Saturday, October 2, 2010
Okay, I Admit... Sometimes Stopping and Asking for Directions is Helpful
Today marks the three month anniversary of introducing The Rules into my life. Last month, there was quite a bit of static going on and I don't really feel like I spent enough time elaborating on my progress with The Rules. Certainly, throughout all of my blogs, it is clear that different things are being brought into my space, which, of course, was the whole intention behind The Rules to begin with… however I am really feeling like I need to get into some more specifics with my sin-free lifestyle. While I would like my update to be positive and showing commitment to these Rules, unfortunately, there is a bit of hypocrisy to discuss as well. So, here goes.
I suppose it would just be easiest to start with the cigarettes and drugs since those two rules I've upheld completely since making my original commitment. I really, truly feel in my heart that I will never smoke another cigarette for the rest of my life. I've had dreams where I'm out with friends and I have one drag off of a friend's smoke or even enjoy one completely by myself. When I wake up, I am so relieved that it was a dream. When I'm in my car driving around and see someone with a cigarette hanging out the window, I think about how that used to be me. Or when I go to Starbucks and see someone sitting outside with their pack of cigarettes. I can't believe how offensive and disgusting I feel when I leave a bar after having one beer and all I can smell is the nicotine that has settled onto my skin and hair. I can't wait to get home and get in the shower and scrub the shit out of my skin. Seriously.
Furthermore, I've really started to shift my focus more and more into a healthy arena. Even if I didn't find cigarette smoke so appalling now, it just makes no sense to me to spend my mornings at the gym, my afternoons buying and preparing healthy food and spending a little more on vitamins than I used to, and on a daily basis, minding my ph balance and acid levels to help keep my body in a optimum disease-fighting mode, and then counteracting all of these behaviors by sparking up a cigarette. It seems finally that my mind has shifted from wanting to "quit smoking" to wanting to "be healthy". It's amazing the power we can give ourselves when we simply shift the way we look at things.
As far as pot goes, my thinking about this has changed significantly as well. I always told myself that when I finally decided to quit smoking cigarettes, I would learn how to cook with weed so that I could minimize the damage to my lungs that smoking daily (or hourly) from a glass pipe or bong will do. I loved the idea of learning how to make "pot butter" so I could look forward to every piece of toast I would make. Ha! Then again, I would probably go through an entire loaf of bread each day which would not be good for my waistline.
However, as I mentioned briefly last month, I'm starting to really feel like I no longer want marijuana to be part of my life. Unlike cigarettes, pills or other types of heavy drugs, however, I do not condemn others for their choice to include marijuana as a daily practice for them. I just don't see it as a dangerous drug. Yes, like anything else, in excess, it can be damaging to someone's lungs and I don't think it's very smart to smoke and then operate a vehicle. But, in the comfort of one's home or socially in a safe environment, I definitely understand the idea of pot being an acceptable recreational drug.
For me, though, and for what I'm up to, it does seem inconsistent. The big reason why I stopped smoking pot to begin with was to go through this year long "experiment" with a clean and sober mind. Pot is a very quick way to cover up any kind of anxieties or insecurities we have. Obviously, this is why the medical marijuana industry has blown up recently. It is a great way to feel better. Unfortunately, it's also a fantastic way to avoid. And that is the one thing I am trying to focus on more than anything else - facing things head on without hiding behind a vice. It was brought to my attention recently (not that I wasn't aware of this on a subconscious level), that staying at Chili's was also a very big way to avoid the adventures that I really wanted to take in my life, especially as far as a new career was concerned. It was safe, easy and I was able to get by just fine. I never had to get out of my comfort zone and if I wanted to have a day full of negativity, anger and frustration with things outside of myself, Chili's was a wonderful way to harvest this victim-like behavior. Plus, to sort of full-circle this particular point, I never had to pass a drug test to be a Chilihead.
Speaking of that, there is something I find significant about this day. With the exception of some extensive hair tests, today marks the day that, supposedly, I should be able to pass a urine test if I needed to. I guess part of me finds that sort of amusing. I've never had to take a drug test for any of my jobs and, if all goes according to plan, I'll never have to work for someone else again and therefore, won't have to worry about passing a drug test. But considering this is the first time I can remember being in this position in close to ten years, I definitely find it interesting.
It does seem to me that removing pot from my life, in addition to the other changes I have made, has helped in attracting certain new things into my space. Jeremy said something interesting yesterday when talking about a girl he had gone out with a few times before he met me. He said that while he did like her, he knows that they weren't meant to be together for a few reasons, one specific one being her negative feelings about money and abundance. After they had gone out a few times, Jeremy was traveling for about a month and when he got back into town, this girl had found herself a boyfriend who shared her poverty conversation. He said that he definitely sees now that he and I were meant to be together as he sees us living in abundance with each other while this girl and her new boyfriend were perfectly happy being broke together. Sounds a bit harsh, but a valid point nonetheless, especially when considering the universal law of "like attracts like". I've spent the last ten years attracting people that I could get high and avoid many important aspects of life with. These days, I want to use my energy attracting and spending time with people who are traveling in the same direction as me and who aren't afraid to get caught in the current for a while. It's just that this direction takes a very sober way of thinking and an unlimited amount of personal accountability. Traits that have, historically, been difficult for me to attract in others as I wasn't willing to acknowledge them in myself.
As far as alcohol goes, I have some mixed emotions about this particular rule. My commitment was to stick with beer and wine on a strictly social level and not to consume any hard alcohol for the entire year. I have remained true to this and really don't have any problem turning down shots or saying no to the delicious looking cocktails on certain menus around town. I really am perfectly fine drinking my light beer or red wine. I guess there is still part of me that wonders if I should be drinking at all. I've been out with friends a few times over the last month and had enough to drink to get a good buzz going - I have been much more responsible about having alternate plans besides getting behind the wheel in these cases and really, there hasn't been a time where I've actually been… "hammered" for lack of a better term. However, given my reason for not smoking weed and wanting to go through this year with a clear and sober mind, especially when making choices about my future and attempting to attract success, abundance and overall, something different than what I've had in the past, it sometimes seems that any kind of drinking is inconsistent with this idea. Ugh, I'm just not really sure where to go with this, honestly. I know that there are some steps I could be taking to ensure my mind stays clear and sober and that includes drinking less or just sticking to water. The truth is, this is an aspect of my social life that I'm simply not willing to let go of at the moment. So, again, while I haven't actually broken the rule I set in place for myself, it remains to be seen as time carries on whether or not I decide to dig a little deeper into this particular Rule.
I mentioned it in my "freak-out" blog, the way I was allowing myself to gamble using Jeremy's chosen profession as an excuse. However, I have recommitted to keep my own money in my pocket for the remainder of this year. This is especially important to me now given the fact that I simply don't know where my next paycheck is coming from. I am very confident that I have made some major strides in creating abundance and prosperity in my life. But, like I've mentioned about other things, to be asking for wealth and then following it up with irresponsibly feeding a few twenties into a keno machine, purely to pass the time and not even to try and win anything significant, seems counterproductive. I suppose one could say the same thing about random meaningless purchases as well (say, a Starbucks beverage or the latest frozen yogurt flavor at U-Swirl) but for me, I just feel bad about myself when I am losing money in a slot machine. And it may be a bit of a copout, but I do get my button pushing fix when Jeremy and I are out together as he likes to fund any gambling we do. Gambling is something else that, should I continue to do after this year, I need to make sure my conversation about it internally has changed. For example, whenever I am gambling, I am playing to stay while Jeremy is always playing to win. The difference in that way of thinking alone is a big reason why I shouldn't be throwing my money away. Plus, the last thing I need is all that free beer.
And finally, The Rule that started it all. Sex.
I admittedly sort of bowled over this subject when writing my last update. Talk about mixed emotions… I mean, this was the Rule that pretty much started this whole project. And then, of course, I broke my rule only two weeks after making it and then promptly slept with Jeremy as soon as I met him as well. I do my best to talk things out with Jeremy before I write them so that nothing comes up as a surprise however a lot of the time, I'm not really sure what I want to say about something until it appears on the computer screen. When discussing this with him, I'm afraid I did hurt his feelings a little bit - I think he thought I was saying that I was remorseful about having slept with him so quickly without making any kind of attempt to follow my Rule. I remember having many conversations with people at work and so forth when I was first putting this Rule together in my head that if a man truly loved me and wanted to be with me, then he would wait a year to have sex with me. Even at the time, I wasn't confident in this particular conviction but it sure sounded good.
Regret is certainly not what I feel about having slept with Jeremy. I think maybe the only thing I wish is that I would've let him know in more depth how important it was to me to try and get to know him a little bit better before sleeping with him. I mean, now it doesn't seem to matter. He and I have pretty much live in a constant state of vulnerability and there is nothing that comes up that we aren't willing to discuss. As I've mentioned before, he is always willing to get uncomfortable when discussing anything if he knows that it is coming from a place of honesty and a commitment to "us". Since both of us have very analytical personalities, we are able to sit and have very responsible, accountable, grown up conversations about things that are bothering us. There are times when my bad habit of taking things personally and going internal show up, but the length of time in which I am in this state is relatively short-lived. I can't really get much past Jeremy and he wears his energy like a trench coat - it's easy to tell when it's off.
The one thing that we have talked about and that I am starting to really understand is that in the past, I have used sex for a multitude of reasons whether it was to feel good about myself, validate myself as a decent partner, pure obligation in order to get someone to like me, or out of sheer, 100% insecurity and self-loathing. While I think it would've been important to go into more detail about why I felt the need to abstain, none of these mentioned emotions came up when I decided to sleep with Jeremy. I really felt like I had attracted exactly who I have been looking for into my space and when the time came to make the decision to have sex, I did so with that clear, sober and confident mind that I have been wanting to make decisions with for a long time. I guess the only thing that seems to nag at me is that what if things hadn't worked out with Jeremy and I the way they did? What if he turned out not to be at all the person that I thought he was? Sometimes, this fear creeps up even now because as much as I know about Jeremy and as much as we feel like we have a connection beyond anything we've ever experienced with someone, time truly is the ultimate test as to whether or not everything we believe to be happening is actually authentic.
I suppose this is a bit of a pessimistic view on things and I don't really mean to be such a downer about it. There's just a lot going on right now. I mean, I asked for change and it's certainly what I got. I guess I just wasn't really sure that it would all come rushing down on me like a giant waterfall of "oh yeah? Well check THIS out!" and "bet you didn't see THAT coming!". So, yeah, my mind gets a little overworked at times.
I keep seeing that investment commercial about following the green line. There is something so powerful happening right now that all of a sudden, I feel like I've actually found a line of my own to follow instead of just wandering aimlessly around in the woods. And Jeremy is a huge part of that. He doesn't actually tell me where to go, just breaks out the compass every now and then which is my own reminder of what True North means to me and what I should be doing to continue heading that direction. I have a compass tattoo on the back of my neck for a reason - I attracted someone else who puts equal, if not more importance, on having a direction.
So, that pretty much sums up what's going on in my head as I get ready to enjoy a full day of college football on my three month anniversary of establishing The Rules. I am loving the fact that I don't have to go to work at Chili's anymore and have spent time focusing on morning meditation, daily affirmations and overall, feeling grateful for this opportunity that I have been given. Even my negative thoughts aren't as strong as they used to be and the Cynic keeps his mouth shut a lot more than before. I'm an emotional person and vulnerability does NOT come naturally to me… but I remain true to how I feel when I sit and write and would like to take a minute to acknowledge everyone out there who takes the time to read my innermost thoughts. I appreciate both the direct feedback and also just knowing that someone across the world looks forward to my writing as they enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. It is this that keeps me motivated to continue on with this project. Oh, and for anyone who read THIS particular blog in one sitting - massive kudos to you!
On a final note, difficult conversations and honest feedback are the backbone of the strongest relationships. I hope that each and every one of you care enough about me and others in your life that you love to be willing to go places that are uncomfortable. Again, this is where the beauty of human connection lies. Only in our authentic sharing do we discover what is actually important to us and only through personal responsibility to we find ways to take the feedback we receive and put it to constructive use.
This is my True North.
Posted by Tina V at 2:08 AM