Going Out on a Limb for Bliss

This is my “going out on a limb” post–where I am being very revealing for me.

Bleeding Heart

(MY) Bleeding Heart (Photo credit: dog.happy.art)

I have a confession to make. My bliss resolution is having some good days and bad days. But that is not the confession. The confession is that I want to take my journey to find my bliss and turn it into a book, including your comments. You will not be identified unless you want to be—but the kernel of my idea is to use each post as a chapter of its own—with a summary of your comments to give it more life.

The writer, many times out of necessity creates in a vacuum. The writer who creates, then posts their creation on their blog gets feedback. Voices other than the author’s are given their due, and in fact make what the writer wrote originally more interesting. At least that is my theory. And I am sticking by it.

I have found a wonderful world of smart, wise, and kind bloggers and readers. Some of you are sweet; some of you are to the point; some of you are philosophical; and some of you are thoughtful; but all of you round out any post I make into a piece that I think is worth sharing.

Knowing this, today I am asking you to provide me with a short synopsis of what would make your bliss come to fruition if you could eliminate it from your lives.

I will show you mine if you will show me yours. That is only fair. I am not going to ask you for something I myself am not willing to do.

Generally I do not like to reveal too much, but today I will so you will feel more free to open up too.  The one thing that is preventing me from reaching full bliss is an ongoing lawsuit, that is going into its ninth year. It has stripped us of a business we owned and set us on a path that has made me both more compassionate and humble. I have had to ask for help on many different levels—and if there is one good outcome from this infernal lawsuit that is it.

In the past I refrained from asking for help as much as I could, thinking that it showed weakness. That it was a chink in my armour. But it is not. I have asked for help and received it with great patience and compassion. There have been some hard times, but through those times I know there are people I could call on to help me out. And sometimes that is all I need.

No one can simplify their lives down to one thing that would make a difference. But today, I am asking you to choose that one thing that seems to be barring you from a life of bliss.

Okay, I am going to press publish now….


Published in: on January 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm  Comments (70)  
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  1. Principle thing holding me from bliss, really, is my own mind. Both in terms of self-sabotage and happiness – I’ve had, overall, generally the same level of happiness regardless of how well or poorly things are going.

    • It is true–our mind rules us and how we handle the things we have been handed – personally I find denial is a good coping mechanism
      I thin having the same level of happiness no matter what is going on is a good thing, unless of course that level is not so jolly

      • And there’s the problem… I tend to be about 60-70% happy, which isn’t BAD, but is also a perpetual state of “I be happy if only…”

      • Hey, 60 -70% is not bad– the whole “I would be happy if….”is part of the human condition don’t you think–it is what motivates us

  2. This situation that prevents me from pure bliss is also something that causes me some distress because I am a Christian and as such I need to be trusting God and not ‘doubting’ but it is that I don’t believe any of my grandchildren have a personal relationship or even knowledge of Jesus…I am praying for this and for God to use me and that is one of the reasons we moved to be closer to our children and grandchildren.

    While their parents (my children) are Christians and talk about God …two of them are divorced and so I think the spiritual teaching somehow was lacking…and in the third one they are just so busy.

    You probably weren’t really looking for this type of thing but I even thought it would be good to put it down in writing….Diane

    • I was definitely looking for this type of thing–we all have a variety of things that cause us concern and I understand this one well–you want to share something that you find comforting and is a big part of your life. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. I agree with Byronic man….my self-imposed limitations keep me from fully realizing my bliss, it’s a work in progress, continually pushing myself to do things and experience things I want to do, like learn a new language or teach a staging class….each accomplishment is a step forward to reaching a state of bliss.

    • What an excellent point — it is the limits we set that keep us from our bliss. In my case, I should not let the lawsuit limit me or my bliss.

  4. I have to reflect on this — but what a great post to think on something of great importance! To tell you the truth, the first thing that comes to mind as an obstacle is “expectations” — letting go of my own and/or others’ expectations of what life, success, happiness, etc SHOULD be and instead truly focusing on what I WANT it to be.

    And thank you for sharing — that is one of the hardest things to do, and I also find admitting the need for help and accepting help to be incredibly difficult, but sometimes necessary (and then often times very fulfilling for all involved, whether on the giving or receiving end of the transaction). ~ Kat

    • I find my own expectations harder on me than others’, though I am a bit of a people-pleaser.
      Getting help when you need it opens you up to all kinds of possibilities.

  5. Some peoples state of bliss, is not looked for or even wanted but for natural turns of life evolve and then because something that we now have little control,, emotions, feelings, new things come to life, words give birth to projects, and over time it grows,, and in my kind of state of Bliss to happen would be to be able remove a large amount of water, and move a mountain, and conquer all the day by day thoughts.

    • “words give birth to projects…” — I like that, and I would also like to conquer some of my day by day thoughts

  6. What a wonderful idea you have! Personally, I am my own barrier to bliss. I suppose it could be fear, or pride, but what ever name you give it, it comes from inside me. I have so many things that I love to do, but I am afraid to do them, to show them to other people, because I want them to like them, but I’m afraid they won’t. Usually, this prevents me from finishing anything that I start. Sometimes, it prevents me from even starting. I have been taking baby steps on this journey by setting small goals for myself and completing them. I break a project up into parts and complete each part until the whole thing is finished. I’m sort of playing a trick on my brain. Procrastination has ways of sneaking into all aspects of life and wreaking havoc. I believe, in my case, that procrastination has been the result of fear and pride and it has caused me to less than blissful. One thing I have learned is that God gave me talents so that I can use them to glorify God. If I hide them, then I am saying that God made a mistake by giving it to me. Not possible. The other thing that I have learned is that I am the only one who has to like what I create. I have a unique perspective on my project, whatever it may be, and as long as I am satisfied that is what’s important. What God helps me create is not there to shine a light on me. It was created to shine light on God. My own fear and pride have kept me from living a blissful life. That’s pretty personal for me and I’m just learning to be comfortable talking about God like this. It’s still very uncomfortable, but I am trying to share a journey that I am on. Anyway, you asked for it! Hope this helps with your journey to Bliss. 🙂


    • A perfect response–difficult for you but very illuminating for the rest of us. I can relate so much to the pride and procrastination conundrum (sp?) – I think you and I are perfectionists and fear not living up to what we expect of ourselves and others expect of us–but you are taking the steps to get out this viscious cycle and I would like to take a page out of your book.
      I too have difficulty talking about God and admire you for casting aside your fear and going there. Thank you.

      • You hit the nail on the head with the part about being perfectionists! I have often described myself as an underachieving perfectionist…to much amused snickering from people who know me. They think that there is no way that I could be a perfectionist! Anyway, your reply to my comment means a lot and it is always nice to know that I can help someone in some way without even really trying. I wish you the best with your endeavor.

      • Thanks for your help–we are two peas in a pod if you ask me

  7. I guess part of it is me and part of it is are decisions I made in the past that follow me today.

    I guess the worst decision I ever made was to get married to the person who I divorced. She continues to haunt me to this day due to the kids. Even though we have been divorced for almost 12 years she seems to try to make my life an unhappy one because her life is so unhappy.

    I love my kids and provide for them they are truly blessings and they bring me joy. On the flip side is having to deal with their mother and her strangeness. I can put up with all her strange money demands, the racial insults and other stuff but please just leave me alone as I do you. Just because you are unhappy, I guess you need company.

    My part I guess is that I have changed over the last 12 years tried to expand my world and become a happier person and go about my business. I guess I should be sitting in my room crying over the divorce to this day but instead I have chosen a different path. One that most times leads to bliss.

    • It is great how you are overcoming this barrier and understand that it is an unhappy person trying to make you unhappy. I am so sorry you have to go through this–but it sounds like you are coming out the other side–by choosing a path that leads you to bliss and away from the sources that cause harm. Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. I think that when we follow our bliss we walk straight ahead toward that bliss and disregard or leave behind whatever obstacles that hold us back. Happy is the man who is happy with his lot, thankful for what God has granted him.

    • That is a most uplifting thought–we should all keep that in mind. Thank you.

  9. Bliss comes and goes. I think fear is my greatest limitation. I am fearful to commit to forming a career in case it limits what I choose to do. I am fearful of not having any plan, because what does that make me? Nothing? My own stubbornness is frightening, and yet at the same time if I don’t listen to it am I committing myself to something that won’t make me happy.

    • Fear is perhaps the greatest limitation of all and those of us who are not governed by it have probably all ready found their bliss. It is still one of my great limitations. I think if we reflect on those things that get in our way, we are trying to find a way to eliminate them. I think you are just being careful, but you are right without a plan we feel lost sometimes.

  10. These are all great comments – what a good topic. I went back and looked at your earlier posts on this, and I think that the one about “what bliss is not” resonates the most with me. Being mindful and living in the (admittedly small) moments of each day is what brings me the most bliss – and I’m definitely using bliss the way you talked about it in that post: as a feeling of well-being and contentment. It’s when I expect that each moment will be filled with “happiness” that I can get into trouble; I end up in a self-destructive spiral of self-criticism that is certainly not conducive to feeling content! The judgments that many of us (particularly women) heap on ourselves are dangerous, and I think sometimes we are not even aware that we’re doing it. A counselor friend of mine is great at reminding me to “not ‘should’ on myself” and I think it’s great advice.

    • I think bliss is different from happiness and you illustrated that with your comment-thank you for your thoughtful comment–I agree if we consider the moments we are ahead of the game

  11. That is a tough question Aunt Lou. Mom and I chatted over the phone about too, and I’m still struggling to articulate what holds me back. Right now, it’s probably a combination of not having (what I perceive to be) enough time or energy. I’d love to enrol in some evening, professional development courses. But the cost of doing this is not only financial – given the delicate balance of work and home life, I’d have to sacrifice something else, like running. And I’m not sure that I’m ready to do that, even if it means having a less than blissful career.
    Btw- totally love the idea for your book!

    • so many things we have to take into consideration – btw I am so proud of all you have accomplished with your running-
      glad you like my idea for a book — so comment more–I need your intelligent and warm comments for my chapters

  12. My bliss is something I had and lost, the ability to walk on my own safely enough and casually enough to go hiking. I knew the day could come when I wouldn’t be able to walk and spend as much time as possible being active and taking full advantage of what I had then. Today, I long to walk, without a struggle or fear of falling and hiking is completely out of the question on two legs. My struggle is coming to terms with the fact that I had it once and should be grateful for that time I had rather than the longing desire I have to have it back.

    • Sounds like you are coming to terms with it–although it is something you are always going to miss– a bit of your freedom has been taken away – from reading your blog, one would never know and your self-sufficiency shines through brightly

      • You are so right, I get to longing for what I don’t have then give myself a mental kick for all I still have and the experiences I will never forget.

  13. A life of ultimate bliss is a utopia, one which unfortunately is not possible. For me, bliss is in the work I do but its full extent is barred by the pressure of tests and teachers which consumes me with stress.
    To get back bliss, take it one step at a time to control and manage your problems, even if it seems difficult. I know you can do it!


    • life is just a continuous test–you are being prepared for it with the stress that goes with them
      you are right–one step at a time…..and some chocolate

  14. This is a brilliant idea, Lou Ann. I’m glad you opened up about your situation – just as easy as asking for help, I suppose — things that make us uncomfortable but ultimately serve us in a very healthy way.

    As you know I’ve been through quite an emotional tsunami in recent months. My husband’s actions were so ill timed as I’ve been trying to sell our house for almost 2 years. (It’s off the market now because I needed a breather.) I plan on putting it back up for sale in March.

    So my bliss is directly tied to the selling of my house. Until I sell it, I can’t move and start my new life. I’m stuck here and feeling very trapped and powerless. It’s awful. To find my bliss I need to eliminate the sale of my house – get it done, wrap it up and call it a day. I’m slightly, dare I say, desperate? Living in perpetual limbo is not my idea of living.

    I feel your frustration and torment, as well. I will keep you in my prayers, Lou Ann. Hopefully soon, something good will happen for both of us.
    PS – now I remember the lottery comment! haha!

    • I think you were right to take a break from selling your house but nothing is worse than feeling stuck — that is exactly how I feel – I guess the word on the street is if you can’t do something about a particular situation then move on and do other things–but we still have to take care of that situation even if it seems to be out of our hands.
      I will keep you in my prayers too – we all have something that niggles at us to the point of torment–I guess how we handle it is proof of our staying power–but my power sometimes feels at a low ebb–guess I just have to power up!

  15. Great idea LouAnn.

    My roadblock to bliss right now? Worry about my parents’ health.

    • that is a very rough one– I have been there and it is always with you–I lost my parents two decades ago and a father-in-law who was near and dear about nine years ago (in fact it his estate that the lawsuit is about) – and to me health is a number one issue–I feel for you Robin–it is not a good place to be

  16. You are brave, LouAnn. Asking for help isn’t easy; I’m not good at doing it myself. The main thing keeping me from bliss is fear. Fear of failing and being ridiculed, fear of rejection, etc etc. I battle it every day.

    • me too – you seem to have a strangle hold on it–but it is not a fair adversary

  17. I think I would have to say my job is the one thing keeping me from complete bliss right now. I have stayed there for years even though I wasn’t happy because it was close to my kids’ schools and I could leave at the drop of a hat if they needed me. Basically, if I need time off, I just write it on the calendar, and we’re good. I know there are not many jobs where you can do that. Plus I only work 9am -3pm, Monday to Friday, which is great and allowed me to be home for my kids after school. However, after almost 25 years and a lot of bull*%#$, I could really use a change. If I could find a job that involved books or some kind of research, my bliss would be complete :). On the other hand, I am very, very thankful for the amount of bliss I do have because my life is really wonderful in comparison to many other people’s :).

    • I wish that you could find the type of job you want – it was important earlier that you be available for your kids–but they are growing up and still need you but not in the same capacity–so maybe its time? Changing jobs or finding a new one is not all that easy though–I wish you good luck because I have had jobs I could not stand–it starts to get to your spirit

  18. Let’s see, Lou Ann. What is standing in the way of my bliss? Me. I seem to be a bit stuck after going through some tough times over the past few months. I can’t seem to motivate myself to accomplish the things I want to: go back to school, finish my book and submit my work. I feel deeply that I’m a good writer and that if I just go for it, I can really get something (fiction) published — not for fame or money (though the money part would be nice) — for ME. Simply because it’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I seem to get anxious about things and I know that part of that is from what I’ve been through.

    I hope that isn’t too pat of an answer. But really, the only thing holding me back is me. My fears. Bliss is a feeling of completeness. Of wonder and of self-love and love, immense for everyone in your circle of influence I think. So, if I could get out of my own way, I do think I could reach that bliss — my definition of that — at this point in my life.

    P.S. Great idea btw.

    • I think you have hit the essence of it — we all get in our own way for some reason or another, and in my case maybe even use something devastating as an excuse
      I too would like to get a book published and feel that would be one of my ultimate answers to bliss — we should do it, you and I–you have such a talent, I think it is well within your realm of possibility.

  19. First of all I must say that I am very sorry for what you have been going through. It must be a living hell and it is still not over. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. I say you need to be brave to do that. i just hope that my life does not come to having to sell property that has been in the family for over 100 years. (my inheritance from my parents)

    I thought I had it bad when my own home and property had to go the court route because my husband was a —- and would not make out a will. It went on for almost two years and I was one nuttso individual during that time. Then shortly after I received my adequate fair share of the estate and was able to keep my home that I had helped pay for but step children thought they deserved it for having lived here for 1 1/2 years.as tykes. Anyway it caused bitter feelings. And 4 of us do not speak anymore. My son has remained friendly with his half brother but then my son is forgiving and very easy going but does hold a lot inside and never talks of his problems.

    Anyhow, now my daughter is very ill with terrible arthritis and It has cost me lots of money just because she could not get insurance for a preexisting condition. Now she can with “Obama care” but it will cost me about 8k just for insurance. Then I must provide money to keep her where she lives until hopefully she can get social security disability.-whenever that might happen. There are many things of which I am resentful but at the same time I feel very humble and grateful to be able to help her. Her house is now paid for but my nice savings is slowly going by the wayside.

    I receive an adequate retirement check after having worked for 35 years for a department of the US govenrment. But I must be very frugal so that I keep my pets in food and sometime necessary vet care. My daughter is able to keep me in meds and RX food ( I pay for that) for the pets by ordering for me after my regular vet tell me what to give for what ever ailment one of them might have. I must walk a tight rope. I have not attempted to become a 501 C3 but I probably should have. A liitle outside donations for the pets would be better than no help at all.

    In a way blogging has probaly helped me more than I would have ever believed. It definetely keeps my mind off problems for there is a certain amount of concentration required in order to produce a post.

    So my daughter’s health is preventing me from feeling bliss and I just hope and pray that I can stay alive and up on my feet to see her back to some semblance of normality and able to work again.

    As you know I am the antique cup in the china cabinet so It behooves me to stay healthy.

    This is way too long but use it in any manner/edited or what ever that you choose to or not.

    I can get philosophical sp? also about all of this if you want more. 🙂 🙂


    • you are always very giving of yourself in your comments and obviously that way in life–taking care of your daughter is probably foremost in your mind and heart and you do it with great grace even though it is hard for you to see her suffer
      It is obvious that you know all about lawsuits and family that are not reasonable and seemingly want something for nothing–I am sorry you had to go through that–I know how awful that is–and if you want to get philosophical I am happy to be the recipient

      • Thanks for the reply. I think what you have been enduring is probably mentally and emotionally draining since yours has been going for for 9 years and my property battle went on for a bit less that 2 years. it must feel like an albatross around your neck.

        But, yes I will get deeper about all of this- only if you want more words. I am sure there is more to come from readers, at least I think- I hope that there is.

        Some people are lucky and seem to sail through life. But then I realize that I am a fortunate to still have most of my bee-bees, better than fair physical health for my age, can still drive, see, hear, and both my childlren can walk, think, have a few friends and paid for homes. That of itself should be bliss but one is not satisfied if there is illness of a child and you are right. That is the one thing that I want so much for my child. I keep telling her to believe in herself and believe that things will get better, one day.

        I am all for your book and want it to be a success for you. I’ll be one of the first to buy it as soon as it hits the shelves or however you will be offering it for sale.

      • thank you for your thoughts–and it is true–the whole lawsuit is getting a litte long in the tooth and we are still waiting to get our business back (a business which had nothing to do with those wanting a piece of it)–but most of the time I do not dwell on it or it would drive me mad

        I am glad you are behind my book in the making–will keep you updated – 🙂

      • Great. I hope you have begun writing. A bit a day!

      • the writing is not the problem–it is the organizing

  20. I’m noticing more and more that bliss is being in the present moment. When I’m able to just be, whatever difficulties I may be perceiving in my life simply don’t have the power to frighten me. What keeps me from being in the moment? Amnesia that I can be. It’s a practice,LouAnn, to be in the present moment. Paradoxically, when I’m in the moment, somehow I’m able to move through the “troubles” with ease…and bliss. xoxoM

    • I so agree that being in the moment is a way to survive, but I am weary of this lawsuit and what it has done to our family and finances. I am so ready for it to be over, so I do not have to work so hard to be in the moment.

      • Yes. xoM

  21. It takes a lot of courage to reveal or even admit the less pleasant aspects of our lives so I appreciate and respect that you’ve shared what’s going on in your life with us.
    I’ve been lucky enough to not have gone through too many bad or hard times but I do know that pride and being too perfectionist are my issues. Pride often keeps me from asking for help because I don’t want people to see me as weak and vulnerable. But eventually I learned to be more open and accepting of myself and allow others to come in and help, which in turn makes me feel a lot happier and less stressed all the time.
    Your book sounds like a fantastic idea. I look forward to hearing more about it and I’m keeping fingers crossed for you that your situation gets better soon.

    • thank you for your good thoughts–we thought it was going to be over January 22nd and surprise, surprise it wasn’t –so that is probably why it is in the foreground right now–I have not had time to bury it in denial

      pride and perfectionism–sounds like a couple of things that have kept me company all my life, but through this mess I have learned as you are, that people are willing to help when we need it and it is not a weakness to ask — I know that you and I would help anyone who asked without thinking they were weak, so why shouldn’t we ask too

  22. The book idea is exciting!
    That lawsuit sounds gruelling – argh.
    The one thing that prevents my own bliss is when I can’t accept, or forgive, or ”fix’ the various unexpected deluges of non-bliss.

  23. Is it weird that I can’t think of anything that is keeping me from my bliss? Some days are good, easy and blissful and some days are bad, hard and NOT blissful. But I am ok with that. The bad days teach me how to cherish the good ones. If all days were good ones, how would we know what bliss is. I dunno, just a thought. Sorry about your lawsuit, I hope it is resolved soon!

    • you sound like you live a pretty balanced life, and I agree, we would not recognize bliss if that is all we had

  24. I have a link to someone else’s bliss…just to cheer your day. http://jmgoyder.com/2013/01/31/ming-the-merciless/ It’s a good one! 🙂

  25. You are very brave and brilliant with this idea. 😉

    I think my biggest roadblock is resentment. Just when I think I’ve moved fully past something, I have an aha moment that Nope, There’s More to Forgive. I’m willing, and perfectly able, but it’s a much longer process than I’d like to admit. It’s not so much by choice, as it is subconscious, but still it’s there.

    • Your honesty is refreshing–because resentment can come up at the most unexpected moments–and I think forgiveness is a process that never ends in some situations–I say forgive but don’t forget–but even that is hard

      • It really is a long and excruciating process…the other person likely doesn’t even have a clue what we’re going through trying to fully forgive. whew…

      • I always figure they are winning if they are affecting my life adversely–so I try to make it so they do not win

  26. Firstly, I’m sorry about the lawsuit you have hanging over you, I know how absolutely draining that can be.

    This is a great post, I read it when you posted it and have been pondering. I can’t really talk about my “thing” publicly, but what I’ve realised while pondering on this is that my thing depends on someone else doing something, and requiring someone else to do something in order to achieve our own bliss is really not a good place to be. I need to reframe things in my own mind, so thank you for this post.

    • that is exactly where I am, and I do not want my bliss to depend on other people doing the right thing, or just doing something–hope your thing gets resolved–I do not like those “things”

  27. Bliss isn’t easy. It’s a big challenge. I think my comment on your sponge post is what holds me from complete bliss. I worry about anything and every thing and that’s not good but what would be blissful would be
    L&T both having jobs and somewhere safe to live. The baby is due in April
    D being secure in his job in Barcelona; getting a visa for A …
    I can only write such things on your blog and not on mine!

    Finding 3 beautiful things each day is one way of recognising bliss in the teaspoonfuls and one way of not letting pain dominate on the days when it wants to.
    Gosh, I did let go there! Thank you for being my blogger-friend! 🙂

    • I know — it is hard to be blissful when there are so many loose ends that need to be tightened so everyone we love is happy and secure

  28. what a lovely post luann. i will hold good thoughts for you and your search for bliss. i don’t think i’m ready to be that transparent but admire the courage of all who have written here.

    • I wasn’t ready either – must have been something in the water for all of us – though sharing begats (sp?) caring

  29. […] Going Out on a Limb for Bliss (onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com) […]

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