Thursday, April 14, 2005

Attitude Adjustment

Several years ago I was at my most pessimistic. When I entered situations or met people, I was incredibly skeptical of intentions. I assumed people were inherently bad or misguided so I approached situations with that attitude.

It didn't serve me well at all. I was in horrible relationships, had unmeaningful friendships, but thought I was happy. It wasn't until I did a bit of soul-searching, or perhaps started to see how happy others could be that I realized I wasn't as happy as I thought.

I then started a regular yoga practice, severed ties with the poisonous relationships, and started pursuing alternative therapies and lifestyles. I received regular chiropractic care and massage therapy which helped my core. I studied chakras, aromatherapy, and alternative religions (specifically Wicca) which helped my outlook and behaviors. I quit smoking and stopped having sex. OK - quitting smoking was by choice, the other I tossed in to see if you were still paying attention. That single effort and choice were probably the best thing I could have done. It's amazing to see how such an unhealthy choice can truly affect your life. You won't even recognize it until it's no longer in your life. That's my public service message to the couple of friends I have who still smoke (you know who you are).

The combination of all of these things has helped me shift my thinking and my attitudes. I now approach people and situations much differently and it has made all the difference. Instead of seeing people as horrible, I think of all people as inherently good. Before when I would be disappointed by them, I would say "See, that's how they are - I knew it would happen." Now, I still have disappointments (not as many, mind you), but instead I say "Oh well, not going to waste energy analyzing or rehashing it." And I move on. I learn and move on. And I don't dwell.

That's not to say that some situations don't send me back to the overanalysis I was famous for. But I don't give it that much credence. I don't let people get me down because I alone am in charge of my future and my choices and my words. And I choose them all carefully. Much of the time I work with intuition. I have a feeling and I don't always know where that comes from, but more often than not, it serves me well. I don't question it, I accept it, laugh, and continue.

I live more in the here and now. I don't dwell on things that happened in the past. I take the moment, learn, and grow. As a result, my outlook has brightened. Some call it rose-colored glasses. I don't care if you call it "lick my ass", I'm happy and that's what matters. And since I'm happy, my interactions are better and those around me are happy to. Or I like to think they are in my sometimes self-absorbed reality! Hey - if you can't love yourself, who can you love?

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