Non Self-Helpy Self-Help

kindness rocks

Let’s not talk about New Year’s resolutions anymore. While it’s a nice concept, these ideas we come up with for ourselves are often not sustainable. If I’m being honest, I feel the same way when someone tells me they’re going on a strict diet. Not to be Judgmental Judy, but wouldn’t it be better to make small and manageable changes on a daily basis that you can eventually make into a way of life? Jussayin’.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know the last couple of years have been hell for me. I got injured. I got divorced. I got shunned by friends. Just when I thought life was done kicking me in the teeth, I recently found out my best friend has been stealing from me. As I have two boys that mean the world to me, I would never commit suicide but, if I’m being honest, I’ve spent a lot of time in the past six months or so longing for a way that I could get a break from being me. I’d wish there were a way that someone could freeze me for six months while taking care of my dogs and bunnies and doing that Men in Black sunglasses thing on my boys so they didn’t realize their mom was gone. Yeah, weird … and oddly specific. It’s gotten to the point where I feel envy when I hear about a celebrity having a nervous breakdown and getting their shiz back together in some chi chi resort where a hot guy brings them grapes and hot tea. Okay, okay, it might not be exactly like that, but…

I know it’s time to change. I need to step out of myself. I need to quit feeling sorry for myself, too. And I need to take in the good as, even though it has seemed few and far between, it is there. I’ve been thinking of some things I’d like to change and it hit me that these are things that many of us would likely benefit from, so here goes. Go forth and make changes … if you’re so inclined.

Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

We learn this basic tenet when we are little but we so quickly forget what empathy looks and feels like. I think the biggest example I’ve seen of this recently was this exchange between the amazeballs Sarah Silverman and a foul-mouthed heckler. In a not-so-original trolling comment, the person tweeted the C-word to Sarah. You know what that girl did? She went onto his page and learned that this guy has had a pretty shit life and this was how she replied:

“I believe in you. I read ur timelines& I see what ur doing & your rage is thinly veiled pain. But you know that. I know this feeling. Ps My back Fucking sux too. See what happens when you choose love. I see it in you.”

 Aaaand I’m crying again. The exchange ended with Sarah calling out to her fans to get this young man help with his chronic back pain even though he was broke.

In short: #BeLikeSarah

Reach Out and Touch Someone

Eek, I said it! This is a touchy (groan) one in this #MeToo and #TimesUp period we are living. And I’m a firm believer in both of these movements, as I have been assaulted, harassed, and physically hurt by men. However, I’ve also come to realize that human touch can be so healing. I’d noticed it in the past in yoga classes when a teacher would adjust me. Instead of feeling criticized, I felt so loved. And a couple of weeks ago, my nail lady held my hand for a bit before she started my manicure. It might sound creepy but it thawed my recently frozen-over heart. Another thing I’ve done and highly recommend is I’ve begun to get massages.

“Massages!?” you say. “Yeah, I’ll fit that in in between driving my older kids to sports, tackling Mt. Laundrocuvicus, and wiping my youngest one’s ass 20 times a day.”

I get it. I was you. I didn’t think I had or deserved to take the time for this, but recent chronic pain kind of demanded it. And this lovely and itty bitty masseuse (read: healer) asked me a few questions about why I was there and what I wanted to work on, and I cried for 60 minutes as she placed her healing hands on me and started the long, slow process of making me whole again.

 Don’t be afraid to touch someone (Within reason, people! Within reason!). Hold someone’s hand. Hug with intention. You have no idea how much you might be doing for the person on the receiving end. Can you imagine how long it’s been since that homeless person you see every day has been hugged? Interesting thought, right?

Open Your Heart

Where are my Bachelor peeps at? Remember when creepy Kasey repeatedly told Ali that he was going to “guard and protect her heart”? In the words of dreamy Ryan Gosling, “Pishi Kaka” to that. We need to stop protecting our hearts so much. You’re probably catching on to the fact that I’m a wee bit of an emotional person, but I’ve cried in yoga. And I usually do so when we are in the middle of what’s called a heart opener. I’ve been hurt so much but I still want to be wide open to love. One of my girlfriends from home lost her mom a few years back, and she and her kids have been struggling without their True North. At the same time, she recently said on Facebook that her kids never shut down. They never closed themselves down. They know they could be hurt again by loss but they are still putting themselves out there on the front lines. That’s bravery, folks. Don’t let loss swallow you whole. Mourn it, sure, but don’t let it take your life from you.

Realize That These Could Very Well Be the Salad Days

 Cue the cheesy music, amirite? It sounds so schmaltzy to say “live in the moment” that but what I’m asking of you is that you recognize those good moments and stop and think to yourself, “Wow, this right here is pretty awesome.” Take in the good and let it wash over you. I recently watched the end of The Office again, and I cried like a baby (man, I do cry a lot) at something the character Andy Bernard said (go, Nard Dog!):

 “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them.”

Think about that.

Enjoy a Cleanse (Not, Not That Kind of Cleanse)

We all know social media forces us to peek over the fence at everyone else’s lives. It’s really kind of the whole point. And that’s all well and good when things are going great for you but on those days when you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and that you’re not worthy, seeing that photo of your high school’s sweethearts holding hands as they (literally!) ride off into the sunset is going to sting a bit. Give yourself perspective in that we all know everyone’s showing you their highlight reels. Step back and acknowledge that and, every so often, take a break from it all. Real life can be really freaking cool.

I’m not Tony Robbins and my life is—well—basically a steaming pile of cow dung at the moment. But you know what I have? Hope and the desire to change. What about you?

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