Self Authoring Faults: Don’t Laugh Much or Have Fun

I completed Meditation 6 on the Waking Up App today and will now be re-starting my Self Authoring Suite beginning with Faults Analysis.

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Fault: Don’t laugh much or have fun

I remember a time when I couldn’t have fun without my ex. Particularly one day when I was expecting him to come visit me. I called to see when he’d planned on heading my direction and he informed me that he would be spending the day in another city for a baby shower. This particular baby shower was for a friend of his. A girl friend, in fact, that I was not allowed to be friends with. This was his rule because most of his friends took a liking to me and would often take my side over his. I was quite envious of this friend because I’d found modeling pictures she’d sent him and also because she was a complete mystery to me. Due to the fact that my ex was choosing to spend the day with her over me, I was even more jealous. I began screaming at him over the phone. Fortunately my room mates were not home and we lived in the middle of nowhere with neighbors that were far enough away not to hear. I sobbed and shouted until I was hoarse. Despite having the freedom to do whatever I wanted for the day, I could find no silver lining. I think of times like this where, instead of fighting circumstances, I could’ve just gone along with the natural order to see the beauty in my own life as opposed to feeling like a victim of being undesirable.

Alternative Outcome

Ultimately, I ended up going for a hike several cities away. I found myself awestruck by the natural beauty of the solo road trip I went on. However, I also remember distinctly not being able to find the fun I was looking for, even after I discovered a Biergarten with live music. I would have liked to have chosen a destination and gone to it based on my own preferences. Instead, I chose to do things my ex might’ve liked, such as socializing in a bar setting. Had I planned for my taste I would’ve found some historical site to visit. I’d have explored the natural beauty of an obscure anomaly that I could share information about in the future. I would’ve been more open to change and unpredictability. I certainly wouldn’t have allowed myself to impose upon the joy of someone else’s exciting news. Part of me still feels shame for getting so worked up about it and for all the times I was not able to laugh because I was determined to express anger. I idolized my partner’s opinion so much, I felt cynical towards anything that would bring me happiness without involving him.

Guidelines for general improvement

In order to work on improving this fault, I’ve been paying greater attention to what brings me joy. This starts with regular gratefulness practices. I never used to take the time to focus on what was good in my life because I was so determined to fix what was wrong. Rather than allowing life to surprise me with good fortune, I chose to try to control how often inconveniences would arise. I was under the impression that I could limit the number of unfortunate events I’d experience by always planning my day. I was not aware of the fact that having expectations that I was not willing to budge on was the source of my despair. By allowing myself to be disrupted by change, I was fighting the only part of life that is guaranteed. For situations like this to not repeat themselves, I have to be willing to roll with whatever I am presented. We don’t get to choose the situations we find ourselves in, but we can decide how we will react to them. If we can direct our attention to that which we appreciate, we have opened the Pandora’s box to our own desires.

Originally written in Collective Journaling at The Stoa

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