Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Honesty Is The Best Policy

New Thing #5: I'm going to be more honest with the people around me. This doesn't mean I have been lying to the people in my life, but I most definitely have not been honest with myself and have not said what I really feel out loud. So I walk around feeling bad because I just "let stuff go" and no one around me knows what I'm really feeling. As far as everyone is concerned, I'm just happy and content and "oh, don't worry...it won't matter to Nichelle so we'll just go on this way" or my opinion on some subject is overlooked or even devalued. My not being honest and up front leads to me getting overlooked or ignored.

I suppose I've been too afraid of making people walk out of my life if I'm too honest, and that possibility does exist....but there is a fine line to walk, and as someone once told me "You can't change others, you can only change yourself, which may or may not make others around you change." So I can't worry about people leaving me...I feel like my true, lifelong friendships should be able to handle more "edgy" honesty than the superficial or short-term ones. And it doesn't mean that I can be brutal and cut people down or hurt them - that isn't the point of this either. But this is supposed to help me be healthier and, subsequently, the relationships I keep healthier too.

So, change #5 - be more honest. Be more upfront and stop hiding my feelings to the detriment of myself for the sake of the feelings of others, but still temper everything I do and say with compassion and empathy...the majority of the people around me are still my family and friends, and I love them.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

I Believe In....Something...

New Thing #4: I'm going to be more spiritual.  I don't plan on going to church every Sunday, and it definitely won't be something that everyone will "see" on a daily basis.  But I do believe in a 'higher power', and, most of the time, when I ask for things (be it a solution to a problem, peace of mind, or even a 3-Story Barbie Dream Townhouse) I get them.  I wouldn't call it 'prayer' in the normal sense of the word, because I don't kneel and close my eyes and clasp my hands and implore God for whatever it is I'm struggling with at the time.  I do, however, concentrate on the outcome I wish to have, think positively that my outcome will happen, and then release that thought - that energy - into the universe, to that 'higher power'.  And, most of the time, what I want will happen.  Sometimes, it doesn't quite work out the way I want it to, or it doesn't work at all, but then, maybe what I wanted wasn't really the right thing in the first place and I'm really better off with the outcome that ended up happening.

I've had discussions about religion with a bunch of different people at a bunch of different times in my life, and I've come to this conclusion (strictly for myself, only my opinion) - no one's religion is completely right, nor is it the only one that 'works'.  Which is why I say that I'm going to be more 'spiritual', not more 'religious'.  That statement will probably make somebody angry, no matter how I try to explain myself, so I'll just keep going.  In being spiritual, I can take what works for me and not be bound by anyone's rules about how I'm supposed to worship; I don't have to be restricted in only 'believing' in God or Buddha or Jehovah or The Green Man or Allah or Earth Mother or anyone else; I don't have to go to a specific place or wear specific things.  There is one thing that does run through all religions, and that is treating your fellow man like you would like to be treated - that I can also do in being more spiritual. (Which also goes back to New Thing #3 - treating myself nicer!)  Now, I'm not slamming anyone else's religion or how they choose to practice - I think that everyone should live their lives as they see fit, and if something works and makes your life better, do it!  I think there are good parts to every religion...I just don't want to be restricted to just one - call me a rebel!

So, change #4 - be more spiritual.  Meditation. Quiet the mind.  Settle the body.  Let the thoughts flow.  And, somehow, things will be alright.