There are two types of people when it comes to love. The kind that runs towards it with arms flailing, not caring about how it might be the metaphorical equivalent of the Hiroshima nuclear blast to the face and the ones that assume everything is already shit before it started because, you know, that’s what it has always been. I thank my friend for this analogy as we spend countless hours discussing the fascinating topic of people who live in shackles versus the people who experience wild abandon. In retrospect, they are both equally scary. But this is for the people who live in shackles. For the ones who don’t take chances on minuscule and massive life decisions because it didn’t go well the last time.
They build this template for social interaction and responses in their head based on a previous model of experience. And they apply this template religiously to every future situation. Action plus reaction equals to shit, and this formula is then applied to every conceivable situation.
The thing about templates is that it’s a comfort zone thing. You apply it to essays, to experiences, to life and then tell yourself that the predictability will keep you safe because then you will know how it’s going to turn out. You bind yourself to discontent and pain by telling yourself that this is how it always pans out. That discontent and pain becomes comforting because it’s what you KNOW. That’s understandable because rather the ‘devil you know than the devil you don’t’ right? But what if you can change the reaction part of the equation to not equal to shit. What if the new experience totally blows your mind and changes EVERYTHING you thought about a certain thing. What if it brings you to some next level spiritual-emotional-material shit? You’d never know, would you? Because you’re mired in the past fear of failure. Then what? You’re stuck to this standard of lacklustre living forever? Every financial, career, love, relationship endeavour will bring something new to the table if you let it. Sure, it might end up sucking but what if it is totally mind-blowingly and positively awesome. What if it makes you look at that area completely differently (or even give you a new template model of awesome)?
In reality, experiences only play themselves out if you haven’t taken the lesson out of them, and learnt from it. The concept of learning itself is elusive as we don’t often feel that we’ve made any tangible change.You don’t get a massive spotlight over your head saying,” here walks a person who has learned and changed from x experience” but you’re subtly changed anyway. A symphony doesn’t play in your heart to let you know change has internalised. You just have to know this intrinsically and just watch the good things happen over time.
How do you then orientate yourself through this terribly conflicting situation where you can’t see immediate progress? You start by having an inner knowledge of what worked and what didn’t. You then sit with this for a while. You visualise what you will do differently when presented with those circumstances next time. Then you remind yourself of that everyday or every time it comes up- that’s the process of internalisation. And when the situation comes up, you step back, put your evaluative powers and newly formed solutions into play. It’s simple really- that’s how you break the template. Life doesn’t want you to go through the same damn experiences you did over and over; it wants you to have new experiences and new outcomes to old situations- how else are you meant to grow? Journalling like a three year old with no stream-of-consciousness helps, believe it or not. A visual reminder helps the internalisation process.
This applies to everything- work, decisions, money, love, impulsive behaviour etc. You are the only person that controls the structure of the template. Screw predictability and comfort. Do what you resisted if you are really and truly committed to a different outcome. If you are not innately satisfied with the template on a soul level, you’re the only one with any palpable power to change it- especially if you’re not entirely happy about where you’re at with something. How do you know your soul or your higher self doesn’t like it? It’s fairly simple- you won’t feel entirely good about it and you will keep debating it. Consistent confusion, feeling lost, uncertainty and/or fear are some of the symptoms that your soul is resisting a decision you have made. There will just be something about it that leaves you feeling constantly unsatisfied no matter how much you repress it.
Also know that, everything happens for a reason at the specific time it did but that doesn’t mean you have to consciously anticipate the same results, especially if you didn’t even like it the previous time. Don’t be that person trapped by your own vision of how you think life is meant to be based on your negative experiences. Make it different this time. Put a little wild abandon into your shackled life and see where it takes you.