SCS Week 9

I tried something new this morning for my morning thought-dump. I wrote my dream! I don’t know that dreams represent what’s going on in my mind, necessarily. But maybe parts of dreams do. Maybe.

So, without getting too attached, I looked at my dream from the night before. I dumped it out on paper, and investigated what fears I might have, what triggers I might have, what my feelings are about relationships, where we live, where we spend our money, patterns in our household, etc. It was all there, in my dream.

Really interesting to me.

Let’s get into this week’s studies.


Brooke taught a class earlier this month on How to Get More Happiness. That is what most of us think we are reaching for, right? We are in the “pursuit of happiness”. But, right from the beginning, Brooke proposes that, with some investigation, we would find that happiness is not really what we want. Are you following me? Being happy isn’t the “end all”. In fact “happily ever after” is at the end of our stories – it is not our stories. That, she says, would be a very boring story!

So, what is better than happy? I don’t know that there is one answer, but I have a few ideas:

  • Contributing is a better feeling to me than just being happy
  • Overcoming
  • Passion and drive at times feels better to me than being happy
  • Contentment at other times feels better to me than being happy
  • Feeling nspired

Maybe the purpose of life isn’t to be happy, but to LIVE! And everything that goes along with that! Losing yourself in contribution to the world and losing yourself in self-pity at times. Overcoming and being overcome. Passion and drive and discontentment and contentment at times. Feeling inspired and guided and feeling alone. Can I let myself be all those things? Can I let myself be alive, and “be true to my own aliveness”? Letting myself be sad when something is sad, etc?

Can I stop feeling bad about not feeling happy – when raising kids, when dealing with loss, when serving in a calling, when babysitting a friend’s toddler or serving in another uncomfortable way?

Years ago Bry and I got our scuba licenses together. And we went scuba diving a couple different times in a couple different countries. I didn’t like it. It scared me. It was cold and uncomfortable. And, furthermore, I didn’t like that I didn’t like it. It was a lot for me to pretend to like this activity! Then, one day, 50 feet under, with Bry by my side, I watched him diving and getting so excited about what he was experiencing. And I realized, I don’t have to like this. I am not doing this for me and for my entertainment. I am doing this because he likes it. And that’s okay. And I still scuba dive. And I still don’t like it. But I don’t feel any pressure to like it. And that, alone, has made the experience more enjoyable for me.


What would that unintentional model look like?

CIRCUMSTANCE: Bryant and I have reservations to scuba dive in Aruba.

THOUGHT: I don’t like scuba diving, but I have to go because Bry wants to go.

FEELING: Anxiety

ACTION: I go. And I’m smiling on the outside, but scared and even angry on the inside. I can’t breathe. I can’t enjoy. I am short with everyone before I get in. I am giddy with relief when I get out. I promise myself in my mind to never do that again.

RESULT: I am done. I have no fond memories of the dive, besides the relief at coming out of the water. I resent Bry for making me do this.

Remember, the R line always proves the T line true.

Let’s try a turnaround, before looking at an intentional model.

  • Bry made me do this.
    • I made him do this.
    • I made me do this.

Could these sentences be just as, or more true than the original sentence? Of course! If I hadn’t gone scuba diving, Bryant wouldn’t have gone. We were on vacation together – he just wanted to be together with me. Really, I am doing this to myself, and I am, to a degree, doing it to him. That is more true than saying that he is doing it to me – that he is “making” me.

I want to really encourage you and me to play with the sentences in our minds. Question everything. Turn the sentences around and around, and investigate each one again and again until, really, it just falls apart.

After doing this what would the intentional model look like?

CIRCUMSTANCE: Bryant and I have reservations to scuba dive in Aruba.

THOUGHT: I don’t like scuba diving, but I don’t have to like it because I’m doing it to be with Bryant, and I do like being with my Bryant.


ACTION: I am still scared, on the boat, in the water, 50 feet under, and even coming up. But I can breathe easier without the pressure to like it. No resentment. Just love. And a chance to watch Bryant doing what he loves.

RESULT: I get to feel more love. My relationship with Bryant strengthens.

Previous SCS Week 8
Next SCS Week 10

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