Sunday, July 23, 2017

It's Been a While

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog. My confidence in my writing abilities and in myself are at a low. I’m facing some unprecedented crises that will most likely pass one way or another, but I don’t know how or when, so I’m shaken. What does one do when things feel darker and scarier than they’ve ever been? In my case, it’s the same thing, I Get Started and I Keep Going. I have set some very clear goals, even a couple of not-so-clear goals, and I’m working towards them. Resolve is important. So are reminders – constant reminders.
One of those reminders is a book I’m reading (listening to, actually) called You are a Badass – How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. It just showed up on my YouTube channel and I have found it very helpful. In no particular order, here are some things I am realizing or have been coming to realize over the last several weeks. This book is solidifying things I’ve been thinking and introducing new ideas as well.
First, I need to change my way of thinking, especially about who I believe I am and what my capabilities are. I have always believed that I am far less capable than I am. “Inferiority complex,” “low self-esteem,” “untapped potential,” call it what you will, but I’ve suffered from it all my life. It’s like a chronic condition or a disease. But the truth is, self-perception is a choice. There are plenty of people whose lives have been far worse than yours or mine who have gone on to great success. There are people who have made worse mistakes, had greater setbacks, were older, less intelligent, or had greater obstacles and still achieved great success. There’s no reason I can’t do better in all areas of my life. I don’t know how I’m going to achieve what I want, but everything I’m reading says the how will come to me. I just need to start doing something.
To that end, I try to learn all I can. I take action where I can. For example, recently I went to the Richard Nixon Library, leaving at 1:00 a.m. to avoid the traffic, sleeping in my car when I got tired and then researching most of the day (in between naps). I didn’t even find much of anything useful. But I took action and that’s what mattered. Now I know that I don’t need to go back (at least not for this project). Experience has taught me that action is the cure for almost everything. Actions that have helped me in the past have been:
·         Studying
·         Cleaning
·         Walking
·         Working
·         Writing
·         Organizing
·         Waking up early
There are probably more, but those have been the most helpful for me.
            Another concept I’m realizing is what a friend told me – Question everything. This is a difficult and painful process. I’ve questioned a lot of things, especially my spiritual beliefs. I am still sure there is a God and that He is a God of love. I still believe in the power of prayer as a healer and change agent. I still believe the Bible can speak to me and is God’s word. Everything else I question. Questioning is scary because it may mean that some, much, or all of what I have based my faith on may be false. That’s a scary place to be. On the other hand, a lot of the paths I followed for years led to great unhappiness and futility. The truth is I don’t know what to believe anymore other than what I still believe. This is still an unresolved area of my life.
            The final large concept I’m dealing with is money, or lack thereof. This has been a problem my whole life. I’m not sure why, but it has. The why doesn’t even matter. What matters is changing the behaviors (or misbehaviors) I’m aware of and creating new behaviors. At the point in my life where others are close to retirement and building their nest egg, I am starting all over again and in the negative. But I’m also (finally, finally, FINALLY) developing habits and a mindset that should keep me from ever being in this place again. I’ve also set a goal around money that’s larger than just getting out of debt. Now I’m thinking about others and about my future and their futures. I wish I had known to do these things years ago. It doesn’t matter; I’m doing them now.
            I wish things were better. I wish I had more positive things to report. I’m struggling, but I’m not unhappy. I’m blessed. I have my health and my job and my car and the means to do things I want to do (most of them anyway). People are praying for me. I still Get Started and Keep Going and that’s all that really matters.