School is in – for me.
Philosophy is described by Wikipedia as:
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. It is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. The word “philosophy” comes from the Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means “love of wisdom”.
My philosophy when I was young, was pretty much to just be who I was, warts and all, and to Hades with anyone that didn’t like it. There were times when I was rude, true, and there were times when I hurt people. Not emotionally mature enough to take responsibility for my own actions, I stumbled and fell more than once – but I made it through that time – In, more or less, one piece.
After I had my children, and got married, I settled down, learned how my actions affected others more fully, and formed a new philosophy. That of “Service to Others over Self.”
It was like taking a pendulum, and swinging it from one extreme to the other. I stopped looking for what I wanted out of my future, or, at least, stopped really striving for it. My philosphy at that time was, “There will be time for me…. later”, after I’ve helped my kids, and my husband, be happy. Oh, and all of my friends and family, too, and anybody else that might come along, in need of something I can give, or have, or might have… etc. I was all about doing things for others, in the hopes that that might fill up my own cup of happiness, and in so doing, make me happy.
Somewhere along the line, my philosophy got me very unhappy.
And, going back to the original definition of “Philosophy”, my way of living my life, wasn’t being true to it’s own defining nature. Because, if philosophy is the use of rational thought to solve the problems of life, then I was not doing it right.
I wasn’t rational, nor was I truly thoughtful.
That’s why, I’m working on a new philosophy.
Here are some random thoughts, that might give you an insight into why I need a new philosophy for my life.
1. Since I told people that I was planning on getting a divorce, I’ve been constantly amazed with just how people on the outside – looking in – viewed the person I was, versus the person I used to be, and the person I am becoming now. I didn’t realize that I’d changed so much, just in a few years. It’s startling, and disturbing, all at the same time. How could I not see… what everyone else seemed to?
2. A gentleman tried to open a door for me just yesterday, and it confused me. I’m so used to opening my own doors, or holding them for someone else, I didn’t realize he was trying to be polite. I’m not used to others doing things for me, just because they feel like it, just because they feel like I’m someone worth being nice to.
3. Last year, I was able to officiate at 3 weddings, and a handfasting, all right here in my city. It felt great, being able to help others start out on new happiness. This year, I’ve already been approached about doing 2 more ceremonies. One, possibly a wedding on Halloween/Samhain in a city about 100 miles from here; and the other, a handfasting (on my birthday, actually) in another city, in another direction, about 120 miles away. Is this the universe’s way of telling me I need to branch out, or simply get out of town?
4. This year alone, I’ve been contacted by no less than 4 people from my past, who I hadn’t spoken to in… what seems like decades, in some cases, and it’s been great! Reconnecting has been, in every case, truly eye-opening, awe-inspiring, and revitalizing; and I’ve learned a great deal about myself, and them, in the process. The people that are truly meant to be in your life, will be… even if they go away (or you do), and come back, years later. At least one of these friends I only see every few years, and yet it’s like the time never passes when we talk again. I call him “Cousin”, because I adopted him into my “chosen family” when I was just a teenager. Sometimes, I was smart, even back then, during my “stupid teenager years”. I need to learn to not let these people go in the first place.
5. I want to be happy. And I want to be “ME”. Warts and all, I want to be able to be honest, and open, and still be content within my own skin. I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror again… and smile at who I see there.
The homework? Is not easy. But I’m working on it. And that’s all I can do.