Sunday, June 3, 2007
This was sent to Aunt B via email...
Hello Aunt B,
I'll be 33 in July, am a quarter shy of a degree which I don't really want, won't get me the job I originally wanted and which I still owe a lot of money for and I can't seem to find anything which really inspires me or that I'm passionate about and would also make good money. I guess what I'm looking for is some helpful advice or inspiration...?
Congrats on the Degree! I think I could answer this more comprehensively, if I knew what you are getting the degree in. But in some ways, it really doesn't matter. Let me explain why...
Happiness is a state of mind.I've dined with Generals and Homeless, I partied with Mechanics and Millionaires. I've spoken with, at length, Garbagemen and Sports Coaches, Chemists, Lawyers, Doctors, Drug Dealers, Senators,Prisoners doing Life, Coroners, Police Officers, Landscapers, Undercover Drug Agents and the list goes on and on. I tell you this because #1, people talk to me. They tend to let their hair down and tell me their secrets. I have an inquisitive mind and I ask questions. They answer. In my search for happiness, understanding of human nature and the inner workings of the mind and it's process, I have learned so much. What have I learned, you ask?
Home is where you hang your heart. The key to life is; Love, Laughter and Family. Happiness is a state of mind we control. Life is like a puzzle, we go through things and when we get through it and choose to learn from it, we are handed another piece to our life puzzle. We then begin to see the Big Picture, that which is our life. All of life is action and reaction, cause and effect. When we do something, it effects not only us but others. When we make the wrong decision, it effects everyone around us. Taking personal responsibilty in everything we do, is a huge piece in growth and I could go on and on...
When I was in Prison, of course, me being the inquisitions expert that I am, I asked many questions. One rule, is you never ask, "Why are you here, what is your crime." For some reason, the women opened up to me. I facilitated group upon group, which gave me license to delve into and pry. I took that opportunity, very seriously. I studied and used my time wisely.I studied and did my dissertation on The Mind of Mankind. I have a PhD in Street/Crime/Drugs/Man and His Mind. What does it mean?
I am not boasting. How does one tell people, that you've been in Prison with a redemptive look on your face? People do judge, do they not? I have arrived to a point in my life, where I could give a rats ass, what people think. So, if you or someone else is listening, I will tell you what I learned on my path, this Spiritual Journey, I have been on.
First, I realized, I did not know it all, like I believed I did. I still don't and am in a constant state of mending my mind and learning from prior mistakes. I realized that, at one point, I had it all. I grew up in a 21 room mansion but because I thought I was so grown up and knew it all, I bucked that system. I've had a lot of money go through my hands, homes, new cars and never appreciated it. It was taken from me, all of it and when I walked out of Prison, I owned the clothes on my back, which were kindly donated and the plastic cup and spoon, I'd earned at .18 cents an hour. Now, I was a big shit as I maxed out and was paid .48 cents an hour before I left prison. You get the picture though, don't you? I learned from that too.
As I spoke with some of the women, doing life for crimes, some extremely heinous, I was often flabbergasted at how some of them, could find happiness, in such awful circumstance. How could they go on with their lives surrounded by Constantine and Barb Wire, Guards and nasty people? They often told me, that it took them a while to get to the point where they could do anything but lay in bed, when allowed (notice the word "allowed" as people have the misconception, that while in prison, all you do is lay around, play cards and watch t.v. Wrong, you must work) and cry. Many of those women, no longer had visitation, cards and letters from home or even money sent to them. They'd been written off, for their crimes. How can you, anyone possibly be happy, in such a rotten life? In different ways, different words, they each told me, it was acceptance first and taking personal responsibilty. It brought them to happiness.
Many of these women deserved life in prison. Some, I questioned their sentences, i.e., one woman had been beaten and beaten but never reported it. He had made it very clear to her, that if she ever went to the police, he would kill her. Having never reported his crimes, against her, when she finally fought back and stabbed in a fit of rage, some 15 times, it looked completely vicious. After her appeal, she said she made peace with herself, this was her lot in life and she "chose" to try to be happy.
Note those words, "CHOSE" to be happy. How the hell can you do that, especially in her circumstance? I mean, wouldn't it make you angry, if nothing else?
Forced to be happy?
At 33, you must feel a bit of youth has eluded you? You question your life and life in general, right? I mean, we all set out, with such high hopes and when can't seem to grab that brass ring, we are often more than disappointed. Of course, many of us are not handed life, on a silver platter. Mine came on a paper plate. But I can look at that paper plate or find joy with and from what's on the plate. It's all perception and how we choose to look at life. We can sit around sad and depressed because we do not have or we are not, where we want to be. Or, we can choose to accept life as it is handed to us? Now, I am certainly not saying to you, to roll over and give up. I am not saying to accept, all things as they are. What I am saying, is do what you can, to change things but start within yourself and choosing to be happy.
How do I choose to be happy?
We have choices from the day we are born, we often can not see it, though. They are there and we must look for them, in every situation. Some of us are born with disabilities or chemical imbalances. Some of us have a predisposition for chemical dependency or illness, such as myself. I realize that some things, are out of our control. My point is, when things such as a handicap are thrown in to our lives, we can choose to be happy or we can choose to hate life for it. Naturally, we may all go through, that hate, before we arrive at the doorstep of happiness. It's often a natural process but hopefully we see that even in destiny and the worst case scenario, we can choose to be happy.
You must seek joy and laughter in your life, Steve, at all costs. You must be truthful with yourself and accept who and what you are. Until you do this, you will be so "stuck." You have to get Unstuck, huh? Well Babz, how the hell do I get Unstuck?
Your Personal Empowerment Exercise
My Rx; Every day, you must seek to laugh. I don't care if it is watching YouTube clips, Movies or Comedy Central, find the laughter. You must surround yourself with positive people and if you are sociable, you must weed out the un-positive things and people, in your life. I know you are wondering, "What the hell are you talking about," huh? Pay attention, to those people, that are always complaining, bitching and moaning and try to stay away from them...weed it out. You often feed off of their bitching and in turn, it puts you in the same mind set. You then,my dear Steve, start picking your life apart, like a buzzard on a mission. You must begin to focus on your good qualities and I know that you have them. I can see that you tend to be negative at times, not that you mean to be but you must focus on, becoming positive. It is not a weakness to smile and laugh, ok?
Stop reaching for the brass ring and it just might be handed to you. Stop picking yourself apart and begin to choose to look for what makes you happy. You wrote me because, you are searching for this and I am aware of it. I want you to continue to focus on, what will make you happy. Do not look for it in a female or material things. Look for it within yourself. Choose to be happy and you will be.
Be honest with yourself, take responsibilty for the things you do, treat others as you want to be treated and look for and follow the laughter. See, once you stop looking for happiness, from your job or your relationship, material things and so on and you focus on real, not fake stuff, to bring you happiness, it will become you. You must look within yourself,to bring it about. Once you have done this, every thing, every single thing ,will begin to blossom and come about.
Steve, while I realize that we all expect certain things out of life, it does not and will not matter what you do, if you are happy, with yourself. Some things we must accept. That which we have no control over, we must choose to accept. The things we can change, we should work on but not allow it to own us. Search for happiness, love and laughter and it will find you!