"Do you ever just think about... people?"
I remember asking this to someone important in my life a few years back. We were driving in the car as I was watching people drive by imagining where they might be going, what might be going in their lives and what they were listening to in their cars. The recipient to my existential question simply laughed. In the moment, it made me feel silly and stupid for thinking out loud about my thoughts, but, since then, I realized that sometimes we are placed in situations that may not feel good, but can lead to new discoveries, if we allow them.
This incident was one of many, from many people, that made me subconsciously learn to diminish myself to make others more comfortable. It's not really fair, is it? Eventually we are going to be exceptionally dim and nothing like what we feel we are in the inside, which affects our quality of life. How good does it make you feel to neglect the parts of you that make you feel magically radiant? It doesn't feel good at all. At. All. It leads to self-doubt about your passions. It leads to a lower-level of exploration due to feeling ridiculous for being curious. It leads to living a life that is not yours - and that's no life worth living.
We are given one shot at this human thing. One. Sure, there's a possibility that we can come back in another life (quantum physics isn't something I ever studied), but in this particular physical reality, this is it. You've got ONE. Over the last 32 years, I have lived a lot of life with a lot of pain and a lot of darkness. I've endured trauma given to me by those that I thought were there to protect me. I've made bad choices that led to unhealthy consequences. I've been naive and believed a lot of lies because of over-given trust that wasn't deserved to be given. Life can be HARD sometimes, I know this. Sometimes not living this life anytime seems like a better solution than to continue suffering through so much pain and confusion. But, maybe, these dark moments are presented to bring a kind of light into your life that you wouldn't have ever been able to experience had they not happened.
I'm currently reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and, though I'm only 50% of the way done or so, this book has been such a wonderful tool in remembering the importance of choices. While at breakfast this morning (I like to take myself out to breakfast sometimes to read, work or simply just be around people that make me feel safe), I was reading more of the book and had this overwhelming mental adjustment that made me crave my laptop to try and export the vast amount of thought into words. So, here I am trying to do just that.
We will always go through situations that challenge our emotions, our beliefs, our immediate reactions.. but it's how we use those moments that will shape our next choices. If we choose to allow pain to remain a forefront of our reality, our reality will reflect pain. If we choose to allow pain to become lessons learned, our reality will reflect growth and healing. It's along the same lines as choosing to eat unhealthy, will result in an unhealthy body. It's the same thing. Forever and ever our decisions will have an immediate impact and result we may or may not be prepared for.
We really do get to choose the life we want to live. From what we eat during the day, to what the experience of our day feels like - and they are all simply based on choice. We get to choose what we wear. We get to choose what we read. We get to choose what we study/learn, or if we study/learn at all. We get to choose the state of our mind and what we allow into it.
Imagine, you wake up in the morning and a friend texts you to invite you to go visit the beach, or the mountains or a new restaurant. Though your mind tells you that you really want to go, but you choose to say no because it may not be a "responsible" choice to spontaneously go on an adventure when there are actual responsibilities to be dealt with, or because you'd rather finish the season of your favorite show, or just maybe because you don't know this friend well enough to comfortably be vulnerable like that with them. But, imagine you said yes. Sure, you won't know what to expect because nothing was planned. There are possibilities of "failure" of the adventure which could look like many different things. But, being able to challenge your own comfort zone, or preconceived beliefs of "responsibility", can ultimately benefit your overall quality of life.
Our quality of life is entirely dependent on our attitude towards our reality. When I am in the throes of pain and darkness, my reality is nothing but pain and darkness. It's heavy, it hurts, it's overwhelming. But when I can manage a sliver of optimism and gratefulness for the lessons I learned within that heavy arduous period, that sliver begins to grow as I continue to allow it to exist in the first place. Soon, the heaviness feels less heavy and things begin to look colorful again. A new inner-strength joins the ranks with the little bit I had before, making my endurance that much more durable.
While reading this book, I am further learning the importance of prioritizing the things that make *ME* feel radiant and bold and allow my inner-self to be valued and appreciated. Do you ever think that the inner-voice within you is the part of you that is trying to help guide you to the life you have in front of you, should you choose the choices to get there? Do you ever think that it's our internal compass towards the magic that is waiting for us to experience, but it's up to our physical selves to make it happen? In another life I am definitely sad, depressed, or even dead before the age of 32. In another life, I don't live in Oregon. And, in another, I have a doctorate in psychology. But, I am here, right now, sitting at this table divorced after 13.5 years with two kids and a failed retail store. But, also, I am here, right now, sitting at this table making a decision to write because that's what makes me feel good. This decision was intentionally made because without this decision, I am not making one small step forward towards the things that make me happy, and that's a robbery of self.
Whether or not this one decision leads to something big, I still made the choice because success in this life is simple : happiness. We can't enjoy the life we are given if we are living it unhappily. But we CAN be grateful for our experiences which can also lead to opportunities to share these insights or lessons learned with others as they go through similar situations, which, in that case, can be viewed as an absolute gift. We are all just energies. Some humans are bright energies, and some are dark. And each energy can vary based on the day, and the current level of their mental endurance in the season they are in. Though we may sometimes have to lend some of our light to others which may momentarily dull ours because of empathy, we are allowing ourselves to brighten the energies of those around us which can lead to a global energy shift.
So, today I challenge you. I challenge you to make one decision today that makes your insides flutter and makes you sigh in simple contentment and joy. Today, I chose to read and write. Tomorrow, I may choose to take a bath. Or maybe talk with a friend. Or maybe go on a drive through the countryside to listen to my book. Who knows. All I know is that to value and honor the parts of me that is up to me to be worthy, is something I am choosing to remain in the forefront of my decision-making. Through these small choices, new choices will arise that wouldn't have been available had I not made that one decision prior.
Life almost feels like a game. I'm excited to see what happens after I choose all of these doors to walk through. I bet it will be absolutely beautiful and the most magical experience for this one lifetime I've been given.
I'm realizing that none of this might make any sense. This is my first draft, just needed to explore some thoughts. Bare with my mind!