My Facebook news feed is full of inspirational memes, quotes, articles, and what seems to be a never ending supply of “5 signs you’re this type of person” and “10 things you should look for in a soulmate.” We have so many external ways of seeking support for continuing to achieve our dreams and to become a better person. I follow a lot of yoga teachers, great writers, and inspirational websites on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. What I notice though is that I’ll read most of what they write, but I don’t really take it to heart. It’s not that I don’t love some of those things I see, and those articles I read. I really do, I love the ideas they present, and the challenges that you face because of them. But I rarely act on the tangible forces they present.
Am I lazy? Probably. I spent most of my time living in leggings. (Yes, I do know they are not technically pants, but they cover me up.)
Am I scared? Yup!
This is a recurring theme for my life lately. Changes of any kind are scary, letting something go to replace it with something new is not meant to be easy. Especially when you are a creature of comfort. I do have phases in my life where I am able to leave some of my overthinking crazy self talk at the door and just enjoy where I am. I stop overthinking, (sort of) and just stop feeding my beasts. Those are the best times. Could I do that all the time? Not right now. I hope I can do that one day. I really do. That’s part of the ‘ideal life’ I’m aiming for. Don’t we all have an ideal we’re shooting for?
I’ve been talking about going back out to California for the last few months, and while I do have every intention of doing it. I do keep myself stuck in the pre-production phase. Some days it’s a great idea. To go and spend a few weeks in one of my favorite places in the world, and get some solid writing done. But then the thoughts come (don’t they always?) ‘It’s a waste of money. You should be saving your money, not wasting it on some wildly stupid trip.’ ‘You know you’re not going to get any writing done out there. You’re just gonna get sad and lonely and get nothing done. You can do that at home for free.’
And the big one ‘Why do you DESERVE it?’ I talk myself out of a lot of stuff with this argument.
Why do I deserve it? You can come with a bevy of answers for that, and they’re all valid.
Why do I deserve it? Because I’m alive. Because I’m going to do what I want. Because screw ‘DESERVE’ I’m doing it because I can. I don’t have to justify why I do something for the betterment of myself to anyone, especially that dark side of myself. The one with the legs still stuck in the quick sand, ready to start running in place and sink completely into the sand. I can feel the split starting to happen, and it’s been shaking for a long time, it feels like what an internal earthquake should feel like. You can feel the tectonic plates in yourself shift, and make way to something new. Even if it’s nothing major. But it is always major. Every change we go through is major because we are evolving. Change is a necessary thing for our survival.
I don’t begin to pretend to know the first thing about religions and their philosophies. I lost my faith with organized religion when I was a young teenager, and through my angry phase, it helped me to have something bigger to be furious with. But I digress, I did go through a phase where I wanted to learn about other religions, and I got the basics of a few. Buddhism stood out to me, but that was mainly because their figurehead was a jolly round guy, who reminded me a bald, stoner Santa Claus.
I stumbled across an article on my Facebook feed this morning that was titled “Everything the Buddha Taught in Two Words.(1)” Naturally, I’m curious. I love the teachings of bald, stoner Santa Claus. The only thing that really stood out for me as I’m still waking up and drinking my coffee is the beginning, and those two words.
I found that after I started to write this. I’m trying to find those little coincidences, that seem like they may be nothing, to be something. I’m trying to find meaning in the minute details, because I find that after trying to focus on the big picture for so long, you forget about the small things. Those little things that years later can bring you joy. Spending an afternoon with a niece and nephew and giggling like insane people, taking a nap with a beloved dog, just sitting outside without your face jammed in a screen for a distraction. Those little moments are us actually living our lives. Not keeping our brain busy with things that may not even be important or relevant to our lives. Facebook is a great distraction. You see the engagements, weddings, babies, the overall great lives of these people you probably don’t even talk to anymore. While it’s great for them, does it really matter to YOU? I know that it probably doesn’t to me. Does it stop me from comparing my path and my life to other peoples? Nope. Cause they may have what I want, or what I think I can’t have. So then jealousy comes barreling down.
“Comparison is the Thief of Joy” That quote is attributed to Teddy Roosevelt, and maybe ironically, I see it pop up on Facebook from time to time. It’s so easy to sit and compare any aspect of yourself to other people. And then you can sit and say, “Well they deserve it, and I don’t.” But does anyone really?
Deserve is a word I don’t like anymore.
Do we actually deserve certain things? Sure. Do we always get them? Nope.
But what is the deciding factor as to why one person gets a family and another person doesn’t? Is this is a case of a more physically attractive person or a more well rounded human being? I don’t I think that one person is truly more deserving of things in their life than another. But I think we have worked our society into thinking that we are. That some people are just better in general. I don’t know if I can go along with that sentiment. I don’t think that just by being alive, there are people who are any better or any worse than anyone else. At least not at our cores. Our cores come from the same place. It’s our words, choices, actions and everything else that we decide in our lives that help others, and ourselves, define how deserving we are. Which I still find funny, because we will often talk ourselves out of a choice, or a potential partner based on stupid things we did we before. That because of this choice I made, and I learned from, I am not deserving of living here, marrying that person, going back to school, having that car. I do this every day. I talk myself out of trying to live my life, by the argument of not being deserving. It’s done nothing but keep me stuck. I think it has done it’s best to keep me down, because in my head, “I don’t deserve anything.”
Which is nothing more than a big old sack of lying shit. Whether or not we deserve things, we often get them. Some people receive more love than others. Some have more weight to carry. Some have what seems like an easy breezy life. But as we grow and mature, we see that it’s not always the case. Everyone has problems, issues, joy, sadness, loss, gains, everything. We all have everything. Some of us just don’t share it so openly with the world, or even with those closest to us. Maybe because we think that those closest to us don’t deserve to see the bad, wild sides of us. Those dirty little sections of our personality that even we have a hard time with. Those stupid thoughts that nag and nag us at stupid hours of the night, and odd times of the day. We think that maybe if we share that dark dirty side of us with people, both us and them will realize that we don’t deserve them in our lives.
I don’t honestly know if I just over-exaggerate my stuff in my head, or if it really is that dark and dirty, but I know I do my best to hide it from people. I like to say that that I lay my crazy out on the table though. But that ‘crazy’ is nothing more than throwing out statement to push people, you test them with those statements. You dip your toe in and you see if they can handle that. But naturally I always do that with people I know I won’t know for long. I think by doing that it makes it easier for me to avoid some kind of superficial connection, because those are just draining for me. I know that most relationships have that in the beginning, but I definitely have been attracting some not so great people as of late, and I think doing that ‘crazy’ bit, has actually made it easier for me to push them out of the way. Which I’m telling myself is a good thing. You have to get rid of the old and the bad, to make way for the new and the good. That has definitely changed for me. Before I would have clung to bad people and bad situations because I didn’t think I deserved any better then that. I’m working that out. You still have to try stuff on to see if it works before you can discard it. I used to never do that, even shopping for clothes. I would just grab stuff and hope for the best with a fit. Now I’m actually purging stuff I know doesn’t fit, getting rid of those holey clothes that may just be so comfortable but they don’t work for me anymore. Accepting the change, and actually being proactive instead of reactive. I don’t know when the hell that happened, but I’m trying to just go with it.
After all everything changes, whether or not we deserve it.
(1) “Everything the Buddha Taught in Two Words.” http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/05/everything-the-buddha-ever-taught-in-2-words/