If you were pricked by a thorn, would you touch it again? Or would the pain the first time be enough to stop you from doing it again? Most of us would be smart enough to learn the first time. But most of us also choose to think about things repetitively that have caused us suffering. If we experience some kind of pain like the thorn, we have the nerve endings to experience it once and learn from it. But to continually do so will be extremely uncomfortable. There will eventually be blood loss, your finger will develop a gradual numbness to the anticipated pain. There will be a scar. Your body will send white blood cells, platelets and everything else required to help heal it. But if we don’t allow time for healing, we cannot expect to heal.
Stress is a really big factor in our society today. Stress depletes the immune system so much, and takes away time from doing the things we wish we were doing. It creates resentment and absence in the lives of others we care about. It’s a lingering virus that erodes us away faster. And the cause of the virus is most often recurring painful thoughts that we have yet to lay to rest. They are the thorns you keep pricking your finger on, disallowing healing into our lives.
Hello friends! I hope the New Year has been treating you well so far. I’m trying to build the momentum myself for this year, and I wanted to give you some good energy to add to your own vibration.
Today’s post is coming from me sitting in a park. It’s something I haven’t done in years…which sounds so unreal to me when I say it out loud. The breeze is nice, the tree leaves are swaying and the Sun is shining from behind misty clouds.
There’s an older gentlemen dribbling a basketball on the court nearby. Accompanying him is his young grandson. The grandfather is making all of his free throw shots (maybe he played in high school or college?) and the grandson is throwing tantrums each time he makes it. The former is trying to lecture the grandson on how throwing tantrums makes him look silly, but also lets him win on purpose. I suppose when you have love for another person, be it friend, family or loved one, winning is not as important as the time you spend with the person. The little guy probably doesn’t know that he is making memories for a lifetime; bless them both.
This year, and every year, I hope that you find the love that you are looking for–and that if you don’t find it, that you create it for yourself.
P.S. I also wanted to announce a YouTube project I’ll be working on this year. I’ll reveal more about it as time goes on, and ideally I’m looking to launch by the end of February. And my second goal is release something really cool by December.
I’m quite sure there’s something you’ve been tolerating for a while.
I want to suggest an interesting experiment: the next time you feel close to telling someone off and telling them “I’m so sick of…” instead of expressing yourself with the deep-seated need of being heard and acknowledged, just do what you would’ve done in the first place and leave. Move on from that situation immediately instead of wasting more energy on this situation.
Chances are that if a person repeats a behavior, they might sometimes be rude, unaware of it; But most of the time they continue acting selfishly with no regard for you. In these moments, it is important to stand up for ourselves and create boundaries after we get better self-awareness.
Instead of trying to break down all the reasons about why the other person isn’t considerate, or is draining, just fucking end it. Let it die. And see what happens: will the person notice that the plant is dying and come back to water the relationship? And if they do, is it out of a purely transactional relationship, or some other attachment? Within this space you’ve created, observe everything. If the relationship is solid and great, this process will only deepen the bonds and strengthen the relationship (definitely apologize if you were wrong though). If it’s garbage, you’re already that much closer to the “exit”. Then, you won’t have to worry about things like tolerating people anymore; at least people who offer you no positives.
This piece was inspired by a conversation with a friend. It seems like we are both looking for the same thing, and interested in some type of coping mechanism to help deal with the world. But we both tend to lean too heavily towards fantasy and reality (respectively) to make sense of the world. So, I think it’s always important to have people in your life who see the world differently because then it helps keep our world view less biased and more balanced.
Are you more of a dreamer or realist? Let me know below! Enjoy.
I’m looking for magic, but don’t know where to find it.
Magic? As in an illusion? If you’re looking for fantasy, then you can always create it. But choosing fantasy over reality is tragic; it’s like praising a picture of a sunset, rather than ever experiencing it yourself on a beach with crashing waves within earshot, or from a mountaintop with the brushing wind. Or even outside your own house underneath the tree. Fantasy is created from what we know, and what we know is limited. But what you’re asking for is something new, right? Does that make sense?
I wasn’t looking for logic in the first place, so I’m not sure why you’re explaining it to me with reason?
Ah this is true. Perhaps there was a lesson for me as well; you’ve taught me the importance of listening. In my eagerness of helping to ease this tension of yours, I didn’t realize that you already told me you didn’t need my help. But now it seems that it wouldn’t be what you’d want. Complacency has already become a part of your identity, and the answer to most questions is often, in one way or another: more discomfort. A discomfort caused by casting away what you already know.
Most great stories have something in common: a relatable main character. And with the main character, the more characteristics we see of ourselves in them, the more invested we become in their story. Their journey becomes our own. Throughout their story, we become inspired, depressed, trapped, liberated–everything they experience–as our own experience. In our own lives, we might gain strength to proceed forward from whatever is holding us back. This is one of the reasons why flawed protagonists tend to be more interesting: because they need to overcome obstacles like us in order to succeed. In this sense, a great protagonist becomes a supporting character in our own life that encourages us to keep going. A good protagonist becomes a great supporting character when we learn from them, because we are the main character in our own lives. Perhaps one of the goals then, is to live in such a way that we inspire others by realizing ourselves.
There is a saying: “How can you enjoy my tea when your cup is already full?”
It’s difficult getting to know someone if we avoid interacting with them because of an assumption or–alternatively–talk to them only to make them fit into our preconceived notions. Every once in a while, we might be absolutely right about someone. But more than often, I’ve been surprised at how wrong I’ve been about people; to the point of embarrassment. This is one of the reasons why I try to talk with as many people as possible (when appropriate). You don’t have to be as extreme as me though, it’s more important to remember that it’s easy to be wrong even about the people closest to us; imagine how often we can be wrong about people of an even greater degree of separation? Try and see how much you can prove yourself wrong, and start dialogue with others.
To taste all the teas and experience the flavors, but first we must empty our own cup of notions.
Today I found a tree that looked like a painting. Everything about it had a story, from the trail of ants navigating the chipped bark to the bees pollinating the flowers. Underneath the soil, there was plenty happening with micro-organisms. If we look at something long enough, we can begin to see how it is connected to everything. But the moment we start comparing the beauty of this tree to other more magnificent ones, we stop looking deeper and focus more on distinction rather than similarity. The same is true about ourselves when we begin comparing ourselves with the success and stories of others. As Theodore Roosevelt once famously said:
Honestly expressing yourself…it is very difficult to do. I mean it is easy for me to put on a show and be cocky and be flooded with a cocky feeling and then feel like pretty cool…or I can make all kind of phony things, you see what I mean, blinded by it or I can show you some really fancy movement. But to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself…now that, my friend, is very hard to do. –Bruce Lee
Is it exhausting to express ourselves? It is for me when I try to censor myself.
There are many steps between feeling an emotion and how we express it.
Taking an emotion that changes so constantly and trying to snapshot it with words, colors and/or music is already difficult enough.
Further processing how we feel into a socially acceptable package, and diluting the language to avoid offending others is tiring; and a disrespect to ourselves.
Say what you want and deal with the consequences. The truth will either strengthen meaningful relationships, or weaken superficial ones.
We are not living if we are not polarizing, embarrassing, exciting–anything. Don’t be a living corpse because you stopped expressing honestly.
Adventure is all around us, but the courage to go out on them is not.
New adventures means willing to look like a fool and having people make fun of us, because we’re doing things for the first time and voluntarily introducing stress into our lives. Who would want any of that?
Yet, adventure is the very thing we crave when we become accustomed to the monotonous repetition of our daily lives. On the other hand, those of us who live a life of frequent stimulation and movement fantasize about having a simple, predictable life that can be more easily managed and anticipated; because eventually, we become tired of searching for that next new thing, relationship or place.
The world is only as vast as our mind can envision. If we are prisoners of the past and future, we will seldom be allowed to exist in the present. We will always search to recreate nostalgia, or we will continue to move our anxieties into a future where we imagine a “better tomorrow.”
The real courage is to be here and now, to not compare ourselves to others; that way, we can achieve a level of freedom that others only dream about. To achieve that freedom, we must be willing to be misunderstood by the people we love who are prisoners to the opinions of others.
Their limitations are their own, we can only inspire others by achieving our own freedom.
-Getting an adrenaline shot administered by a trained healthcare professional
-Checking your voicemail
-Sharing a vlog, writing or art online
-Sharing deep feelings with a partner or friend
-Attempting to befriend someone new
-Driving home in traffic with the “low gas” light on
-Having a conversation with your parents or loved ones, explaining that even though you love them, they or their guilt no longer have power over you because there is no net positive that comes from controlling people with guilt. And also that what they feel about you is more a projection of themselves onto you, versus your own true worth because you are still uncovering and building your own life.