Hello and welcome to this lucky Friday, December 13, 2019! It is a rare and precious day that will never come again!
Mindfulness has ruined my life!
I used to be so certain about my life and how the world worked. I’m right, you’re wrong, here’s why! My resentments and anger used to be justified. I thought for sure that I was seeing things so clearly. You said or did “this,” therefore it meant “that.” Simple and straightforward! I can’t even stay mad at anyone for more than a few minutes anymore before I see the nature of my anger. I believed my anger was because of you! You were the source of it. Or, so I thought. Mindfulness has shown me that I am responsible for my anger. When I am irritated, there is something wrong with me. This is not fair!
My happiness used to be dependent upon you. When you treated me right, in a manner that I found pleasing, then I was happy. When you didn’t give me what I needed, how could I possibly be happy? Decisions seemed clear-cut when my happiness was contingent on things outside of myself. All I had to do was point to the solution. Happiness is an inside job? What does that even mean? I’m responsible for my happiness? Arrrg! I don’t want that responsibility!
Every time I walk into a store meow to buy something there is this little voice in my head saying, “Do you really need that?”, “Is that going to make you happy?”, “What are your motivations for wanting to buy that?”, “If you buy that, will it later cause you suffering?” I typically end up walking away without buying anything trying to figure out what just happened! Who am I kidding, I usually don’t even make it to the store!
I can’t even eat anymore without considering the source and the nature in which the food was grown/raised. It used to be so uncomplicated – I craved something, I ate it. Nowadays, I actually look at the ingredients and where and how it was produced. Typically, but not always, if it has more than one ingredient, I don’t eat it. Sure, I’m healthier and feel better physically, but where’s the fun in that? Anymore, I tend lose my appetite when I think about the way most animals are treated in our industrialized food system. It’s hard to eat out without feeling some sort of trepidation. Consequently, without my permission, I’m pretty much a vegetarian!
I used to be able to get in my car and go for a ride without considering impacts to the environment.
I don’t want all this accountability.
If you love something, let it go. Sure, that’s a great saying. But I didn’t think I’d actually have to do it! A couple months after moving in with my girlfriend, she decides to move to China and teach! And I’m supposed to be happy about this and support her? Not in the past. No way Jose! She would have been the conditions for my happiness. I didn’t know that when I sat down to define my values – to define what it means to have a healthy and meaningful relationship, that I was going to have to act in alignment with what I wrote down. If I would have known that, I would have written that she needed to stay here and make me happy! But no, that wasn’t true. I wrote down that it’s not what I get from a relationship, rather it’s what I bring to it. I wrote that I am to support her, unconditionally. It’s easy to say it, but to live it! Sure, it feels better than a justified resentment, but it seems so much harder! That’s not true though. It’s easier.
I truly want to be of service? My well-being is dependent on the well-being of others? Where did these thoughts come from?
Some days I just want to go back to being oblivious. At least that’s what my mind tells me, “Hey Dan, let go of all your happiness, peace and contentment so you can have justified anger and resentments; so you can look down on people for what they do; so you can buy things that will make you happy, even if it is temporary; so that you can eat what and when you want without a second thought; so that values are something more of a concept than a way of living; so that you don’t actually have to think before you act; so that your life can be about you, again!”
Yes, mindfulness ruined my life – my old life. Though these old thoughts and habits are still a part of who I am, I’m nothing like I used to be. Today I’m clear about what my values are and though I don’t do it perfectly, I do my best to live in alignment with them. I’m learning to pay attention. I do my best to consider how my actions effect others. I better understand my motivations. I know my emotions are temporary and are neither good nor bad. I know that I’m never outside of a relationship and how I treat people (places and things) matters, significantly. Even though I’m met with challenges, I also know that any enduring peace and happiness I have are a result of my thoughts, words and actions.
Though it seems hard sometimes, it’s quite simple. And, living Mindfully is most definitely worth it!
I love you and there isn’t anything that you can do about it.
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