14. If you want to see change, change yourself – Whether it’s the world, your relationship, your job or anything else in life that you don’t feel so fondly about…change yourself. We all know that the only thing we can control in life is our reaction to outside events. And whatever emotion we have towards something or whatever thought we choose to focus on, emits a vibration. An energetic vibration. Thoughts become things, right? It’s in our human nature to resist change, because the unknown can feel utterly scary at times. But, just know that if you wish to see positivity, love and everything that sparkles in this world, you must embody all those same things and focus your energy on those same things.

15. Everyone is a teacher – Believe it or not, that person you can’t stand…is a perfectly plucked person thrust into your life to teach you a thing or two about…you. That does not mean that you are to embrace them and become their BFF and take on the world together. Trust me, there are people who I would really just like to kick in the shin and wouldn’t be that mad about seeing shit their paints. But, I can’t focus on that…However, I can focus on why they are causing me to have such an emotional reaction to them. You really can learn something from everyone and 9 times out of ten the things that are driving you crazy about another person are really deep seeded, un-dealt with issues you’ve repressed. Thas crazzzy talk, Mercedes. I know, I know. But I’m telling you its the freaking truth.

16.People are motivated by different things – And it is not your job to tell them if that is right or wrong. This lesson is really about recognizing we were all born into different energies, elements, genetics, geographics, karma, however you wanna slice it and the paths that we each are on are so uniquely crafted that not one is the exact same. Once you really start to see how individual our lives really are from each other, the judgements we all seem to have about one another don’t become so severe. Some people are motivated by their faith, others by money, others by love, others by whatever crazy thought pops into their head at any given moment. Live and let live.

17 . Face your fears – They may never go away 100% but it will take you from a crippling state to, “Fuck, I think I’m actually 17% badass.” Hence why I became a flight attendant at 19.  When I was a kid I was so fascinated by planes that my dad would take me to the Anchorage Airport and I would just sit and stare out the window at all those metal birds. After my sisters were born, my grandmother took me back to St. Louis with her for a month. I let go of my dads hand, waved goodbye and made that first flight my bitch. But, then my mom left on an airplane and never came back and I found out my grandfather was petrified of airplanes and never flew. I started taking on that fear and somehow developed the most insane anxiety whenever I flew. So, at 19 I said fuck it, became a flight attendant and then quit 6 months later because of “engine malfunction” in an ice storm which lead to a passenger throwing their carry on luggage at my face. But I did it. I still have to take deep breaths and go to my vodka-enduced happy place when there’s turbulence…but hey, not crippled by it any-longer. The more you just “face your fears and do it anyways” the more powerful you become. I have yet to see if it works on spiders and probably never will. I doubt it would fare too well for my vocal chords or general state of well-being.

18. You have to fall apart at least once in life – In order to rebuild stronger and better than ever, you have to break down and let everything go to shit. Me trying to take my own life in 2012 was the best thing that ever happened to me. Please do not take that as me saying that everyone should down an entire bottle of zanax and peace out, but I am saying you find yourself and rebirth yourself at the worst of times. It’s like all the bullshit of life gets ripped off and your bare soul is hanging out there and it’s up to you on how you want to deal with it. Some people fall apart and then get stuck…they never recover. Some people are so scared to fall apart and really see themselves that they stay as far away as they possibly can and then there are those who erect new versions of themselves every year. It’s totally scary being on the brink of complete ruin, feeling alone and paralyzed…but then you get through it and suddenly you’re thankful.

19. The more you embrace your faults, the less people can use them against you – Some of you know laundry is my arch nemesis. I will blame this entirely on my Aquarius nature and the invention of the steam cycle on dryers. Fold that pile of warm, downy-scented goodness? Fuck no, throw it on the bed, then into the basket on the floor and pick through it for the next week until I need more stuff washed. Boom. Oh, I have lots of other faults too. Some that I have accepted will always be a part of me and some that I’m hoping maybe becoming Buddhist will help me overcome. But now when people try to use those faults against me, I shrug my shoulders and say, “so?” Own the not so flowery sides of you. Accept them or change them. But allowing them to exist and then getting all pissed off or defensive when someone calls you out on it just means that you probably need to deal with it.

20. If you want a good relationship, you must work at having a good relationship – Take it from the divorced chick. They just don’t suddenly appear out of thin air and continue to be all hallmark card prose and fiery sack sessions forever. Conflict will ensue. Feelings will get hurt. Assholes things will be said and done and bad things will happen in life that will test the very foundation you walk on. You get what you put in. Sometimes those relationships don’t last, sometimes they do. But having an expectation that it will be easy and effortless and should not stretch you and challenge you more than you could have imagined is just plain silly. Remember what I said earlier about being the change you wish to see? Good relationships start with you.

21. Your beliefs don’t determine your character, your behavior does – Are they in sync with each other? Most times, that’s all you really need to pay attention to. It doesn’t really matter what words the person says, how are they behaving in accordance with the person they’ve made themselves out to be? Don’t ever be the person that has to say, “I’m not like those other guys/girls”, “I’m a really trustworthy person” ,”I promise I’ll make it right”, blah blah blah. Be. Do. You should never have to stand on a soapbox professing to others about your character…they will know by your actions.

Ohhhhh snap…we’re almost there!

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