I was told yesterday that my belief in human potential causes depressive people pain. I would interpret that as “a depressive person will use your enthusiasm about life to hurt themselves with guilt and self-blame.”
Which…is why it is critical to start by loving yourself. To use that to power yourself through the ego boundaries to create love with another person. To open your eyes to the fact that you have done the best you can with the resources you have, and extend that out to all of humanity.
We’re not angels. We’re not demons.
We’re animals conscious of our own existence and coming non-existence, and all we’ve done in our history is on a continuum with other animal and primate behavior. Love yourself, love humanity. Then find your tribe, people who share your values. The only “Tribe” you really need is your own internal “family”, but you’ll find that if you gain that, you’ll automatically begin to attract others. And if you have done those things, you are ready for the last step…success in alignment with your values.
There are two major schools of thought about “success”: from total hierarchicalism (Getting “to the top!” is everything) to total egalitarianism (“aiming at excellence is ableism and classism”) and it’s my belief that sanity and happiness in THIS world demands a movement between the two. I’ve never met anyone who really aimed at balanced excellence who didn’t get the joke and become empathetic to those who strive without apparent result, or have given up.
And I’ve never met anyone who insists that goals and self-improvement are somehow bad who did not… (wait for it) actually have goals and aspirations and desires to improve. But they’ve lost so much confidence that they no longer believe, and so have turned being blase into a virtue. They are lying to themselves. They crave beauty, strength, comfort, influence, but try to tell others that they don’t, or that it is wrong to do so. It is a way of saying: “see me! Inside this shell is great beauty and worth. Don’t measure me by what I have done in the world, the way I manifest…”
When, if they really loved themselves, and really didn’t care, they would relish the company of those who have chosen a similar path, and laugh at those who accomplish the worldly things. Do you hear pain, anger, fear in their words? THEY WANT TO SUCCEED, AND DON’T BELIEVE THEY CAN.
What can you do? Should you hold yourself back? There are multiple responses, but every genuine one connects with spirit, with joy. There will be no pain, anger, fear, or sense of loss. There might be a sweet sadness that you have not seen the truth they see that a simple, plain life is best.
Because so many people are screaming inside, want love, health, to express and actualize their creative urges, wish to be seen and appreciated by their communities (that’s about all money means, most of the time) and wear a mask of complacency or acceptance, it is critical that we grasp that our worldly expression can be a gift to those we love.
There is nothing more honorable one can do than to nurture and protect a child. But we cannot reach everyone, appeal to everyone, create a “recipe” or “path” that will nurture everyone. What we can do is speak to the child we were, preferably one younger than the flood of sexual hormones, just before that savage blaze of energy that makes us look at the world so differently, seek partnership and connection for life. Before “who am I?” becomes “who will WE be?”
Speak to that one. The “Soulmate” process uses our sexual/romantic desires to burn through the B.S., to ask yourself, in your silent privacy, what you are REALLY attracted to, and to use that to realize you yearn for a partner like THAT, and that the only way to attract and hold a person is to be capable of operating on their level of energy and integration.
In other words, if you want a lioness, you must be a lion.
And every person who stands and declares that “I love myself! And I embrace my own healing and evolution, and will hunt and gather in this world to the limit of my capacity and seek and spread joy to everyone I meet!” gives permission to others to do the same.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — Marianne Williamson
THAT is what I wish someone had said to me when I was Jason’s age. That goals were just dreams with deadlines. That we fall, but we also rise. That the tribe we find will lift us up or cast us down. That we can earn our way into a faster tribe by offering our hearts and our truth–even champions need cheerleaders, and by modeling their excellence, we become excellent ourselves.
For all who wish another path, I pray you find your joy. But I will not stop shining, and sharing. To do so would be a betrayal of that boy inside me, as well as the mentors, the amazing men and women along the way who taught me to embrace my strength, sexuality, intellect, courage, and emotions. To own all of myself, the highs and the lows. The only way, the ONLY way I can thank them is to pass it on. As I encourage others to pass their gifts on, to be part of the infinite braid of humanity, life, existence, streaming back to the initial pulse of being that began our universe 13.8 billion years ago. Stand on THAT bedrock, and let others stand on your shoulders.
The meaning of life is to find joy. To be happy. Once we are filled with love, we spontaneously find joy in giving.
Go ahead. Admit your evolution includes what will be considered wealth, health, love, passion by the outside world. You are simply burning the substance of your life, learning, exploring, answering the questions and questioning the answers.
My writing students know that I don’t give a damn about their stories and books. I care about the PROCESS they explore daily, the process of exploration and discipline. The stream of books and stories that flows from this can be extraordinary, but they are secondary to the process. The heat of the flame of creativity is too bright to gaze at directly, so we have to look at the results instead.
This is true of life: the “goals” are not important except as they feed the child within, provide for our physical selves and family, attract and hold a romantic/sexual partner we can relish with no hidden sense of “settling.”
Accomplished goals are the bending of the grass.
Be the wind.