Honesty

Let’s be honest. Does that really exist? When having an honest conversation with yourself, do you know if it’s the truth or a lie? I think of how many times I have lied to myself to soothe or cope, and now, I am seeing that other people are doing the same. Being honest, and really getting to your core is hard work, like thinking and solving complex problems. I don’t know how many times in a day I lie to myself, but I am aware of it and sometimes this scares me.

To get to the bottom of a truth, I like to be objective. I know that my subjective feelings will always take me on a labyrinth of emotions leading to nowhere, so I parse out the facts. This isn’t enough however, because others lie to soothe and cope to themselves and others, so this makes everything complicated and difficult to piece together. Facts may not be facts at all, and so what is left to do is basically throw away all expectations, judgements, and let situations be as they are. This doesn’t include any disrespectful or inappropriate/abusive behaviour from others just simply what comes, let it come. 

I grasp for situations to be different. I replay scenarios, wishing my past would be different, the people in my life different, and this is truly the antithesis of honesty. This is La La land. La La land is where fantasies live. The rose coloured glasses, the wishful thinking of what “could have been” or wish “could be”. Regrets, resentment, judgement and yearning is a place where no one should live. It is a black hole. It leads to bitter land.

There is nothing I can do about my past and definitely cannot control everything that will happen to me, and if I am to accept this notion, than I am living honestly. All the events of my past, and the characters in it, are my story to own and these are my facts to keep and accept. The acceptance of my facts I struggle with, but I know I will get there. I remind myself that no matter how many times I don’t want to accept my story, it is still mine to keep, forever, and I carry it either heavily by resisting acceptance or light, when I have an abundance of acceptance. Some days are heavy. This tug of war is what brings me closer to me. As long as I am still pushing closer to acceptance, I get closer to my truth. The honesty that I seek, I look for in other people, I rarely find it, because I am struggling to find it in myself. The closer I get to my honest self the closer I get to the life that I want. As I try to find a way to live in truth, putting action to every value in my life, I struggle to find the motivation to keep living in an honest way without soothing/coping and lying to myself. I don’t always encounter the support and likeminded community to realize this lifestyle preference. Despite all of this, I won’t give up in finding a way.

One thing is for sure. When you do lie to yourself you know it. Your body knows it, your mind knows it, and definitely your heart knows it. The consequences of living in dishonesty is that it will manifest in a negative way, in your life, one way or the other.

Living your truth and living in honesty is not easy. Let go of expectations, judgements and grasping. Let life take you where it moves you without regret. Things happened to you, and move on. Life is today, not yesterday and not tomorrow, and it is worth the effort to make every day as amazing as possible. Even when you don’t feel like it.

What Motivates You, Will Change You

It took me a long time to peel back some of the layers of my personality. To wear my masks well, and to adapt my personality to the changing circumstances of my life. Different situations called for a different part of me. I always thought that I was one authentic self, but now, I’m in the camp that I have many selves, and that I am complex, flexible and have the ability to change/adapt if I need to. Don’t get me wrong, I do think that I have one core self that creates the foundation for my likes and dislikes but, I don’t think that I have to be so hardcore that I can’t bend my personality a little, if a situation called for it.  

I have found that the more in tune I am with my emotions, the better I am in understanding how I am going to navigate certain situations. One key predictor of my motivation is when I burst into tears from repressed emotions. When I repress emotions, which was easy to do when I drank, I become aware of what I am lacking or need in my life. Motivation is a key indicator of who I am. It is the reason why I do certain things or act in a particular way, it steers me to my goals and excites my life. Subconcsiously there are complex processes highlighting events of worth and distinguishing them from everything else around me. I don’t choose what interests me, it chooses me. This creates who I am, and it is my responsibility to pursue my motivations to develop meaning in my life, so that I feel fulfilled. My motivations create my personality, and when I am able to fully express my personality I am able to be of service to others, and makes me a happier person overall.

I find that it takes courage and discipline to really get to know yourself and take full responsibility for your life. I lack patience and have a temper naturally. It took a lot of energy and motivation for me to come to some agreements with myself to move forward from some of my bad attitude and short comings. I find that if I don’t continue to challenge myself, and unburden myself from my repressed emotions by exercising, meditating and talking it out with my close ones, I project my unwanted desires and needs on others. This I see in other people, and immediately recognize it as it happens. I have come to know that, if someone doesn’t want to take full action and responsibility for their motivations and wants, there really isn’t anything I can do for them to better their life. They need to want to do it themselves.

To really understand what motivates you, pay attention to what catches your eye, what you take pictures of most, what types of books you read, what music you like to listen to and what places you like to frequent, just to name a few. Despite life being frustrating and not always fair, keep pursuing what motivates you. To develop your personality is to take full responsibility for your life and actions and create the life that fits you best. I have learned that my life unfolds according to my direct choices, and that means that I need to decide what it is I want and then really commit. I understand now that if I decide to neglect or deny what I want or not express it to others, it is only me to blame for the life that I am living. This is a hard truth to swallow but very necessary for personality development. The challenges that will inevitably present themselves as you pursue your motivations are only learning curves and should not be treated as roadblocks. This takes patience and grit. To create the life that is best suited for your personality you have to pursue what motivates you, so that you are able to present your true personality without resentment, anger or bitterness.

When you are able to move through your changing personality over time, and express your many selves from an authentic place, you are able to attract the right circumstances and people that develop further your personality, and achieve self actualization. As goals change, when they inevitably do, you will know where to steer next, if you trust in the process and know that your actions are motivated by what you truly want you will find you are always in the right place at the right time. This is key to personality development. 

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

Recently, I have been confronted with a little more drama than I can personally handle, and I feel like I can handle a lot most of the time. Some of this drama is not mine. When a little too much drama presents itself centre stage in my life, I like to remind myself that I don’t need to get involved in every drama infused scene in my life story. I like to use the Polish proverb “not my circus, not my monkeys” as a reminder to escape the crazy circus tent, I sometimes stumble into. I simply walk out.

Self-sabotaging behaviour was a foreign concept to me when I was younger. As the years rolled on, and some of my behaviours were turning my life experiences into serious life lessons, I turned my attention to cultivating better life habits, including quitting things like alcohol, stress eating, procrastinating, not committing and others. But one behaviour I seem to work on quite a bit more than others is gossiping. Gossip is so prevalent in my work life, my home and my social life, that it is impossible to escape from and regulate. I have yet to find the best way to create some distance from other people’s “circus” otherwise known as drama. 

It is without a doubt that I am deeply interested in human behaviour, and talking with people about people is just next level tantalizing for me. I think a lot of people feel the same. This is why gossip is everywhere. However, I know from experience that including yourself in gossip is like walking into quicksand. The more you stand in it, the more you get sucked in, and the deeper you go, at some point there is no return. You are now involved, in the weaving of an opinion of someone else’s life without true knowledge or understanding of the victims moral compass, or their perceived reality. Having a discussion about a person without them actually being present, is like having a debate about the feelings of animals. You don’t know how animals feel, and you can’t ask them. Unless you are willing to analyze a person’s life experience from the time they were born, until present time, and dive deep into their psyche to understand their motivations, actions, intentions, pain, life perception and personality, you will never know the true intentions and motivations behind someones life strategies, and how this might affect your life.

Gossiping is a waste of time, but it is something that we do to ease our own insecurities and internal chatter. The ambiguity of life and the uncertainty of people is unsettling. Gossiping doesn’t give you any more control or power, over a situation or person. The momentary feeling of power that you get while gossiping is an illusion that works in the opposite effect. Your negative energy sends a signal to others that you are untrustworthy and lack self control. I like to think that everyone is just trying to get their circus on the road as smoothly as possible, some might want to drag you into theirs, some don’t even open the tent for public viewing. Respect boundaries and practice social decorum. This will help keep your eyes only on your own monkeys.

We all want to feel like we belong and connected, but gossip doesn’t foster community and belonging, it breeds jealousy and misunderstanding. When you don’t take on other people’s opinions and carry them as your own, this helps in taking proper responsibility and creates room for growth. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. The grass is green where it gets watered. 

I have my own monkeys in my circus that travel with me and that is enough. I will always give out life advice gladly, if someone wants it, and I am always ready and willing to help if someone asks. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt even if they don’t deserve it, because really, who am I to judge? Everyone is a travelling circus, some crazier than others. Keep your circus and your monkeys in your own lane, and you will find less chaos on the road.

Timing Is Everything

Have you ever felt like you just have bad timing? Or that time is just not on your side? 

If I had more time, or gone back in time to change some of my past decisions, I wonder how this would have affected the future that I have today. Or, if I could have just been in the right place at the right time, maybe my life could have been different. I like to dwell in the past, this is my weakness. Timing is everything. In my head I like to reorganize my past events, introduce a whole bunch of “what ifs” and create endless narrative around the different possible scenarios “that could have been”.

I do believe that there is a place and time for every stage in life. But what if you don’t have the opportunity to realize a life stage due to conflicting life obligations? Like travel due to family obligations, party the night away because of work or school obligations and maybe even explore different love relationships when young because of family expectations and restrictions and now you are married with kids.

There isn’t a way to skip any phase of life. If you are experiencing a void of some kind, a feeling of emptiness will creep on you and will sweep over you like a wave. A yearning will start building in the cracks of your soul. Exploring different parts of our identity and personality is just a part of our human condition. I know for my personality, there are still a lot of unexplored identities I would like to tease out, the question though I ask is… when? When is it a good time to explore? To change? To seek? I don’t think a good time for “being” exists. You just do life as it comes. Life is not a dress rehearsal. 

I met my husband in my twenties, almost a ten-year gap passed, and we found each other again at the same pub through mutual friends. We were at the right place at the right time, we reunited and two years later we were married. I guess the first time we got together it didn’t work because it was bad timing. But then I sometimes wonder what our life would be like if we did end up committing when we were young. Would we be the same people? Was it really bad timing? Or was the gap that we weren’t together just wasted time? 

I question the timing of my life because it is something that I cannot control, and this bothers me. I have to trust that whatever stage I am in my life, I am making the best decisions for myself with conviction and based on my value system. I have to use what resources and energy I have in the moment to make the most of my current situations, without judgment and criticism of my past decisions, and have no expectations of the future. Everything that I have conjured up in my life is an accumulation of my past. The trust and faith that I have in myself gets shaky when I feel like time is not on my side, or that I have wasted my time. My ego gets bruised and I feel like my value system needs to be revaluated.

I worry about having regrets. Then I get frustrated about worrying, and waste my time on regretting my past decisions. It is cyclical hell. When I get into this state, I try to forgive my past decisions and move on. This is the only thing I can do. Stay firm in my values and sit in gratitude. I remind myself that I am not my past, and that my worth doesn’t decrease from my past decisions. Even though I step into my fantasy world of “what ifs” for only just a minute to indulge myself, I know that too long in this state of mind, judgement engulfs me and so I create distance and step out of this space. I try to balance my expectations of what I am able to accomplish, with the time I have, and with the resources allowable to me at the time. I know I can’t do it all. Even though things don’t always work out in a timely fashion and not exactly how I want, there is still lots of new and exciting possibilities coming my way and dwelling on regrets or wasted time is not how I want to spend my days.

The time is now. 

Wherever you are. 

This is the right place and the right time to live your life. 

Today. 

Be you.

No regrets!

You Can’t Have It All

I wanted it all when I was younger, but now I know that I cannot have it all. The “all” I am talking about is anything really. The perfect house, the best relationships, the ideal job and the list is endless. When I was younger I was wildly ambitious, invincible, courageous, tenacious and fierce. This changed as I got older. Not to say that I am less of these traits but certainly different. As my priorities took form, I started to come terms with the idea that I cannot have it all. The ideal of everything, started to morph into the reality of everything instead. 

I choose to focus my energy on very specific values and principles, and where my focus goes my energy flows. My energy is what gets me to where I want to be in the future. I build my foundation of my life with the energy I create in the world. My emotions help me turn my energy into action then turning my beliefs into reality. I do not have an abundant amount of energy for all of the things in my life and I don’t subscribe to the idea that people have a limitless amount of energy. I know that there is only so much time in the day and so much tolerance from needless noise in life from external forces. If I want to accomplish certain goals I need to be frugal with my energy and time, that means that some people, situations, experiences and opportunities are going to be left behind. What is left behind is not a loss, it is simply a matter of math.

I do a cost benefit analysis of the priorites/people in my life every so often. I look at my situations, relationships and where my future is going and decide what is worth my energy. You simply cannot dedicate yourself to everything and everyone without burning out. Have an honest look at the reality of the situaitons and people in your life, this is a good guide post to where your focus should go. Living in a fantasy world or having great expectations about your life and the people in it destroys your ability to set proper goals. 

In my life my expectations of people were blinding me to who they really were. This set me up for some serious heartache when my energy was wasted from my goodwill or trying to mend or justify arguments. I wanted people to be who I thought they were, not who they actually were. I didn’t give people the space to show me who they were before judging them and not accepting their real selves, in turn branding them with a new personality that fit better to mine. I wanted it all. The perfect relationships, the kind that fit only me. I remedied this by listening to people and hearing how they told on themselves, piecing together their true personalities. The more I listen, the better I am able to make room for others where they belong not where I think they should be.

I peeled off the expectations and the masks I put on others, and organically situations flowed. That meant a little more work on my part, to get closer to achieving healthier and more honest relationships.

My values dictate my way of life and my priorities path the roads I travel on. Just because there are roadblocks, diversions and other nonsense, doesn’t mean I have to quit at what I want to accomplish. Sometimes, I pivot, reorganize or simply rest to feel re-energized again. Just because one area of my life is bad doesn’t mean all is lost. There is good in some of my life and not so good in other parts. I decide where I want to improve, and where or when it is not worth my energy.

One area of my life worth my energy is my marriage but I had some serious expectations of what my married life would look like, how my in-laws would be, how many kids I would have, and where I would live. Nothing turned out like I thought it would, because I don’t have the energy for it all. I have to compromise. There are somethings in my life that are exactly what I wanted and others quite the opposite. The things that I am thrilled with have compounded even more joy from the contrast of the things I don’t have. Let the things that you feel you should have, be the way that they are. You don’t have it because your energy is somewhere else. If you don’t like where your energy is flowing, consider where your focus is growing, that is where your life is going.

Life is not a race it is a marathon. Every chapter in life has its own title, story, plot line and characters. Do not compare your unique chapters with anyone else. Life is different day to day, month to month, year to year and unique only to you. Allow what comes and keep the energy flowing where it needs to be, everything else will unfold.

“You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime
You’ll find
You get what you need”

– The Rolling Stones 

What is your Why?

Why exercise?… is what I ask myself every time I lace my running shoes or roll out my yoga mat. I ask myself this question, set an intention for my workout and my body responds with vibrant energy. My shoes at my front door are always smiling at me, my mat rolled up in my living room giving me a wink when I pass by, and my headphones always at the ready at any given moment of the day.

Why I exercise?

It is constant and reliable. 

It is the surety of a good feeling. It is a time for clarity, self reflection and detoxification. Setting an intention for every run or yoga practice keeps things fresh and alive. I like to think of the issues in my life and set an intention of kindness, compassion, clarity or whatever else I need before every exercise to clear the energy in my body, that these conflicts are creating. The movement alone purifies me, and once the run or yoga practice are done, I am cleansed and feel new. 

But on days that I have no energy and feel burnt out I ask…

Why I Exercise?

Because I can! That reason alone shifts my attitude and realigns my energy to a positive space. 

And when I look in the mirror I ask… 

Why I Exercise? 

My body is worth the care. My body deserves movement and proper nutrition. My body deserves respect. 

I have always been keenly aware of the way people treat me when I am a little overweight or when I know I am looking good. Body image is not my intention for exercising. Even though I know that working out can make you feel better about the way you look, I don’t want to put myself in a box. I don’t buy into a certain body shape or ideal. I want my intention for working out to come from a place that doesn’t include others opinions of my body, it is a personal journey for me. If others enjoy my results, that has nothing to do with my intent. 

On days that I feel bored or uninspired I ask…

Why I exercise?

To get high.

I love to feel alive. I used to love partying and drinking. Even though I don’t have alcohol in my life anymore, I still celebrate my life in other ways. The thrill of partying, music and people can sometimes be the same high experienced when exercising.

There are moments on my run when I stop and just take the world in, heart throbbing, hands sweating, legs burning and I think to myself there is nothing better than this pain right now, because I feel every second of it. My muscles loose and my energy high.

My body both crying to stop, and yearning for more. 

Pleasure and pain, all in one. 

This is my why. 

Why do you Exercise? 

3 Ways To Deal: When Life Is Unfair

When I experience unfairness or injustice my body feels it instantly. My fight/flight mode kicks in, anger and fear bubble like a volcano. I stew with anxiety, and if left unchecked I feel depressed for some time, until I soak in a proper dose of reality and some exercise. 

Fairness is subjective. Life is not fair because it is not supposed to be. Life is competitive short and painful. I think it is important to come terms with this, and not perpetuate the suffering by dwelling and complaining. Complaining about the unfairness of life is pouring salt on a wound. Here are some things I like to do when a door is slammed in my face, or a promotion sails by my office desk, or when I simply cannot take the injustice anymore of anything in my life. 

  • Exercise 

When that anger or rage fills my body the best thing I do for myself is get up and move. Sometimes unfairness hits you when you are burnt out and it seems counterintuitive to move, but it is important to do so to remove yourself of all the stress hormones raging through your body. Go for a run, a walk, bike ride or simply move around your house. When you perceive injustice or unfairness your body responds with anger and fear, get some fresh air and move to get rid of the toxins. A change of scenery and movement helps your body and mind relax. 

  • Create a Goal and Achieve It

Competition is something we all live with. Comparing our lives with others is just part of living in society. Now with social media it is more prevalent than ever before. Most of our unfair views come from our expectations that we should have what everyone else has. But we don’t know how others have achieved their perceived success. Luck over hard work has a lot to do with success, and that is something no one is able to control. When I create a goal, big or small and actually achieve it, this helps me achieve a sense of control over my life. I try to be in competition with the only person I should be, with myself. Your life should not be in competition with anyone else but yourself, the most important task is developing your own self worth so that your perception of fairness is not so obtuse that complaining dominates your life. Success is handed out unfairly, so setting your own personal goals that are attainable are important to satisfy your self esteem and live a fulfilled life.

  • Practice Gratitude

When you can’t get the things you want, appreciate the things you have. There have been many moments in my life when I thought that I would just quit because things seemed so unfair. But then I stopped and thought about all the things that I have accumulated getting to that point, and only when I stopped and looked back I realized how much richness I have in my life. When you feel like you need or want something other than what you presently have, you will always see life as unfair. Chasing success, material things and status is addictive. Constantly looking forward, never looking back is a vicious cycle creating a scarce mind set and unsatisfied life. Maybe my life isn’t exactly the way I want it but it also isn’t exactly the way I don’t want it. Life is subjective and fairness is subjective. What I have, someone else would kill for, so it isn’t all doom and gloom. There are so many surprises that come out of not getting what you want, these sometimes can turn out to be the biggest blessings of your life.  Be grateful because you never know what is coming next.

Life is complex, with many obstacles, and nothing is for certain. Life wasn’t meant to be fair, but it definitely is beautiful and worth it. By accepting the realities of your own life and looking at unfair moments as opportunities to grow and learn your body and mind will interact in a healthier way.

Don’t resist change.

The only way out is through. 

“The only thing that makes life unfair

is the delusion that it should be fair.”

– Steve Maraboli 

Sugar My Frenemy

Since I was a kid I loved sugar. I watched my grandma bake apple struddle pies, and as soon as they would land on her kitchen table to cool, I would pick at the pie and eat tiny forbidden pieces. The soft, delicious warm pieces, where my first real memories of the feeling and taste  of sweet sugar. As I got older, sugar has always been something that gave me a quick energy boost and feelings of warm familiar comfort. 

It isn’t easy to deny sugar. As it is in most of my kitchen items, ketchup, most sauces, honey for my tea, cereal, and so many more. But when I seek sugar, I definitely do it deliberately. Now when I think of it, after not drinking for 5 years, I have realized I rely on sugar for energy more than I think. As I get older, and have more on my life plate, my energy is dwindling and need more to sustain me throughout the week. I reach for items to put in my body that will keep me going. This is not necessarily a bad or good thing. I am aware of it happening. 

Some days my healthy diet just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes, I have long work weeks or something throws me off my game and I need an energy boost. In my earlier days, getting more energy out of me was going to the bar and having a drink. The sugar alone in the drink gave me my second or third wind for the day. Now, a cookie, a piece of chocolate and even tons of honey is my elixir, some days are worse than others.

Everything in moderation I have heard over and over. But sometimes, moderation isn’t enough to get me through to the end of the day without having more than one cookie or piece of chocolate, but I don’t beat myself up about it. What I do, is keep in mind my awareness of my relationship with sugar. Just like when I reached for a second or third drink to give me a boost of energy, I am aware I am doing the same with food now. 

Habits are funny like that. If you are not careful, the same habit creeps up on you in a different way. Just like the same type of person may keep showing up in your life, until you acknowledge it. I try to acknowledge my patterns of sugar intake with how much stress I am experiencing in the week, the month or even in the day. This helps me be aware of what might come next. This awareness slows down my sugar ride by creating some distance between my thoughts and my actions. I’m not too hard on myself about my relationship with my friend sugar, I know it is here to stay and I welcome it in my life but I am also not naïve about my patterns and habits with it. I try to create an inclusive and non judgemental space for sugar in my life so that I am not so harsh on myself when it shows up in my life a little more than I would like for a small period of time. I breath, take a bite, enjoy and get on with my life. 

“You can be miserable before you have a cookie, and you can be miserable after you eat a cookie, but you can’t be miserable while you are eating a cookie.” – Ina Garten 

Imagination is Your Magic

Dino roars are common in my living room, coming out of my toddlers little lungs, at full capacity. 

I join in, every time! 

I roar with him, and try to imagine the feelings and images he is creating, in his mind as he swirls around my kitchen, into the hallway and down to the living room. 

The more I entertain my imagination with him, the more I sink into the moment, and feel true presence.

It is in these times that I think how powerful imagination is to our health, and sense of fulfilment. Presence alone cannot satisfy the true richness that a moment brings, it’s also the simulation of new sensations out of nothing that is remarkable. From nothing your mind can create something. 

When I set up a goal for myself, I immediately imagine what it would feel like having completed that goal. I relish in the end product, in the pride of accomplishment, and the idea of what it would be like if a certain outcome came to be. 

Imagination is a great tool to envision a path or a dream come to fruition. 

But why is it so much easier for children to accept imagination as it comes, without attachment, without wanting and grasping for completion. Childrens imagination is limitless and keeps giving. At what age does this change? 

Over the years, I have come to terms that my dreams and visions are exactly what they are supposed to be. I have imagined my life up with the help of my thoughts and emotions, to create the picture of what my life is today, and it is a magical story, with rich characters and fantastical plot lines. Imagination has never left me, it has just adapted to my adult needs. Children believe in fantastic tales and create amazing stories. I don’t see why imagination should ever be rejected or forgotten about.

It is because of imagination, we have the lives we have. 

I still have many opportunities in my life where I use my childlike imagination to see the wonder in people and my life, if I choose to. I think everyone has the opportunity to slay dragons at work, battle storms at home, ride stallions across town to see friends, trap wizards in the grocery store, and run from dinosaurs in the park. The choice is ours. 

Don’t forget to dream, and create the story in which you are the hero of your life. Give yourself a moment in the day to put away the “what is” and try on “what could be”. This is important, for keeping yourself flexible, and accepting the most vulnerable part of yourself. The child that you used to be. 

Your imagination is your magic.

“Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you,

because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.

Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it”

The Minpins by Roald Dahl 

Casual Conversations about Loneliness

I have always wondered how other people experience loneliness. 

Is it painful? 

Where does it hurt? 

How long does it last? 

I have never posed this question to anyone. It is an awkward topic of conversation. I guess it might be that we don’t really want anyone to know that we are experiencing feelings of loneliness. To be social and have a lot of social connections is more popular than bringing up conversations surrounding feeling alone or isolated. I know for myself, despite having many friends, this does not guarantee feelings of belonging and understanding. Your perception of the quality of your relationships and how you feel about them has a lot to do with how you are going to interpret your feelings of being connected. If the experience of loneliness is highly subjective and is defined by a state of mind of feeling alone or isolated can someone potentially experience the opposite of loneliness if there were a space or platform to open up conversations surrounding loneliness, like in any setting, work, home, the grocery store, the library, etc? Why aren’t we casually talking about feeling lonely?

When I was partying and drinking my younger years away, my motives for partying was for connection and belonging. Of course, peer pressure played a major role in that lifestyle as well but mainly for me it was finding a place to be heard and understood. I wanted a sounding board for my life that accepted me for who I was, which was ironic because when I drank this was not a true representation of my authentic self. So here I was trying to get accepted wearing a mask. Not true acceptance at all. 

As I matured and embraced my health and my new way of life with no alcohol, I adapted to interacting with people differently, in different settings and I grew. My loneliness loosened its grip on me and it definitely doesn’t have the ferocity it used to have. Sometimes it still creeps up on me when I am not understood, accepted, rejected or feel disconnected from people. In those situations I rely on my logical mind to kick in to over analyze the situation and to neutralize my feelings of loneliness. I dropped the analyzing with time and replaced it with acceptance. I adopted the thinking “it is what it is” that’s it! I accepted people for who they showed me they were, the situations I was in, the role I played in situations, how coincidence and chance played out in my life and simply accepted that I was ok to sit by myself if that was what the situation called for. If I needed to be there for me, I was there for myself by accepting myself. If I needed help or social connection I reached out without attachment and grasping. The people pleaser in me fell off. The mask finally gone.

The solo work that I did getting myself healthy established a deep connection with myself that I bring to all my relationships today. The perception of the quality of my relationships has changed as I am aware of my own worth. The better I started treating myself, the better I treated others, this in turn fostered better, healthier relationships. Intimacy comes from knowing your own needs and responding to yourself in a way that you allow true connection. This connection, even if the feeling is just for a moment, is important to keep your emotional and mental health on track. This connection can be with nature, your religion, earth, people, yourself, your children, and the list goes on. Even when it is impossible to physically socialize with other people, loneliness doesn’t have to dominate your thoughts and feelings if you find a way to connect with someone or something that is truly important to you. I found solace in finding a way to cultivate my need for health, through running, cooking organic healthy meals and meditating. Even though these are activities that are done alone, I don’t feel lonely because I am doing them with the person that knows and appreciates me the best…with myself.