There comes a time when you wake up enough to realize that everyone is human, including our parents and teachers. This also includes authority figures from our youth. This includes everyone who told us or taught us something in our lives. This also suggests that not every lesson we’ve learned was accurate or correct.
At the same time, we can go years without ever coming to the realization that not everything we’ve been taught is true.
We have to see this. We have to come to an awakening where we break the molds of our past so that we can be free from its mistakes. Hence, this is why I say to get out from behind yourself.
I can say that The Old Man was my very first hero. I can also say that as much as I have idolized him and as much as I spoke of him with love and admiration; there are truths about him that I would never dare say.
I would never speak out against anything he said or did, no matter how wrong this might have been because, to me, this would be disrespectful to his memory. This would be degrading of a love a son is supposed to have for his Father.
I say this wholeheartedly and loyally with love and respect. However, I say this as a person who has grown since the hour of his death. My Father both did and said things that were wrong. He taught me the best he knew how, which does not mean he taught me the best lessons. No, this only means that ,like me, The Old Man was human.
It is interesting to me how people can pass away and in the sad aftermath, the unresolved tensions and interpersonal challenges are somehow turned inward. The person’s memory becomes more important than the truth; therefore, it’s hard to ever fully process an unresolved memory because for some reason, we fail to allow ourselves to see the truth.
By the way . . .
It took a lot of growth for me to say this to you. But more, this took courage because to me, this was more than admitting the truths of my past. No, this was me facing me. This was me allowing myself to remove the internal meters of judgment.
This was me coming to a moment of realization; whereas, I started to see the blueprints and the plans of my life that I was told about were not always an accurate fit for me.
This was me learning to shed the layers of judgments which evolved due to a comparison of what or who I thought I was supposed to be.
As we grow and as we come to this juncture in our lives when we decide to move forward and improve, we start to learn where these judgments come from. To be clear, this is what rejection is.
Rejection is an internal judgment.
Otherwise, rejection does not exist any place else but in our mind.
Where do these judgments come from?
How is it that tiny details from our youth or the cognitive traps which are combinations of memories and experience that stem from moments of shame or pain, humiliation, guilt or otherwise; how is it that all of these little snares have clung to the tunnels of our memory?
In fairness to ourselves, we remember these moments because, above all things, we never wanted them to happen again.
No one wants to endure pain. We don’t want to feel ashamed or ostracized.
We never want to be bullied again. We never want to experience another moment of humiliation.
We never want to go through another bout with ourselves and say, Why did I say that or what the hell was I thinking?
We never want to have the feelings that come with being unacceptable or not included.
No, we want the opposite of this.
Remember, the only thing the mind wants is peace; however, in fear of its alternative; we struggle because we are afraid to lose the one thing that we all want the most which is to be happy.
We hold these old misguided lessons as if they are gospel and we keep them as if these laws are all true; as if this somehow depicts and describes our defects and teaches us that something about us is either faulty or defective.
This is simply not true. All this does is promote a misunderstanding of self.
We have to come to an understanding. We have to come to a moment of awareness and recognize none of that is true.
Otherwise, how will we ever reach our best version of “self?”
We judge our looks and our appearance. Vanity can be a bitch. So is regret. And so are the conversations that we have in our mind. These are the internal talks that keep us from moving forward or promoting ourselves to the next, best level.
These little traps are like tiny hooks that sink into the flesh of our dreams. They are the rusted snares that prevent us from acting or ever trying to move forward. This is the remnant of blame, shame, guilt, fault and regret; otherwise known as rejective thinking.
These are also the ingredients to the personal poison which we drink to keep us stagnant and stuck in the mind of our own worst limitations.
Here lies the excuse machine. This is where we rationalize the reasons we never dare or try. Here’s where we give ourselves the permission to quit before we try and, unfortunately, this is the place in our mind where we store the arrows that shoot down our dreams.
This is where doubt lives. This is why we judge ourselves, both unfairly and harshly. This is where we doubt our special features of beauty. We doubt our sense of miraculousness because, to be clear, it’s a hard thing to do to survive in life.
It’s not easy. Anyone who tells you life is easy and smiles at the same time is either lying, trying to sell you something or, when they go home, they drink and kick the dog because the truth is life comes with hardships. Life comes with difficulties, pain, complications and letdowns.
Again, I will say it: This is life!
These bouts we have with ourselves and internal judgments are the very stoppages that clog the arteries of our best possible potential.
This is where the internal whispers come in. This is how we limit ourselves because we judge ourselves; but worse, these judgments are based on the inaccuracies of the lessons we have learned.
We have to learn to stop and question this.
I came to a point where I recognized the predictions that were made for me. I came to a point where I had to learn to both question and challenge my own assumptions. I had to learn to decipher between truth and my insecurity because largely, we tend to listen to the little fears that whisper to us.
We tend to listen to the worries and the anticipation of what might happen. We listen more out of worry that rejection will become fact; therefore, this will become truth. This will become our identity and thus, as means to complete this self-fulfilled prophecy, we tend to behave with a failing mindset.
I am not stupid . . .
Do you have any idea how long it took me to say this?
I am not a bum or a junkie or a person who deserves to live in shame.
I remember what someone in a professional setting said with the intent to be hurtful, “His background is disturbing!”
This feeds the old mapping of myself. This is why that old judgment hurt. It had nothing to do with the person or what was said. No, this was all upon me.
I get that now.
I get that there are remnants and memories from my past; there are old predictions that were both hurtful and draining to me. There are errors in my thinking and distortions leftover from the pervious version of myself which have not only distracted me from my goals; but to be clearer with this, all of these are the mis-wired assumptions and beliefs that I was taught.
Until I learn to break the mold of the judgments I was taught and until I learn to break free from the old or unresolved tensions that have taught me the inaccuracies of myself; it will be not only difficult but close to impossible to excel beyond the reaches of my mind.
Take this entry for example. As I write this to you, I have a voice in my head that says, “Who are you kidding?”
What the hell do you know anyway?
Who cares what you say?
You’re a joke and that’s all you’ll ever be.
I say this with full disclosure to not only humanize this idea of my imposter syndrome but instead, I say this to kill the internal and self-destructive demons that build the arrows which I used to use to shoot down my dreams.
I have to explain that as I write this to you, the speed of my typing has picked up to drown this out. The pace of my words in this entry has picked up in defiance to the voices of my insecurity and do you know what? Whether I am alone with this or in great company, either way, I have to learn to not only save my life on a daily basis; I have to learn to defy my doubts on a daily basis so that I can live instead of simply exist.
Everyone has an internal judgment meter. Everyone has thoughts that turn inward and work against us. We all have dreams yet we all have those arrows that shoot them down. In which case, they never take off and then we never become the person we really want to be.
I don’t know about you . . .
But I don’t want to be held back anymore.
I can remember being younger and walking through a park in the City. I remember walking by the chess tables. Everyone was quiet. All strategy. Cool and calm. Collected as ever.
I remember thinking about this in comparison to a poker event that I saw on television. Everyone was posturing and showing off as if they had the winning hand. But it wasn’t like this at the park. There was no babble at the chess tables, none whatsoever. No talking. Just goals, plans and strategy.
Sure, they were all playing for money. But the chess player was quiet and stealth-like.
The poker player was loud as ever, always talking to make the other players fold.
The chess players never had to do that. They just moved in like a quiet storm.
Ah, a quiet storm.
I think I like that idea; to be like a quiet storm.
To move without needing to announce myself; to win or lose without bragging or being hinged to either or.
Just a quiet storm.
I think that’s nice.
I know how to play poker. Not so much of a chess player but there’s always time to learn.
Actually, the more I think about it; the more I’d rather be a chess player.
But first, it’s time to unlearn so I can learn to go ahead . . .
and move forward.