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.
It’s 4am on Saturday and I’m not sure if I woke up because of a dream, or because the fire alarm was beeping. In any case, when I attempted to turn off the beeping, it started going crazy and beeping even more!
Try as I might, I couldn’t open or disable it, and this being the middle of the night, it sounded ridiculously loud. I wrapped it several times inside some blankets (which I happened to be sleeping on). That muffled it enough to not wake up my neighbors, but it still sounded annoying.
In the end, it turned off by itself, but I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I went ahead and made some coffee and wrote about it.
Sometimes the best thing to do is stand up for yourself. Part of being a good person is being your own person. Whatever fears you may face is ultimately worth it to be free.
I haven’t solved all of the problems of life. I haven’t gotten rid of anxiety, worry, and fear. But I can face all of those things on equal footing now.
I’m grateful for the clarity that makes my life feel real. I don’t have to apologize for existing. I honor my creator when I love myself.
My definition of humility is being neither too high nor too low in your estimation of yourself. In fact, the need to compare yourself to others is irrelevant when you’re truly humble. Humility requires self-honesty and sincerity.
Feeling like you’re better than others (and needing to put others down) is arrogance, which is the opposite of humility. Likewise, playing the martyr or victim is also a kind of arrogance, and not humble. It’s only through vigorous self-honesty that the true heart of humility can shine forth.
Being truly humble means being invisible, like the way nature is great without caring if anyone notices. It means living life for the greater good, which includes yourself and everyone else. It means withdrawing blame and taking on full responsibility for your choices.
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.