Well, Jewel’s book didn’t turn out quite as fantastic as I projected. She transformed from an independent warrior woman to a co-dependent brainwashed one. Her book ends up being a bit preachy – bestowing on her readers everything she learned as advice we should heed. And although I definitely didn’t agree with all of it (“be a filter, not a sponge” ~Perks of Being a Wallflower), I did like the point she made about how we are constantly redefining things as we grow and evolve. So I decided to write down how I define a few words now. And perhaps in a few years, as I have grown and developed, I will do it again, after I have sponged and filtered all sorts of new lessons.
Beauty – contentment in now. Feeling good currently, rather than constantly focusing on what to do to look better later. Carefree and spontaneous always looks better than contrived and overworked.
Success –having a purpose that you fulfill with pride and excitement.
Happiness – living with purpose, love, friendship and peace.
Family – the people who will never leave or abandon you, no matter what. And the ones you will never leave or abandon either, despite their darkest hours.
Friendship – people you laugh with. People you feel free to be yourself around, without pretense.
Grief – allowing yourself to feel the pain you’ve experienced. Not wallowing, but acknowledging and working through your emotions, even the shitty ones.
Peace – comfort with who you are because of the choices you’ve made.
Independence – being able to sustain yourself without help in your personal, professional, and emotional life. Not to be confused with refusing to ask for help in times when it is needed, because those times happen to everyone.
Maturity –learning from mistakes and then retaining and applying that wisdom.
Love – sacrificing what is important to me because someone else is even more important.