My previous entry was intense to say the least. Of course, this is not intended for everyone. Or, maybe this is a little stretch of insecurity and me as your narrator, I am openly expressing my thoughts so that as we move through this journey together – you and I can connect in a way that allows for a better understanding.
It is safe to say that as I prepared myself to press enter and send the last entry into the universe, I wondered if any of this was necessary. Is this worth it? Or wait, does any of this even matter?
As I exhaled and released this from my control, I came to a realization that it is clear and obvious that we are not the same. No one is the same.
We all have our own experiences. We all go through our own challenges or adverse experiences. We wake and sleep and we wake again; and next, one day becomes two and two becomes four.
We grow and we learn and whether we choose to or not, we are always moving. Life is constantly changing and as we move about on this planet, which is third from the sun, we have to realize that there is no stillness. Either we move or life moves. Either we ride the wave or we swim against the current. Either we fight or we surrender; or if we submit for the moment, then we can recompose ourselves later and regroup. This way we can learn. Better yet, this way we can go back at it again the next day.
We are born in different ways. We are reborn and recreated more times than we imagine. We grow independently as well as collectively, emotionally, and intellectually. We die more than once too. We move from one chapter to the next. We evolve and shed our old skin to become our new selves. Or, we can go about this in an opposite direction and we hide ourselves and cover our truths – so this way, no one can see us or ever know who we really are.
We are not made to be the same. There are no cookie-cutter options. Our diversity is to be explored and celebrated. Not ashamed or dismissed. We have the right to our heritage. We have the right to remain silent or be heard. The choice is ours.
This is not to say that everyone is going to agree or listen. But still, our rights as a person and our rights to life, to our choice, and to our sources of freedom are more than we think. But at the same time; the answers we look for are not huge or elaborate. No. Our truths are simple. However, we are complicated and insecure and, therefore, we always look to find the comfort of accountability. This way we can find an understandable way to realize why we are different or don’t fit the common mold.
I have seen people who have more than most and they are more imprisoned than an inmate in solitary confinement. I have met my share of miserable millionaires and penniless grouches who complain and piss away their life.
I often receive phone calls from people with news that is often sad. Most times, this is to let me know that someone else has crossed over. Maybe this is news that another old friend is lost or died and still, the world continues to move.
The earth still turns and it’s still tipped on its axis, moving around the sun, which means time keeps on ticking – relentlessly or mercilessly – or in other cases, time moves favorably because, in fairness, time can allow us to heal or improve. Time can allow us to grow more distant or closer together. And again, this is a choice.
By now, I hope that we all know that there’s no rule that says anyone has to understand. There’s no rule that says we all have to relate. There’s nothing which states that we all have to get along. Then again, there’s no law that says we have to argue either.
The fact is people judge. People talk. Everyone has an opinion and everybody has something to say.
We live in a world with billions of opinions and not all of them are going to be favorable. Our options in life are not always going to be attractive. Life is a series of daily choices and, one day, as we prepare for our twilight; our choices and the moments of victory or times of adversity are going to be the life which flashes before our eyes.
At this date in time, we are moving through a culture change. This has yet to develop into its entirety. The so-called normal (or “new ” normal) is growing as we speak. Traditional workspaces are changing. Technology is growing, social media has become a political power as well as an editor of opinion and truth.
We have life ahead of us. We have the unknown, which is happening right in front of us. We have a pandemic, which is behind us – or at least, so we hope. We have fear mongers and war mongers. We have political activists. We have mass transit and planes, trains and automobiles with countless ways to move around the world.
And then we have this: US
We have the mind within. We have this misinformed assumption that people think, feel, or believe the same way. We have social biases and subconscious biases which shade our opinion.
We have the need to be heard and the need to be wanted or to be valid. In fact, our mind is constantly maneuvering and always jockeying for position.
The ideas we have of our own importance and self-absorbed fascinations are less than helpful. Our attachment to outside opinions and acceptance are painfully misleading and dare I say it; our happiness has either been altered or forfeited due to our need for acceptance – or at minimum, there are times when we have gone silent rather than speak out because of our fears of rejection.
Time is finite. Life is short. There is no sequel.
These three things are commonly spoken yet these three ideas are commonly unaddressed.
Whatever you want to find in life is not going to be found in the opinion or version of someone else’s happiness. I had to learn this for myself. But more, I had to slip away from the confines of my fears. I had to step back from my internal chaos and insecurities.
I had to learn new ways to navigate from my misunderstandings and the hardwired misjudgments that I had been trained to follow. I found something . . .
I found out that much of what I believed was untrue or a lie. I had to stop taking on the brunt of these lies.
For example: People seem to be easily offended. However, nothing really happens when this takes place. Words do hurt. I agree.
People can be cruel. I agree with this too.
But does this have to dictate our happiness?
There is no real standard because we are all deviations on our own regard. So, in today’s search, what are we looking for?
What have we found if all we are looking for is external approval?
In my search, I can say that I have found challenges. I can see my adversity. I can taste it and I can smell it. I can feel myself; oftentimes, I can feel my worries that somehow I might not make it or I might reach the summit and find myself just about to tip the mountain – I shoot for the win but then I miss. I fall or I tumble and on my way down, I think to myself, “Shit! Now I have to start all over again!”
I have found that my judgments of self are far more critical and painful than my perception of outside opinions. My thoughts are worse than the worry of what other people think.
Also, It is self-absorbed to believe we are this important that others are always talking about us. It is not accurate to believe people are always thinking or regarding us. No, this is a concept in the mind, which becomes the problem and degrades us from moving forward.
I was addressed by a person who was my senior. He told me about a conversation he had about me. This was a talk with another long-timer. He expressed that the conversations were not always good. Then he said “But they’re not always bad.”
Perhaps I was somewhere around six years into a program of living. I was new to a lifestyle with hopes to improve and change my way of living.
I never said anything. But I have re-lived this moment in my head before. I have re-lived different scenarios where I could have answered this more favorably.
I had to stop myself.
I go back to the very first line I wrote when I began my first real journaling experience.
My redemption has nothing to do with your response.
I am not here in this world to make others happy. I am not here to be accepted or otherwise.
No, I am here to live and see and feel and learn and if I can, I will live, love, laugh and learn to the best of my ability –
If I am to find anything, then I am to find peace by making peace with myself.
This is the real search and this is the real challenge.
No one else will ever tame my challenges.
This is up to me.
And if it is up to me
Then this is up to me
The same goes for you too, by the way.
Oh, and as for you, our paths have crossed for a reason. While I am not dependent; I am clear that without you, I would not have the seasoning to flavor my life to be as it is now.
I only hope that I have been able to return the favor
(or should that be flavor?)
I’ll leave that up to you.