Living In Hawaii | Balancing Val - Part 3

living in hawaii

being positive, and other BS we’re fed . . .

Yesterday, an old co-worker turned dear friend of mine contacted me out of the blue with a simple work related question. A few texts later we exchanged the answers to “How have you been?” in which mine was a quick reference to the crazy roller coaster ride I’ve been on lately.

Her reply surprised me because it wasn’t anything that was in agreeing about how life is crazy, or fucked up or anything about keeping tabs on who is suffering more.  It simply stated that she hoped the ride was joyous and blissful because I deserved it, especially knowing where we both came from trying to plant our roots in our careers and ourselves just 2 short years ago.

At that moment, it was exactly what I needed to hear.  The hours that followed this sweet message consisted of me being inadvertently called out for worrying too much and not being able to live and enjoy the present moment from more than one person. Of course, there was more to the story, especially dealing with the craziness of the last few months but this day in particular left me feeling like a really shitty human being and the worst part was I couldn’t find a damn thing to truly justify it because I agreed.  It felt like I got slapped in the face with the reality of what I looked like to the people closest to me and how I really didn’t enjoy what that was.

It got me thinking . . .

Did it really have to be this way?

Is it true that this ride CAN be joyous and blissful all the time?

And more importantly . . .

Am I in control of it?

I think a real issue that has stayed with me for as long as I can remember is that I tend to be very black and white with most things that I do.  Its all or nothing, good or bad, diet or binge.  I guess that is to be expected from a former young wannabe bodybuilder, but that stage of my life has passed leaving me with that last little bit of these life lessons to conquer.

I use this mentality when my judgement gets crossed.  Someone telling me I am too negative or worrysome (even if its me) immediately throws me into this tale spin of me trying to be positive and happy 100% of the time like one of those creepy people (you know at least one) that justifies EVERYTHING as a universal lesson which leaves them no room to take personal responsibility for anything.  When that fails, I get “negative”, pissed off and want to punch everyone that tells me to “live in the moment” far into the future . . . just because.

What I have come to believe is we are not MEANT to be positive 100% of the time. The situations in our lives that get us mad or angry or sad are just a part of it, just like death is a part of life. Furthermore, things are not MEANT to always go your way either.  This is a huge indicator of life putting you on a better path and allowing you to have different feelings, emotions and THINGS that will ultimately keep propelling you forward or backward or whatever is in store for you . . . unless you’re boring and have completely settled on a mundane life.

We are MEANT to feel like shitty human beings sometimes and it’ll takes more than a pep-talk or a specified amount of time to change your perspective. It’s all unique to you and what you’re going through.

And so is how you choose to strive . . .

You could strive to be 60% positive most of the time.



As long as you can embrace that its ok to feel the way you feel.


Which is obviously what I need help with the most, but for now it is a pretty freeing realization even if I end up being wrong or changing my mind down the road.  Maybe feeling terrible is a key to not more often?

But for now . . .

  • Strive for being on the other side of dark most of the time (see above)
  • Enjoy the ride when its good, but embrace with curiosity and kindness when its bad (you don’t have to PRETEND its good when its bad even if the whole thing is for your own positive good in the end)
  • Be amazed that you get to experience all of it

acceptance + choice

I originally wrote this a few days after my birthday last year.  Actually, I wrote a LOT of things last year that are only just being dug up now. I am so thankful for being able to look back on my thought processes through these times in my life that few people could ever understand.

Acceptance & Choice

January 6th 2013

One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn and continue to learn are the ones about acceptance and how we choose to deal with those things in life that hold such power, positive or negative. Sometimes there are situations in life that seem so perfect, so right and yet they never turn out the way you really wanted them to.

Sometimes bad shit just happens for no reason . . . or, every reason.

As humans, our default is to get angry.  The lesser extent is to find WHY something didn’t work.  This way we can fix it, or we can at least justify it. When we do this, we place blame on a tangible thought or feeling in an attempt to barricade feeling the pain of the event.

Time and time again I have been faced with these situations out here . . .

Spending too much on a car that was a lemon only to get into a minor accident to be salvaged

Not getting seemingly ‘perfect’ jobs even though you were told you are perfect for it

Having a seemingly ‘perfect’ relationship only to be let go for something else

Just BARELY being able to pay your bills by means of cashing out your retirement WAY early

Having amazing friends at one time who fall away and do not walk the same path as you anymore

Needs changing, wants changing . . . life changing.

– –

These are just some minor examples, but what I have realized about emotions is that they come back tenfold.  When you are feeling angry, upset and questioning your existence, it’s almost like you are emitting a signal that requests MORE of these feelings. You will then notice MORE situations of this magnitude keep popping up until you are fully immersed in a life filled with the “why me’s” and all kinds of victimization. And if you don’t pull yourself out, you’ll begin to believe that the world really is out to get you, and then it actually will be.

Things in life will be good; things in life will be bad.  Strangely enough, whatever happens has NOTHING to do with you as you are.  Things don’t happen TO you, they happen FOR you. When you are jolted with a bad experience or even a good one, you are given a choice in which way to use your power.  You can accept it and then make the choice to  empower it, or diffuse it.

Cars are just cars, jobs are just jobs, money is just money.

You are YOU and there really is nothing like it.