I’m gonna tell you a story about myself that brings us to the very heart of this meditation.
Almost a decade ago, I was with someone that had a horrible temper. In response to it, I always felt I had to be on the defensive and thus, I developed a temper too. For 2 1/2 years, we fought like cats and dogs, my work was suffering, and I didn’t have many friends, and according to my family, I looked like a shell of myself. When I was alone, I’d wonder why I reacted so quickly and so angry to certain things, as internally, the things that were happening, were usually not a big deal. I felt like I was reacting because he wanted me to react – he knew my vulnerable spots, he knew how to tear me down, and I was too weak to leave him until…
About 2 1/2 years into it, we were moving from Seattle to Houston. He was driving a Uhaul truck, while I was driving his truck. It’s the middle of summer, so naturally, we both needed functioning air conditioners during the drive. Somewhere in Oklahoma, we needed to stop for dinner. I followed him off an exit and to an Applebees. When we parked our trucks, I saw him get out of his, kick the tire and start screaming like a banshee because his air conditioner went out. I sat in my truck and watched. For the first time in my life, I asked myself what the point of yelling was, and what was the point at being angry over everything? In that one moment, I decided we could not stay together, nor could I allow myself to ever feel this broken again. Two weeks after I got him settled in, I began my journey towards a new life I actually wanted to live.
But, it’s not really where the story ends. It took me years past that to understand my true self, to realize that in order for me to have any level of self-worth, I needed to focus on me and not worry about the outside world as much. I had a few “false starts” with relationships and friendships during these years, which I had idealized for the wrong reasons. In other words, I might have liked the idea of someone or a potential situation but when it came down to it, that person or situation wasn’t the right fit for my life. It’s the hardest thing in the world to admit and even harder to let go of.
Then, last March, I decided to try meditation, as I felt like I was at a loss for how to get to 100% of where I wanted to be – happy, healthy, successful, etc. After the first 21-day challenge, the results within me (and even physically) were astounding. I realized that for the first time in my life, I knew exactly who I was, exactly what I wanted, as well exactly the type of person I wanted in my life (whether it be romantic interest or friend). By the end of March, I’m proud to say, I started living from my core 100% of the time, and life has been beautiful since.
Living from your core brings about a sense of calm and trust. You begin reacting differently to negative situations because you are in complete control. No longer do you feel panicky, in a state of chaos, or in a constant state of depression, anger, sadness, etc. You realize you are worthy of yourself and can provide value/unique contributions in this world. You realize quickly that you no longer feel like people are controlling you; that they are preying on you, ready to attack. You realize that the level of respect and admiration goes up from others, and button-pressing and other predatory behaviors go down.
We all have wild instincts in us at our core. Those that are more dominant, sense fear in others and prey on those behaviors. Those that are more confident relay a sense of intimidation and thus, become prey. It’s an evolutionary cycle that’s all but impossible to avoid. It’s those of us that understand it, that control it for ourselves.
How to put this into practice…
- I once wrote a post on using the word “just”, and what it actually does to our overall perception. More often than not, people use this word when they are explaining the “why” of something, causing an automatic defensive trigger in others. It’s a horrible word to use, right up there with filler words, such as “um”, “and”, “you know”, etc. The more you can remove that (and other defensive/weak language) from your vocabulary, the more confident you sound to others, which then changes the predatory perception to one of trust.
- Internally focus on you and what YOU want out of life, and WHO you want in it. I’ve “broken up” with friends that I felt brought me down, or caused negative emotions to emerge and stick. It sounds selfish but when you think of how much weight you carry everyday: making enough to live on, supporting a family, taking care of family and friends, taking care of your health, having enough time to enjoy your life, etc., you start to realize that absorbing other people’s problems and/or negative emotions, is counterproductive to your progress on being who you are.
- Finally, focus on letting your gut guide you. If something feels off immediately, don’t second guess it, follow it. I cannot begin to tell you the huge difference it made in my life, trusting my instincts in situations. Because of it, I’m in the best relationship of my life, work is going very well, and I have an amazing group of friends.
This one practice can take a long time. Commonly, we’re a lot more wound up inside than we thought. So focus on those three suggestions everyday, little by little, reassess once a month, and see the positive difference it’s made.