It would be presumptuous to address any 'avid readers', as I am still convinced that I am pretty much just talking to myself here. But for any lingering 'fans', I just want to say thanks for tuning in. It has been nearly three weeks since my last post, and wow have I been living.
Now, per usual, I won't be naming names or offering any details that may elude to a specific individual or situation...but then again, I also have nothing else to lose.
Which is where I will start.
The past month has been one of the hardest and most painful months of my entire life. You may be asking why, if I was experiencing so much, didn't I write about it? And my answer is simply,
I couldn't allow myself to sit down and process all the happenings enough to actually verbalize the experience or the lessons. I didn't observe enough outside of myself to eloquently prescribe some life medication to even myself. Needless to say, it sucked.
I went through some of the most painful changes I've yet to face. Here's the SparkNote version:
1. I pretty much lost most of my best friends due to a professional transaction and the past insecurities that really had nothing to do with me
2. I endured countless, COUNTLESS, conversations with people who decided in one week that they were going to tell me how I made them feel and essentially 'school' me in who I am and how my actions have affected them. And mind you, this is dating back to mid last year. But hey, what is one week of sitting in front of someone while they disdainfully tell you they don't trust you?
3. Despite my effort to stay at home and to keep to myself, I somehow still managed to piss off people one by one to the point where I realized I essentially had a handful of people I could still rely on.
4. Pretty much all my professional goals and efforts fell to the waist side as I was unable to focus on anything but my personal life and the demise of my beliefs.
5. I was finally validated by people I trust that I, in fact, don't make this shit up, that shit does in fact happen TO me, and that I am actually not a monster, instead a very broken and sensitive human being that experiences loss and pain on a level that is not embraced by most.
And this is the only time I will ever admit this because it enables me to fall into a semi victim mode, but hey, it needs to be said. I know when I deserve a reaping from someone- I know when I have fucked up, been selfish, been deceitful, etc. This is one of the first times in my life when I actually can admit that I don't think I deserved all of what was dished out to me.
Remember the tribe I so positively wrote about once upon a time? - Disbanded.
Remember the harmony that inspired my many posts of the start of the year? - Interrupted.
Remember how I have said countless times that I am aware of myself in this world and how I used to be a selfish little shit but that all I have done in the past year of my life is work and surrender to become the person I want to be rather than what I am? - The only truth I trust now.
Which brings me to my lesson today.
I have lived almost my entire adolescence as a free spirited, unbridled, wild stallion. I have soared through experiences and people, bucking off the ones that no longer serve me and galloping towards the next fleeting feeling. Try to saddle me? Good luck. Want a ride? Fine, but I'm steering.
That was true. Up until about one day ago. When I finally recollected myself. After ending a trip with my parents with less than positive interactions, I finally gave in. I finally accepted that this past month was meant to teach me something. I am not a victim. I am not a martyr. I did not ask for the strength and the consciousness that I posses.
I look fondly on a night just two weeks ago when I came into my apartment with tears flooding from my face. I sat in front of my roommates and a dear friend and bawled like you do on acid for the first time when you realize what being alive really is. With no substances to induce this enlightenment, I bawled at a fact that I finally accepted:
I will be this person until the day I die.
No matter what changes, processes, or lessons I learn, I will always be who I am. Sure, I will never give up wanting or trying to become more than what I am. I will never stop fighting for the good in myself. It will always be work. I know I am a good person. I can finally say with the conviction and pride that I am a GOOD FUCKING PERSON. And I am sick of convincing myself deep down that I am not. That I am evil and wish harm upon others. I am sick of people judging me when they see me. I am sick of the world deeming something with a label because they are too afraid to face themselves and to see deeper. And the worst part? When people who have suffered or gone through pain think they understand me because on the surface they believe they 'understand my game'. To all those people who may be reading this thinking you understand who I am and what I am all about.
I feel sorry for you.
I feel sorry that you have wasted so much of your time defining yourself based off of who I am and what I have done. I feel sorry that you haven't embraced yourself enough to see your part in the equation. I feel sorry that you are in so much pain that you find it easier to pin it on someone who you know will embrace your pain with open arms...because this person, ME, I can handle it.
This post isn't to blame, call out, dismiss, or cause any more pain. It is a mere reminder that I wish nothing but good to the world. I wake up every morning and besides praying for peace, love and understanding in my own life...I pray for those I love and those I don't love. I pray for you still. Because even if I want to believe you don't deserve it, I trust deep down that you do. I see beyond me now.
Something inside of me has changed. I have admitted a few things to myself after enduring this past month. And yes I say endure, because when you come home everyday with tears in your eyes and no relief day after day, it becomes a test of endurance. Not enjoyment.
Here is what I have learned:
1. No matter what I do, there will always be people in this world who will pin their shortcomings, their suffering, and their pain on me. Because I am a sponge of emotion and I can handle it.
2. I am blessed to have friends scattered around the world that love me just as I am and inspire me to transcend myself. I am also blessed to have a handful of friends in Los Angeles that unconditionally support me, as I have now realized a few good friends are always going to be better than a plethora of shitty ones. Also, organic friendships are my new MO. That whole controlling, conduit connector role? I tossed it. My tribe will build itself. I have hung up my hat.
3. I have a family that unconditionally supports and loves me. And despite there being differences in how we see the world, there is a rare harmony between us that I wouldn't trade for anything.
4. The more you push someone towards the pool, the more they will resist. I find this most accurate in love and relationships. I've always been a pusher. I know you'll enjoy yourself when you're in the pool, so I push. But I've grown up. No one wants to be pushed in the pool. Some people need to dip a toe in and some some people will canon ball. But all I can do is jump in myself and wade around until someone wants to join me. And when you least expect it, love shows up again as it always does- ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't live without you love. And when it does- let it float. The waves will come and when they do, you'll be ready to ride them.
5. Sometimes your personal life has to win. Despite being responsible and having duties to attend to, your personal life sometimes has to take all of your attention. Many will disagree with me who are in different positions of power, but for where I am right now, I'm going with it. This is when we are figuring out and deciding who we are. This is when mistakes and lessons reign supreme. Sure, I wish I could've balanced what I was living with what I wanted to be doing, and damn, I tried. But my personal life was demanding to be addressed. Because within it, deeper truths were revealed that will enable to me to focus and work longer and better than I could've ever imagined.
6. It's ok to settle down. The thought of wanting a quieter, simpler, more balanced life used to scare the shit out of me. I figured that living a wild and spontaneous life was the story that fit my identity. The bohemian wild child with the freedom and desire to live on the go. But let's be honest, sure I am a bohemian and yes I was a wild child; but that story never really fit me. I will always be fun and spontaneous, that I know. But the desire to have a partner, to downsize, to be responsible for something other than myself, to live within the confines of my own life more...it doesn't sound as bad as it used to. And that doesn't make me less 'cool' or accessible as I once was.
7. I am a stallion and I have been broken; a metaphor implying a period of pain needed to overcome selfish immaturity. Breaking a youths rebellious nature. Most people will never reach their full potential until they have passed through a trial or crucible. And let me tell you, I now understand what those witches back in Salem went through. You get the finger pointed at you or you lie. Either way you are condemned or die. But the ones who endured the pain, the one who fought for his name, well that guy went out with honor and a monologue to remember. So I opted for his lot in my story. I will die defending my name.
I am awake again. I know what is happening. I know where I am.
Mindfulness is being present with whatever is occurring to us or within us at any given moment. It is being present with what is in the now, not our perceptions, our judgments nor our comments about what's happening. It is experiencing bare reality with no elaboration. Quite simple really. But let's not confuse simple with easy. It usually takes only a few minutes of silent, motionless sitting to see clearly the untamed wildness of our mind. It can take many years to bring our mind, or more precisely, our relationship with our mind under control. The mind is a wild horse which has been encouraged to run freely. It loves to run fast, wildly chasing after first this thought, then that sensation, then on to the next bit of stimulation and on into the sunset it runs. Our focused observation brings it from the dark forests and grassy plains into a small pasture with no place to hide.