This is for you . . .
I am writing this to let you know that it’s okay to slow down. It’s okay to take a minute. Or, if you have to take a little more. Take what you need because it’s okay. Sometimes you have to take a break.
It’s okay to let go of the invisible pressures that suffocate our thinking.
And I get it.
The world can be an intense place. And it’s crazy too. Life is all over the place and if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Sometimes it seems like we’ve jumped out of the frying pan and into the fryer.
There’s always something going on.
The pace is too much. There’s work problems and people dilemmas. If it’s not a work problem, it’s a home life problem. Where’s the comfort? Where’s the moment when we can lay back and say, “Ah!” When is it our turn not to worry about what’s going to happen next?
I hope you know that it’s okay to put this on hold.
Nothing will happen. At least nothing as tragic as our mind’s believe. That’s the thing, that’s the thing right there. The complications of the mind are a series of irrational worries and concerns. These can sum up to be wildly misled assumptions that led us towards catastrophe.
All of this is a reflection of an internal judgment. This is our worry that somehow, there’s something not right about us. More importantly, this is the draining energy that prevents us from being at our best.
We are a series of what I like to call, “detailed networks” or patterns of thinking. This is where the complications come from. This is where our thinking becomes congested in the traffic of assumptions and fearful projections.
This is where the worry machine begins to pick up speed and we find ourselves here, trapped, or caught in an emotional stutter, which is nothing more than a frustration to communicate.
This is when the stress builds up or when we find ourselves lost or sinking into either mental or emotional quicksand. This means the mind is moving too fast or calculating too quickly for us to speak or respond smoothly.
You’re on guard. You’re worried about your validity. You’re worried about losing your so-called place or that someone else might come along and take what you have – or maybe they’ll be pretty or shinier – or maybe they’ll be more desirable or people will choose them over you.
Maybe you’re afraid the covers will be pulled and the imposter will be exposed – and there you are, stripped and naked; at least in a virtual sense, ashamed and exposed. How do you come back from this? How does a person overcome the expectation of a never-ending shame and humiliation?
You move and you look to prove yourself. You try to stay relevant.
You work and you advance and you motivate yourself to find at least a semblance of sanity.
It’s okay to be out of your mind.
I say this because I do this all the time – go out of my mind, that is. Safe to say that I lose my mind at least once a day.
It’s okay to want to be wanted or to be relevant. On top of this, it is a normal idea to want to be validated. It’s normal to want to “fit’ and be okay or at minimum, to be comfortable around the crowds and not feel so misshapen or out of place.
It’s okay to say this. It’s okay to say that life can be tiresome but dammit to hell, there’s no time to rest and even when it’s time: Who can sleep with all this thinking going on?
I see no reason to deny any of this. I see no reason to listen when people say, “Don’t say things like that?”
Why not say things like this? I’d rather be honest than suppress my truths and allow the lies to grow in my head.
Why not say this?
It’s honest, right?
I’d like to let you know that this is all a game. It’s a network of ideas and complications. These are a series of tiny structures that come from a wiring diagram in the mind. This is where we have needs and wants. This is where we keep our dreams and passions; yet, this is where we make our notations and keep our worries that none of our dreams will ever come true.
It is often a heavy hearted time. And it’s okay to say this. No, really it is.
Sometimes we look around and think to ourselves, “Is it just me?”
Am I the only one?
It amazes me how beautiful people can look at themselves and only see ugliness. I am amazed by the aftermath of doubt and how this can destroy a person and keep them from their best.
It’s amazing to me that when you look in the mirror, you fail to see the best in yourself.
But it’s easy to see the worst. Am I right?
It’s easier to see faults and flaws. It’s easy to notice the imperfections or the ideas of imperfection, which lie to us and explain that we are anything else, but beautiful. This is common because it’s easier to see all the reasons why something will fail before it succeeds. However, this comes from an origination. This comes from history and experience and a bias of past results. This also comes from a series of self-perpetuating behaviors that are claimed by our self-fulfilling prophecies, which is why we fail.
I have met rooms full of positive thinkers and motivators. I have sat with experts and people who appear perfect on the surface level. You look at them and you wonder if this is really them.
You see how they live and how they act. And do you know what? This is only a version. This is only a perception of people and the reality which they portray.
Life is far more real outside and truthful when we extend our sights away from the social media reels and picture-perfect lifestyles.
Be advised that everyone has their own psychology. We all have thoughts and wants and needs. We all have challenges and struggles. Oh, and rest assured, we all have hidden scars and secret pains and details that are invisible. We all have our own quirks, which means our line of questioning is in need of change.
Rather than view a person and think why them? Or rather than think, why not me?
The questions we need to ask will now become action based.
I cannot say what success is like to you. I can’t even say that I know what the color blue looks like from your eyes. I don’t know what touch feels like from your fingertips.
However, I can say that there is often an inaccuracy in our math – and we need to address this. We need to look at our figures and stop accounting for our assumptions. We have to simplify this.
Let’s think about the great self-made person.
What is so different about them? Was it the case of being at the right place at the right time? Or, did they achieve their success because of a series of choices and a process of actions that perpetuated their success.
There are people who started tiny businesses out of their apartments and garages. Look at them now. They’re at the top of the heap.
Let’s put emotion and the opinions of personality to the side for the moment. Or, let’s take this from an action-based perspective: What makes a person successful?
The same as we are a series of complexities; we are the production of our efforts.
And that’s fine.
I say this because this is what life is. Life is effort. This is the work we put in and above all else, our efforts are within our control.
Therefore, we are in the effort business. Unfortunately, however, we often find ourselves mixed up and confused by the terms of our results. And here lies the problem.
Results are out of our control. We can work to improve. We can create strategies to improve the chances and form better outcomes. But again, this is all in the effort department because this is our business.
We’re in the effort business. Not the result business.
Once we allow ourselves the right to alleviate this pressure and remove our attachments to outcome – we can remove some of the invisible pressures that cause us to stutter.
There is so much out there for you. There are literally countless opportunities that come in a day and we often miss them because our attention is too busy being worried about something else.
I know that saying “Calm down” is not always calming. Or better yet, as the saying goes, “Never in the history of calming down has anyone ever calmed down by being told to calm down.”
And I get it. Anxiety doesn’t just go away because we ask it to.
I get that self-care is a simple idea. I get that this is important because self-care works. However, I also get that there’s a detailed network in our mind. I get the fact that thoughts travel through different frequencies.
I can relate to worry and fear. I can relate to the idea that something you want “REALLY BADLY!” might not happen or your dreams might not come true. And, I can relate to the association of failure as it applies to our association with rejection.
For example: I was dressed in a baseball uniform. This was decades ago when I was so small and my little body hardly filled the uniform. My baseball hat was like a bucket on my head with a big brim. The baseball mitt I used was like a huge, webbed appendage that stood out from my wrist, which I assumed this looked bigger than my little body.
I wanted to play ball because, after all, the key word in the sentence is “play.”
And playing is supposed to be fun, right?
Sure it is.
But how much fun is it to strike out? How much fun is it to be the one on the team who struck out or swung at the wrong pitches and essentially lost the game (or at least, it seemed)?
How much fun is a game when kids are worried about being on the bench or not playing at all because they’re simply not good enough?
I will offer this as an explanation of benefits. Here we are in this world and nearly all of us are faced with old senses of performance anxiety. We are a system of memories and worries of being that person who failed or was picked last. We are a reflection of where we’ve come from and a compilation of what we’ve lived through.
Safe to say that some have learned to perfect their crafts. Some have learned the benefit to endure. Some can navigate easier than others. But this is not for them. No, this one is for you.
To hold out or to withstand. To keep going, no matter what and tolerate- even when it hurts or even when we feel discouraged; to endure, to admit, accept and to continue, regardless of force or adversity. This is what it means to endure.
We are the benefit of our history because if we look carefully, we can learn from our past. We can adapt and improve. We can learn to reshape our approach and advance at another time. But first, we have to breathe. We have to find our balance. Otherwise, we tumble and fall and repeat the process.
Look, let’s keep this simple.
There are going to be bad days. There are going to be times when everything falls apart. Or, there will be times when your tricks or your plans will fall apart and there will be times when you think (or feel) exposed or humiliated.
Mom always told me, “No one ever promised you a rose garden.”
Mom was really smart. I didn’t know what she meant when she said this. At least not as deeply or as profoundly as I understand this now.
It’s okay to be hurt and it’s okay to lick your wounds. It’s okay to take a step back. It’s okay to need help or to be confused. And it’s alright if you don’t know what to do (or how to do it) because eventually, you’ll learn.
Sometimes (like now) it’s okay to give yourself a moment. Regroup and remember that this is the effort business. Not the result business. So, mind your efforts because the results can become even more less-fortunate.
I have to say though – it has amazed me to see how long you’ve held on. It amazes me how you’ve kept this pace without cracking up or completely losing it!
It’s okay to take a breath and step back. Take a day off. Go fishing or talk a walk. Go to the park. Unplug from the technology and see how much clearer the sound is at places like the beach where the waves roll and the gulls chime.
I know that you can endure. . .
I also know that times come when enduring is all you can do. I know how tiresome this can be.
I know what it means to get in your own way or allow the guilty indulgences, which is otherwise used as a cloaking device, to comfort the pains.
I know how it is to look in the mirror and miss out on the redeeming qualities.
Yet, I know that none of this is helpful.
I know that you’re looking for something. We all are and I know that it’s out there for all of us. But you can’t run if you can’t walk – and you can’t walk if you’re too tired to stand. So, how are you going to get anywhere?
I will leave you with this thought. I knew a person who struggled with gambling. He played the numbers every day. He played the same ones and explained, I’m afraid the day I stop playing is the day my number hits.
So, one day he took off. And lo and behold, his number came out. He would have hit for at least $500, depending upon how many times he played the number. Usually he played $1.00 straight and $1.00 box, which means the same numbers in any arrangement.
I can still remember the sound of his voice, “Let me get 219, dollar straight, dollar box. Five times each” and that was just one of his numbers.
By the way, even if he played it, the thrill he wanted would’ve only been short-lived. He lost his home and his family all due to gambling. The thrill of being a “winner” like this would only last about an hour.
(So, is this even a win?)
The wins we are looking for are lifelong.
So, let’s not gamble too hastily or forget ourselves.
It’s okay to step away. Take the phone off the hook or as Billy Joel once sang, “it’s okay to disappear for a while.”
Vienna waits for you.
Translation: Your life cannot begin or end without you.
Whatever you’re looking for is out there.
Please be kinder to my friend. They seem to be misinformed about who they are and how beautiful they’ve become.
The one who needs this most