We tend to look at certain events in our lives as important days. Those days that we consider to be life-changing such as graduations or weddings or the birth of a child are important days to us. Some think the day they met a significant person as being one of the most important days of their life. It is for me. For most of us there are numerous days that are significant and/or life changing. All of those things have already happened or have yet to happen at some future time in our lives. Most of the events that await us in the future are totally unknown to us today. How our lives will manifest remains a mystery.
Stories are written one word at a time. The words combine to create sentences that become part of a paragraph. One paragraph follows another and this ultimately results in a story. The author may have ideas about the content of the story but fills in the details as it is written. Life is similar in many respects. Lives are lived in minutes, hours, days, months, and years. We may have things we wish to manifest into reality. But we don’t know what our lives will look like until the story is written or our life unfolds in front of us and we experience it. Rarely do people’s lives look just as they had pictured them in the past.
This brings me to the point of this post and why today is the most important day of your life. Your past in done and is no longer a reality. It is the past. Past days have created the life you are experiencing today. We have an idea what we would like our life to look like in the future. But the future hasn’t arrived yet. All we have is the moment we are living in. All we can control is what we do now in the moment we are experiencing.
The decisions and the actions you take today lay the foundation for what your life will look like in coming days, weeks, months, and years. It is important to focus your attention on what you have in front of you and not dwell on either the past or the future. Have a plan or a goal. Those are valuable. What is most important is to put your time and energy into the steps you need to take to attain those goals. This is why today is so important. Today really is all you have. Tomorrow will once again be the most important day of your life.
It seems that most people are in search of happiness. Clients come into my office saying, “all I want is to be happy. What do I need to do in order to me happy”? I read on message boards how people just want to be happy. Look at many of the daytime talk shows and you can find them talking about seeking happiness. You can find literally hundreds of book promising to help you find happiness in your life.
I do not think that happiness is a reasonable or attainable goal. Before you stop reading, let me explain and you might even agree with me. I believe that happiness cannot be a constant state of mind and happens from time to time under special circumstances. I think we can work toward being in the state of mind to allow happiness. I want to be in a place emotionally that will allow me to experience happiness when those situations present themselves during the course of my life.
There are feelings that I like to have and feelings that I would rather not experience. If I want to experience the feelings I want I have to allow myself to experience those feelings I don’t want. I don’t get to choose. It is important to learn not to judge our feelings as either bad or good. There are no bad or good feelings. There are only feelings. Having and expressing our feelings is all part of experiencing life and being a human being.
Ultimately, my goal is to feel comfortable enough in my own skin to experience and work through my feelings. I cannot judge myself for the feelings I have. This way I can allow myself to experience happiness and joy in my life.
I remember when I was much younger I was devastated that something I had expected to happen did not turn out as I thought. I was so angry that I decided that I would never have expectations again. That was a very wise thought and would have been very helpful for me to avoid tremendous disappointment and depression if I had followed through with that decision. I allowed my unmet expectations to cause me great emotional distress many times over the years. I really didn’t get that having expectations was complicating my life. It took many years and a great deal of disappointment for me to revisit having expectations.
One thing I learned over the years has to do with what I have control over and what I do not have control over. For the most part, only those things I do for myself and are not influenced by something outside myself are the things I can reasonably have expectations of the outcome. Even those things can turn out in a way I don’t expect. Anything that is not totally in my control I have little control of the outcome. Having expectations can give me a feeling of entitlement and can cause me to be in the role of the victim if the outcome is not what I had expected. If life does not meet my expectations it can have a negative impact on my self-worth.
We all have wants, desires, and preferences. Try to avoid having expectations.
Katy Perry has a new song entitled “Unconditionally.” The song refers to the notion of romantic love being unconditional. Although this is a very appealing notion, I believe it to be more of a romantic wish than a reality. Many people have the expectation that they will find a partner that will love them unconditionally. It is an ideal that would be rarely realized. Healthy adult relationships are based on mutual honesty and trust. When trust is broken and a person feels disrespected by their partner love can be damaged or destroyed. People grow apart and love sometimes ends.
We are most likely to see unconditional love by a parent for their child. Parent/child bonds are very strong. When someone does not receive that kind of love and acceptance from their parent, they are likely to seek that in their romantic relationships. They expect to find someone that will love them unconditionally. This leads to approval seeking behaviors and unrealistic expectations of those they have relationships. With the expectation of unconditional love comes great risk. Self-worth and esteem are tied to the love or lack thereof from another. When someone expects unconditional love and that love ends it can result in feelings of not being good enough and shame.
Our value as a person does not come from how others feel about us. It is important to love ourselves unconditionally and embrace our humanity and flaws. Then we will not have unrealistic expectations about the love of others.
I have all kinds of thoughts that I want to share. I decided to touch on a few rather than write about one specific topic.
We create the life we have. I am not saying that we control what happens in our lives. I am not saying that positive thinking and focusing our energy will manifest in the things we want in our lives. Our beliefs about ourselves and the world and how we fit determine how we deal with the issues that arise in our lives. We can hold on to things and allow them to determine our future. Or, we can learn to accept those things we cannot change, change what we can, and move in a positive direction. Many of us allow the past to determine our future. We can change that.
Many of us spend a great deal of time dwelling on the past and the losses, mistakes, sadness we had experienced. Many also spend too much time concerned about what may or may not happen in the future. While we are so focused on either the past or future, our attention is not on the here and now and we are missing living our lives. The only thing that is real is “now.” The past is gone and doesn’t exist. The future hasn’t happened yet.
We all make mistakes. Learn from your experiences and avoid judging your self. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Accept your humanity.
These are some of the causes of depression and anxiety. With some effort you can improve your state of mind.
This is another great video presentation from TED Talks. This one explains what happens in the brain to cause Sexual Addiction. If you ever had any doubt about Sexual Addiction, here is scientific proof.
It seems I am developing a new habit. I wake in the middle of the night and my mind begins to work overtime. I am flooded with ideas. I know that all these brilliant ideas will disappear by morning. With the understand that my mind will not quite down, I decide to get out of bed and write down these ideas for topics for blog posts and articles.
I must clear my mind in order to fall asleep once again. The result is a nearly a page of topics and ideas. My mind now clear, I can return to bed and fall asleep. Two practical ideas: 1. If you have what might be good ideas in the middle of the night don’t try to remember in the morning (that never worked for me). Get out of bed and write them down. 2. If you have problems falling asleep or falling back to sleep, get out of bed for a while and then try again.
Have you ever been told that you engage in self-sabotage or self-destructive behavior? For those of us who have been told this, it can be very confusing and frustrating. Others appear to be able to identify our patterns of behavior that cause issues in our lives. They also prevent us from having a meaningful and fulfilling life. These behaviors are habitual and come from a place outside of our awareness. Our life seems to be going just fine and seemingly out of the blue things fall apart. This can happen in one or many areas of our lives.
Others tell us that we are creating the barriers that keep us from having good relationships, stable finances, and other success in our lives. We find it difficult or impossible to identify what we do wrong. This causes us to blame and become victims of one thing or person or another. The result is depression, anxiety, the inability to have relationships, poor self esteem, and feelings of shame. The first step to overcoming any issue is to identify the problem. But, you must first overcome your fear of confronting the issues and changing.
There is a constant conversation in our heads. These are the thoughts that create what meaning we give things and how we feel. Our behavior is based on this process. We all learn how to navigate life by watching the adults in our lives when we are children. As child, we develop of our beliefs about ourselves, others, what to expect from the world, as well as our expectations of others. Be us and doing things how we do things is the only way we know how to be. Unless we are exposed to and open to exploring alternative thinking and/or behavior we are unable to change. We repeat the same behaviors again and again.
The best way I have found to identify the thought patterns that drive our behavior is to keep a journal. There are two goals. The first goal is to increase awareness of that conversation in our head that I mentioned earlier and paying attention to it. The second goal is identifying thoughts or meanings that may not be valid or stand in our ways. These two steps afford you the opportunity for find alternative thinking and behavior. I have found this process is extremely effective.
Working with a counselor or coach can vastly increase the likelihood of very important improvements in the quality of our lives. Give it a try. You have nothing to loose and everything to gain.
To be continued……………………………..
Over the past few years I have seen more and more garbage being posted as helpful for people with mental health, life issues, relationship, and sexual issues. Most are just a rehash of everything that has been posted with a slick title to get your attention. Much of it is useless or even damaging information. I think I have something positive to offer that can be very helpful and I wanted to reach more people. I have nearly 20 years of touching people’s lives in a very positive way and have extensive training and experience in teaching coping skills, treating trauma, treating substance abuse, and addressing sex and sexual issues. What better way than the internet? It was suggested to me that I start a blog.
I want to write posts that are short and easy to read. I want to post things that people can apply to their lives immediately and get results. I also do this to remind myself of skills I have applied to my own life to help me be balanced and growing. Writing this blog keeps me focused and helps me. I do want to hear from the people who read my blog. Please share your opinions, suggestions, and topics you would like me discuss. Those topics can be about life and coping skills, relationship, and sex and sexuality.
My profession is that of helping people improve their lives and relationships. I have a real passion for helping others but this is also how I pay my bills. It is one of my hopes that potential clients find my blog. If you read my blog believe I have something to offer you, I hope you consider contacting me to discuss working together. My profile contains my contact information.