I love authentic people, and living authentically is probably my highest value in life. When I love people, it’s about as authentic as humanly possible. With that said, one of my biggest lessons is that it’s not my job to save people.
When you’re authentic, your life becomes great, and not everyone is going to be comfortable with that. Sometimes you compromise yourself, but that’s not something you can keep up and be happy. I’ve had to let go and let God many times.
For idealistic people, burnout is a real danger. Our minds give us energy, but our body needs to rest and have real food, not just ideas. We need to take care of ourselves.
On the journey of self-improvement (it’s a journey not a destination), you never know what’s going to be a profoundly transformative experience. Right now, my big transformation is letting go of living up to my parents’ expectations, which ultimately is what letting go of approval seeking is all about. There’s a feeling of grief and sadness in saying goodbye to an old version of myself.
Much of self-improvement is preparation. You prepare yourself–spirit, thoughts, emotions, body–for that moment when something ignites your soul on fire. While it’s exhilarating to expand into a greater version of yourself, there must be a cooling down period in which things must reform.
We can never go back to the way things were, but sometimes we want to. When we can stop wanting to go back, then we can truly go forward. We have to want to change before it can happen.
The treasure I seek is self-realization, but the great fear I have is letting go of the belief that I have to do something, that I have to prove my worth, or be somebody. It’s a paradox. The more I try to be who I am, the more I can’t be who I am.
What if we accepted that everything is unfolding perfectly? That it has always unfolded perfectly, and will always unfold perfectly. There’s a part of me that’s terrified to accept that–recoils at the thought–and yet it’s a deep understanding and key to the universe.
Where does meaningfulness come from? I don’t know, but I know it’s something we can feel. Our own unique path will always feel meaningful to us.
Sometimes I wonder why it’s so quick and easy for me to focus love onto others, but focusing that same love on myself feels foreign. It’s one of those unfamiliar things that I’m devoted to becoming familiar with. As I look upon myself with the same admiration, esteem, friendliness, and respect that I afford others, I feel at peace.
Choosing to no longer seek the approval of (and trying to please) others may be the most challenging thing we ever face. Sometimes anger is our only way out, but when the anger subsides, we can feel the familiar pull of old habits. However (and whenever) it happens, turning the corner is the difference between night and day.
The Great Equalizer
Happiness is the great equalizer. We can never really tell if anyone else is truly happy. We can never truly make anyone else happy unless they really want to be happy.
I have to admit that as focused and (authentically) happy as I am now, through everything I’ve learned and overcome, there’s still pain and resistance to being happy, which requires all of my wisdom (as well as others) in order to find peace. It takes a deep and abiding appreciation of the journey and the process of life. We weren’t born to please others; we were born to be true to ourselves, and the sooner we realize that, the better we’ll feel.
I’m focused on embodying myself these days–really feeling what it means to be me–so I’m not trying to use my intellect to be happy. Intrinsic motivation is the only thing that’s truly fulfilling. Life flows into open spaces.
I’m enjoying art, writing, and music. There’s nothing for me to solve anymore. I’ve gone through the tough stuff, and now all I want to do is appreciate everything.
I know that whatever has gone away can be replaced by something greater. This is what it means to be a (better) man. That’s what it means to be human.
A while back, I wrote about how anxiety could be helpful in terms of becoming more mindful. I’ve been feeling more anxiety than I have in years, and I’ve needed to focus on being more mindful once again. It’s a useful mental skill to have.
I’ve noticed how, during my ecstatic and joyful moments, limiting beliefs and negative emotions show up right after (I used to call it being manic depressive, or bipolar, or whatever). My solution is to not pursue an escape route or run away from this familiar pattern. Being mindful of the pattern–without doing anything that will add to or take away from it–creates a third way; one that transcends the problem.
When we think of things in terms of duality, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to find a solution to the problem. However, what if the solution is already an inherent part of the problem, and our role is to simply find a third way? Sometimes it feels like we have to choose between the lesser of two evils, but this can be liberating, because we can take the magical door that appears when we finally say “fuck it.”