Romantic Motivation

*YAAAWWWWNN*

Oh, man, I am exhausted. I partied hard last night… as it should be. Saturday night is the night to be alive and what a time I had.

And it was an all male night, too. My better looking other was busy doing her thing so I decided to treat myself to a night of somewhat endless fun with the guys. And what fun it was.

Wow, it’s only 10am and I need at LEAST two more hours sleep before I can even think of getting out of bed and enjoying some breakfast…. And I would have no problem sinking back to sleep if only she would stop making so much noise. What’s she doing in the kitchen anyway, baking? Can’t she just tip toe or NOT move plates around.

Uuhh, and I am so dehydrated… ok, I’m going to make a trip to the washroom and then ask her to cease and desist.

“Hey, um, any chance you can not do that now?”

“Good morning. Um, I’m making my dish for brunch.”

Oh. No.

“Brunch?”

“Yeah.

“With your parents?”

“Yes.”

“At what time?”

“11:30… are you going to shower?”

You have GOT to be kidding. I was just out partying late and now she expects me to have brunch? With her family?

I completely forgot.

Well, I have little choice: there’s no way I can go in this condition. I am completely wiped out and will not be a good conversationalist.

Besides, I’m really not the biggest fan of being around her parents. They mean well but they don’t really care about what’s happening in my life. What do I need to be there for anyway?

Oh, I can already hear her answer:

‘Because it’s important to me.’

Important. How important can brunch be? I know if she had to cancel on me I would be totally fine. I enjoy spending time with my parents because they’re mine. She’d be under no obligation to be there if she was exhausted. Besides, I would want her to rest. I would want her to know that her recovery was more important than her pretending to enjoy herself. Because heaven knows I’ll be pretending to enjoy myself. I just want to curl up back in bed and shut the world off.

*Huff* oh, I know what I’m in for: complete and utter disappointment. And we’ll have to have a talk and she’ll feel-

-ok, ok, I’ll feel guilty AND lousy for not keeping my word and then try to make it up to her somehow. No, it’s my bed and I have to lie in it… oh, that was a torturesome non-pun.

Fine I’ll go get showered but there’s no way I’m going to be Mr. Chatty-chat- wow, okay, I’m totally getting wound up in my own frustration. That’s really common when I’m tired.

I have to focus – First thing’s first: what is my motivation for going to the brunch?

Oh, I really don’t have the energy for this, I wish she would just-

-NO, that’s not going to help anyone. My motivation is to make her happy. Oh yeah, real noble and stuff but you can’t make anyone happy. And it’s not enough to get me to move, so try again.

This is one of those “compromise” times, isn’t it? People say that all the time “relationships are ALL about compromise”. So now it’s my turn to do that. But I have to say, I hate that idea. Compromising feels like giving up something I want for something she wants. It’s too submissive and way too negative. I need some proactive motivation to get me going.

When I have something planned for us, it’s because I want her to be a part of my life, more so that she already is. And it’s important to me that I feel she wants to be a part of my life. This is her wanting me to be a part of her life. And I want to be a part of her life, more so than I am now.

I want to go to brunch because of what it represents: Us. Our commitment to one another. Yeah, that beats compromise any day. I prefer making an active choice about what I want than following a passive unromantic rule. And I’ve been tired before, it doesn’t mean I can’t nap later on.

“Is it alright if I shower after I kiss you good morning?”

“Of course. I was kind of worried that you were going to cancel on me… you were home late last night.”

“I’m tired, yeah. But I know how important this is to you. And I decided to make the right choice.”

“So did I. You’re wonderful.”

Maternal Influences

Well, I am certainly beaming today. I’m walking along at a brisk pace, breathing deeply and I have a song in my head that just keeps me moving along. Nothing particularly positive has happened… in fact, something was recently taken away from me.

Oh, not stolen. But a promise that was made to me was revoked. And it sucked. But it’s a beautiful day and the people around me are doing their thing and I have chosen to enjoy myself despite the recent retraction. And I was to stay focused on that.

Choosing to feel good in the face of minor adversity.

*BREATHE* Ah! It’s nice to feel this light and carefree.

And I can really see myself going down that other path I could have chose.

Wow… I’m pretty lucky to be able to do that…. chose to feel good, I mean.  And it didn’t happen overnight; it’s something I routinely practice. And thinking about it gets me reminiscing to how I developed this skill in the first place…

Luckily, I’m a child of divorce. I say luckily because after my parents split, one of them was left with a hole. And she knew she had no choice but to plug it up, no matter how long it took. So she began visiting different places to get in touch with the person she didn’t really know  -herself. After all, who was ‘discovering themselves’ back in the day? People were either experimenting with drugs or getting their adult life in order and her priorities were family and children.

No real “me” time.

One of the places she happened upon was the OPTION institute, in Massachusetts. At the entrance, the sign reads “a place for miracles”. And a miracle was what she was looking for.

After a week or so, she returned to us, her children (myself and two younger brothers) and let us in on the newfound philosophy of this place. They taught people not only how to cope with their emotions but how to actually understand where their emotions were coming from, helping people understand why they felt they way they did about certain experiences.

This was completely new and incomprehensible to me. I thought “people are mean, I get sad”. I never dreamed that there was actually an entire step in that process that is both hugely empowering and completely neglected by most of the population.

“Mean people” is the stimulus. “Becoming sad” is the response. So what is that missing step? If I get hit in the arm with a ball, I will develop a bruise, right? Ah, but it depends on the speed and type of ball. So what are the factors that I never…. Factored in?

Beliefs.

I believe people should not be mean to me because I interpret their actions as a direct result of my behavior. So if they’re mean, it’s my fault. And I feel lousy for making someone be mean. And so I become sad.

The beauty of the new philosophy is that I could identify the beliefs behind the emotions. And the best part – beliefs are NOT written in stone; they’re completely flexible and will do what I tell them to do. So I can say “sometimes people have a tough day and when I say something that is particularly on their minds and they snap, it’s because they’re thinking about it, whether I say it or not. If they snap, they’re just letting me know that they’re not in a personable space at that moment and I can just walk away. Feeling the same way I felt before their outburst.”

That is monstrous and so much better than feeling responsible for other people’s feelings. The realization was life changing and ultimately lead me to my now chosen profession in psychology.

Had it not been for my mother, I would still be reacting to stimulus in unhealthy and unproductive ways.

So here I am, walking down the street and choosing to feel good, simply because I can. But more than feeling good, I feel an enormous amount of gratitude toward my mother, who not only gave me life but changed it in the most inspiring and empowering way possible. Love does not begin to describe what I feel towards her (love being accepting who she is and who she is going to be, remember) and any success that comes my way is my dedication to having her as a parent who not only loved me but taught me how to love.

I am so proud, grateful and lucky to be someone’s kid.