I've never done a daily prompt before, but while browsing my Word Press reader to gain inspiration from all the other fun, witty blogs I follow, I saw this word, LECTURE, in the Daily Prompt and HAD to respond. Because, lately, I've been lecturing myself mercilessly.
Not long ago (the day before Thanksgiving to be exact) I was laid off from my job. I went through a whole range of emotions but ultimately decided this was a GREAT thing. I could do all the things I didn't have time for before. I could make all my dreams come true. Immediately. The sky was the limit.
Except for the fact that two months later, I'm not sure I'm any closer to my dream job, and daily errands are getting in the way of my much coveted writing jobs and acting business plan. And I am stressing. HARD. It's like I'm a kid in a candy shop. But instead of eating too much candy and getting sick, I look at my open schedule and end up banging my head against the wall. I SHOULD be able to blog and promote EVERY day. I SHOULD be able to get all my marketing materials out by now. I SHOULD be starring alongside Andrew Garfield in his next movie like YESTERDAY. All while working out 8 times a week and learning Mandarin. WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE??? Soon I end up in a cleaning binge (because if I can't control my career maybe I can control the mold in my shower) and end up looking like a crazed Julie Andrews.
My best friend calls. She tells me she just booked an episode of “Nashville.” Wait. Not just one episode. TWO episodes.
On the outside I’m all “CONGRATULATIONS! I’m so excited for you!”
But on the inside I’m like, “FUUUUCCKK.” Because obviously now there are no more jobs for ME. Now the odds of my own acting career succeeding are as likely as Harvey Weinstein becoming a feminist and resurrecting his. Or my mother finally learning how to use an iPhone app. Both equally impossible. All pointing to my inevitable failure as a woman.
Because as women we are taught that there is never enough for us all. There’s always a competition. For jobs. For men. For a thinner waistline and an impossibly unproportional bootie to match. And why, with said proportions, do we have to compete with the likes of Kim Kardashian in order to “break the internet?” It’s not fair. Plus, I’m really bad with computers.
But what if there WAS enough? What if we could truly feel secure that there are so many jobs/men/sexy waistlines that we ALL can win?
It’s Friday night. Led Zeppelin radio is playing through my nifty Beats Pill+. My boyfriend has asked me out on a private dinner date where he is cooking me a short rib dinner, and I don’t have to help AT ALL. Perfection. Until we do that annoying things couples do. We pick a fight over a pan.
Him: “Is this pan oven proof?”
Me: I think so. I mean, I don’t know. I’ve never actually put it in the oven, but...
Him: So. NO.
Me: STOP YELLING AT ME!!!!
OK. There might have been a little more to it than that. But you know how these things go. Maybe I called him an impatient jerk. Maybe he said I was acting crazy. And quite possibly I then stomped out of the room. Either way, there was intense annoyance over a PAN.
Dynamics of a relationship are always interesting to me. You’re usually not arguing over the thing you’re actually arguing over. And we all develop this little thing called selective hearing. One person says, “Hey, can you turn that music down?” And the other person comes back with, “Stop controlling my life!!!!!” And while this seems like an exaggeration, I guarantee this has happened somewhere. Sadly, I think most relationship fights start over assumptions. Most fights with friends also start over assumptions. Though I’m waaaay less likely to take it personally when my friend teases me about my sensitivity. If my boyfriend does, there is a full on cry fest over our sushi diner. (I’m chagrined to admit this may have actually happened.)
So how do we navigate relationships?
This post is different today! I was reading a couple blogs by my peers (See. I do know that on the path of enlightenment EVERYTHING can't just be about me.) and I stumbled on a page by louisablog that was not only well written and informative, but also contained a prayer that resonated so deeply with me that I had to share. (Especially since just yesterday I was exploring how to restructure prayer!)
I hope this prayer awakens your own self love (cellulite thighs included) and inspires you to share that love today. And so it is!
SELF LOVE PRAYER
Does praying for something actually push it away from us? This terrifying question taunted me as I listened to Neale Donald Walsh’s “Conversations With God.” I’ve been praying my whole life. Whether it was a prayer I’ve been given as a child or my own melodramatic pleas, I consider my prayer relationship pretty strong. But (and picture a bolt of lightening and ominous thunder) I suddenly realized My prayers usually consist of me ASKING God for something.
“What’s wrong with that?” You may ask. “I ask God for things all the time. The health of my family. A flashy new car. Less cellulite on my fat upper thighs.” And that’s cool, except for the fact that the act of asking is a statement that it is not there.
“Uhhhhh. It’s NOT there. Have you seen my thighs? I haven’t worn shorts in five years.”
OK. Trust me, my thighs have cellulite, too. But stay with me on this one. I’m going to quote directly so I don’t mess it up. “You will not have that for which you ask, nor can you have anything you want.”
Have you ever noticed that whatever you’re going through at any given moment, life speaks to you with the exact message you need to hear? Whether you want the advice or not? I mean, for months now I’ve been hearing a small still voice during mediation saying, “Waking up at 5am would be helpful to your writing career.” To which I keep responding with a resounding, “Nope.” (OK. I managed to wake up at 7:45 this morning. And I only hit snooze once so if that’s not progress I don’t know what is!)
I’ll tell you why I HATE New Year’s resolutions. I never complete them. Not even a little bit. Statistically no one does. OK I didn’t actually look up any facts about this but come on, unless your resolution was brush your teeth every day, most people conveniently forget about their resolutions after the first 30 days. Or 5. And then that failure leaves me frustrated and ringing in another New Year crying while listening to Ed Sheeran and singing to my cat. Just kidding. I was crying because his love songs are so beautiful. And I didn’t sing to my cat. I danced with him.
And sitting here thinking about my life, as someone with no job, is not married or has any kids, you'd think I'd be freaking out about THAT. Nope, what I AM freaking out about is wrinkles. And bags under my eyes. And figuring out how I can possibly win the lottery to afford the $1,500 of filler I CLEARLY need.
It's been four days since I've been officially out of work. A huge amount of emotion has run through me. Strangely, I had many feelings of sadness due to leaving this job. Not because I love serving people at a restaurant. (or at my old place of work being their actual servant!) I think I mourned the loss of community. Now, every day I'm by myself. And while I definitely crave more alone time to be productive, I'll also miss being a part of something bigger than myself. Of course, this is the time to create something NEW to be a part of that is bigger than myself! But that leads me to my next fear... how do I do that???
An author named Brad Warner wrote a book called It Came From Beyond Zen! The book cover is complete with cool Sci-Fi lettering and a Buddhist monk entangled by a green slimy monster with 7 eyes. The blurb about his book mentioned he uses humor to put classic Buddhist teaching into modern language. He also used to be in a punk rock band and wrote another book called Don't Be a Jerk. My kind of guy. I was sold. I mean clearly our life purposes are the same. Except for the part where he's an ordained Buddhist Zen monk and I'm a waitress. And the part he was in a punk rock band and I still struggle to get from a G chord to a C chord on my guitar. And he knows who Dogen was and I had no idea. OK. Enough. We both don't take meditation so seriously we wear Mala prayer beads to breakfast and drink boba tea while dissecting our own auras. Good enough for me.