This is the first Valentine’s Day with my darling, Jill.
We will be spending it, somewhere, in Beijing.
It will a Friday night here, and a day before you experience it, so we will probably go out to dinner, hang out with some friends, and just see what the day brings us.
I work on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays so we will have the whole day to relax, lounge around, and just kick back.
I used to be a pretty reactive and emotional guy.
I dealt with my own depression and anxiety for many years.
I then learned about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and found that both depression and anxiety are primarily lies that I’m telling myself about me.
They are either cognitive distortions or just flat out mistaken beliefs that perpetuate the problems that I’m causing.
It really did come down to the fact that I’m making my own problems and causing them to occur each and every time I had a thought, had a feeling, or did an action.
The joy of this realization is that it also gives me the ability to change all of the beliefs, emotions and actions that I take and become a truly happy and content person.
I think back to the years of pain and anguish I felt and wonder what would have happened if I had learned about this therapy, and began practicing it with my clients, when I was 20 years old or younger.
I know it doesn’t really matter because one can’t change the past and yet I think that is one of the reasons that I practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapy now: It can cure issues very quickly and is far better than any other therapy out there as shown by any evidence-based studies.
The pain you, or someone you know, is going through can be reduced immensely and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or “soul searching.”
Freedom to live your life is in your hands at this very moment.
The question is, “Will you take it?”
I did and I am glad I choose never to go back to those patterns again.
My parents, my society, and my peer group no longer defines what I do. It is up to me to live the life I want and no make excuses for my thoughts, emotions or behaviors.
This is where Valentine’s Day fits in.
I met Jill 8 days before I left for China.
We met at the San Francisco Carnaval parade.
We spent the next 8 days together and I invited her to come with me to China.
She had been living in Airbnb apartments for the last 2.5 years, and, when her agreement ran out, she came over.
That was 6.5 months ago.
We both take responsibility for our actions, thoughts and behaviors and try to treat each other as well as possible. There is almost no drama or disagreements because we are open, fair and try to anticipate what the other wants and we make sure each person has their needs met to the best of our abilities.
The way I see it is if we can make it, living in Beijing, and building a brand new life here, everything else will be a breeze.
Happy Valentine’s Day to my darling Jill!