And what’s left is JOY.
“Your life will improve incrementally if you eliminate those things that are making you bitter and miserable. But in order to do this, you have to make the decision to burn off all that deadwood and sacrifice that unhappiness, even if you feel that you are justified in harbouring it, and stop doing things that you do and know you shouldn’t be doing”, says Dr Jordan B Peterson (He is brilliant, check him out if you haven’t heard of him, I am grateful to the person who had told me about him, Thank you!).
That’s what I have been doing for the last few months. I looked all the stupid shit I was doing and everything in my life that was making me miserable. I don’t think I was bitter, but I was definitely miserable. If I had laughed once a day, I would call it a success. And I was just bad company to be around and I appreciate the friends who stuck around despite that. The stupid shit I was doing… expecting my environment to be different and and lying to myself that it wasn’t that bad. After all, there were others who were happy. Good for them! However, it wasn’t helping me to be any less miserable. I could feel my soul dying a bit by bit.
So, instead of trying to find happiness through the environment I was in, I went back to my childhood hobbies and passions – Art. I started painting (I even have a buyer for my first painting), I even made a top out of a scarf – all with hand (technically you could call it haute couture since its all done by hand). And that brought me joy and somewhat compensated for the shit time I was having otherwise. I played dress ups, I was able to fit into my smaller size dresses and that helped me feel better. But the misery was still there.
And then of course you find people who are just as miserable if not more. And that didn’t help. It just added to the misery. Even though we all felt that we were justified in holding on to the misery. Then comes the time to really face the music or face yourself. I looked at myself in the mirror and the life in my eyes was fading away. That was the turning point. After all enough is enough and there has got to be more to life than this non sense. And I decided to change. I let go off the justifications for being miserable and actively decided to change my environment by changing myself. And there is a God who loves me enough to line up the next steps – the very next day there was forward movement. Hope. I needed that.
So eventually you leave the forest to be on fire and you leave behind all that deadwood – shit that no longer serves you – all your past, behaviours, thoughts… that do nothing to propel you forward in life. So I did. And just to set the record straight, those who say the power is all within for us to change and the environment has no power over you – open your fucking eyes and see shit for what it really is. If you have justified in your own mind how it works for you, then good for you. Just don’t preach to idealistic/realistic people. Oh, I left idealist behind to burn too. It was the expectation that it should be different that was making me miserable while I can also see the value of the idealist – things can be better and I should work towards making things better.
While I am dishing out my opinions, here is another thought pattern to addressed. My dear brother tried to preach a little to me tonight when I had called him to tell him how happy I really am at the moment. He suggested I look to the past to learn from the mistakes…. I can see where he is coming from. I have a rule that I learn what I need to while I am in a situation, once I am done, I AM DONE and I no longer need to go back and talk about the past. It helps to know how shit your past was so you can focus in your present to work towards a brighter future. Why? Because you don’t want that shit to repeat ever again. Other than that, talking about the past in your present does diddly squat to move you forward in life.
Even the process of waiting, there was deadwood that was to be burned – self doubts, lack of faith/trust in God and relying only on myself to make it happen in my own timeline. My timeline has never worked, after all, you can’t tell God what to do and how to make things work (even though I have tried many times and failed miserably… It has brought me down to my knees every single time). As Kendrick Lamar would say, “Sit down, be humble!” That was the lesson to be learned. I finally learned to trust. Pretty funny as to how God schooled m…
I was up early one morning and went for a walk… just in time to make it for the sunrise. Yet I couldn’t see the sun, according the weather app, sun should have come up by now… where the fuck was it?! I couldn’t see the sun and yet it was getting brighter. Then I heard a voice inside myself say, “Be still, and know that I am God”. I think its from the Bible. There was this overwhelming peace that came over me (overwhelming because I hadn’t felt such peace before). As I looked at the horizon, there were clouds in the sky and the sun was behind them. God works in such ways I guess, even though you can’t see, He is still doing things in the background. Well, for me it was an important lesson I finally learned.
In closing, I shall report the following:
- I haven’t felt such joy and happiness since I was a little kid. The joy and excitement that I wake up with every morning is very much childlike.
- Its not just for today that I feel this way. I always observe my own behaviours and emotions, joy has been consistently for the last few weeks and keeps growing. Thank you God!
- In the previous blogs, I might have made reference to not having a good relationship with my family. I actually visited them for a week (that visit came from my decision to burn off the deadwood) and it was heaven. There were no references to the past we didn’t need to talk about any more. It was just nice to be in each other’s presence without the expectation for things to be any different.
- Joy is here is to stay, in technical terms of painting, its the base coat that will always be present.
- I am a much nicer person and fun to be around. According to some old friends, I didn’t insult them at all when they saw me the other day – didn’t realise I used to do that. I am sorry! And they hadn’t seen me this happy before.
With that being said, there will be a time again to burn off more deadwood….and I will know better next time. In the meantime, here is me enjoying my life while trying on some new shades to view the world through…