No more neurotic dreams…

Running away, from place to place. As if you can outpace your shadow. Throwing yourself onto the back of another’s horse, begging them to save you. Is this the path to inner-healing? Is this going to lift you out of your tumult and darkest pain?

There is no utopia inviting you, there is no perfect woman waiting for you to find her. Nothing better awaits until you are strong inside yourself. No one is an island, but you must have a basis of self-love and self-worth in order to do any good for the world.

Have you got it? Look deep inside, is it truly there?

Finding this is not a sudden process, and cannot be rushed. Though it may have climaxes and peaks, it requires the opening of pandora’s box, and I wonder how much control we have over such an action. Perhaps you are lucky if you have a crisis, for now you can unlock the truth.

Your secret box is finally open, and now you are looking within, into places of deep daring. You are one with your hurt, even as it heals. And the closer you get to truly actualizing what is within yourself, the harder it is going to get. That final leap, to become a knight of faith, is the hardest step of all, harder than first opening the box or even taking up your sword.

Therefore, do not be surprised if your trembling, fearful inner-child gets worse with time, until the final battle with the ultimate shadow.

And when you face it down, know that you cannot defeat it with even the broadest of swords, for that thing is part of yourself, and to harm it is to harm yourself. Know it, and you know part of thyself. Embrace it, forgive it, and you achieve the ultimate courage, whatever others may say to you.

You accept yourself as a flawed, weak, vulnerable being, and in doing so grow tenfold in flexibility and adaptability. You become ready to evolve into something better.

There is no escaping the inner-truth, so do not long for worlds of fantasy. Do not be so absorbed in art that it loses all relevance to the world-as-it-is. Do not believe the propaganda  of saviours. Do not run from yourself, however painful the feelings, however harsh and hard the thoughts. Do not hide behind work and routine, this is to make reality mundane. You must face yourself.

Every experience is part of your history, and cannot be repressed. Nor can you stop them from impacting upon your conscious behaviour now, in the present, unless you take them unto yourself and resolve yourself. There are many patterns inside of you which you do not realize, and these shape your character. If you have not the tools and sensitivity to unweave that personal destiny, you are a slave to a motive deeper than your conscious being.

The truth must be dug up, and held up. What you truly are, a wonderful conflux of experiences and attitudes, must be beheld by your conscious mind. You must come into the present in order to truly find yourself.

Then you can take the largest step of all, and the hardest. Into true selfhood, as an actualized being of nature. Of course, darknesses and patterns will accumulate again, and there is no final enlightenment. But you will be much more prepared to deal with challenges, in a mature and adult way. You will be more than the sum of your pain and neuroses.

Fear not yourself. Loathe not yourself. Only know thyself, be thyself and love thyself.

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The Future

Have you ever felt like the future was hopeless?

I must ask in return – how can that which does not exist have any form of quality?

The future is merely an expected series of moments, no different to these moments at present. Dread of the future requires you to leave the present, but the present is all you really have. And the present, believe it or not, is often bearable.

Things might be difficult now, and tomorrow may or may not bring more difficulty. But when we project into the future, that difficulty becomes magnified many times. Why torture ourselves with such projections? If the present is already quite hard to cope with emotionally, there is no boon in adding a further expectation of misery upon our shoulders!

And besides, as we explored earlier, predictions rest on futility. How things will turn out is unbeknownst to us. The traps are all in our minds; the work of an ego which doesn’t know when to switch off or simply shut the f*** up.

This moment is all we have. You reading this, now, here. Your eyes gazing at the screen, your back against the chair, the air going through your nose and mouth. This is all you have.

A nightmare future is impossible. It is an imagined destiny which can only be fulfilled if you take your thoughts too seriously. Expectation is a never-satisfied beast, which feeds and feeds on hope until it leaves nothing. It is impossible to appease, so why even try to appease it?

Step back from the mind a moment. Turn off the voice inside a moment. Start to trust in your whole being. Let all worries dissipate; they are grounded on nothing but the deranged empiricism of an over-active ego and pained limbic system. We must let our minds and bodies heal.

Fearing the future will not better prepare you for it. Some things, death and suffering, are inevitable. Fortunately, we have the capacity to deal with them – when we do not aggrandise them in our minds. It is only when we long for perpetual comfort, peace, warmth, and freedom that we are least able to appreciate these future promises. By being present we can accept the yin and yang that is life. When we let the unnameable nature within and without guide us, we find our way. For this enigmatic something is far more ancient than the mind, and far wiser.

Stop digging yourself into a hole. Accept what is now. The future is not hopeless or hopeful. The future is nothing.

A dialogue with anxiety

I WILL PROTECT YOU

No you fool, you will not. What you are doing is debilitating. There is nothing to protect me from. I am strong enough to face the world, I have enough support. The past feelings were wrong.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN?

The feelings of worthlessness which led us here. They were implanted there without good reason. They are the inheritance of tyrants. We are worthy, and this is proven by our deeds.

I DO ONLY WHAT I KNOW

What you know is wrong. It is false. When you were young, the feelings of pain were stronger, but this does not make them true. Truth is determined by what actually is now, not in words and feelings of folly from the path.

I UNDERSTAND

For now you may. But return not tomorrow to hold me back! I know what I am capable of anxiety, and I know the risks.

The more it happens…

…the more you can cope with it. Therefore, do not fear expectation of panic or pain. You will grow more able to deal with it, not less. It will be de-mystified by understanding, and you will realize that it is very much bearable.

And more importantly, under your control.

As your brain and nervous system heals, it may have setbacks. But these also will heal. And you will become better at anticipating, and parrying, the jagged blades of such demons.

Remember, you have grown stronger already. You have built connections with friends, and re-opened the door to family. You are resolving yourself; spiritual, physical, emotional. No return to your old, complacent self. This is the path to a more mature you. Bear it.

Child to man

I am trying hard to remember when my child died. Was it the realization of my mortality aged three? Was it the brute hierarchy of school? Was it the troubles of family life and its lasting sadness? Was it the wretchedness of seeing so much worldly suffering; the enslavement of millions for the betterment of a few?

Probably all of them combined.

A child’s innocence cannot survive for long. It is feared by resentful men, reminding them that their identities are a façade, that once they were but unformed children; happy, innocent, inspired. My child is dying, screaming in fear. The adults stand in triumph with a ‘told you so!’

But children are playful entities and silly. I was only pretending to be dead, and I still got a few lives left! Na na na na na, guess whose coming back!

Present

Appreciate what you have, for all that you have was once among that which you desired. Appreciation requires this thought, to dispel the endless cycle of desire. Desire is to exist one step ahead of oneself in the pursuit of something; appreciation is to take pause in the present.

The future is unpredictable and the past is a mist, so the present is all we can actually know. To sacrifice the present for an unrealized actuality, or deny it for some past misery, is to ignore the sacred gift given us by the very fact of our conscious being.

Even painful moments (tooth ache!) are of this sanctity, when they are here. For, short of the worst suffering, we can endure anything, find the good in anything, and would be wise to remember this. There is a lesson to learn even in our pain, so trying to escape it is only to delay that suffering, not to deal with it. It is worth holding on. It is worth having hope. If nothing else, we have at least our now, with its multitude of lessons to be learned and joys to be experienced.

It will come, but it will go, it will seem forever, but nothing lasts. It will rain, the sun will shine, who knows which, learn to appreciate both, or else live in unfulfilled expectation.

Predictions rest on futility

Somedays you wake up, and life feels like it is on repeat. Your body and mind clicks, it whirrs like a machine.  But you can’t be on repeat, because nothing repeats. Even these words (which constitute thoughts) are different with every instance of time. The sensations in your body; of breathing, cold on your back, pen in hand, with every moment is new and fresh.

It is impossible for unbreakable patterns to form. With our limited perception it may seem like we are stuck in a rut, in an upward spiral, or in any place of continual progress or decline. But it is never so. Looking back at old patterns and ways of thinking, we can see how they eventually changed or became irrelevant.Looking back at how we have changed with the years, we can feel that we will change again. By zooming out, we can see the whole evolutionary process we are always in.

Skin cells flake away, hair and nails grow, dreams are fulfilled or extinguished, memories clung to or forgotten. Even your very being is ever-changing.

Therefore, strict predictions of the future are inherently flawed. They cannot be clung to, and the catastrophes imagined are only in our minds. Do not fear what has not happened. Do not decide the outcome of the dice before it is rolled. Do not gather life into sets – there are none. Everything is new and in flux. Yours to find, yours to forge.