I hear a lot of women say, I'm done with dating, there's no good men out there, after they've gone on a few dates usually at the urging of well-meaning friends.
I'm usually the person who suggests they not condemn all men for being lousy, and that their experience with what they don't want helps them get clear on what they do want. This is typical positive life-coachy stuff.
And here I sit, in a bit of a negative head space about my next volunteer venture because of the bad date with Thailand. So bad in fact, that I didn't even bring home the t-shirt. I don't want anything to remind me of the Elephant Sanctuary shiny facade of care blinding people to the mistreatment of the elephants. I held a lifetime of hope to one day connect with the animals I've loved since I was a child only to realize I'd fallen yet again for slick marketing and false advertising.
Instead of brushing myself off and keeping a positive mindset about volunteering again, I've retreated into the cocoon of thinking negatively, They're all like that.
But whether it's dating or finding a place of employment or a volunteer placement, we can learn from our past mistakes and must be willing to start with a clear mind and positive expectation. I was a bit nauseated with myself for feeling slightly indifferent about traveling to the Dominican Republic for my next volunteer adventure. How dare I drape the veil of disappointment from my experience at The Elephant Sanctuary over my next venture.
I am fortunate and blessed to be going. What I'm doing is a dream come true.
Each experience I have does not define the next. It gives me an opportunity to grow, to learn about myself and the world. Each relationship helps me define what my values are, what I'm not willing to tolerate, even if no one else around me is having the same experience as I am.
I'm still learning to honor myself, to trust my instincts on my own personal scale valuing integrity, kindness and respect.
I'm willing to be open. To open my heart again, my mind, my life.
Off I go into the wild blue yonder.