I’ve been throwing this phrase about for months now. It plays through my mind endlessly, over and over… five little words that are so powerful, yet so bleak and scary, beautiful, wistful, wonderful, so entrenched in darkness and saturated in the amber glow of a summer morning.
The thing about life is…
How does one even finish that sentence?Let alone writing a sentence, a paragraph, a page or a novel on the idea, how does one even understand it?
How do you understand life? You don’t know anything about something if you don’t at least try to understand it surely? We spend so long lost in ideas, but they are never our ideas. We live in ideas of love, ideas of connection, of pain- of passion. Even sex has become so obsolete to so many because we are so terrified of what we want, scarier still because we don’t even know what we want.
For months this phrase has plagued me, over and over i say those five little words and haven’t been able to find the words to finish that sentence in any meaningful way. You could wander into that cliche of understanding life with the phrase “I love you” and when you are upset with them you fall full circle to “fuck you.”
It can facilitate darkness, misery and depression, has the means to create any sort of wander, joy, happiness basking in its own powerful glow. The thing about life is one thing. One thing only.
What do you desire…and how far are you willing to go to get it? Moreover than writing, painting, running, fighting, building, directing, destroying, its anything. The thing you’re confused by, the thing that creates a joy in your heart and leaves you yearning for its warm comfort when the painful, sad, boring mediocrity of life tries to grasp your neck and choke the very life out of you.
When the voice in your head is screaming at you, when it says that you’re ugly, that you can’t be yourself, that you shouldn’t paint, that your friends are better looking than you, that you don’t have a nice car or don’t see the point of carrying on in the life that your living, look to the thing you turn to.
Look to it and listen, please listen. You need that part of you, or joy, real joy will never reveal itself to you. The world is exhausting, so exhausting. It’s full of loud noises, scary thoughts and ideas that so many people spend their entire lives avoiding. Don’t be them. You aren’t them.
You are so much more.
Be the one thing in life that scares you. Scares you to the point where you want to hide at the bottom of a bottle or at the end of the shotgun barrel. Resist society, resist existence, and then your life is truly yours once again.
Break through the wall, never return through it, and do the only thing worth doing. The thing about life is… its so fucking difficult to be you- but if you find them, and few people do.
Who are you? I’ve covered this idea or problem behind the idea of self identity a number of times now, but what if we looked at it from the other side- from the opposite side of the spectrum if you will. I am forever destined to be on this tireless campaign for creative individuality and independence, to rage against the machine the world has constructed around us and rise as the creativists we are, all in our own way.
Yet- what happens when this idea is questioned? How should, or how does one feel when this supposedly idealistic way of living creates pain in your heart and throughout every inch of your soul, so much so it causes you to question everything you thought you knew about yourself?
I wrote some years ago about the relationship between addiction and emotional trauma. In particular how in a time of powerful positive emotion we almost become addicted to feeling so much because everything feels so good. Only when that positivity deserts you do you naturally run as far away from this addiction as you can- to get as far away from this idea of feeling as possible.
A similar premise is shown here. You spend so long against the machine, be the outsider, don’t fit in, not noticed, in the background. But you have what makes you- you. As far as you’re concerned- in that moment, that thing is enough. But what if one day- all of a sudden- that thing wasn’t all it was cracked up to be? What if the passion and power became harder to muster- what if solitude and loneliness took a hold of you- gripped by your art but wanting- in the moment, to simply let it go?
You look around and see the rest of the world and how much happier they look than you (like happiness is a competition?) so naturally you consider dipping your toe in the fountain of normality and maybe for a while you find some joy- even with a wet toe. An ignorance of who you are is a dangerous game though, for fitting in can become addictive. As you continue on this theatrical lifestyle, one day you will look in the mirror- and whether you see it or not, the person looking back is nothing more than a mere shadow of who you were.
Almost like a ghost.
When you fall so far from who you were, in fear of the pain, the loneliness, the heartbreak, the contempt or confusion that it caused- how does one survive? How do you come through this and out of the other side? Can you?
When you start destroying yourself, out of fear of yourself- When you start on this path of self destruction in some hope of finding some happiness among others; what remains?
I don’t have an answer, no grand solution. There isn’t one i guess. All i know is the ghost of you will never be able to give you the satisfaction, the contentment or happiness that you are so desperately looking for. In the end, everything is temporary, no more so than when one “tries to live life in another man’s context.”
I think as much as the idea of self exploration is terrifying, especially when it seems like so many of us are living in a mere delusion of self awareness, it is the only way to truly learn about ourselves. Emotional trauma is a part of life, a negative event of some form is inevitable, for this is how we learn how much positivity life can give us. The event itself isn’t causing the heartbreak, the pain, the desire to run. It’s you. The way you feel about yourself is the key to understanding how you react to issues the universe puts in front of you. Good, bad, right wrong- it happened and as of right now it is part of your past and there is nothing you can do about it.
We are part of a society full of individuals trying to break free. The result is a powerful society, built on the destruction of individuals. You, me, anyone- we end up as this idea of us, an idea of what we are supposed to be according to an arbitrary set of rules and ideas designed to eliminate free will, individual creativity and any sort of beauty you see in the mirror.So in the end you’re nothing more…
In the random passages of thought i have, usually lost in some daydream, the most far reaching boredom in which every cell of my body has just had enough of this muscle memory existence or in times where sleep fails me-i’ve noticed that the puzzles i wish to solve come at me in waves, like they are almost themed. I say themed but maybe not as sporadic as i first thought is more appropriate.
What i mean is that, when you feel good, you think about and attract things that makes you feel good- and so on with bad feelings, sad feelings, bored feelings. How does one trust this feeling? How much can you trust yourself to look at something in an open way, without the attention of the ego? Everyone has an ego and everyone likes it being massaged. It’s 2020- an age of social media and people increasingly sharing more and more of their lives over the internet for the world to pretend they care about. So, in a world so apparently vain, how does one trust even their own opinions anymore- let alone anyone else’s around them?
We attract what we think about , but how do we trust that what we are thinking? Is it simply what we believe, or just socially speaking- our minds best guess?
In terms of it being your minds best guess it comes down to one thing- how much freewill do you have? Do we have freedom of choice- to live as we please and to a level that gives us the means to feel happy? or is this a well heeled illusion, like i’ve already said- our minds best guess?
As far as i can tell- the idea of “real,” as far as our own personal universe is concerned, comes down to two fundamental building blocks and the relationship between them.
These 2 supposedly singular ideals are related in their own way, for i believe without understanding the one, the other simply cannot exist. Let me explain…
Take something i said earlier- quite callously in fact about how “its 2020- everyone has an ego” and so on. This is true to a degree, but not something that can be judged and assumed in such a sweeping way. I put it there to see if i could lure out your egoistic demon from just beneath the surface of your consciousness. I am a firm believer we are all plagued by this demon in our own way and this has an affect on our actions and behaviours throughout daily life.
Your ego convinces you that you need to be the best at everything and have the best everything and nothing else will do. Moreover, if someone was to question your status as “top dog” you would need to defend your “territory” because your image being bought into question is tantamount to a threat.
Why? because it’s creating doubt about who you are.
Reality is neutral, it’s our additions, the building blocks of who we are that create the issues and where the questioning of your reality comes from.
In a word- trust.
Trust as an idea has been given a very singular meaning across the generations of recent decades. Given an almost higher meaning, a staircase for someone you care about, someone you are attracted to, someone who means something to you to be placed upon a pedestal. We live in a world of distrust, where in no time at all anyone could find out who you are, where you live and even your mother’s maiden name. We truly do live in the information age, now more than an ever in a time where paranoia and distrust is higher than ever too.
Why? Because people like to know things about other people, as per the ego, to establish mental dominance and defeat this enemy like the boss level of a video game. This isn’t trust, this is ignorance of the obvious, just another way for the ego to take control of your life. Trust is born not from ignorance, but understanding.
Take the information age- its very easy to perceive this idea as a negative, the swathes of personal information pouring into the exponentially growing skies of the internet. It could be argued even as scary, that “nothing is sacred” anymore. We live in a society where information is king. So- why not use this to your advantage and develop that edge over your ego, because then you give yourself the means to quash the thoughts of your ego running around in your head. Learn about what scares you as much as what brings you joy.
Take the breakup. We all have that one, I’m sure as i mention it here you’re having flashbacks to it. Understanding that you enjoyed it while it was good, understand that it ended and understand how you feel. We live in an endless pursuit of avoiding bad feelings for the risk it places upon us according to your ego. But if we took the necessary steps to understand the demon ailing us, got lost in those thoughts and feelings, allowed yourself to feel everything, all the joy, misery, envy pain and sadness there is to feel and trust we will pull through, then maybe we get to grow from it all.
Trust yourself first, and the rest of it will come. Believe in yourself, place yourself on that pedestal before you waste your time worshipping other people. This idealised ignorance is a guaranteed path to bitter disappointment.
Life isn’t boring, you just haven’t found the thing worth doing yet. Things always come at you in themes- its the universe trying to teach you how much good this growth will do for you- no matter how truly awful you feel right now. Listen to it- listen to yourself.
Then maybe you get the gold in the win over your most proficient adversary- yourself.
So, as we continue through our days, some in lockdown, some now more free to move about in a world far removed from the world and society we left, i can’t help but think about something that i have hated on for years, as have many of us across this country and across the world. Yet for so long now so many of us have missed more than we could have ever imagined.
This was most effectively illustrated to me by the “big” day- Saturday 4th July 2020 and a collection of buildings by people of all ages as a second home, a haven away from the stresses and exhaustion of our modern existence- the pub.
The pub and a pint are the best illustration I’ve seen in a long time for the routine. The routine is a funny old thing, because its something we all hate on- almost on a daily basis, but the moment it is taken from us we yearn for its return. We need this pattern, for this pattern is supposedly the key to our purpose, our place in society.
We are told we need to be a part of society- we need to provide a role for the good of the “big wheel” of life. For without us, the wheel cannot continue to turn… and so on. This makes the routine something we see as a necessity, to get up and go to work, to be there for 8 or so hours a day, go to the same things you did yesterday, eat at the same times you did yesterday, be the same person you were yesterday.
We have been convinced that routines are the key- not to happiness, but to survival, then before you know it- a decade has passed. 10 years have gone by and you were just sat there wandering what the fuck happened. Routine happened, and we wander why we feel so awful at the mere idea of trying to live for your job as a member of society, to serve this machine that doesn’t care about you and doesn’t want to care about you. Routine is the thing that anchors you to a life you can explain and can understand, but it is the one thing that without it- you are truly free.
Why is this? Because the whole idea of living with meaning and purpose, while powerful, has been mired in misconception for generations now. We consider routines as the purpose of our lives, the existence which gives us a reason to wake up in the morning and not go and enjoy another day- but to just “get through it” as you hold on for lunch break while you stare up at the giant clock on the wall.
I’ve always wandered about why that clock was there, beyond the obvious. Have a look around when you go to work next time for the clock, its always in such a predominant place. Always obvious to remind you that your time is not yours when you’re there, you’re paranoid about how long you have to eat, how long you have to complete a task and fear of the managers saying you aren’t working well enough and need to get out.
Without routine- we are nothing.
Without ritual- we are nothing. Simply floating.
Similar in meaning, but contextually- very different. Routine is the thing that grinds you down, beats you into submission. It is what you feel you must do and is what leads to living in this endless ludicrous loop, living in hope that doing the same thing day in day out will eventually provide some form of different result. It wont. Doing the same thing everyday and hoping for a different result is in itself the definition of insanity.
With a certain amount of irony and the more i think about it, the routine is as major aspect of our lives limiting happiness, not helping you build it. The feelings of purpose, of feeling self aware and emotionally aware, being able to live your life in a form of persistent and consistent self realisation are all things that have the means to bring us happiness and joy, but we need something more in our lives to measure this by.
Even the simplest of things, woven into the routine we sometimes think we are so blessed by. Make your bed in the morning. Simple, shouldn’t do anything- but is a remarkably effective method for controlling an anxious reaction to not being happy in life. You have control over your room, so look after it. Appreciate what you have- your room is your kingdom. It’s where you rest, it’s where you grow. Look after the war room, you’re going to need it and doing these simple things help you understand that you’re doing okay.
We are convinced, in particular when we are not ok, that we should appear ok, convinced it’s not ok to not b ok. The ritual is a power you have control over, to wield as you will. Find something you enjoy and do it everyday. Not huge things, they will take time. Have a cup of tea, take a walk in the park, go for a run, go for a drive, go and do something that grounds you to the person you are. The ritual is your reminder to yourself to keep it moving. Movement, of any kind is your power.
Through doing these small things, to me, you are taking back control of how you feel about your life. Make your bed, prepare your food- eat well. You have a busy day ahead. And remember…
A pint is a moment in time, a fleeting snapshot of joy on this continuous line of life. Life is not a circle, its a straight line- from beginning to end. Today was a bad day? Tomorrow is a new day.
Get up- make your bed. And carry on. Even when you don’t want to.
Recently i have found myself wandering about the feeling of passion. Its one of the few beautifully pure things left in our modern lifestyles but what do we do to promote this feeling of wander? I got to thinking about materialism, love, sex, food, wine, travel, cars- everything. How to someone, somewhere, these object is a part of a lifestyle that at its heart is a feeling of pure, unadulterated joy.
These moments are important because the development of these passions is a fundamental step to figuring out who you are.
Yet, knowing how important these moments are, i sit in those lower moments questioning the very notion of something so supposedly frivolous like building a car, or just owning something i like or getting to go somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. I feel guilty for wanting to do something so “meaningless” for we as a nation have become obsessed with persistent and profoundly large steps in this need to progress.
Yet doing something just because i enjoy it, or because it makes me feel good, often seems like I’m wasting my time.
What if that comes back to the need to progress, to advance to the upper levels, to constantly and continuously moving in bigger and bigger jumps every time. It feels to me that society is trying to force us all to be born in their image, to like what the world tells us to like, to enjoy something we are told to enjoy. That way we can be kept under control and given just enough freedom to remain under the illusion we are free.
Is it really that black and white though? For freedom, is a state of mind. We see people on tv shows and inspirational people across the vast sphere of the internet making changes in their life and that positive effect is rippling around to millions of people across the world- one of them being you. Naturally you start to think- “maybe i could change the world too,” and for a moment- you feel inspired.
Then as time passes, even minutes after the initial inspiration you start to feel different, more worn down, for whatever you felt, has passed. Without realising, you carry on the same as before, sure that whatever far flung idea you had “would have never worked anyway.”
I have been there many times and i am only able to offer this alternative. What if you, what if i, what if nobody in fact was ever going to change the world? What if me, you and so many others have been living under the illusion this was even possible? More than that- what if we weren’t even supposed to?
What if, individually, we were to work to charge OUR world. I would work my world in my way, you would work yours in your way and as a collective, through genuine innovation and often in the smallest of steps, we would change the world, by simply working to bring about evolution in your world, thus facilitating a revolution.
So whatever your passions are, why not pursue them? It doesn’t matter how the world perceives what you enjoy, or what you love. If you wake up everyday looking to spend your time writing poetry or painting a beautiful masterpiece in the morning as you wander down to your garage to work on your project car in the afternoon- then why not?
It doesn’t matter what your artwork is and it certainly doesn’t matter what value it can add to the world- for it is yours and yours alone. It’s something deeply personal, the working on things that instils a fire in your soul, the personal touch on existing that makes your heart beat just a little bit faster and makes you want to reach just a little bit further. This is where we find passion. Its sensations and feelings of this nature that are the components of true happiness.
Nobody and nothing should be able to take that away from you.
No amount of guilt is going to change this, for it’s the difference between existing and truly living. The world will always think something, it may evolve but the fundamentals stay the same and not everyone is going to agree. You will disagree with some and others will disagree with you, it’s nothing to shy away from and certainly nothing to feel guilty about.
For apart, we will simply be left asking that age old question- “What if I had done things differently?” “what if i had pursued that? what if i had just listened to myself rather than what the world told me to do, then maybe I would have been happy”
But together, understanding and accepting that while our differences may divide us, the way they make us feel will always bring us together.
Puts me in mind of a verse from an old Frank Turner song….
“We’re not trying to shape the world So people think like us We just want our own space to dance man No favours, no fuss”
Passions guilt is a just another obstacle to overcome, for then innovation and happiness will be a force for good in all of our lives.
Tonight, and not for the first time for what has been more than 4 years now, I pose a simple, yet remarkably complex question…
Do you know who you are? I mean really know yourself and go to the great lengths you might go to for someone you care for, someone you love in the same way you would to know yourself? What drives you? What causes you to feel pain? What makes you fall head over heels in love and laugh until your stomach hurts?
To truly know oneself, is rare. This is something that continues across to our relationships with friends, family, coworkers and even strangers on a crowded train. Think of your job for instance- think of what happened when you walked on your first day, think of how you felt, your demeanour, the way you carried yourself and even the eloquence of how you spoke.
Then think to three months later and how prolific the change ended up being. Think even of how your posture changed, not so nervous or uptight as the people you were spending the majority of your average week with became a group of people you were becoming more comfortable to be around.
You became more comfortable around these people, so you felt settled enough to remove some of the barriers you had placed around yourself in self protection. We all, not just at work- are surrounded by barriers. The employment contract you signed, often just like in life, comes with a candidate specification and we have all been led to believe through years of fearful obedience to a emotionally flawed and damaging system this is the person we must be in order to be successful.
When the truth is, when we play this character, this supposedly “perfect person” we feel cheated in the happiness it’s supposed to bring us, when the truth is nothing really changes.
However, as time passes with a never ending uneasiness, people will start to break away at those cast iron blocks around us, as we do theirs. We learn by listening, and share through the confidence listening gives us and from this you might start to remove more and more barriers, maybe the mask of the perfect candidate is revealed to show a sliver who you really are.
I wander, does anyone really know you? Truly know all of you. What you like and don’t like, what scares you, what makes your skin crawl and that nightmare you cant get away from sometimes when all you want is for them to hold you that much harder? In this world now does anyone every really know another person? How much of what we see is them and how much is simply our perception of them?
Perhaps perception is the wrong word. As you learn more about a person and they learn more about you, its seeing through the character they present to the world, the “perfect candidate” in turn for someone else, someone more recognisable to the person you look at in the mirror and complain at every morning.
So my question isn’t necessarily about people you now, your friends or lovers seeing through the character completely and without compromise, because a lot of the time, that sort of love is nothing short of a fantasy born from what the through the fear of losing it can do. It is about you. You are never going to be able to truly reveal your soul to someone, if you aren’t able to show yourself who you are.
Who knows you? Do you know you? Who is your perfect candidate?
Im not sure i do to be honest. Even if can’t help question the notions and beliefs of my Perfect Candidate- I’m not overly sure who he is anymore.
What is it recently with this dictation the modern world seems so obsessed by? Maybe it’s something i’ve always felt but never been able to effectively put into words but its like we spend so long obsessing how we are supposed to feel. Maybe it’s television, the endless media tirade on joy, even other people, our supposed friends, family or even social rivals. We are always so busy watching everyone else, the most hateful form of social suicide feels almost inevitable.
We all think we know what we are supposed to be doing. We all have a plan. A general jist of what path you feel like you should be taking. You may have set goals for yourself- “by 20 i’ll have done this…by 23 i’ll have made it to that position…by 30 i’ll own my own house.” and so on. Make no mistake goals are important but when they are YOUR goals, not what the world has you convinced you should be aiming at.
If you have a goal and truly believe it’s yours, then nothing and nobody has the right to take it away from you. Yet, as we build towards this idea, the walls of life seem to close in. Then, it’s very easy to find your continuing life, the seemably endless day to day nothing more than a prison to lock your dreams, your hopes and loves into so you can carry on finding something to do with your time.
You know those days- maybe just like the one you had today. You’re maybe sat on your phone or looking at this through the familiar blue screen of your laptop. I wander, do your knees hurt from where you’ve been standing all day, do your eyes hurt from continuously sitting under the same light fitting thats been flickering for nearly a week now and even though you must have called maintenance 8 times- it persists? A timely reminder of your continuous existence while feeling like your unable to live?
Imagine on one of these days, nobody was around and you found yourself with an empty desk and a pack of standard playing cards. Naturally, you’re going to find yourself building that house of cards, where your mind is looking to just achieve something with the day. It seems like who we are and even who we want to be is built in a very similar way. Seemably fragile and delicate and something as simple as a gentle breeze able to bring about our untimely destruction, because it somehow seemed “impossible” to reach those heights- “so whats the point?”
Just like the house of cards, the smallest misstep, the smallest conflict or junction where you aren’t a hundred percent sure the way you go will lead to the certainty of success within your soul, the life blood you think you carry you to heights unknown- and it can all fall.
So. So. Fast.
What now? There you lie, sprawled out on the ground after having fallen so far. Your beliefs, your dreams, your loves having fallen around you, forming a neat pile of everything that once was. What do you do from here? What do you do- when you don’t know what to do?
Heres the thing about people- we are notoriously bad at saying the following phrase with any genuine meaning a lot of the time- “I don’t know.”
Not knowing is scary, because then you can’t be sure about what you’re doing or where you’re going and that means you can plan for it or know how to handle whatever emotions are presented to you. We fear the emotions we don’t know we are going to have- its why dreams fail, why people don’t go to the places they’ve always wanted to, why we find intimacy so difficult and why saying “i love you” to someone is the biggest cause of mental anguish this side of saying “leave me alone.”
What do you do when you don’t know? Well- we ask people, our friends, co workers, family. They all think they know what you should do, they simply want for you to feel better so they tell you what they would do. Empathy creates this environment where we think “well if it would work for me…”
Thing is, our situations and subsequent mental states are a result of us and the way we feel- in that they are unique. So we turn to what the world tells us to- to therapy, to pills, to something not to fix the problem, but to sedate the problem away. Maybe we don’t look that way, maybe we go down a more recreational route, maybe we do other drugs, go out and party, turn the music up so loud that the thrum of the bass and the ever increasing drum beat hopefully dulls out the pain in your soul and fear in your heart.
We believe this is the key to happiness, but all its doing is keeping us just ignorant enough to be able to “survive” being alive. I’ve said this before but it remains as relevant as ever- “living is a choice- existence is inevitable.”
All existence is doing is creating billions upon billions of people who feel so little through fear of hate or confusion. We follow crowds in some hope we will find something we lost as our house of cards collapsed to the ground, that maybe we could fill our lives with pale imitations of what we once were, rebuilding that house of cards but never to the same extent that we know we could, if we wanted to.
Because whether we like it or not the most important thing in life is to listen to yourself. To make yourself feel everything, even the things you don’t want to. To accept it as the house of cards falls and rather than rushing for the glue carry on building- for as we carry on building and as it carries on falling again and again, we will learn more about what we are facing and the balance required to do it.
Then, you will become a master of construction and understand that you and only you are in control of your own fate,
So. Here’s the thing. We, as humans, perceive time as a linear construct. We believe the passage of time started at yesterday, moved through to today and will move onto tomorrow. We live our lives in the belief that this pattern is continuous, looking back at the endless list of yesterdays wishing that today had that comfortable familiarity, hoping the finite number of tomorrows can bring some level of joy the memories of the past can bring.
Throughout this cycle there is one, all be it, rather open ended factor intertwined through every aspect of our lives- sometimes for much more negative reasons than positive. People. We as a species are growing in number faster than we can find somewhere to live. The key to understanding who you are becoming revolves around a number of factors, be it emotional context, how you feel and perhaps more powerfully in this uber-connected society in our interactions with people.
What i have come to find, in this way that i have been thinking for many years, is that people are so much more than a presentation of a moment- or perhaps more appropriately a collection of moments, often the most powerful meaningful feelings or sensations all tied together into what essentially becomes a connection. A friendship, a relationship, In whatever way, some form of profound connection to another human being.
Connections, profound or meaningless, are not necessarily based on how long you have known someone, or whether you still see someone. These moments, where time is lost and you feel truly in that moment is where these connections are born. I have a notorious obsession with solitude, in that i sometimes wander about how much time i spend alone. I wander in my weaker moments if i am lonely. These thoughts pass, my sleep deprived state trying to hold me down to a memory, hold me to how “well i was doing- now you’re ruining it with thoughts like this.”
Even in your darkest moments, connections are always there. Talk to your friends, talk to your partners. Just talk to someone, not even about your greatest loves, or fears if you don’t want to. Lose yourself in connections, because what you lose to the universe could come back to you in such an outstanding way. I once believed life was about these moments, the days that make your hair stand on the back of your neck, the moments you can’t seem to forget no matter how hard you might try, even if you’re not sure who you would be without them.
The moments of bewildering beauty have their roles to play, but the more i learn about life, the more i learn it’s not that simple, nor should it be. The connections are scary, painful, sometimes impossible. In those moments, throughout that connection there will be things you want to forget, the moments in time the anxiety at even the idea of the memory could be so great you just want to scream. Then catch your breath and scream again.
Yet, we persist. We go as far as to convince ourselves we hate that person, we hate ourselves for forging that connection in the first place or just generally flinch at the mere image or fleeting memory of someone. These people have probably moved so far on with their lives you may not even be a memory anymore, but we still persist in the hate filled joy these memories bring. Yes, its scary- yes it creates anxiety you may never feel like that again and for sure there is no way of knowing either way.
So we just exist in this endless loop, almost with the universe offering us endless opportunities to break the cycle, your subconscious mind openly giving you every opportunity to move through this deadlock. We can’t though, not like that. The fear has you like a caged animal, the familiarity of the four walls a welcome site in comparison to the unknown of the futures outside our realm.
All it takes is one decision. Through the nerves, the pain, the curiosity and mind blowing beauty. Make a decision that you would never normally make. Do the exact opposite, something your past would never be able to predict. I’m not going to say you shouldn’t feel this way or that, i learnt a long time ago the only thing you shouldn’t feel is nothing.
Your universe is always giving you options to evolve and develop. I’m not saying all the changes are going to be good or happy changes, but this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t happen. Make that first decision, then work towards the next one. Then do as you feel you should- follow your instinct.
Theres an old rather lackadaisical idea that I’m supposed to say here and thats “follow your heart.”
Don’t do that.
Your heart is an old romantic fool thats been deluded by media and endless fairy tales that the world revolves around happy endings- it doesn’t. But to carry on this over hyped and over used metaphor in how you should ignore your head and follow your heart- i’ve never understood that either. Your instinct comes from your gut and thats what will always have your back. Instincts are within the first three seconds of a thought passing into your periphery. When it comes to connections, i truly believe that they are the most important three seconds that we rarely give any attention too.
Listen to yourself and be open to all life has to offer. So maybe you were with someone, or maybe you had a friend. You cherish those memories and at the time you were convinced it couldn’t get any better. How do you know? Tomorrow doesn’t even exist yet, so the connections you forge tomorrow could be evolutionary and create something you wouldn’t even imagine possible.
Your universe puts people into your life for a reason, and takes them away for a reason to. It doesn’t matter whether you know someone for 2 weeks or 2 years, but you learn something from every connection you make- as its your universe showing you what you are building when you look in the reflection every morning.
People and connections are in your life for way more than any of us understand at the present moment. Just wait for it. Be patient, be confident and be open to everything in your life. All it takes is one decision and one moment to realise how important every connection you have ever made has been in your life, regardless whether you still maintain that connection.
The universe is giving you the stepping stones to live your life and openly and as freely as we can. Its up to us which path we choose. It’s up to us whether we walk down a path at all.
The universe will always try to show you. All its asking is for you to listen.
We spend approximately one third of our lifetime asleep. If you live until the age of 75, that means you would have spent 25 years asleep. The vast majority of your brain is out for the count, just the parts keeping you alive remain full of the sparks of life.
As we sleep, we rest and recover from the day, or night that preceded it- or thats at least what we intend i suppose. Yet the pursuit of sleep is often littered with problems and obstacles. When all you need to hit the reset is a few hours sleep, the joy of your bed can sometimes seem like nothing more than a figment of your imagination.
When you can’t sleep it feels as if your entire DNA is being re-structured because you don’t feel like you. In sleeplessness issues can be bought so far forward it can be impossible to ignore.
The rougher periods generally come from something different. Sometimes we can choose not to sleep, occupy our minds with something that we feel is necessary to drive us forward and other times we just have no choice.
It’s a confusing thought to wander what the point of going to sleep is. I’ve had this thought pass through my mind more times than i care to count, like I’m trying to delay the inevitable passage of time to delay tomorrow as much as i can. Eventually you have to concede and go to bed for the sun will soon rise again, to only lie there under the soft white sheets, wandering why you are alive, what is the meaning of life, what did you do with today and what did you learn. I find myself thinking sometimes in quite a profound way and other times i feel so totally blank- tired of thinking so much but still not sleeping.
What follows comes the realisation you failed in your pursuit of blissful sleep. In its place nothing more than a persistent curiosity of where you went so wrong or what you’ve been thinking about to get to this point of poor or sometimes no sleep. Which ironically, makes sleep even more difficult.
When you are open to life and every feeling that comes with that, it gives you an acutely different perception of the world. But take away the majesty of sleep, its as if you’re handing over the reigns of your life to someone you’d barely trust to tie your fucking shoes- something that can often be a struggle. Sleep deprivation, or insomnia in some cases is taking away the one thing you need more than anything else in the world and taking that away is a danger like few others.
What happens to your mind when you don’t sleep? To me, it’s the capacity for emotional context and balance, which is the one thing that gives you the perspective on your life, what you are and who you are, the part of you that sees you that you’re special, different, unique, capable and even loved.
Born of no sleep is the issues of overthinking- which can be a fairly constant battle to manage. I’m generally always thinking about something, considering some form of theory on old school philosophy, modern takes on old ideas and questioning the very social hierarchy that emotions seem to place upon people. I think about how easy it could be to accept the world “just as it is” and how i must fight against it for what i believe in. In periods of no sleep, that voice that screams to give up- to not be okay with “not being okay,” to “submit” is so much louder. So much harder to ignore.
It’s a difficult to sensation to explain when you find yourself beyond exhausted. I think its a misconception to assume to be tired simply as a result of not sleeping, i can sleep for hours and still feel so much worse than i do having “rested.” Lack of bliss is a powerful force for you have slept, but not rested. Nightmares plague your soul, your unconscious mind filling your dreaming body with every possible fear it could bring on, the tossing, turning, fears of what may or may not happen, the fear of loneliness while wanting so badly to just be left alone.
When you don’t rest, its as if your soul remains asleep. I wander how we go about dealing with this inability to find that blissful sleep we all strive for. The way i see it, its your mind telling you something in your life isn’t sitting right with you. Whatever it is your entire system are out of balance and until you figure out what it is, the pursuit will be nothing more than that, a chase for sleep you are always going to struggle with.
Jim Carrey said that depression is your minds way of telling you that is tired of playing a character for the benefit of society and i feel like this thought could be used to deal with the issue of sleep. The way i look at it there is some form of internal struggle or conflict making the pursuit of blissful sleep a near herculean distance to run. Your mind is telling you that something is wrong, the question is how open you can be with yourself to look deep into your reflection and try and understand what’s going on.
Now i say this like it’s easy. I know its not- sometimes it feels a near impossible task in which genuine sleep feels nothing more than a distant blissful memory. I can spend hours lying in the dark staring into space, feel absolutely nothing when lost deep in a music playlist seemably never ending. When you’re there, in your way, you fear you may never be able to pull yourself out.
Worse still- you aren’t sure that you want to.
But what if we tried? I’m not saying it’s going to help immediately, in a week a month or even a year. I hope as you read this as part of the bleary eyed life we all seem to live these days you connect with these words and give yourself that chance. Talk to your people, people who see you truly, not as the character you play. Even your dog, it doesn’t matter.
Write it down, write a song, write a poem. Take a photo, create a work of art. Cry. Cry floods and floods of tears until you see it. I know it’s scary, it feels impossible. Find your way to let it all out. Doesn’t matter what it is. Please try. Please.
Then maybe, someway, somehow..
The Pursuit of Blissful Sleep will be successful for us all.
I have found recently that the way i write, or get ideas for how to write has been undergoing a sort of evolution. I think of the most off the cuff ideas generally at the lower points of my mentality, or when boredom has been running through my rife through my mind, as if i was hungover after a heavy night out. Its almost like when your body craves fluid- my mind begs me for some form of idea, something to make your heart beat and soul truly sing.
It’s during one of these “hangovers” that i got to thinking about what it means to live in “reality.” The word in itself gives connotations to ideas of “how you feel the world should be” and there being “nothing i can do- its just how it is.”
Its a word we use at the end of a debate, when your out of ideas and your conversational armoury has run dry- this is the time when “reality” takes a hold. It’s very pessimistic in the emotional thoughts and feelings that are connected to even saying that word, like admitting defeat. I wander how much we know about reality, about how the world tries so hard to be real, yet so often seems such a hoax and how this compares to our own personal reality.
I’ve written enough already about the obsessive desire it feels like society tries to convince us “their” way is the only way. How it seems like our only purpose in life is to fit into the ideologies and beliefs of a wider audience, to gain followings and gain this so called “ideological reality.” This is something that connects to our personal reality i think, because i feel there have been times in deep misery or longing when we tend to stray from the morals of uniqueness, personal knowledge and ideals and wander, to just for a second…in whimsical curiosity- look to the other side.
A look across to the other side and the grass always seems a little greener over there- so you wander. You think “i bet that grass tastes amazing!” even though it’s just another way to lose another aspect of your reality, forging a path to eventually become nothing more than a reflection of your former self.
Through all this revolves the argument that we are born of the circumstances presented to us throughout numerous stages of our lives. Its a powerful argument and its something i’ve considered to be true for a number of years, but theres more to it, that you as a human being are so beautifully complex its near impossible to define who you are or who you want to be through your past, your present or even your idealised future.
I find we as people, in 2019, will take the easy way out of an emotional problem so as to not deal with it. Now, take this as you will- I’m not saying the potentially massively terrible actions or events that have happened to people aren’t playing a part in their emotional existence and how ones personality is evolving from that point, but what worries me is what is being lost as a result of this event.
Its like i said- we are being defined by our circumstances because we are being told that’s what is supposed to happen and what you’re supposed to do in reaction to it. We are all guilty of it i think because it’s been drilled into us in such a way to not even notice what we are doing. Its like we are so unsure what to do- so you end up listening to people who will never see the world like you do- to then end up living through their ideal of your situation. Ignoring the overall issue that nobody else has ever felt what you’ve felt or been through what you’ve been through in the way you’ve done it.
The way you react to an event is always unique to you.
We fear repetitions of the circumstances that caused so much anguish the first time round, so we wrap ourselves up so much to avoid it happening so it never will, but at the same time ignoring a part of you that makes you feel special, that makes you feel alive. Say a racing driver has a terrible crash, should they quit and never race again- or should he keep going because of the way it makes them feel?
Obviously a fairly acute example but its almost like we are all constructing mental museums- a nod to the person we once were, while lost in the fear of what we could be. The end result is inevitable, because it’s nothing. No way to go back to the pain of before, but no way forward to the potential of what the future could hold for you, depending on what you choose to do.
We walk around our Museum of Reflections, seeing how you felt about yourself, the things you loved to do, people you once cared about, people you loved- through nothing more than glass screens and reflections. It’s easy to become so lost behind things that have happened, feelings you have experienced and people you have lost. It’s an emotional scapegoat we have all been using for years and i feel like we’re all losing out on ourselves as we try and stare at the world through a mere reflection of who we used to be.
Just because something happens you shouldn’t lose something, but it should add something to you- this is the difference between change and evolution.
The alternative is we risk putting up more and more glass cases, more and more parts of us lost to the land of maybe in reflections of who we used to be- to the point where one day you wake up yo someone you don’t even recognise in the mirror. Our personalities as people have become so fragile its as if one little tap could shatter us all into a million pieces.
I say let it. Let yourself be broken, let yourself feel the pain you don’t want to feel, feel everything that scares you. Embrace the fear and accept the pain for what it is if it doesn’t go how you hoped. There is no failure only learning and no change just evolution. See the reflections of yourself and what you once were, windows into memories which have caused you to build walls higher and higher, not to get away from everyone else, but to get away from yourself, in some hope this way you could believe society may actually accept you.
And remember – they will never accept you. Not unless you bend or twist to their ways, becoming a carbon copy of the rest of the world, while nothing more than a reflection in a window of what you once were. Be yourself and don’t worry about everyone else, they are generally too busy worrying about what you’re thinking to worry about what you’re doing.
If we don’t we risk becoming nothing more than a Reflection of our Reality.