As I drove around this morning (after resuming Uber/Lyft driving), I reflected on the experiences and lessons I learned from the last month, and I realized a few concepts that needed to be blogged about so others would benefit in regards to work, relationships, gender identity, personal style, sexuality and happiness.
Who is the Enemy?
The first realization is that WE are our own obstacle to our happiness....not others, even though we SEE that we are the obstacle when we react to the objections of others.
Think about it. If someone for which you have no respect objects to you, does it bother you? I mean....if an EVANGELICAL were to tell me I was not religious enough, I would probably feel pretty good about that assessment, since the LAST thing I would want is to be acceptable to their view of religious. No...the problem is not that others object to us. The problem exists when WE accept their argument as legitimate. The problem is not that we are not good enough or that our lives are a violation of their standards...or even that they feel qualified to put their standards on us, as deranged as that thinking is. The PROBLEM is when we start feeling guilty or inadequate or insecure OURSELVES from their criticism.
Like...when I have The Devil tarot card addiction referred to in the last blog, where I start feeling I need to make more money and sacrifice my own happiness for others. It is not something that I want for myself, and I feel that those that do it will wake up old and full of the regret of having not lived for themselves, long after all those for which they sacrificed have moved on from them. I don't have ANY respect for the HARD WORKING PROFESSIONAL with a dysfunctional family and bitter self-anger, as they brought it upon themselves. So....why does their criticism matter to me? It ONLY matters when I begin to VALIDATE their criticism or SHARE it. The problem is not them...it is me.
To Thine Own Self Be True
Because, at the end of everything, you only have yourself....and, NOW, you only have yourself. That doesn't mean that others cannot SHARE in your happiness, but, if you are giving up that happiness for them, you are emptying the very cup you use to GIVE to them. You have to be true to YOU, only. Anyone that loves you will LIKE that you are true to you, since that was what drew them to you at the start. Anyone that doesn't like it was never really into YOU.
Stop Looking for FLAWS in Something That Works
Finally, I realized that my criticism of Uber/Lyft limits was based NOT in the reality of the job but my own doubt of the CAREER, itself. Does it in Tulsa make less than McKinney, Tx Uber and Lyft. Hell yes. I made 15 dollars net, there, while here it is somewhere from 4-7 per hour...half the pay. Do drivers, here, drive like drugged up demons at times. Absolutely. However, here is the thing. I can't DO anything ABOUT that. It is not a temporary problem but a regional reality. SO...when you run into one of those realities, you can either LEAVE the situation, or you can ACCEPT it.
I have pointed out many times that relationship and work share the same principles, and this is another one. Sometimes, you cannot be happy in a situation...someone violates the very principles you NEED to be happy, and in those situations you have to LEAVE. Get a divorce. Trust me...I spent over a decade trying to be happy with something that didn't even NOTICE nor CARE I was not. In that kind of situation, whether it be a relationship, job, or location, you have to leave....if you can. However, if you are in a situation that may not be ideal but CAN or DOES still make you happy, stop shopping around. Accept the limitations and be happy. Often, people don't even start noticing how bad a job is, until they have already internally considered leaving. If you are in that state of instability, you will poison your own well.
So, IF you are not in a personally abusing situation that CAN work for your own limitations and still...pay the bills and let you be you....then, repeat after me what I learned to say in Boston...It is that it is. Then, whenever someone cuts you off or doesn't tip you...or fails to recognize you as a parent (ha), you can let it roll off you to focus on the things that will redeem the day and your life with joy.