The word “snowflake” has been weaponized in recent years. We’ve moved away from the expression about how no two snowflakes are alike as being an innocent metaphor of uniqueness to something more malicious. To preface, my use of the word in this post is the former – speaking to uniqueness.
As an analogy, snowflakes and a snowstorm serve as an accurate reminder of reality. Yes, we are all unique. Yes, we are all human. And yes, we are all headed to same destination: the ground. We have one journey, one storm so to speak. A storm is defined as “a violent disturbance of the atmosphere or a tumultuous reaction.” All the beauty we know is due to the fact that we too have a keen understanding of the brutal intensity of life. There’s beauty in realizing that all the things we do to preoccupy ourselves with the notions of our uniqueness don’t matter. There’s foolishness in believing that uniqueness is synonymous with importance. Our actions determine our importance.
We often feel that practice is what we do in preparation for something we want to do well. If we don’t do it well, we practice to do it better. However, we tend to overlook that practice is the game. Regardless of how we’ve used it, we’ve all uttered the phrase, “I know better than that.” And we do! We do know better, but knowing better is meaningless without action.
Practice – Practice is knowing better in action. Practice is defined as “the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use,” and as “the repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.”
The goals we seek are merely wishes without discipline. Discipline is simply defined as “the practice of training.” The goals we set are simply the time bound assessments of how well we practiced.
We need nothing more than to do the things we know better to do!
On August 22, 2018 I took a leap into vulnerability and decided to post extensions of what I was writing about in my journal each morning. The content was not aimed at preaching ways for others to live more than it was about providing alternate perspectives to where my mind sometimes goes. I’m often writing to convince myself. As much as I could, I’ve tried to use universal language, avoiding the use of the first person “I” whenever possible, choosing to write in the collective “We” preferably more than the finger-pointing “You”.
Quite simply, I enjoy writing – I enjoy the writing process. Along the way, a few people have been kind enough to take the time to read my posts. I am grateful for and humbled by all that have taken the time to do so.
Even more humbling is that some people have taken the extra step to “like” a post. For this, even more gratitude! Every day, we swim in an ocean of content, and if there was something I posted that somehow managed to grabbed your attention or perhaps resonated with you in some way, offering a most sincere “thank you” doesn’t seem to capture how thankful I truly am.
To those that have chosen to follow this blog on WordPress or Instagram, my gratitude has no bounds. To be able to connect with people – total strangers – from anywhere in the world through writing is an honor. It’s also a dream come true for me. Writing has been a dormant passion for nearly two decades, and I appreciate everyone that has taken the time to read even a single word. Even if the connections are momentary, the gift is everlasting. Thank you!
Finally, a note of gratitude to WordPress for offering a platform for writers to share their thoughts, and to Instagram for providing a visual avenue to connect with people. It’s easy to crap on technology for all the negative content we see each day, but there’s a great deal of beauty and inspiration to behold as well. We find what we seek.
Frustration is defined as “the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of inability to change or achieve something.”
Even when life feels at its most impossible, the ability to change how we think is always in our control. We may never have complete control over external matters. How foolish it would be to think so, considering that not even logic has control over external matters. Logic, sense, common sense: these things still require an agreement of choice to be utilized.
We often become most frustrated in situations where we allow ourselves to be bothered by others, for their choosing not to embrace how we feel about something. Perhaps from time-to-time we are on the side of truth, but Truth ultimately doesn’t care about sides. Truth is a mute that stands resolute! Right and Wrong are more commonly stances of opinion. Ignorant chatter will never cease, nor will constructive discourse. Unfortunate events will never cease, nor will beautiful moments. Arrogant behavior will never cease, nor will selflessness. If reason is our guide, why waste time being frustrated, when we can be changing our mindset instead to focus our efforts inward – Aiming to stand in the center of the balance beam in silence alongside the Truth we seek.
What would we worry about if we never wanted anything?
What would we want if we knew there would be nothing to worry about for wanting it?
Is such logic found wanting? For to desire is human, and thus we err.
There is no greater sin than to mistake simplicity for the absence of significance.
To concentrate on our breathing means to focus deeply on our inhalations and exhalations – one by one – moment to moment. Consider the tenses that exist in a breath. Every exhale is the past tense of our inhalations. The following inhale is simultaneously the present moment and the past tense of our exhalation. As we inhale, the exhale to follow is the future – it will happen.
The important thing to remember is that one day, embedded in the present moment of an exhalation will also be your last moment. Your last moment. Moments will continue without a moment’s pause. This reality is not a display of the cruelty of life. It’s just the definition of reality: “the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.”
There’s little worse you can tell an anxious person than “calm down,” or a depressed person to “cheer up” or “get over it.” These directive directions are simplistic – oversimple if you will. As though that basic thought hadn’t occurred to the one experiencing the emotion. Directions don’t help!
When we do experience situational anxiety or situational depression though, a good question to ask ourselves is, “Does how I feel right now actually help me or my ego?” Are we looking to stay with a feeling because it validates our behavior? Are we looking to stay with a feeling because it’s become a cozy blanket to us? Perhaps a shield?
If we are looking to help ourselves navigate a situation that stirs up some anxiousness, frustration, anger, sadness, rage, or fear, the situation my be outside of our control, so instead of asking ourselves to relax, calm down, get over it, or cheer up, maybe the question we should ask ourselves in these moments is, “Does this help?” Is our emotional reaction going to change an event that already happened?
The best direction is through. If we attempt to go up or down as a means of getting through, we are only adding obstacles to a past event we cannot change. Knowing better doesn’t mean much if we don’t do better as a result.