Do you believe your life is about surviving? Do you think we survive at work, we survive at home, we survive in the relationship, and etc.? Do you think every single moment of your life is just hanging in there?
It is not so much in North America as much in the post-soviet union countries but it seems like every single moment of your life is perceived as a survival.
The other day I noticed that majority of my correspondence with friends and family back home ends with them telling me: hang in there. I don’t think they realize what they are saying or what words they are using. It’s just the way they have talked day in day out through generations.
Obviously, life is not easy. Our society works as a well-oiled machine only when everyone does their job to contribute and some people get the shitty part of the stick. However, if you perceive that everything you do is just hanging in, then the questions is – when do you live? When does the time come when you enjoy your life, when do you enjoy being, and when do you enjoy the journey you are on?
I have talked about this many times. Shit happens, life is a rollercoaster, but the suffering is an option. Life is not what you get, life is what you make out of it. I would hate to think that majority of people just exist to survive and can’t find anything positive in existence itself.
When I think of a generation of people from the post-soviet union era and compare it to people in some African countries, the post-soviet union seems like a paradise but, for some odd reason, people in Africa seem to be able to enjoy their lives much more. Why would that be so?
I don’t need to hang in there. I have a good life. A very good life. There is nothing that stands in my way of being happy except me. I have all my basic needs taken care of and all that is left is my attitude.
I guess, some people just don’t know what happiness is. They don’t realize that they are indeed masters of their own lives. The only reason they are not happy is because they choose to see the negative and ignore the positive. They don’t know what it means to be happy. They choose to complain about things they don’t have and refuse to acknowledge the truth – Happiness is a choice. It is not a thing that you need to find or buy.
“Hang in there” – is the last thing I want to hear. There is nothing to hang in for. I choose where my life goes. I choose to be happy. I choose to believe that my life is a journey and it goes up and down and I get to decide what path to take. I am not a victim of circumstances. I make my choices, I make decisions in my life. Sometimes the path I take is not smooth but it is just that – an adventure with a few unpleasant turns.
When the time comes and the game is over – then I will have something to complain about. Till then, I choose to love whatever comes my way – be it good or complicated, pleasant or unpleasant, things that upset me, hurt me, annoy me, make me smile, make me happy, make me angry, or make me feel nothing.
I live…and choose what I make out of my life. I do not hang in there…maybe just for a bit to scare the shit out of myself.
It never ceases to fascinate me how easily we find reasons not to like ourselves or sometimes even hate something about ourselves. Ability to be positive and accept “me” the way I am, is an extremely hard work.
We are more likely to accept people around us with challenges, special needs or physical ailments than to accept a wrinkle on our faces or a little donut around our waist.
It seems to me that we let people come into our lives for one reason and that reason is to teach us how to love ourselves. Some people come in and love us unconditionally, some people come in, love us, break us, and then leave, and some people come in and open up a door to the vastness of experience of life, feelings, love, and infinity of possibilities.
I can say for sure, that it seems to me, that we need other people to show us the way to the love of ourselvesunconditionally.
Hating ourselves is easy. The same way as it is easy to somehow miss all the positive, take it for granted and focus on everything we don’t want, don’t have, and are afraid of.
So, I decided to find one little thing about myself every day and fall in love with it. Instead of waiting for people to prove to me that I am worth loving, I will love myself one bit at a time. It is not going to be easy as from a very young age I have been taught that I am not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not anything enough in this world….
However, I think I am too much for the world to take especially if all I believe in is just my own perception and not necessarily real.
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.
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?”
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”…
They say it’s okay to be afraid because you are about to do something brave. In my experience, quite often being afraid leads to making some extremely not bright decisions.
So, I would like to paraphrase this saying.
It’s okay to be afraid because you are about to do either something brave or something stupid.
Unfortunately, there is no way to predict which direction you are going to go.
When life is driven by do’s and don’ts and when you have to re-discover yourself after hitting rock bottom, most of the time you have to start from the very beginning.
You have to start with the question, do I know what is happening? Not literally understanding what and who and how but look deep into yourself.
You need to understand how you got here. You need to understand what choices you have made that brought you to this point in life.
You have to understand what you are avoiding and what you are running away from. You have to really understand what exactly you are trying to achieve and what drives that desire.
I am not talking about the lamest statement one can provide – I want to have a good career, decent life, family, and etc. These statements could be recorded and replayed for every single person as these are passed on from generation to generation as a to-do list.
I am referring to actual reasons why somebody is making choices.
Maybe you were bullied as a child and now you have an internal burn to proof that you are somebody.
Maybe your parents got divorced and you felt like you were not needed or loved and now you subconsciously continue choosing partners, jobs, friends that continue making you feel the same way.
Maybe you subconsciously have chosen to go down the other rabbit hole and keep choosing people and jobs that make you uncomfortable with their affection, attention, and constant need for you to be their center of attention.
Maybe your parents didn’t teach you that you are not the almighty center of the universe and now you believe that you deserve things and that world owes you.
Maybe you learned not to care because you are not worthy.
maybe, maybe, maybe….
People say, we learn from our mistakes. People say that if you do not make mistakes, you are not growing. Yes, there is an aspect of truth in everything said.
But these genius quotes do not cover the stupidity that is caused by choices that were driven by the emotional trauma. You can be stupidly brave and do something that will change your life for good and you can also be just stupid and hurt yourself or someone around you.
We all have that one person in our lives that make stupid decisions that are brave in their own right but can be classified more stupid than brave. You know why they make choices they do and you try to help them see the driver behind those decisions but nobody can help them unless they help themselves.
And when that day comes when they ask you – but what about me, I hope you are brave enough to tell them that the only way around this is to start loving and accepting themselves.
When you understand why you make stupid decisions, you open the door to be brave, and that is when it is about you….