Solution Driven Mindset – Moving Toward Joy

Dear Self,

I must always go in the direction of joy. 

Minor setbacks, obstacles, and inconveniences are – at the end of the day – just tasks that must be completed. If I could just look at each task as an end unto itself, and not the building blocks to a bigger conspiracy theory, then I would be at peace while handling those tasks. I must remember to be grateful for what I can do. Being lazy and letting tasks go unfinished is not a good indication that I am grateful. 

I should know that I must do everything I can to cultivate peace and prosperity in my life. Not prioritizing that is madness. I must always go in the direction of joy. This pertains to everything in life. A clean kitchen brings me joy, so I must clean it. While doing the task of cleaning, I cannot allow myself to feel bitter about spending my time on that task, even as other tasks call for my attention. In this mindset, it is actually madness to hate doing the dishes, or folding laundry, or bringing calm to your child who cries when it isn’t most convenient for you. The correct response is to feel gratitude. Gratitude that the dirty dishes were a result of consuming delicious food and laundry a result of having clothes to wear. Being able to bring calm to your crying child is proof that your presence is important, your body a temple. To leave those tasks, without completion, brings anxiety. Peace cannot be found in a dirty home. 

This applies to my opinions of other people, places, and things. Can I stop attaching negative feelings to life experiences? If my ex doesn’t show up for our child or if my son used seven different cups to drink milk today, it is not proof that my life is terrible. It can only overwhelm me if I allow it to. If I could just release the anger and resentment, I would be able to identify things as being a neutral experience. I can let go because no other way will serve me. Now I can look at every reaction, every question, every experience and answer it with, “What action or reaction will make me most joyful? Most grateful? Most at peace?” Once I indentify what next move will bring me the most joy and peace, I must act. This allows me to let go of any situation and be non-committed to the end results.I am only focused on the tasks. One task at a time. One action, one move, one step at a time – and always towards joy and peace. Should the results be unfavorable, I can look at it as a task and again move towards joy in completion. Though soon this process guarantees mostly good days, months, and years. Happiness must exist because it is chosen. 

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The End is Just Ahead

I micromanaged my happiness

and was dead set on only enjoying life

if it worked out with him.

Our relationship made to be the conduit

for energy spent.

I left no space for miracles

and placed a ceiling on my growth.

Life got harder and harder,

I held on tighter.

My tunnel vision grew.

There were life wraths thrown,

exit signs pointed out,

words of wisdom throw up at the mouth.

And still I said no to peace

if I couldn’t have peace with him.

I want to end with some revelation,

to make it all make sense.

A deep exhale of my breath.

But it’s just a trail of lessons

I leave behind,

and problems to solve ahead.

Learning myself to no end.

There’s no standard set,

just endless wars

and big deep breaths.

My self-worth just ahead.

I will keep pushing for failure

until I am dead.

Open Letter to My Ex

J,

It’s been a couple of months now since I’ve heard from you. I think the last conversation we had was the first week of November. I am writing you because well it seems like my soul needs to. I have moments where I fleetingly think of you still. Usually my train of thought brings me to things I wish I could say to you. Before, it was…I still love you, please come back to your love for me, or I wish you didn’t drink so much, or I wish you didn’t have another woman that obligated you… Now, things are different. I don’t feel or think like that anymore. I understand that those are just natural thoughts that follow the feeling of one’s heart being broken. 

Honestly my thoughts are now a bit more cutthroat…I wish I would have gotten my house keys from you, because two nights ago I woke to a sound and immediately wondered if it was you…returning to me when I could no longer accept you into my heart. Especially now that I have begun to truly move on. 

The truth is, I still think highly of you. I still pause at the thought of you, the sound of your name. But I don’t talk about you. I have shared my pain with only one man specifically, my mentor. He helped me understand that I can do nothing but move on. And somehow, something has changed in me. Missing you was a pain that I endured and then one day (and I don’t know which day it was specifically) I just started feeling better. 

I’ve changed jobs since last talking to you, and honestly it has been a big help. I am no longer working in an industry that I hate. I am no longer making shit money. My income has at least doubled, with the potential to be tripled. I get more time with my son. I am able to take him to school each morning and tuck him into bed each night. It’s been a true blessing. 

I no longer surround myself with people whose interests really only included my body. I haven’t talked to D., R., or S. in months. I don’t surround myself with people whose lives are in shambles or who don’t believe in me. I believe that your life experiences are made up of the people you surround yourself with and I have chosen to discard those who don’t adhere to the same values/mindset. And honestly that has a lot to do with you. You were the first man that didn’t ask me to be quiet. Didn’t ask me to tone down my personality or genuinity. I sincerely want to thank you for that. You taught me that it is only right that I be the strong woman that I was born to be. You taught me that I didn’t need to conform to the standards of people around me in order to be accepted.

I’m doing better in my relations with men as well. I am understanding how to set proper expectations and I’ve learned to truly appreciate a “nice man”. No more assholes. You were the first “nice guy” that I had ever given my heart to and again I want to thank you for opening up your heart to me for the time that you did. It allowed me to set higher standards for myself with future men.

I’ve been on a path of self development for a few months now and I do feel optimistic about my future. I have been writing poetry nearly every day and hopefully, with my mentor’s encouragement, I will look at publishing my work soon. You inspired one poem specifically, “As It Turns Out” and I am really proud of it. I hope you know that I value the time that we had together and I know that if I was given the chance to love you again, knowing what I know now, I would still have said yes to the experience. 

Thank you for loving me but more importantly thank you for leaving me. It was the motivation I needed in order to change my life. 

Sincerely,

James