As much as I love to write my own brand of poetry, I wanted to take a few minutes to outline the thoughts that have been in my head lately. Now, in no way do I declare that I am right about everything listed. For me, some of these things are just a reminder to myself. Simply, a physical representation of what lessons I would like to accept and grow from. A note to self if you will. If anything listed is something you’re struggling to accept or overcome, let me know. I would love to talk about it. Or maybe you’ve found an easy solution to practice something listed, fill me in. Regardless, let’s get into it.
Life is not all about you
Okay, I get it, generic right? Agreed. But for me this is more than just being self-centered. It’s about the attitude that I get into sometimes. Feelings of justification or the expectation of being owed something. Especially if something doesn’t go your way. The world or people around you don’t need to coddle you because you didn’t get a raise you deserved. You feel wronged and want the equal repercussions to happen? Too bad, it’s not worth it. Not everything in life is a transaction. Sometimes you draw the short stick. It sucks, but life keeps moving. Choose to go with the flow instead of fighting the current, you’ll lose every time. Along with understanding that there is a whole world of people out there who literally struggle with the exact same thing. We are our own consciousness and not anyone else’s.
Quit limiting yourself, false narratives
I feel like I’m finally starting to get a good grasp on this one. I’ve learned that all these preconceived notions or false narratives I placed on myself was only doing myself harm. Thoughts that start with “I’ll never be” or “I can’t do” or “I’m not good at” or “I’ll always be” started to rule my life. I began asking myself “Why?” following these statements I said to myself. Some reasons were complete bullshit, others made some sense. But what I realized was that all of them helped place me in some sort of box that was completely imaginary. I had closed my mind to the possibility of growth or change. And these false narratives I placed on myself started to become self-fulfilling prophecies. I’m a recovering addict who had a fairly rough childhood and young adulthood. Does this mean I have to carry this with me wherever I go? Am I just playing a role because it’s comfortable and I know how to act as if? When will I allow myself to just be okay? Because deep down, I was okay. My mind’s box told me I wasn’t, but fuck that box. Even in dealing with mental illness. I refuse to be hamstrung by my depression and anxiety. Some days are better than others, no one is perfect. But I stopped labeling it all in my head. I stopped saying I was depressed over and over again. Let’s face it, I know when I’m depressed. Stop repeating it and look for a way through it. Instead of letting every setback define who you are, seek out who you really want to be and practice that shit daily. It doesn’t come easy but you’ll find out later that easy isn’t always what’s best.
Happiness is not a destination
It’s not something to obtain and hold for eternity. Hell, try holding it for more than a day sometimes. No amount of money, sex, traveling, friends, success, or things will make a damn bit of difference. As soon as we make progress in our lives, our perspective shifts upward along with us. Which means the things that which cause us pain feel the same but are usually not as bad as they were previously. The more your life improves, the more your mind will seek balance. It’s a regression to the mean. I actually see this happening on a global scale. While technological advancements has and continues to improve the life of billions, it’s also made us too comfortable. Which in turn causes people’s minds to seek balance. Instead of just enjoying the ride, the things that offend and hurt us become more and more magnified. The literal day to day shit we care about today would mean absolutely nothing to any human 50 years ago. “The pursuit of happiness” is complete bullshit. This phrase creates the notion that happiness is able to be obtained through any means necessary and then simply held on to. At times we will have to learn that “embracing the suck” is actually worth it. If everything was perfect, we wouldn’t even know what happiness was. Everything would give us a baseline ‘blah’ feeling. Pain and hardship is the balancing factor. Without it, happiness wouldn’t exist. We would never grow or learn any lesson. And life is full of hard lessons. Think about some difficult shit you went through. Did you allow it to make you a better, stronger person? Did you allow for it to destroy and demoralize you? Remember, YOU survived through that. Growth will not happen without some pain and sacrifice. Which brings me to my last and final thought..
Pressure creates diamonds
You might have heard this cliche phrase before. If not, congratulations, it’s one of my favorites. As I said just before, I believe in today’s society we get too comfortable at times. At least in a modernized, first world country. I know for a fact my lazy ass gets a little too comfortable in this shitty desk chair. I remember back when I was younger, a buddy and I were trying to land a heel-flip on our skateboards. I gave up after about 3 times of slapping my nuts on the board. (Learning a heel-flip sucks, for real.) My buddy didn’t give up though. For a non-exaggerated 10 hours he proceeded to try and fail miserably until he finally got it. (We had way to much time on our hands back then.) The look of accomplishment he had on his face is still burned into my memory to this day. It’s a small, dumb story but the meat of what I’m getting at is in there. I gave up easily because failure was uncomfortable. I was the type of kid who only did things that I was naturally good at. I went back to my comfort zone of tricks I could land. (Which was very few.) All the while, my friend worked his ass off and got more than just a new trick out of it. He pushed his concentration and body to a limit, albeit not an “extreme” limit, but nonetheless a limit. He accomplished a goal. Staying safe and content all the time isn’t a goal. It’s boring and depressing. Instead of telling himself he couldn’t do it, my friend just started trying. That’s all it took, trying. If something doesn’t come naturally the first few times, chances are it’s going suck to ever get remotely good at it. But flip that notion on it’s head and tell yourself that the process of sucking at something doesn’t have to suck. You’ll get more than what you bargained for. Today, I don’t want to get too comfortable. It usually ends with me getting pissed off at the smallest of things, being bothered by anything that threatens my comfort zone. I work in an air conditioned office all day, the least I can do is sweat my ass off at a gym for an hour or so after. Why? I need to be reminded of what is uncomfortable and what truly does suck. (Also, I don’t want to unhealthy and overweight.) As well as not losing perspective on what’s hard and what’s easy. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy working out thoroughly. But don’t tell me that the last rep of a squat set is “comfortable.” Or when your heart is trying to beat it’s way out of your chest that you feel “content.” It’s the reward after that we all care about. We tested our body’s limit and our mind’s discipline. That is what makes us feel content and good about ourselves. And just like physical fitness, this mental growth takes time, practice, and discipline. It takes being in uncomfortable situations to grow. You will never learn how to deal with difficult people or situations if you avoid them your entire life.
In conclusion to these thoughts: get off the couch, quit comparing your life or body to an Instagram model, try something your not good at, keep doing that something if you want to be good at it, allow yourself to feel okay, break out of the box you put yourself in, hit the limits of your body and your mind and go beyond them. With enough effort, you might walk away a diamond, or at least a better human.