Why is it so hard to really enjoy things?
Anything that we love will lose pleasure and enjoyment when it becomes something that we rely on to complete us. Craving is not the same as love. It is not the same thing as pleasure. Other people are not here solely to provide us with the security and richness of feedback. Everyone we meet has their own story unfolding just like us. They exist just like we exist. They are here to find compatibility. If we are only relying on what others say and think to give us joy, we really aren’t contributing anything to the mix, are we?
Getting drunk on other people and what they think of us – can you relate? We get drunk on controlling others, and we get intoxicated with letting others control us. How do we really find a healthy way to enjoy other people? My eyes do not fall head first into neon signs flickering the words “open” and “bar” in whatever color they happen to flicker at me anymore. I am not persuaded by champagne and nights where others drink saki and fishbowl glasses of red wine because I do not want them anymore, but what about other flickering signs? What are our other less obvious addictions?
- Using other people as indicators for our own worthiness.
- Social media as a source of worth.
- Waiting for other people to tell us that we are good enough.
- Depending on joy solely from someone else instead of finding joy and sharing it with someone else.
Are we that starved for affection that we will sacrifice our freedom for a little nod of approval somewhere else on the planet? Maybe. There is no shame in this. We are only noticing our behavior. It is only natural when you think about it. I drank and behaved co-dependently for how many years? A lot of years. That’s how many years. A lot.
Dependency is a learned behavior that creeps back into our lives sometimes. It is a whisper in our ear telling us that things would be better if we were closer, but truthfully, dependency is a liar. It says this is the way into love and connection, but it only gets in the middle of what could be a fuller and more meaningful existence.
Meet & Greet
You like yoga? I like yoga! You meditate? I meditate! Let’s be friends! I come on a little strong with people I admire sometimes (don’t we all). You love music? I love music! Making friends as an adult is a strange and daring experience especially in sobriety: however, for every handful of awkward meetings there are a few, very real connections (yes, it is worth the risk to put ourselves out there!). It is about quality versus quantity. There is a higher vibration and likelihood for connection through the recovery aspect. You are sober? Pause. I am sober too. ZING. Pure magic. This one line unfolds unspoken stories so very well known by both sides of the playing field.
We had the opportunity to visit teamLab’s Borderless exhibit at the Digital Art Museum here in Tokyo. This was a much needed breath of fresh air! Wow! It let my creative heart soar with joy in knowing that there really are no limits to what we can project with our seemingly limited viewpoints. We are always innovating and building new ways to show others how we view and interpret the world around us. We are reimagining life. Real artists build off of their environments. We do not grow from ideas that live purely in our own worlds. We do not thrive this way. Feedback is how anything grows. A brain in a bell jar disconnected from the world will not have any sparks in it. It takes action and connection to make things happen. Show me what gives you a little smirk of joy when you see it, so I can see that smirk and your light in what you do. I will show you my light, and we will have a bond. This is a transaction. This is a contract between two people that says, I see what you have done here. I see you, and I like it.
Connect & Enjoy
People do not belong in boxes.
We do not own other people. We do not get to watch them walk away thinking that everything they do will always be more ours than theirs. Anne Lammott says that you own everything that happened to you. Do not let anyone tell you differently. Handing over our power to someone else is an equivocal slap in the face to drinking our lives away. Looking back, try to reframe your past with empowerment. Nostalgia can be a broken, dangerous tune if we are not careful, but by saying that you own everything that happened to you, we are retelling our stories with a hero’s mindset. Owning our stories can lift us up. Ownership is a funny thing because when you realize that you are allowed to take it, nothing can stop you from holding onto it. We can stop grasping and start enjoying other people now that we have a full heart and steady legs to stand on. Connect & Enjoy. ❤
There you are being you
while I am over here asking you to be someone else.
Where do I put you now?
That is not my job anymore.
Sometimes it is only looking up at the big, empty sky.
All of the characters from back home are losing shape.
To say it was a waste of time would be untrue,
so let’s say it was a beautiful experiment
that came to an end.
Bright, hopeful you
with unfinished edges.
I will not convenience you.
I will not put you anywhere.
I will not ask for you to play out other story lines
other than the one you are living right now.
-Jacqui Hathaway Levin, The OAM
For more on the sobriety journey, follow The OAM on Instagram @the_oam, and check out The OAM facebook page (click here) ❤