Oh, boy. This is so familiar. How many times we have been in a meeting or at the family dinner where people yell louder and louder to be heard but, in reality, nobody is listening?
It’s amazing how from generation to generation the majority of kids are raised to believe that they are the center of the universe and that the world owes them something. That leads to all kinds of wonderful personalities. People who need to be heard no matter what. People who walk over everyone to get to the top. People who shut down and develop mental issues due to extreme stress of inability to fit in and participate in the rat race.
What about learning to appreciate the differences? What about remembering that nobody is perfect and everybody has their own struggles? What about remembering that in a big picture whatever needs to be yelled out is not important?
What about remembering that you are a human being who wants to love and be loved, and that participating in the rat race gets you closer and closer to losing yourself? Every time you think that you need to be, have to be, must be recognized or heard or taken in consideration regarding a business decision, politics, philosophy or other random social issue, you forget that happiness can’t co-exist with stress and an excessive need for a reward that boosts your self-confidence or self-esteem. Happiness means harmony and harmony is not all the above mentioned.
What in a world do we have to say that is so important that everyone has to hear it?
Verbal fights or disagreements are hardly ever won by brute force of yelling.
No kidding, right? Since when my or your perspective mattered in the Universe? Not enough that Planet Earth is on nobody’s radar in the huge Universe full of other galaxies, you or I might not even exist. And our opinions or perspective is just a laughing matter.
I know, sounds cruel.
I shrug my shoulders and acknowledge that I know that. I know that my perspective is just mine. It matters to me and maybe a few other people but even then, those people also care only about their own perspective.
It is because we care about what WE feel and we care about OUR lives and some people in it; we care because our physical and psychological well being depends on it. We spend so much time in our heads thinking and re-thinking and then thinking a bit more and the only thing that has always mattered was – me and my perspective.
Unfortunately, my perspective is extremely limited. It is based on what I know and what I believe in. And these are not set in stone. I learn every day and I adjust what I know and what I believe in depending on the new information.
How many times you have said or thought: Holly shit, I didn’t know that? How many times after finding out, your entire perception or understanding of something has drastically changed? I bet, many times.
I guess, what I am trying to say is that no matter what you think or what your perspective is, it is a small drop in a huge bucket of swirling water. It is just a perspective after all.
So… love passionately, stand up for what you think is right, never stop learning and adjusting your constantly changing perspective, and never forget to look deep inside your heart to check if the path you are taking is still your path.
There are so many paths to take, so many choices to make, so many jobs to experience, and so many relationships to start or to end.
I like these words: “the plot of your life…”, as when you really think about it, you realize that you play so many roles in your life like an actor and everything is like a little play with a plot.
A short list of plays you might be participating in right now:
“ Let’s have a job and make money”
“ I am a sister or a brother”
“ I am in a relationship”
“ I have an issue with my car and the car shop is toying with me”
All these are plays and all of them have a plot. The best part is – that you always have a choice if you want to participate in the play or not. The outcome of opting out might not be something that you like but there is always a choice to do or not to do something. And so the plot thickens…. J
I guess, Nodus Tollens comes right after the question” What in a world am I doing?”
“… the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk….”
Everybody has a story and it is not yours. And, most likely, you are not even part of it. For most of the world you do not exist.
What’s the population of the world? 7 billion
How many people will get to know you or see you in your life time? Google states that an average estimate is 10 thousand people.
Let’s do the math:
7,000,000,000 – 10,000 = 6,999,990,000
For 6,999,990,000 people you do not exist, never existed, and will never exist… The same can be said about those 6 billion, nine hundred ninety nine million, nine hundred ninety nine thousand people. They do not exist in your world. You will never meet them, never hear of them, will never know they existed.
Can you chew on that for a moment?
Once in a while I can hear my own heartbeat. I feel it more than I can actually hear. It never ceases to amaze me. Like a clock work, without skipping a beat, it continually pumps.
Most of the time it happens when I am perfectly still surrounded by dead silence. I catch myself being uncomfortable with the silence but can’t pinpoint the reason for the discomfort.
Heartbeat should be calming and soothing and, if anything, it should bring peace and harmony. However, the more I stay in the silence the louder my heartbeat gets. It seems like silence becomes breathless rather than breathtaking.
I don’t ask questions like, who am I or what the purpose of my life is; I already have those answers. So, if the existential turmoil is not the reason for my discomfort, then what is?
Does the silence represent the unsettling awareness of my own heartbeat or does it represent the unsettling awareness of the fact that everything has a heartbeat and it might stop or cease to exist without a warning?
“There is great strength in what seems weak, great instability in what seems strong.” ~ Tao te Ching
Most of us have a messy past. Painful memories, bad choices, unresolved situations, heartbreak, and etc. And sometimes that past has hurt us so deeply that we have developed an emotional attachment to it and we just can’t let go.
Maybe we have a moment or two when we are able to see life the way it is and not the way it comes to our awareness through the filter of the past experience. These moments do not last long and we go back exactly where we started in the first place. We can’t focus on anything else and can’t leave the past behind. It always somehow creeps in our thoughts and reminds of itself hindering the ability to appreciate moments that are in front of us.
It is truly amazing how people keep punishing themselves and either hold onto the resentment or keep repeating same behavioral patterns expecting an alternative outcome.
Most likely, it is because people are longing for a different outcome, for some kind of resolution, maybe an apology, maybe a different choice, maybe another chance to make it right, and maybe they believe that somebody owes them something. And, instead of allowing themselves to learn from the experience, leave the past behind, leave anger or grudges behind, let go of the pain, or find closure, they choose to hold on to all of that and drag it with them through the reminder of their lives.
Holding onto your past is like keeping a photo of every single person that you have met so far and carrying them with you wherever you go. It’s not like you need to show these photos to your friends, coworkers, strangers and tell the story of how you got hurt and what happened.
You do not need these stories or photos to be able to live through a situation that is similar to something that you have already seen or experienced in the past. And you do not need a constant reminded of something that you can’t change. You need your memories and experiences to be a guiding light. Something that you use to learn and grow.
Cleaning up doesn’t always mean forgetting. It just means – letting go of stuff that is not relevant anymore. Letting go of feelings that hold you back and keep you trapped. Past belongs in the past. Today is the day you live.
So, where do you start? Start with forgiving yourself and accepting the fact that nobody is perfect. It is ok to love imperfection.
Everyone is afraid of death. You. Me. Them. Every single one of us. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid it. It will claim us all, one by one.
If death is inevitable and nobody can change the outcome, then it should be no brainer – focus on something that you can change. You can live your entire life being afraid to die and then realize that you have never lived.
Fear itself is just a perception of something we do not know or want to avoid. Shouldn’t this feeling be used as a driver to do things that make one’s life worth living? Things that we are afraid of, things that we think we are afraid of, things that seem to be something that is unknown and get deemed to be scary.
Fear is adaptive because it protects us but you can’t live your life in a bubble if you want to live an emotionally satisfying life. Fear is engrained in our genetics and it keeps us safe. Human brain always keeps an eye on everything that can potentially be dangerous or deadly – food, heights, enclosed spaces, elevators, shady people, and etc.
However, letting fear to take over one’s life can be detrimental. You are preserving yourself from imaginary death by robbing yourself of an opportunity to find out what life is and what amazing adventures it can offer.
There is no recipe to what happiness is. There is also no recipe to what living is. But one thing is for sure. Not letting yourself see what’s on the other side and living in constant fear of “what if” is far worse than some discomfort you might experience making first steps and finding out that it was not as bad as you thought.
You should be afraid of wasting your life by living in fear. You should be afraid to allow fear to dictate what you can or cannot do. You should be afraid to wake up one day and realize that you have spent your entire life being afraid and choosing all the safe options, and your time has run out.
“Game over” – should be your fear and not “what if”…