Samara O'Shea

Archive for January, 2017

The Art of Being

Friday, January 27th, 2017

“If other people do not understand our behavior—so what? Their request that we must only do what they understand is an attempt to dictate to us. If this is being “asocial” or “irrational” in their eyes, so be it. Mostly they resent our freedom and our courage to be ourselves. We owe nobody an explanation or an accounting, as long as our acts do not hurt or infringe on them. How many lives have been ruined by this need to “explain,” which usually implies that the explanation be “understood,” i.e. approved. Let your deeds be judged, and from your deeds, your real intentions, but know that a free person owes an explanation only to himself—to his reason and his conscience—and to the few who may have a justified claim for explanation.” ~ Erich Fromm, The Art of Being

Autobiography In Five Short Chapters

Friday, January 20th, 2017

I’m taking a certification class in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Recently, our instructor mentioned a poem entitled “Autobiography In Five Short Chapters.” She says it’s something she shares with clients on occasion to help them take responsibility for their actions and to emphasize that change is gradual. She didn’t bring the poem up on screen, so I made a note to look it up later. I’m so glad I did. I think we can all identify!

This poem has been known to resonate with people in recovery from substance use problems. I also think it’s tailor made for the unrequited love population. How I wish I had known of this poem when I wrote Loves Me..Not!

Autobiography In Five Short Chapters

Chapter I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit… but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V

I walk down another street.

~ Portia Nelson

To Obama With Love, and Hate, and Desperation

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

A big thank you to the staff of the White House mail room who selected 10 letters per day for the President to read. Thank you Mr. President for requesting to read these letters daily as soon as you got into office. I appreciate your wanting to connect with “We the people.” Unfortunately, I don’t envision the incoming president doing this. I hope I am wrong.

To Obama With Love, and Hate, and Desperation: Over eight years, through millions of letters, the staff of the White House mailroom read the unfiltered story of a nation.

To Trust or Not to Trust

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

“If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

I meant to post this during the hubbub of the holidays but didn’t have a chance. A friend of mine is writing a book on love and forgiveness. At the end of 2016, he interviewed one person per day for 33 days to promote a Kickstarter campaign. At one point he interview me and we discussed the fine art of self-trust: