A rather stunning revelation I’ve had is that I don’t treat myself fairly…at all. Well, I’ve suspected it for a while, but these days I’m really onto it. Some of the most revealing insights come to us as we’re waking up.
Crossing the Threshold
I believe in the Hero’s Journey, and right now it feels like I’m crossing the threshold. Things have happened in such a way that I can never go back to who I thought I was. Being free is completely exciting and terrifying in turns.
Why can I be so passionate about other people, so eager to please, but feel so cold and negligent towards myself? I’m not letting myself off the hook until I can truly answer the question. Layers of illusions peel away when we fearlessly get to the heart of the matter.
On your self-improvement journey, once the roaring fires of initial launch die down, you’ll inevitably find yourself reaching a point of diminishing returns.
You may find yourself on a seemingly endless plateau, a spiritual purgatory, in limbo, stuck in a dark night of the soul. It’s during these dark, bleak hours that your soul will be tested. If you find yourself in this precarious situation, let this be a message of hope.
There is a way out.
There is something to look forward to.
You are not forgotten nor forsaken.
Though the body may break, the mind be confused, the emotions full of fear, know that the spirit is forever strong, true, and fearless.
The journey of self-improvement is a spiritual journey. Your journey begins at your spirit, and it will end at your spirit. Cultivate spirituality, seek the truth, and you will find yourself.
Wherever you go, there you are, and there you will be.
Know yourself, and you will never be lost.
Check out that calm, cool, confident lion*. I decided to change the blog’s theme to Quintus, and the lion motif is quite fitting for a theme called “Quintus”. Like a gladiator stepping into the arena, I’m ready to face life’s challenges. Lions also serve as gate keepers and protectors in Chinese mythology. I was watching Big Cat Diary and thought the lions were pretty awesome and bad ass. They were powerful and knew it; self-possessed in the best way. It got me thinking about the distinction between fearless vs. fearful (self-help guru Steve Chandler has some interesting things to say about this topic). I was thinking along the same lines when I practiced Muay Thai. The mantra I had at the time was “I am invincible”. From that place of invincibility/fearlessness I had no fears about what would happen to me, or god forbid what people thought of me. This was a great breakthrough, and even though I sometimes deviate from that place, I can still use the experience to bring myself back to fearless.
What does fearless mean to me? It means creating rather than reacting (the only difference between the two words is the placement of the ‘c’). It means making things happen rather than letting things happen. It means being true to myself. It means expressing myself. It means living to my full potential. It means being the best I can be. It means having the courage to be conscious.
In every moment, I have the choice to live fearlessly or fearfully. Being fearful means feeling victimized, shrinking back, shirking responsibility, not believing in myself, feeling ashamed about who I am, and feeling guilty about the power I possess.
To live like a fearless lion means I inhabit my body without shame or guilt. I’m connected to my senses, thoughts, emotions, and spirit. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I’m not driven to impress other people, or seek their approval. Fearless means I know myself. I am self-aware. I am an individual.
Is that idealistic? I like to think of it as fearless.
*The lion header image was made with a neat online photo editor called Pixler.