How AUTISM Helped Me DEFY the Odds! (PERSONAL)

๐Ÿ˜ฒย ๐ˆ ๐–๐€๐’ ๐ƒ๐ˆ๐€๐†๐๐Ž๐’๐„๐ƒ ๐–๐ˆ๐“๐‡ ๐€๐”๐“๐ˆ๐’๐Œ!!!ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

I use to consider myself a very introverted person, very shy, and very set in my own closed routines. I was more of a thinker than a doer and more of a dreamer than a leader.

๐˜Š๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต? ๐˜–๐˜ณ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต?ย ๐Ÿค”

Being diagnosed with Autism was probably the starting point for me, the point where I confirmed to myself who I was: something is just ‘wrong’ with my brain.ย ๐Ÿง 

“๐™„ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐˜ผ๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ข. ๐™„๐™ฉ ๐™š๐™ญ๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™–๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ฎ ๐™„ ๐™›๐™š๐™š๐™ก ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฎ ๐™„ ๐™›๐™š๐™š๐™ก. ๐™„๐™ฉ’๐™จ ๐™Ÿ๐™ช๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™– ๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ง๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ข๐™š; ๐™„ ๐™˜๐™–๐™ฃ’๐™ฉ ๐™˜๐™๐™–๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™š ๐™ž๐™ฉ.”ย ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

But even way back in 7th grade I remember feeling like I didnโ€™t want to be labeled like this. I saw the label before me with all its negativity, a label I needed to object and rebel from.ย ๐Ÿ‘Š

๐ˆ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ ๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐ž๐ฅ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ˆ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ข๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž’๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ข๐จ๐ซ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ข๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐ž!ย ๐Ÿ˜จ

I have vivid memories from school where I refused to accept special accommodations because of the new label. I was now being given opportunities to have additional time on tests, opportunities to leave the classroom to ‘cool down’, and every single time I refused. ๐Ÿ‘Ž

I know it was done with good intentions. But what bothered me the most was that I was being treated differently. I had enough self-consciousness trying to fit in with my peers; now I had to worry about what adults were thinking about me! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

๐ˆ ๐ก๐š๐๐ง’๐ญ ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐, ๐›๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ง๐ž๐ฐ ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐ž๐ฅ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ ๐ˆ ๐ก๐š๐ ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ž๐ฒ๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ๐ž!ย ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

๐˜๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฏ’๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ? ๐˜‹๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ: “๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜•๐˜–๐˜› ๐˜›๐˜™๐˜œ๐˜Œ!”ย ๐Ÿคฌ

Well, with my new label I was constantly reminded about my new-given identity: what I couldn’t do, what my limitations were, and what struggles I’d have the rest of my life. Essentially, who I was could now be entirely summarized upon a set of pathological descriptions out of a diagnostic book!ย ๐Ÿ“–

๐€๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐Œ๐€๐‰๐Ž๐‘ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ! ๐Ÿšจ

In psychology, the term is referred to as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. In sociology, it’s referred to as the Labeling Theory. To put it simply: ๐˜๐˜ง ๐˜ข ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ง ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ’๐˜ด ๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ง๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด.ย ๐Ÿค”

For example, if a parent holds a child to very low expectations the odds are very likely the child won’t ever go past the expectations the parent set for them. They will only achieve the most minimal, the expectations set by the parent.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

๐—ฆ๐—ข ๐—™๐—ข๐—ฅ ๐—” ๐—Ÿ๐—ข๐—ก๐—š ๐—ง๐—œ๐— ๐—˜ ๐—œ ๐—จ๐—ฆ๐—˜ ๐—ง๐—ข ๐—Ÿ๐—˜๐—ง ๐—ข๐—ง๐—›๐—˜๐—ฅ๐—ฆ ๐——๐—œ๐—–๐—ง๐—”๐—ง๐—˜ ๐—›๐—ข๐—ช ๐—œ ๐—ช๐—”๐—ฆ ๐—š๐—ข๐—œ๐—ก๐—š ๐—ง๐—ข ๐—Ÿ๐—œ๐—ฉ๐—˜ ๐— ๐—ฌ ๐—Ÿ๐—œ๐—™๐—˜…๐Ÿ˜”

But then at one point I finally decided I was going on my own path. These past few years I’ve continually learned that everything starts with Me: ๐ˆ ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐จ๐ฅ ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž, ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ˆ ๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž ๐ข๐ญ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ˆ’๐ฆ ๐ ๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ข๐ญ. ๐Ž๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž, ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ๐ž’๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ž.ย ๐Ÿ‘

๐Ÿ“Œย Dale Carnegie explained it in his principles on How to Win Friends and Influence People.

๐Ÿ“Œย Stephen Covey showed it with the Habit of Being Proactive.

๐Ÿ“Œย The Stoics taught it through their principles of self-control.

๐Ÿ“Œย The Existentialists shared it through the creation of meanings.

๐Ÿ“Œย Individuals like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. excelled at it by example.

It’s the power of helping OURSELVES FIRST before we start trying to help the rest of the world. It’s about taking CONTROL over our emotions rather than letting them and our environment control us. It’s about living our lives for a PURPOSE greater than just ourselves. It’s about a “dream”, a vision of a greater future for all of humanity. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

๐Œ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ฅ๐ฒ, ๐ข๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐˜๐Ž๐” ๐ƒ๐„๐…๐ˆ๐๐ˆ๐๐† ๐˜๐Ž๐”๐‘ ๐‹๐ˆ๐…๐„. ๐ŸŒŽ

What I’ve come to realize again and again is that my past does not have to equal the future. I’ve realized I am more capable than what any label or diagnosis will dictate about me.ย ๐Ÿ™Œ

๐˜๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ข ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ต ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ? “๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ด, ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ’๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜๐˜•๐˜๐˜‘!” ๐Ÿ˜…

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐๐Ž๐–. ๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐๐จ๐ง’๐ญ ๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ’๐ซ๐ž ๐ ๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ง๐ž๐œ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐š๐ซ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐›๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐…๐”๐“๐”๐‘๐„. ๐ŸŒŸ

We can change! We can mentally evolve! Autism may be a part of who I am now, but that doesn’t mean it will ever be my final destination!ย ๐Ÿ›ฃ๏ธ

๐€๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š๐ง ๐„๐—๐๐‹๐€๐๐€๐“๐ˆ๐Ž๐, ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ƒ๐„๐’๐“๐ˆ๐๐€๐“๐ˆ๐Ž๐! ๐ŸŒŸ

I ultimately will define Me, not someone else, not a test, and definitely not a set of diagnostic criteria. I mean, I can choose to keep a fixed identity for the rest of my life…nah!ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

So these past few years I’ve been on a mission to Transcend Labels. My intention is to show the world what’s possible, to show others the importance of looking beneath the surface, past the labels, past the stereotypes, and to see each other for the common humanity we all possess.ย ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

I see lasting change in the world happening through the individual from the inside-out, not the outside-in. I believe that the better we can be for ourselves, the better we can be for others.ย ๐ŸŒŽ

Gandhi said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Everyone has an opinion, but there are fewer people out there setting the example. Will you join me?!ย ๐Ÿ‘Œ

.

I hope this resonates with you! If it does, I would really appreciate if you could share this someone you believe would also benefit from this message! If there are any additional areas I can add value to your life as well as in the LinkedIn community, please let me know!ย ๐Ÿ™‚

My areas of expertise include:

๐Ÿ‘ย Detail-oriented, Thoroughness

๐Ÿ‘ย Quality-over-quantity Focused

๐Ÿ‘ย Analytical, Systemic, Bottom-Up Thinking

๐Ÿ‘ย Emotional intelligence (plus 10 years in Customer Service)

๐Ÿ‘ย Social media, Building Engagement

With gratitude,

Donald “Ace” Arteagaย โค๏ธ

——-

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Letter To My Teenage Self

๐Ÿ“œ ๐“๐Ž ๐Œ๐˜ ๐“๐„๐„๐๐€๐†๐„ ๐’๐„๐‹๐… ๐Ÿ“œ

I remember being you as a teenager. You were just starting to understand yourself and the world around you.

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐๐ข๐๐ง’๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐š ๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐จ ๐ฌ๐จ. ๐Ÿ™Œ

I remember being you in middle school, feeling a greater sense of freedom now that you had left the constraints of elementary school behind. โœŠ

But you also started to see the extremes kids would go to treating each other badly, not to mention the extremes you were aware of within yourself. ๐Ÿ˜จ

It was not a New Normal you could fully comprehend, but to be fair most students probably didn’t fully comprehend it either.

Perhaps it all could’ve been boiled down to teenage hormones and puberty. But the fact remains it wasn’t pleasant. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐š ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐๐š๐ฉ๐ญ. ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐š ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ฎ๐ข๐ฅ๐ ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐š ๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐š๐Ÿ๐ž๐ญ๐ฒ. ๐Ÿงฑ

You modeled your demeanor off of the “tough” guys you saw in movies. Tony Montana from “Scarface”. Tommy DeSimone from “Goodfellas”. John McClane from “Die Hard”. ๐Ÿ’ช

๐ˆ๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฏ๐ข๐ž ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฅ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐š ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐œ๐ก ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฅ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐ .

If anything, modeling these behaviors helped you get attention. It made other kids notice you. It made you feel powerful. There was little incentive to stop. ๐Ÿ‘Š

And that chain necklace you wore…Yeah, the one in the photo here! You wore it because Tony Montana wore one too! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I remember being you as you cussed liberally among your clique of classmates during lunch periods.

๐–๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐๐ข๐. ๐„๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐จ๐๐š๐ฒ’๐ฌ ๐๐‚ ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐œ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐š ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐›๐ž๐š๐ญ. โŒ

Do you remember that one time your 6th grade teacher heard you? You remember that shocked look on her face, that you of all students would be the one to talk like that? ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Regardless, this moment didn’t change much, only that you were much more vigilant not to have teachers hear you in the future.

I remember being you when you felt verbally threatened by classmates. At the slightest criticism you would lambast a blanket of insults onto them. ๐Ÿคฌ

๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐›๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ž: ๐œ๐ฅ๐จ๐š๐ค ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ž๐œ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐›๐š๐ฅ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ข๐๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง.

Again, you didn’t really know who you were. You were just a kid, taking life in as it came, figuring it out as you went along.

๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ก๐š๐ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ, ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ. โค๏ธ

I remember being you when you were diagnosed with Autism, Depression, and Anxiety. All 3 at once! You started to believe these diagnoses with all their descriptions were the answers to your suffering, to explain why you felt the way you did.

๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ฅ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ข๐๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ-๐ž๐ง๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ.

๐Ÿ“Œ You were told you were depressed because of a chemical imbalance in your brain.

๐Ÿ“Œ You were told you had trouble socializing because autistic people have trouble reading body language and people’s emotions.

๐Ÿ“Œ You were told there’s a correlation between people with autism and depression and anxiety.

You were given multiple medications, you went to therapy, and thanks to these new labels you were often reminded (inadvertently) about your limitations.

๐„๐ฏ๐ž๐ง ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐๐ข๐๐ง’๐ญ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐จ ๐ฌ๐จ, ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐๐ฌ. ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ๐ฅ๐ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ , ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ, ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž. ๐Ÿ˜”

I also remember being you going into high school, and you started to gain weight. Your metabolism, which had handled a daily consumption of junk food up to that point, had finally started to slow down.

You went over 200 pounds, and you shamed yourself for it. It’s why you hated being in photos and looking in the mirror; your double chin was there to remind you what you didn’t like about yourself. ๐Ÿ‘ค

In time, you started resisting the labels you’d initially been given. In many cases you openly rebelled from them. โ›”

You still didn’t know who you were, how to get to know the real you, or who you even wanted to be. But you knew it surely wasn’t ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ! ๐Ÿ‘Ž

Instead of getting to know yourself, it was placed on the sidelines for school subjects you’d never use, engaging in social groups you’d never talk to after graduation, and beliefs about yourself that turned to out to be grossly false.

Please don’t misunderstand me. This letter is not meant to be a chastisement of school or your childhood memories. Rather, I share this with you because I want you to know that your life is going to be ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐๐ข๐›๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐๐ข๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ญ a decade from now! ๐Ÿ˜…

๐€๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐๐จ๐ฎ๐›๐ฅ๐ž ๐œ๐ก๐ข๐ง ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ž ๐ ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ญ๐จ๐จ! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Without spoiling all the surprises in store for you, I can assure your life’s only beginning. It’s easy when you’re in the same place for such a long period of time to not see the bigger picture. But eventually you will. ๐Ÿ˜

With that said, I must also warn you in advance! โš ๏ธ

Getting to where I am today is not going to be smooth sailing. You’re going to experience many negative emotions, many challenges, and many setbacks. There will be points where you feel hopeless and extremely anxious about the future.

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฉ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ๐จ! โค๏ธ

With these hardships you’ll see they were all just fragments of a greater journey you’re going on. You’ll see these hardships happened for a reason, and you won’t be able to become the person you are today unless you go through them first. ๐Ÿ™Œ

You’ll be here soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

.

โœ๏ธ ๐˜๐Ž๐”๐‘ ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ— ๐˜๐„๐€๐‘ ๐Ž๐‹๐ƒ ๐’๐„๐‹๐… โœ๏ธ

——-

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Why Itโ€™s OKAY To Not Know! #COVID-19

๐Ÿšจ ๐๐‘๐„๐€๐Š๐ˆ๐๐† ๐๐„๐–๐’!!! ๐Ÿšจ

Have you ever seen those headlines in the news that say โ€œDeveloping Storyโ€ or โ€œBreaking Newsโ€? ๐Ÿšจ

๐ˆ๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ฐ๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐š ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐œ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ , ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐๐ž๐ ๐ฒ๐ž๐ญ.

Say for example thereโ€™s an ongoing hostage situation or a reported shooting at a nearby mall. ๐Ÿ˜จ

In the case of a Developing Story, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ฐ๐ฌ ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ฌ. ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ฎ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐ง ๐ง๐ž๐ฐ ๐ฉ๐ข๐ž๐œ๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐ ๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ข๐ญ. ๐Ÿ‘

๐ŸŒŸ Therefore, as an audience member, we cannot assume everything the news is sharing will be entirely accurate. ๐ŸŒŸ

Because itโ€™s a Developing Story, some of what they report may just be pure speculation or interviews from witnesses that may not be very reliable. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

Itโ€™s only when the situation has finally settled that the news can finish gathering all the details to compile the most accurate picture of what actually happenedโ€ฆ๐Ÿ‘

๐Ÿšจ ๐–๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐‚๐Ž๐•๐ˆ๐ƒ-๐Ÿ๐Ÿ—, ๐ฐ๐žโ€™๐ซ๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐ข๐๐๐ฅ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐š ๐ƒ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ๐จ๐ฉ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐’๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ! ๐€๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐ช๐ฎ๐ข๐ญ๐ž ๐š ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฐ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ ๐จ๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ! ๐Ÿšจ

The problem is some of us are treating this situation as if it’s already settled. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Weโ€™re using the limited pieces of information weโ€™ve been given and using it to make huge assumptions with absolute certainty about whatโ€™s happening right now and what will be happening in the future. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฒ

๐–๐žโ€™๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ฎ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ ๐ง๐ž๐ข๐ ๐ก๐›๐จ๐ซ๐ฌ ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐ฆ๐š๐ฒ ๐›๐ž ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐š ๐ฐ๐ž๐ž๐ค ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ง๐จ๐ฐ! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

๐ŸŒŸ Just like a Developing Story, things initially reported may need to be corrected, adjusted, or even retracted for greater accuracy. ๐ŸŒŸ

The problem is some of us are arguing like we’re witnesses over what we saw in the sky: “A bird!” “A plane!” “No, it was Superman!”

We may have little evidence to say it was Superman, yet some of us are absolutely insisting it was. ๐Ÿ˜…

But I get it! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Thereโ€™s a ton of Uncertainty right now, and for those of us that are extremely uncomfortable with all this Uncertainty a part of us is clawing to get back to Certainty again, back to a place where things make more sense, and it will do so whether that means embracing the next conspiracy theory or the next Opinion article it reads online (โ€œ๐„๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ƒ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐›! ๐Ž๐Ÿ ๐‚๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ˆ๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐’๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ง!โ€). ๐Ÿ“ฐ

As we did the past year and a half, weโ€™re going to get EVEN MORE information on COVID-19 in the near future. In turn, weโ€™re going to get into EVEN MORE arguments with people online about this newly discovered information. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ข๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ง๐ž๐œ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐š๐ซ๐ฒ!

Itโ€™s almost seems like the fanboy mentality every time a new Star Wars story comes out: thereโ€™s an aggressive debate among hardcore fans on whether the story is canon or not, whether the writer or director did the work justice, etc.

Itโ€™s less about finding the truth and more about endless self-righteous arguing that doesnโ€™t really go anywhere! ๐Ÿ˜…

๐Ÿคฌ โ€œDONALD, DONโ€™T BE NAIVE! COVID NEEDS TO BE DISCUSSED! THIS AFFECTS ALL OF US!โ€ ๐Ÿคฌ

It definitely does! Donโ€™t get me wrong, Iโ€™m not saying we canโ€™t have civil discussions about it or be up-to-date on the latest information. ๐Ÿ‘

๐ŸŒŸ ๐Œ๐ฒ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ข๐ง๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐žโ€™๐ซ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐ข๐๐๐ฅ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐š ๐ƒ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ๐จ๐ฉ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐’๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ. ๐ŸŒŸ

๐Ÿค” Why should we spend so much of our time and energy fighting over information which may not even be accurate a week from now?

๐Ÿค” Why should we spend so much of our time and energy thinking about the best decision the government should make when ultimately this decision is outside of our control?

If a group of children decided to debate the ethics on whether a parent should give them cookies despite not eating their vegetables youโ€™d think thatโ€™s silly, right? ๐Ÿ˜‚

Itโ€™s not just because most children donโ€™t study Ethics, but because regardless of their debate it doesnโ€™t change the fact the parents are the authority figures who will ultimately be making the final decision! ๐Ÿ˜…

In other words, ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ฎ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐š ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ฐ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ง๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ ๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐š๐ข๐ง ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐ .

Iโ€™m not an infectious disease expert. Iโ€™m not an epidemiologist. Iโ€™m not an economist. I may even be reading some of the studies and data I see incorrectly. I may even need to educate myself on how to properly read them! ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

The point is Iโ€™m not an expert, and I wonโ€™t claim to be. Quite frankly, Iโ€™m an idiot a lot of the time and just do my best not to be seen as one on social media! ๐Ÿ˜„

๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ข๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐š๐œ๐ญ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐š๐ซ๐ž, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ก๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐Ÿ๐ข๐๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ฒ๐ž๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ž๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž, ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Because at the end of the day, itโ€™s okay for us to say: โ€œI donโ€™t knowโ€. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Itโ€™s okay for us to defer the complex understanding of infectious diseases to experts like Dr. Fauci who has studied them for ๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐๐ž๐ฌ. I have not, and to pretend like I have would be to be willfully ignorant of what I donโ€™t know! ๐Ÿ‘

Again, Iโ€™m an idiot too! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Itโ€™s okay for us to embrace the Uncertainty of Life! ๐Ÿ˜„

If you wonโ€™t give yourself permission, consider this post my permission for you! โค๏ธ

Iโ€™m nervous about the future too. Iโ€™m nervous about whatโ€™s going to happen too. But what I do know, at least for now, is the simple fact that I donโ€™t really know.

And thatโ€™s okay! ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€” โ€” โ€” –

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How To Be Pedestal-FREE!

๐ŸŒŸ Be pedestal-FREE. ๐Ÿ™Œ

Have you ever met someone that made you feel lesserโ€ฆonly YOU were the one making yourself feel lesser? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

๐Ÿ“ You became infatuated with someone, and you started feeling you werenโ€™t worthy of their attention.

๐Ÿ“ You saw your friend travel to an exotic place on social media, and you started feeling your life would never be as good as theirs.

๐Ÿ“ You saw a celebrity on TV, and you started feeling like you could never possess the talent they have.

I like to call this phenomenon The Pedestal Effectโ€ฆand weโ€™ve ALL experienced it!

As a kid this happened to me all the time, and I admit it still does happen from time to time. Itโ€™s where in your mind you place someone in a superior position that in turn makes you feel inferior. You see this person, seeing traits in them you so desire, and feelings of lack are automatically created within you. This person magnifies what you feel youโ€™re missing in your own life. ๐Ÿ‘ค

This happened to me so often when I was younger!

– It happened with every new infatuation I had in school.

– It happened with every new celebrity I admired.

– It especially happened in moments when I had to enter confrontational situations.

It becomes a harmful cycle. Every time you do it, you reinforce in your mind: โ€œIโ€™m not enough in this moment.โ€ ๐Ÿ’ฌ

But thereโ€™s a lesson in all this. Iโ€™m grateful Iโ€™ve been able to learn, grow, and mature through this past stage in my life. Itโ€™s something Iโ€™m still coming fully to terms with, but Iโ€™m getting there.

And you can too!

When you start to experience the Pedestal Effect:

๐ŸŒŸ Remember: Itโ€™s just an illusion! Youโ€™re not any lesser than you were the moment before you starting experiencing it. Itโ€™s past conditioning, your survival brain looking for something thatโ€™s wrong. But there isnโ€™t anything unless you let your mind create that meaning within.

๐ŸŒŸ Remember your worth. While your brain wants to lessen in the moment your feelings of self-worth, remind yourself who you are and what youโ€™re made of. Remind your brain that you donโ€™t need what someone else has in order to feel full and complete.

๐ŸŒŸ Remind yourself: this moment is temporary. We all experience moments like these, where our emotions feel out of whack. Stay aware when itโ€™s happening, and continue to remind yourself that what youโ€™re experiencing wonโ€™t last. โ€œThis too shall pass.โ€

โ€ฆNow that itโ€™s passed, letโ€™s go! Youโ€™ve got your own gifts you need to continue offering the world.

โ€”โ€Šโ€”โ€Šโ€” –

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How Karma Came to BITE Me! (PERSONAL)

Originally written in October 2018

๐ŸŒŸ KARMA CAME BACK TO BITE ME!!!

As a child I remember the many times I was told to do things.

โ€œYou have to do this.โ€ โ€œYou need to do that.โ€

“Why?”

โ€œBecause you do.โ€ โ€œBecause I said so.โ€ โ€œBecause thatโ€™s how it is.โ€

At the time I questioned peopleโ€™s intentions far less, and I simply did what I was told. I was a kid who avoided causing any trouble.

But because of that, karmaโ€™s come back to bite me. Iโ€™ve come to realize how my past has made such an impact on my life, even presently. Thereโ€™s a part of me that at times still desires to keep the peace, to avoid confrontations, to avoid being negatively judged by others. Itโ€™s to the point that sometimes even mere suggestions from other people giving me guidance sparks my body scrunching up. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

I know on an intellectual level people mean well when they want to help me, and I know no one is forcing me to do anything. What I also know is sometimes in these moments my body is reacting differently regardless. In that moment I become a little boy again, hearing someone tell him how he โ€œhas toโ€ or โ€œneeds toโ€ do things, feeling helpless to powers outside his control. For a moment, my brain interprets one personโ€™s mere suggestion as a declarative demand.

But this problem lies within me, not in their words.

Let me add, Iโ€™m not saying Iโ€™m a victim or I’m going to become one. What I’m saying is Iโ€™m aware these emotions sometimes come up within me from time to time, a lion who for a brief circumstance takes on the role of a sheep.

And I’m continuing to work through it! I continue to reflect on how my emotions in these moments are irrational and unfounded. I conclude how itโ€™s based upon my past conditioning. And I reinforce to my brain Iโ€™m going to stay solution-oriented. ๐Ÿ‘

And this may surprise you: I take A LOT of responsibility for these emotions! This was a recurring pattern throughout my childhood! There were plenty of times when I was younger where I remained blindly obedient to others. My reasoning was to keep the peace, even in times where I strongly disagreed with others. I take responsibility in knowing I gave my personal power away more often than not when I couldโ€™ve held onto it and stood my ground.

I no longer desire to substitute peace in place of honesty about my emotions.

But why did I do it? Why do so many of us people-please like this?!

๐Ÿ“ We donโ€™t see the other possibilities outside our emotional homes.

๐Ÿ“ We are social beings. We all want to feel appreciated, have a sense of community, to possess a tribe to call home. Weโ€™ll willingly sacrifice parts of our individuality to feel we connect and belong with others.

๐Ÿ“ We see others who also people-please, and we start to believe thatโ€™s the only way we’ll approval.

But itโ€™s not!

Hereโ€™s the fact: You CANNOT please everyone. And you donโ€™t need to. Itโ€™s something I continue to remind myself of to this day!

With the past behind me, I notice the times I feel most alive now are the times when I feel in complete control over my life, free from boundaries and influences to change my mind. Itโ€™s almost a 180 degrees from childhood! Because I experienced so little of it as a kid is the reason I crave it now even more.

I feel liberated:

๐Ÿ™Œ When I go for a morning run not knowing where Iโ€™m going or how long Iโ€™m doing it for.

๐Ÿ™Œ When I can meditate and take away the idea of routine and schedules and โ€œentrepreneurs need to do thisโ€ฆโ€ for a time.

๐Ÿ™Œ When I sit down to write a post like this with no distractions, just me and ideas vying to be expressed, and time becomes nonexistent.

This morning on my run I saw a hawk in the sky. I was taken by its glide, its speed, and its grace. No one said life was easy, and I was inspired by that hawk this morning to write this.

Throughout the time I wrote this Iโ€™ve been listening to Enigmaโ€™s โ€œReturn to Innocence.โ€ What a fitting title!

โ€” โ€” โ€” –

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