Busy is a trap. Busy is an excuse. Busy can also be the antidote of worry. When I sit still with my thoughts, Anxiety takes that opportunity to play the role of fortune teller – proffering scenarios and outcomes with the sole intent of stagnation. This is as much a foolish waste of time as it would be to try to dig up the roots of a fake tree. For me, the difference is discerning between work and effort. Busy work can at times be a welcome distraction for the mind, but once the work stops, the problems return with compounded worry since they were merely placed on hold. Conversely, effort (a show of strength) is a conscious exertion towards an achievement. To busy oneself with effort is to weaken Anxiety’s grip. Effort, though strenuous, doesn’t need to equate to anything momentous – it’s simply productivity in service of betterment in some small way. The ultimate benefit is not allowing the idle mind to irrationally turn its gaze skyward.
There’s a point when external factors can longer be the delay for unfinished projects or goals. These are the moments when you either realize it’s time to be pragmatic (even if that means the completion point may be extended because you have to learn a new skill before you can get it done) or it’s time to realize that the project or goal had no internal value. The third option is that you convince yourself the project or goal is unattainable; perhaps, or is it that your ego feeding itself to keep you stuck in discomfort.
I like to think that I can be present every now and again, but then I think about that expression and realize it’s a lie.
Every now = always
Again = and then some
An expression that’s intends to convey “once in a while” really means the opposite, and serves to demonstrate how we allow ourselves to believe what we hear instead of seeking to understand what something means beyond the surface.
Moments like this remind me of Byron Katie’s 4-questions, and the importance of the first two questions: 1) Is it true? and 2) Can you absolutely know it’s true?
Think of the world we can create if before reacting, we all sat with those two questions first, taking the needed pause to consider what’s really being said or done.
If someone approaches you starving and dehydrated, there’s likely something you can do in the moment to help assuage their deprivation. However, if someone approaches you deprived of truth, even if you provide it objectively, they may still walk away unsated. Our stomachs require nourishment, our minds seek truth, but our egos and ignorance only seek validation. Seeking validation over truth is fasting with the expectation of fulfillment.
Behaviors that serve to protect habits that no longer serve progress, serve only to validate excuses for stagnation.
Force is an action. A bully pushes you down, and a friend pulls you up. Both actions are the result of a force being applied. Forces exist, but do so without conscious or conscience. Context is everything. Therefore, concepts of good or evil have no meaning to a force. Forces existed in nature long before they were defined – before they were named. A conscious choice attached to an applied force gives it intent – this is humanity. There is humankind and there is human nature. How will you choose to, for lack of a better phrase: use the force?
People can behave terribly. For some, it’s because they have legitimate mental illness (and even when seeking treatment) can still fall prey to moments when they truly fail to hear their own voices over the din of their afflictions. For others, it’s because they allow their actions to be controlled by an irrational notion that they are acting in some form of noble servitude.
When there is no control over the one thing in life that we have control over, our choices, reason is submerged without the realization that in the moment, our hands are doing the drowning. In either scenario, however, actions of unsound reason are not absolved from consequence. Ownership is not absolution.
When chaos becomes the norm and balance feels unattainable, remember – you are not the fulcrum. You are not a failing figure of a blind Atlas, unable to discriminate between the effort and the load. You are the knowing torque, using your reasoned choice to determine where to place yourself in relation to the effort and the load. This cannot be done from beneath the surface. You have to be in the mix. That is how true balance is achieved. It’s not about being underneath, pushing the fulcrum to a perceived midpoint. It’s not about thinking without seeing – it’s about seeing and then choosing where to move to make situations most efficient to lifting what burdens you most with the least amount of mental effort. If you know right action, you know where to stand – atop the beam where the events of our lives transpire.
Repeatedly lying reveals one habit, not multiple truths.
Knowledge without experience is a book without a spine. Knowing more than you’ve lived, means you only know what others have experienced. This knowledge is useful for sure, but it’s also unoriginal. Experience means something. Would you want someone to perform surgery on you if they were only well-read on human anatomy and the history of surgical practice?
Know that learning is to shake hands with experience and all its beautiful imperfections. Be a learner and the more you will know about truth beauty.