Some of you know a little bit about how my 2016 has gone. In January, a local real estate agent, and a group of my neighbors, lied to me, and misrepresented their interests, so that they could buy my house – the house I had personally designed and lovingly built over the course of 10 years – and tear it down. Not to build something else in its place, but simply so they didn’t have to look at it from their own homes 2 miles away. I became aware of the real truth of my life only when I stopped by a week after closing to pick up my equipment trailer, and there was an excavator demolishing my house.
I was really pissed. At the time, I believed I had every right to be pissed. I still believe that. I feel the actions of my neighbors constituted a minor but a heinous Injustice. I remained pissed – and, honestly, quite depressed – for many months.
But you know what I feel about that anger now? I believe it was an absolute waste of my time. The depression and self-doubt certainly were.
My anger – and the rest of my emotions, whatever they might be – are my responsibility and my problem, no one else’s. I could choose to live in that anger forever. It would actually feel good to do so. I’d love to carry a grudge against the rich f**ks* who tore my house down for the rest of my life. Why? Because it would resolve me of my own responsibility – my responsibility to manage myself.
When you act out of anger, and fear, and despair, you are choosing to continue and promote the cycle of fear and anger and despair. This is the mathematics of emotion. I didn’t invent it.
However, when you manage yourself properly – when you take responsibility for what is in your own heart – you realize that carrying these emotions around is literally like putting a ball and chain around your own neck.
When you act instead out of self-awareness, self-acceptance, love, and openness – you are then ready to re-engage with the world as a full contributing human being. I am now thus re-engaged, and it feels good for the first time in a while.
In the end, what my neighbors do – and realtors, it should be said – is my neighbor’s problem, and they have to live with it. It doesn’t change my future, or my past, and it doesn’t have to change my present. Because I always have a choice. And me? I will always choose love. Every single time. Love, and forgiveness. There are no exceptions. It’s simply a healthier, smarter, and more loving way to go.
I wish each of you best of luck in your own struggle. Life can be very difficult. But it doesn’t have to change you.
Bon courage, Dave
Soliden, Doublehead Mt, Sandwich NH, 2005-2016 RIP.