I’ve learned a lot over the past couple years. I’ve learned why certain people act the way they do, and I’ve come to accept that with some certainty I can predict incoming insanity, but with less certainty will I know what that insanity will look like. How it will manifest.
I can just know to be ready.
I have a tactical plan, so to speak. I keep info close to the vest, because I know my plans are generally ripe for criticism or harassment. I bring friends with me for certain interactions, so I have witnesses and protection. I park a certain way. And, I tell people what’s going on – no more hiding anything – so there is no doubt should anything go sideways.
It’s just prep. Necessary prep. Because I’ve learned from experience what to keep, what to share and how to do it.
I’ve also learned I can do way more than I thought I could. Both physically and emotionally. I can trust in another human – that was never taken from me. And I had to learn that by diving into it. That’s really the only way to test that water.
I’ve learned that fears are just fine, as long as I gin up the courage to do “the thing” anyway. It goes for a lot of things. For saying the scary thing out loud, the thing that feels safer in your stomach. For doing the scary thing, like facing a personal terrorist in court or strapping on fins and a mask and going into water that scares me to pieces.
And I’ve learned that people can’t make you feel things. Only I can make me feel things. Only I allow it. And, that’s huge. I think it’s probably the biggest thing I’ve learned, it’s the biggest concept to adopt, it feels like one of the most important lessons of life, and it’s something I’m still applying despite discovering it some time ago.
No. The person didn’t make me mad. If I’m mad, I allowed that person to impact me. No. The person didn’t make me scared. I allowed that person to tap into my fears, and then let the fears take over.
I am the only one who can control my environment. Period. Even in joy, and laughter and happiness, I open myself up to be taken over, if that makes sense. My environment is precious and I protect it fiercely.
I used to think this mindful awareness only applied to anger, which ultimately revealed my rookie status with the concept. But, it applies to everything, including fear – and that’s a BIG one for me.
I go and I do. And things or physical obstacles generally don’t stop me. In fact, I can’t remember one that has, and I’ve done a few things that involve waivers and warnings and make my heart skip a few times.
But, sometimes words can, at the very least, pollute my mindset. And it’s only because I allow it. And I know I’m not alone here. But they are just words. Just letters strung together, with irrational anger as their fuel. So why give them any weight? Don’t. Don’t do it. You’re worth more.
I listened to Gary Vaynerchuk, one of the ultimate no-bullshit, own-your-own-headspace guys, and he said he believes happiness comes from not listening. Own your environment. Protect it. Just don’t allow the bad energy in.
Understand its significance, too. Understand that by listening to it, you validate it and by feeling it, you’re giving it power – power it doesn’t deserve. And then remember, you’re the only one listening to it.
Because people who try to get you, think they know your soft spots. So, strengthen them. Add a layer of mental muscle, a thicker barrier of insulation, and keep that shit out.
It’s all so much easier said than done, I know. But I’m living it, and I’m telling you it’s so valuable. Things don’t happen to us. We are products of what we allow. We need to love ourselves enough to get that. And love ourselves enough to live it.