@allischaaff - Thank you! Beautiful is such an amazing word. That makes me really happy you feel that way.
@shannonl5 - Thank you! I think that the most powerful motivators for us (humans) are love and hope. I have to fight with myself regarding giving into negativity - where I was raised - in the deep South - Georgia and Tennessee - men are indoctrinated into the cult of manhood at a very young age. We're taught that "real men" react to any affront of our emotions with a singular emotion - anger. It's the manly thing. If we our pride is hurt - we get angry about it. If we feel insecure - we get angry about it. It's so counter-productive to any semblance of honesty. Once I realized that admitting and owning my emotions didn't diminish me - but they made me stronger - I really turned away from the whole macho - BS - that sadly most of the men in my family cling to. It shouldn't be threatening to be open about how something that's said or done affects us. And it shouldn't be threatening to listen to how others feel. I like to think that I am living proof that you can be open, caring, honest, and sensitive and still be 100% male.
That being said, I came to this epiphany after years of feeling nothing but anger at anything, everything around me. I will openly admit I was a full-blown rage addict. I wore it like a shield - and it wasn't until later that I realized it wasn't a shield - it was a prison.
Since then I spend a fair amount of time evaluating where I am - I have a strong self-dialog. I know who I am and what I stand for. I don't question that I am a good person and I want to do my best to bring good into the world. That's the only way we're going to survive as a species. It's the only way we can evolve.
I don't really consider that I've had a difficult time. My road has been no more or less difficult or easy than anyone else... I can tell you it's be far easier than many. I guess the big concept for me is owning my actions. Not just the things I do and say but the things I think about. To think hateful, ugly things but only put forward positive stuff creates a cognitive dissonance that eventually will cause an emotional/psychological crisis. Being positive starts with thinking positive.
I have learned a lot about what works for me - and part of being sensitive to those around me requires that I never project what works for me onto someone else. I don't have the answers for anyone but myself. I'm not qualified to tell anyone else what they should feel or how they should live their lives. I sincerely work so hard to never judge. Who am I to judge anyone else?
Entitlement is perhaps the most dangerous and serious threat to our future as a species... When we reach the point that we believe that our individual wants/desires/needs are more important than everyone else around us - we will be utterly lost and our species will be doomed. Sorry to get all "big picture".
I love the idea of inspiring others to be more thoughtful of themselves. You can't love someone else - love the world we live in - unless you learn to love yourself first. And loving yourself (to me) means being honest and objective as possible about what motivates and drives you. For me - I simply want to enjoy life - share in the beauty around me - and hopefully do as much as I can to bring positivity, love, and goodness into the world. I can't think of any greater legacy.
@JonPatrickHyde , @allischaaf , @shannonl5 , @danidee , what can I say, you guys are simply awesome. I feel so proud that my little game turned out this way. I have learned a lot, like how to love myself and free my heart, body and soul from hate. <3 <3 <3 :)
@aishalakshmi I'm glad your card opened up the conversation! @JonPatrickHyde this is so fascinating, I feel like I had the opposite experience. I'm a very emotional person but I have a lot of trouble expressing anger. It usually surprises me when I begin to feel angry, because I keep it so locked away I don't notice I'm getting mad until I feel like I'm going to burst. Totally different toxic experience. I'm glad you were able to unlearn that, I imagine it must have been extremely difficult. I totally agree with you about entitlement- we're social creatures, and we've made it this far because our habits are interpersonal and communal. I'm a total introvert but we all still rely on each other, and do better as a group. Again, thank you so much for your candid responses. You've given me a lot to consider for sure!