Fundamental truths

I’ve learned a lot of lessons during the past few months. At some point, I’d like the opportunity to start applying said lessons to my life, but in any event, I started this blog as a means of serving as the warning just as much as the example. Several of you got the hint about what not to do, and now, I’m going to give it to you straight what you need to do if you aren’t doing it already.

1. Unleash the negative. I can tell you what it’s like to lose time you’re not getting back. I think the thing that has finally happened to me is that I’ve released my toxicity. There’s always room in life for a little bit of offbeat humor, but when you’re spending days, hours, weeks and months being sarcastic, well, you miss the beauty that presents itself to you. Guys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses. Codicil: unless they’re rose-colored. I’m serious. Nobody wants to be around a towering inferno of unhappiness. They want to be around someone sensitive, adaptable and positive. I find I attract much better things and people when I’m smiling, and most of them stick around when the smile fades. And those people also have the power to help me bring that smile back.

“Desiderata” tells us to not distress ourselves with dark imaginings and that, as children of the universe, we have the right to be here. And it’s so easy to look around and see so much suffering and wonder why we should have anything good happen to us when so many others are so much less fortunate. But then we watch crappy shows on E! and see how much better everyone else seems to be living. So we do the best we can and take what we get but also know that we’re inherently good, too, and we deserve fortune from time to time to carry us through.

2. Dream out loud. Or just dream. Having a reason to awaken every day is nothing to take for granted. Find something, anything to keep your mind out of the abyss. Even when you sequester yourself from society, as I often do, when I’m down — tell your cats what fabulous things you’re going to do when you get on your feet again. And tell them how you’ll get on your feet again. Then they will dream of once again eating something other than the cheapest dry cat food you can possibly get away with bringing home!

Don’t forget, though, that a dream is just an idea without a plan attached. I’ve had lots of dreams throughout the years. But I never had the “grand scheme,” and while it is possible to come up with one on the fly, it doesn’t always come. And that’s when your dreams become your biggest nightmares. It’s all fun and games until somebody loses motivation. And if a body in motion stays in motion, how does an inert, deflated one get back into gear?

3. Be grateful. Say thank you. And say it again to everybody who did anything to make your day more bearable. And don’t just be grateful, but pay somebody back when you can. It’s OK to squirrel your emotional resources for you when life’s got the shit-stompers on. But pay it back or pay it forward. Much like bad times don’t last forever (although it feels like it!), good times don’t, either. When you’re fortunate enough to be on an upswing, look down sometimes.

Another hard knock I’ve taken is that I’ve felt like, OK, I’ve suffered enough. Where’s the good stuff? All this to only see more bad things happen and more good things go away. But you know what that does? It teaches you the value of values. If you could have lived without something in the first place, then why do you have it? Conversely, now that you don’t have something anymore, do you see what you didn’t when it was yours? And maybe it was just time to part with the old, but there is a lesson under ever stone on the beach. Take it for what it’s worth and be glad you will live to apply it.

4. Forgive yourself. So you got into a bad run of luck. And it seems like you’re floating in the ocean, swimming for dry land that you can’t even see. That’s where I am right now. But if you’re lucky, someone will throw you a floatation device, but you’re the one who has to chart your course, find the land and pull yourself onto shore. And you won’t have the fortitude to do that if you’re always berating yourself for even getting into the bad situation, even if you had no control over it. And we never know how or when things are going to happen, but in retrospect, we always find out why. I like to think of it as Fate getting tired of me flapping my yapper and testing me to see if I can do what I said I would.

And feeling bad takes all that strength out of you. You’re not going to climb the molehill with a defeated attitude, let alone the mountain. But life has a way of beating you down, but I figure it’s to strengthen our muscles as we fight our way back. There’s a reason we look at our elders and wonder how they are so smart and know so much. That’s going to be us someday, looking at these crazy kids who just don’t get it. I know people who say they’re sorry but don’t mean it. I know what it’s like to be sorry and not say it. But the only person who needs to hear it is me, because I hurt me the most. And just like I don’t want anybody else putting me down, I certainly don’t need to take that kind of attitude from myself, of all people!

On iTunes: Howie Day, “Ghost”

6 Responses to Fundamental truths

  1. Anonymous :

    Good past Dawn! I have learned those lessons many times in my life. Someday they’ll stick!

  2. Anonymous :

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Serenity :

    This is a wonderful post, Dawn — a wonderful lesson you are teaching us with your life. I admire your tenacity and strength , but most importantly, your grace in handling life’s rough spots. I wish nothing but the best for yhou and will continue to read, learn from, and enjoy your blog for as long as you share it with us.

  4. Anonymous :

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Anonymous :

    It really is quite serendipitious that I read your blog now after the post I just put on mine.

    I really could curb the sarcasm.

    I need to channel will more than jack.

    Thanks for your honesty on your blog.


  6. Anonymous :

    I think the wisdom being offered here is yours. And good wisdom at that.