Easy offers up a sigh of relief when something doesn’t meet our expectations in a positive way. On occasion, it’s welcomed with opened arms. However, if easy is the expectation, that begs the question, “what does easy do for me?” Not much, as easy doesn’t help you grow.
Look to nature for examples of this axiom. Take two patches of dirt. In one, you sprinkle grass seed, and then leave it unattended with the expectation that nature will simply do its thing. In the other, you till the soil, plant the seeds, add fertilizer and water it each day, being mindful not to under water or over water. You still have the expectation that nature will do its thing, but this expectation is supported by fact that you put the effort to help influence the results. In two week’s time, what are the results?
The results may seem obvious, however, what’s commonly overlooked is the simple lesson that in order for anything to grow to its fullest potential, it had to literally go through shit to get there. Effort is the fertilizer of life.
Furthermore, if during that two-week period there are unexpected non-stop torrential rains, there’s a good chance that both plots will be ruined. But, that’s beyond your control, as nature always is. You can still rest assured that your efforts, although wasted in this case, were still the right approach to getting the results you desired. When life shits on you, it’s easy to seek sympathy. But, easy doesn’t. So instead, when life shits on you, consider for a moment what it’s fertilizing?
If you’ve never juggled before, giving it a go for the first time whilst using chainsaws bodes ill. In cases like this, doing something just once is enough to give you the empirical evidence to know better. In life, more often that not, doing something more than once is what affords us the perspective to test and retest hypotheses that follow experiences. We are able to make comparisons that help inform future situations that in some way mirror the things we’ve done before.
But what if you’re stuck with once? With only one experience and nothing else to compare it to from your own life. Where do you go from there? It’s typical to look to the experience of others in order to draw comparisons. However, it’s impossible to accurately assess how you would actually experience the situation. The reason is because it’s not just one variable that informs experience. It’s all your unique prior experiences that shape how you experience something new. We can benefit from emotional intelligence and empathetic understanding, but we are often still at the mercy of our own feelings…even when we know better. We know that feeling bad about an outcome, won’t at all change the outcome. We know that we are in control of our choices, even when we feel stuck. Not even in an actual prison can someone be imprisoned if we are controlled by our reason choice. This is a stoic view. This view holds truth. We can accept this truth and yet still struggle to get past our own emotional walls. Walls of our own construction. Walls that are fortified with barbed wire from painful experiences past that we fool ourselves into believing are built for own protection, to protect us from external harm, when, like prisons, they are designed to keep us in.
Once. Once provides us with enough rope to scale any wall of our own design. Once provides us with enough rope to pull ourselves up from the lowest depths, because it’s impossible to fall any deeper into anything than what we already know.
How do you know if the feeling love is redefined over time, or if you come to accept the reality of what love is? Is true love getting over the ideas and expectations you’ve had of love, and still loving what’s left? What is it to know that you are still in love versus the idea of being in love?
Sometimes it’s difficult to know if you’re numb to feeling joy, or if joy is something that is simply a rarity to feel during adulthood, as the innocence of youth gets increasingly out of focus in our rear view mirrors. As Brené Brown suggests, we cannot selectively numb emotions. That was said in regards to medicating, or using destructive behaviors as a numbing agent. Is suppression what we call depression when we selectively prevent certain feelings from surfacing, opposed to feeling deflated by the allowance of their surfacing and feeling too weak to deal with them?
These existential questions arise reactionary. They are tough questions because they are rooted in shame, doubt and/or guilt. However, they are important questions to challenge yourself with. For if you can answer them with positive certainty, you may discover or perhaps uncover a truth about being in love. If you can answer only with uncertainty, or find yourself down the path of philosophy in only asking questions opposed to the scientific path to seeking answers: You are not in love – You are in convenience. Being in convenience is the ultimate inconvenience.