I have a repeating dream. The minute details are different each time, but the basic premise is the same. I’m always enrolled in college. Often I miss one or two classes entirely for a large portion of the semester. In most versions of the dream I walk onto campus and have no idea what my schedule is. Once I look at it I realize that we are halfway through the semester and I haven’t even showed up for one class. I look at syllabuses and see that I’ve missed tests and information. Sometimes I walk into the class for the first time on the day of a test. It's always a scramble, depressing and totally overwhelming.
At some point every time I have this dream I realize I have to drop out and start over and that I wasted tons of money.
Here's what I do know: with me, until I have resolution to my dreams they continue to play out over and over again.. I wonder what this one means.
------------------------------------------- A sidenote on dreams: Check out addressedtoanonymous.com if you haven’t lately. Some great letters have been posted. I don’t want this dream to die, so if you have something you could write in – a letter you could share…PLEASE DO.
You could define the way you feel about yourself by someone else's opinion of you - but why would you?
When we feel personally attacked in life we have a tendency to forget about human tendencies.
Often times people are reacting to us out of emotion that isn't fully attributed to us.
Little pieces of bad days, past hurts, assumptions, and defenses work their way into every situation and are then projected onto current realities.
Because of this we are often attributed qualities or failures that aren't really our own.
If we change how we feel about ourselves based on every last person's momentary judgments, we are doing ourselves, our esteem, and our self identity a great injustice.
Only you know who you are and what your intentions are.
There are times that you do something forseeing one outcome and getting a completely different one. Other times we completely overlook at potential negative side effect. That is the course of life. Things don't always go as expected.
Go into each thing you do with the best of intention. Be willing to admit when you are wrong or when something goes completely differently then you expected, but don't call everything failure or define yourself about how people feel about you in any one given situation.
And most importantly don't go chasing your self worth around based on what other people think of you. If you do you'll be chasing it around for the rest of you life and constantly neglecting the one person that knows the truth about who you are - YOU.
Do your best. Operate with the best of intention. Be open to explaining yourself when needed. But never let anyone tell you who you are, what you are capable of, or to define your motivation.
It’s getting to that point in the winter where I want to crawl out of the dark and cozy hole that I’ve dug myself into, but my body hasn’t fully adopted the potential change. I have good intention and desire to open the world back up to myself, I just haven’t figured out how to emerge – at least not in a healthy way. I’ve figured out how to go out to eat…but unfortunately that is just making the needed change a bit more difficult as I feel like I’m packing on the pounds and making any fitness and financial goals even bigger challenges.
So I’ve decided I need to just make a first step - any first step. Maybe it’s going to the gym tonight. Maybe it’s enrolling for a class. I keep talking about things I want to explore and do and not doing them…and that is making for long periods of time with no change.
I’m giving myself till five p.m. to figure out where I want to start. Where I’m going to take my first step. One thing I do know – it will not be into a restaurant.
When I was younger I used Lent to make sacrifices of a personal nature, but ones that didn’t really have any true affect on me. I’d give up pop or make a promise not to gripe about something, but to be honest I never really felt a connection to my sacrifice.
Last year I modified my thinking during lent and tried to incorporate elements into my 40 days that would not only benefit me, but others as well.
Example. I gave up online shopping with one exception. If I found something I just “HAD” to purchase I promised myself that I’d give 5 items to goodwill. At the end of the Lent season I was really doing an exact tally, but I do know that six boxes of my things got delivered to the goodwill store near my house and I felt good about what the 40 days had added up to.
This year I’m going to continue to collect things around my home to give to goodwill, but I’m putting a slightly different spin on Lent for myself. I’m going to dedicate the next 40 days to clearing out space in my life in general and focusing more on the moment.
What does this mean? It means no texting while driving. It means no facebook at work before lunch and a maximum of three brief checks per day rather than having it open sporadically all day long. It means writing more in my blog and clearing out my mind. It means space to explore my thoughts again. It means taking some quiet time every day to reflect. And I've just decided that it is also going to mean keeping an active gratitude journal. I am going to list three specific things every day that I can be thankful for – taking time and clearing space to reflect on my days.
Lent isn’t for everyone, but I do think we’d all benefit from taking a little quiet time in our lives - especially away from the constant distraction of technology.
In what ways could you clear space for yourself and change the way you are living?
I’m up at all hours thinking. Contemplating life. Finding it takes me an extra 15 minutes to fall back to sleep once I’m awake, because some things are left unsettled in my mind.
During these hours I find myself circling around the concept of perception and attitude.
I’m realizing that we have the ability to paint our individual realities however it is we wish to see them.
We can feel in control, victimized, opportunistic, burned, fortunate or deflated – and I believe that the perspective we have is an absolute choice.
Things happen to all of us. Situations unfold and we react. Some things are solidly sad and unfortunate, but some of us choose to do positive and motivating things with them – and some of us choose the play the role of the affected. We have the absolute ability render ourselves powerless over what has “happened to us”. We can, if we want, forget to take responsibility for the role we play in our outcomes.
I’ve been playing both sides of this coin in some regards, but I will tell you this…as I become aware of the situations during which I’m allowing myself to feel like the affected person – I’m regaining control.
I’m confronting situations that I’m uncomfortable with and being settled by their outcomes – whatever they are. And I mean that.
I realize that I can only be the victim of things I let myself feel the victim of. I instantly regain personal power the moment I confront my demons, communicate honestly, and choose to be okay with any outcome.
I’ve been toting this quote around with me for years and it proves useful on a regular basis, “Let go of what is not for you and you will make room for what is.” I don’t know who wrote it, but it summarizes reality perfectly. If you hang on to anything that doesn’t belong in your life you are blocking potential space for something that would fit.
This statement applies to negative attitudes and emotions as well as people, habits and belief systems. Let go of them and make room for better ones.
Let go of fear and make room for self-empowerment and courage.
Let go of past definitions and notions and let things, relationships and people evolve into their new roles in your life. They are all valuable when they are what they should be.
Let change happen and don’t struggle against it. Embrace now and do it with a positive attitude. It changes everything.
Choose a good attitude or choose to dwell in the bad. You can’t do both.
Hold tight to what is present to you…and let things that have become distant or negative fall to the sides. You don’t need their distraction. It will only hold you back or motivate you for the wrong reasons.
How are you going to live your life? What do you want people to see in you? Do you want attention for the positive or the negative?