A person’s words often reflect the condition of their heart.
Since the days of yore, I’ve harrowed ad nauseam to lead a fulfilling life. Success formulas were embedded, healthy rituals ingrained and I even let some spontaneity run wild, yet — for reasons indistinguishable by my panoramic view— fulfillment eluded me. There was always something missing.
I hurried through life, exacerbating what it means to acquire knowledge and experience —arming myself with weapons of cognition and recklessly catapulting myself into situations I had no business taking on, but knew others could bail me out of. I wanted the scars, the notches on the belt, the lapel pins, without any of the suffering. Essentially a drawn-out narrative with well-timed, strategic pivots right before shit hit the fan. I felt if I had a spellbinding story, I would be able to leverage it beyond the point of unremarkable existence.
But therein lies the problem. It wasn’t an unremarkable existence, but an unremarkable purpose. Swimming in an ocean of opinions, surmounted by tidal waves of judgment, I lost all sense of what I was even after in life — or why I wanted it.
Once I cut through the layers of my core identity, it became clear that self-worth reigned supreme. All of my efforts were fueled by this compensatory value. Which meant the zenith of my life, if realized, would be merely a sense of security.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with self-worth —it’s actually quite vital. However, given it was at the very top of my list of intrinsic values, it was bound to clash with something more fulfilling. And since I didn’t have any of it at the time, I was constantly acting out of a state of scarcity and fear.
The fear of loneliness — and inability to love myself — led to an anxious-preoccupied attachment style in my romantic relationships. The fear of judgment created dismissive avoidance with my friends. And to develop anything with your family requires you share what’s happening in your life, not just concisely report.
If a person’s heart is full of fear, they will act in an offensive or defensive way — like something’s out to get them.
Uninspired by the character arc within my life’s screenplay, I set out to uproot its formation. I invited my fears to have a drink at the bar. I surveyed the entire assortment of disguises they wore to preclude my awareness. Anger, jealousy, resentment, and bitterness then took a seat at the table.
These impulsive emotions sat in the holster for as long as I could remember. I knew their exact arrival, yet never dare step in front of them. This heightened state gave my life both justification and volition, representative of my life’s ambition to ward off the binary monsters known as insignificance and rejection. Barreling through the depths of the forest, however, we cannot see. You cannot know who you really are until you know who you’re really not.
When we identify the purpose of our unwanted yet persisting feelings, the impact lessens. The emotion is not the issue — the ambiguity is. We fear what we don’t understand. Given that my emotional cocktail of choice consisted of mostly bottom-shelf liquor, I opted to level up my standards.
Fear, doubt, and suffering are ubiquitous. No one is immune. Our response, on the other hand, is very much in our control.
We have to recognize my unconscious flavor of coping — with loneliness, with impermanence, with disapproval, with nothingness. Only at this point will you take a deliberate step towards authenticity, towards who you really are — a vulnerable, hopeful, flawed, resilient human being. It’s here where you truly relate. Where you feel less alone. Where suffering is apportioned and value is contributed universally.
The more you present yourself to your defensive defaults, the faster you can occlude them. Leaving you far more balanced and whole in your perspective — less and less irritated by things you know won’t matter in the long-run. What you receive by virtue of this clearing is a quiet mind, where you can finally achieve peace.
A person who is at peace, and grounded within themselves, is left free to respond to life — instead of emotionally reacting to all things that come their way.
Not everyone will come along for the journey but many will find your sense of calm intoxicating. For they were looking for the same thing I was — security. You’ll exude safety, confidence, preparedness, faith, trust, hope, and all the good things.
The good things of the good life.