Of the 5 habits discussed in the article, for the most part, I only have 2 of them.
I don’t hold grudges, because yes, they are a waste of energy. Even with all of the stuff I’m looking at, the issues and the wrong choices, I’m not holding a grudge. What I am doing is looking at my past, clearly looking at the places where I either made a poor choice or where I was blind to other views than my own perspective.
I don’t actively seek out drama. It’s been a long time, but I’m remembering a lot of my childhood habits that did allow me to keep a reasonably drama-free life. I’m relearning patience, relearning that just because something went wrong or something needs to be fixed I don’t have to freak out or somehow “fix it right now.” I’m relearning how not to be so focused on instant gratification. I have honestly missed those habits. I’ve lived with drama so long that there is a serenity to living with my family again.
Jealousy. I truly hate that emotion. I define the difference between envy and jealousy as:
- Jealousy is an emotion when you don’t want anyone else to have whatever it is that you want.
- Envy is an emotion that says, “Hey, I want that too. How can I get it?”
Envy doesn’t want to take anything away from anyone. Jealousy, to me, is not only insisting that NO ONE else gets to have it, but also possessive and insecure. It implies ownership, which in the case of people is NOT what any relationship (monogamous or not) should be. My monogamous parents have NEVER thought that they owned each other. They’ve focused instead on understanding each other’s needs. They’re not perfect, but they compromise and support each other far better than many marriages I’ve seen.
On the other hand, I do have an issue with being jaded (or cynical). I am working on it, but the reality is – especially after Thursday and Friday’s explosion of rage – I have unfortunately come to expect that my life will always be at that same level of bullshit. What I’m hoping to do is to continue to deal with the repressed emotions that have helped me develop that sense of cynicism. I keep expecting no help from the rest of the Universe, and the reality is that I’ve been caught in a loop, basically having self-fulfilled prophecies. Dealing with the rage and pain that I have been holding deep inside will hopefully help me to learn to let go of those expectations.
That feeds right into the last item: focusing on the negative. When you have that expectation that life will always and forever only hand you piles of shit, you essentially unconsciously go out looking for that shit, because it is the only thing you are allowing yourself to see.
These last two years have been holding a mirror up to my face. Forcing me to look at my preconceptions and my perspective, and helping me to choose a better life. It’s slow going, but it took decades for me to develop into this person.