We have all experienced those moments where we’ve become so frustrated, we feel the impulse to put others in their places. Impulsivity doesn’t care about foresight, so it becomes a matter of training. If we are to spend time crafting the perfect verbal retaliation, the response is no longer an impulse – it’s a knowing act of an irrational mind and/or bruised ego. Thinking that what we say will make us feel better is not as important as knowing it will surely only serve the purpose of making us look worse.
A tree planted in a protected environment and deprived of environmental challenge will never develop roots strong enough to support its growth. Strong roots are a tree’s basic need, and adversity is thus essential to serving this fundamental need.
For humans, the same principle applies. However, there is a paradox when the basic need is belonging. Self-worth, developed by oneself as a response to not being fed reasons of worthiness through experience, may look like roots from the surface, but lack the strength to firmly grip the dirt.
Future roots are possible; even in isolation. It will take self-reflection, forgiveness and self-acceptance. It will be painful. But alas, struggle and conflict are key ingredients of fertile soil – proving once again that in order to grow we have to live through some fertilizer. The irony is that we are never alone on this journey – there are forests of trees in the same situation. All of which deserve strong roots, and with any luck, their roots will connect under the surface, where most of what makes life important exists.
When my list of wants is noticeably longer, it’s no mystery that my tether of self-care is taut. Sometimes it’s scary to ask why, but it’s more favorable than choking.
Honor your instincts with the same intensity as you honor your excuses – and listen to them with the same intention as you do you fantasies. Do so, and be well. Do not, and be wanting. You’ve done the latter long enough, and yet, here you are – knowing better, yet not living better. Writing a recipe has never fed a soul.
Stoption: The act of taking a moment’s pause to consider what around you and all the choices you truly have at your disposal. The act of giving one extra breath the permission to allow yourself to see what’s beyond what’s become fixed in your mind. If you find yourself feeling that you have no other choice, find comfort in knowing that you always have its equal and opposite at the very least, and 98 shades of grey between.
The flaw in anything written is not the fault of the pen, the paper or the hand. The flaw in anything said is not the fault of the mouth, the tongue or the vocal cords. Misinterpretation is the root of all evil. The force of ignorance applied to opinion is behavior that strays from the truth. Humans abandon principles – not vice versa.
No words are needed to know truth – no words are needed to understand love – no future is needed to know what matters most right now.
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.