'm the author. For a long time, I've wanted to write a story that would be my story, but I always put everyone before me and didn't know what that story would be about. Once again, I have to look within and discover what I want my story should be. Now it makes me wonder what I have been doing, because I've been reading this story like it was my favourite book and truth be told. I hate this story.
- Have a vision. It's one thing to not look back, or to retell my story, but if I'm not doing anything, I will end up looking back and retelling my story. This is the scary and exciting part. Scary and exciting because I know if I just decide and run recklessly into what I aim for in life, I will get it. I have that kind of power, as long as I make up my mind and aim for something that is crystal clear, I can get it. For the first time in a long time, I have the time and energy to get what I want and I will take the time to decide what is right for me, what I want and get it.
The crazy thing about life is no one has the answers, they may have tools that can get you to the answer that is in you already. There is no universal answer, just find your own.