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.
We are all destined to realize our true self-worth, one way or the other. It’s not so much a calling as an inexorable pull. To the extent that we resist the pull of our true self, we are unhappy.
Letting go can be difficult because it can feel like a sacrifice. Sometimes we think we’re sacrificing, but we’re not. A true sacrifice usually has to do with the death of a dearly held belief, and most of us hate to be wrong.
It’s challenging to be unflinchingly honest with ourselves. There are so many ways we can be diverted from really getting to the heart of the matter. I continue to write, because this is my bastion of peace, and oasis of truth.
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.
I have found that in being true to myself, compromise is compromising, and it is a weakness. I know when I’ve compromised myself, and that is always the greatest source of regret. It’s when you let yourself down that hurts the most.
I’ve strengthened my inner strength by not letting myself down, being my own best friend, and supporting myself, no matter how difficult it was at first.
My self-worth used to come from other people and external things, and it felt nearly impossible to unplug from that, but it is possible, and for me, the only way to live happily.
Approval-seeking and people-pleasing is an emotional addiction, and the only way out (that I’ve found) is to become hooked on your own soul.
Today, I’m as free as the day I was born. I feel innocent and pure. Not because I’m doing anything, but because I’ve chosen to be uncompromisingly true to myself.
Rather than treating the symptoms, this year (the year of re-invention) is about finding the cure. In truth, I know what the cure is (and it’s not my cover of The Cure); it’s just a matter of taking the medicine. The healthy self is a confident self.*
I feel strongly about things, and I relate to the “feeler” types out there, but sometimes I admit that I get annoyed at our wishy-washyness (lack of backbone). It’s great to have deeply held values, but you have to stand up for them and that means – at times – standing up to others and standing up for yourself, especially when your happiness and peace of mind is at stake. As I sit here in my lovely apartment (that I worked for), I sometimes feel a disturbance in the Force; feelings of guilt and anxiety for doing my best and improving my life – and this being the year of re-invention – I choose to confront and ultimately transmute these energies.
I’ve got names for my bad guys:
- Asshole Judge
- Spilled Milk
- General Negativity
- Insecurity Blanket
- Infinite Sadness
- Inner Critic
- Depression Sinkhole
- Shameful Guilty Goblin
- Green Eyed Slime
- Fear Mongrel
I’m sick and tired of letting these inner demons run rampant. Feelings can help guide us, but only if we use them effectively. Their purpose is to allow us to express our true selves.
*The cure is to be happy, which requires being confident, and that means having confidence (trust) in yourself.
It’s a given that as we navigate through life, there will be blind spots; areas that we’re unaware of. So how do we deal with them? It’s like driving; we need to be aware that there are blind spots, and we get better at handling them with practice.
Maybe we can never be truly objective about our experiences, but we can do our best. We can ask ourselves if what we’re doing is genuinely making us happy. If there’s any confusion about whether we’re happy or not, that’s a clue to where the blind spots are.
When I look at my life, I have every reason to be happy, but there are certain negative thoughts, feelings, and situations that keep repeating. These are my blind spots, and I can never be completely objective about them, or see exactly what’s going on, because I’m experiencing my life as someone who’s inside the picture. The best we can do is be honest about how we feel, and look at the effect we’re having on the world around us, and that will guide us in the right direction.