A Cynic's Tale

I used to be the biggest cynic. It’s true. As a child I was always playing and using my imagination, but rarely was I ‘care-free’. I always saw what could go wrong and I expected it. I didn’t call myself ‘cynical’. Seriously, who ever wants to be known as a glass is half empty kind of person? But that’s what I was. I thought it meant that I was smart. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

'Needy' much?

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and you knew they wanted something from you? It’s as if you could see it in their eyes when they first walked up to you, or you could hear it in their voice from the moment they said “hello”? You just knew that they were desperate for your help with something. In fact, they came across as so ‘needy’ or ‘clingy’ that it made you shiver in your skin, and you wanted to bolt as far from them as possible. If you could have, you would have found the nearest window, slid it open, and launched yourself 3 stories down into a dumpster to escape the situation. Or has the shoe ever been on the other foot?

Have you ever been involved in a project, started a business, or launched a career and you knew there was a particular person that could really help you along? They could help by either telling others about what you were doing, by investing their own time, money and resources, or by hiring you themselves.

Or how about this one?

Have you ever wanted to be in a relationship with someone so bad because you knew that they were the one for you? That if they could simply see how well the two of you fit together that they would certainly be as happy as ever. That if they would give you a chance you could show them that you’d make them the happiest person in the world?

Have you ever approached someone about something that mattered to you, only to blow it? You know the feeling, a hyper self-consciousness that highlights every wrong word and action in your own mind.

Being ‘needy’ and ‘clingy’ sucks the life out of everyone, including the person who is birthing these feelings into the world. Very few healthy people want to be around that person for too long. I’m not talking about basic human needs. We all need community. We all need a safe group of people where we can truly be ourselves, let our guard down, share our wounds and insecurities and continue on the healing process. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the person that wants YOU to save them… wants YOU to make their decisions for them… wants YOU to surrender to their desires… wants YOU to do THEIR work for THEM. You have seen it. You’ve even been on the other end asking. It’s ugly. There is nothing positive about the experience. No one is empowered. Not the person who is being approached and most certainly not the person who is doing the asking.

The reason people want to get as far away from that experience as possible is because there is no LIFE in it. There is no energy around the project, the potential, or the person. It looks, acts, and smells like something that’s about to die. No one is empowered during these exchanges. And sometimes, particularly in romantic relationships, the person who is asking for you to ‘save them’ continues to persist far longer than anyone should.

But what if you came across someone who didn’t need saving? What if you met someone at a party and even though they didn’t seem to have it all figured out (the project, the career, or even themselves), they had a trust and a confidence that it was going to be alright. This person had a certain energy about them that came from a deep trust in a higher Source. They were excited about what they were working on and it was totally evident that they had been putting a ton of energy into the project or themselves. You might start asking them questions about where they find their inspiration. You might want to know the details of how things were coming along. You might find yourself highly interested, not just in their current ‘thing’, but in the actual person. That person who knows their value and has a reservoir of trust in the process is full of LIFE.

Are you hanging on to the end of your rope? Are you working on something, but all your hopes are pinned on someone else coming to the rescue? Are you desperate for a particular person’s attention and affection and nothing else will suffice? Maybe it’s time to let go of the rope and trust that the Divine cares for you and has the resources you need. And after you're caught by grace and love, you might find it easier to be gracious and loving towards yourself. You might find new reserves of energy to pour into your project or even yourself. New insights that were seemingly out of reach before, will lie in a pile at your feet.

People want to be around that person. People want to invest in that person. People want that person to invest in them. You can go from needing to be rescued to having the right people wanting your participation by trusting in the Divine and applying the supplied energy to do the work. Start by letting go of the rope… trust me, you will be caught.

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"Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go." - Hermann Hesse

"I don't think it's necessarily healthy to go into relationships as a needy person. Better to go in with a full deck." - Anjelica Huston

"When a person goes into a relationship emotionally needy, they are not going to have discernment in choosing people." - Jennifer O'Neill

The path to Success is not a Straight Line

Anyone who’s had any amount of success in a venture knows this singular truth… a successful outcome for any project never looks like you envisioned it in the beginning. The path to success rarely runs according to the plan. The people you wanted to be involved with when you started executing never end up participating just the way you had hoped. The value that you ended up bringing to the world never looks like the value you had to offer in the beginning. And yet you have success all the same and it doesn’t matter that you took a winding path. The reason for the windy path is two-fold. First, life is never how we plan it. There are always variables that we never anticipate, no matter how long we brainstorm in our planning sessions. But, that doesn’t mean that we can’t choose to enjoy the creative process. Sometimes the unforeseen challenges that come up along the way lead us to our greatest innovations. Second, The Divine has way more in store for us than we have in store for ourselves. We can see clearly a few steps out on a great day. Some days, we can’t even see where our feet will land next. But The Divine sees further down the road than we could imagine and I believe takes great delight in throwing some curves and surprises our way. It’s these unplanned events, challenges and obstacles that hone our skills and strengthen us for even greater adventures and success in the future.

Thomas Edison had thousands of experiments that did not produce as he had hoped. However, he chose to see each of those as a stepping on his climb to success. Even the great plant fire of 1914, which destroyed half of his buildings, did not deter him. Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to rebuild a better one.

When you set your mark on creating something there will be unseen setbacks, course corrections, and help along the way. The cool thing is that these setbacks usually offer us the opportunity to tweak our work and humanity benefits from it in ways we never would have imagined. It’s the turns and obstacles in the road that refine and strengthen the value that we have to offer the world.

This will also test our resolve. ‘Are you truly called to do this?’ That’s a question you’ll end up asking yourself time and time again. But the difference with the successful person is that regardless of the twists and turns, they continue moving forward because they are convinced that the next breakthrough is directly on the other side of the seemingly impossible task that lies in front of them. So they make adjustments, put their head down, and continue the work they started. We are always adjusting our plan along the way.

There will be times when it seems like the people who were most interested in being involved in your project are no longer interested. But this isn’t always the case. That’s the lizard brain freaking you out. Sometimes people are just busy and it doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten you and your work. Other times they’ll back out completely for whatever reason they might have. It doesn’t matter. You’re going to keep moving on anyways. Because one things for sure… If you do stop, lose heart completely, and give up, there will be no successful windy path to look back on with gratitude and a sense of accomplishment.

"You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen." - Paul Coelho

"If you so choose, even the unexpected setbacks can bring new and positive possibilities. If you so choose, you can find value and fulfillment in every circumstance." - Ralph Marston

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill