Don’t own other people’s shit!

Everyone has their own shit in life that they have to deal with.  Shit that comes and goes in varying degrees and from different sources.  There is usually more than enough for any one person to deal with without taking on other people’s shit as well.  

Unfortunately, when we do not take on other peoples shit, we are labelled as “selfish” and made to feel guilty about it.  The worst of which is a belief system that it is our job to make other people happy, regardless of the toll(s) it takes on our own well being.

When I learned this life lesson, I literally felt an elephant get up off of my shoulders and walk away.  

Don’t own other people’s shit.

A phrase I have told friends countless times over the years.  We all have enough in our own lives that we cannot afford to take on other people’s shit as well.  We all have things that have happened to us throughout our lives but we all need to learn how to best deal with it and not take it out on others.  

As much as you need to live your own life and learn your own life lessons, you have to allow others to do the same.

When someone is nasty or treats you poorly, don’t take it personally.  It says nothing about you but a lot about them
– Man Of Honor

When someone puts you down, criticizes you or is abusive towards you in some other fashion, it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them!  “Bullies” as most of us know them as, are simply using you to help make themselves feel better about themselves.  A stepping stone towards their own “happiness”, if you will.

Quite often what they are putting you down about, is an inner reflection of themselves.  Whether it’s weight, beauty or choices you’ve made, chances are, they are either jealous and/or it is triggering something within themselves.  

A side effect of having learned this life lesson, is that I have become much more empathetic with people.  Whenever someone puts me down, rather then letting the “razor cut me” and/or taking it personally, I look sympathetically at the person.  I wonder what has or is going on in their life that they would bully me to help themselves feel better about themselves.

I made the choice several years ago to not look down my nose on someone else’s life and/or criticize the choices they make.  Again, I am human (that is, I am not perfect).  I may not feel that they are healthy or the “right” choices but they are not my choices to make, my lessons in life to learn or my life to live.  Instead, I try to “plant seeds” into their mind for when they are ready to make changes.  Other times, I outright call them on their “shit” and point blank ask them what their issue is with whatever they are criticizing me about.

I think one of the hardest things in life for a lot of people to accept is that you cannot change anyone but yourself.  People have to want to change in order to make positive changes in their own lives.  We can only do what is right for ourselves and make changes to foster our own happiness.

Do you have a “bully” in your life or have you had one in the past?  What have you done to change the situation?  Can you look back now on a former “bully” in your life and view them differently now?  Are you a bully?  Have you ever looked inside yourself as to why?

Boxer Quilt: Patchwork Pieces Ready for Sewing

I am finally ready to start sewing together the top for my Boxer Quilt!

I am contemplating whether or not I will use the fabric from my boxers for the bottom of the quilt as well.  There is plenty of fabric left and I am not sure what else I would use the fabric for.  The quality of the fabric from the boxers is not the greatest and by using it on both sides, it would wear out at around the same time and I would not feel I was wasting newer and better fabric on it.

Once I finally had all the pieces cut out from freecycling my old boxers, I looked through our fabric stash to pick out the fabric for the solid colored borders of the quilt.  I used my cell phone to take pictures as I tried laying out the patchwork onto different colored borders to see how they went together:

Boxer Quilt - picking out the borders

I do like the burgundy both as the window piece and for the outer border but felt it would be too dark for the quilt and wondering if it would clash with any of the other boxer patterns.  I have decided on black for the window pieces and a cream color for the outer border as I feel it will best highlight the boxer patterns.

Little Miss Mew was of course eager to help me out as I was cutting up the fabric and placing the long stringy pieces either into the garbage can or my scraps bag:

The mews

One of the tips in the book I am using the pattern from recommends collating the pieces onto index cards for each of the quilt blocks.  This makes it easier to just sit down and sew the pieces together.

I have not sat down to use the sewing machine since February of 2012.  As I write that, I am trying to grapple with it coming up on two years since I last used our “new” sewing machine.  I may dust off and finally watch the DVD that came with the sewing machine.

Running the pieces through the sewing machine (and trying to keep a straight line with my 1/4″ foot) is the part I like the most because I find the process therapeutic.  The part I probably like the least at this point (especially with this quilt!) is getting up to the point of actually sewing the pieces together.  I am sure the added chore of doing this from old boxers is not helping at all!!!

Wonder how long it will take me to sew together the quilt top.  Time will tell.

There is no such thing as “wrong”

We live in a society that is very binary – that is, there is only one of two ways of being.  You are either “this” or “that”, “us” or “them” or something is “right” or “wrong”.  This mentality I have never understood although this life lesson was something that took me a while to grasp because of how we are socialized.

There is no such thing as “wrong”.

Ironically, sounds “wrong”, doesn’t it?  It did so much to me that I had a really hard time grasping this concept.  I am sure just like me, you can list off a whack of things that you consider “wrong”.  What helped me to come to terms with this was realizing that not everyone has the same set of morale’s and ideals and that there is nothing “wrong” with that!

Around the time I was being taught this life lesson, someone violently attacked my then less than two year old great-niece.  I was enraged to hear, “there’s obviously something to be learned here” and that it was “meant to happen”.  At the time, I was ready to hunt the guy down but have since found compassion for someone who would do something like that wondering what has happened to them to act in such a manner.

You’re doing it wrong.

A huge part of the reason that it took me so long to get into using crystals, tarot and a myriad of other things was because of people who insisted that things had to be done a certain way and/or telling me I was doing it “wrong”.  Because of this, my crystals and cards got very dusty in fear of me doing something “wrong” or out of order.  I was so happy to come across a book which stated those sets of rules did not matter and an instructor who always says:

I provide, you decide.

We all have our own set of beliefs and ways in which they came about in our lives.  For me, it’s whether or not something resonates with me:  that is, if it feels “right” to me by filling me with positive thoughts and/or feelings.  Some people prescribe to something because they read it in a book, word of mouth or because an authoritative figure said so.  When I come across something that does not resonate with me, regardless of the source, I do not consider it “wrong” – just not “right” for me, accept it as something someone else feels is “right” and carry on.

I have found this life lesson to be essential in preventing myself from judging other people.  I am human (that is, I am not perfect) and do shake my head at some people wondering how they can feel that some things are “right”.  When I come across something that I don’t feel is “right” for me, I respect that as someone else’s truth and do my best not to judge them for it.

What might be right for me, may not be right for you, but that does not make it wrong!

This life lesson is one I learned over a decade ago.  Having had a few years to think about and reflect on it has brought me to conclude:  with any given ideal, both people can be “right”!  Why does any one ideal have to be “right” or “wrong”?  Why can’t both people be “right”?

One of my beliefs is that we are the creators of our own realities.  What might be “right” in my own little world might be considered extremely “wrong” in someone else’s.  I am a believer in mutual respect.  While I can respect someone who is very passionate about their beliefs that do not resonate with me, I do not have any respect for people who tell me how “wrong” I am.  Those are the types of people who have no place in my life.

Are you living your life by doing what is “right” for you or “right” for someone else?  Have you ever not done something in your life because someone else told you it was “wrong”?  Are you ready to start living a life that is “right” for you?