Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dont inspire yourself with cliches!

They tell you to find yourself as if you are missing.

People say life’s all about finding yourself, and that therein lies some sort of cathartic enlightenment- and not only this, but that there is an existential methodology behind it all. life is made out to be some holy journey that only comes to ‘true’ fruition when we travel to an X amount of places, when we ‘let go’ of X amount of things, and when we fulfill a set of abstract criteria like ‘letting love become us’ or ‘dispersing light’ or something similarly esoteric (and beautiful, in principle).

One would think this modern credo would yield a greater quantity of happier youth, seeing as how positive psychology and an ascended phenomenology would, apparently, equip us with a better understanding of how to live a little better. ‘that’s what it’s about’, they say. but what is ‘that’, and what is ‘it’? happiness? peace? life itself, as a spiritual awakening of sorts?

The thing is if we do take certain life-formulas to be true, such as positively-imbued semantic postulations like ‘see the glass as half full, not empty’ or something equally as mystic, then of course the good life seems a pretty simple task (as long as we think we understand how to live it). but this too is as false and detrimental as the cynic’s fatalistic view (perhaps) that anything bad which can happen will happen.

The deceit in all of this Hope is not that it is wrong to hope, or dream, or to strive and journey for things that we want which are yet out of our reach; it is that this Hope mutates beyond a simple guiding goal into a kind of panic-struck phenomenon, an added pressure to embody that hope without bumps. take travel, for example.

 Augustine of hippo once said ‘the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page’. travel is associated with open-mindedness, that to travel far equates to widening the horizons of the mind, and henceforth manifesting in the individual who partakes in this activity. however there is a difference between the normative suggestion for travel as an activity which might benefit the traveler, and the righteous advocacy of travel as the ONLY activity which might benefit the traveler (in terms of open-mindedness, or something similar). One does not have to ‘go big’ or travel far to learn about the inner workings of their given community and make a difference (so to speak). Travel may be a consequence of certain good intentions, but they are not a predicate to the actions of every well-meaning intention.

It is easy to do something big, that is all.
It’s more romantic, more obvious, more of a big fat Duh when it comes to realizing the purposes of oneself.
It achieves the same thing that we might achieve by repeating positive mantras as ‘I am beautiful no matter what’ as an allegedly strong fight against the narrow trends of beauty that make the forerunners of public media and other platforms.
That means- yes, by all means utilize strength to feel strong in face of adversity, to counteract self-diminishing obstacles, etc. but no- one does not need to do what everybody says is most obvious to, you know, live well. well-being, purpose, and all these alchemical life-goals have no need to be standardized or institutionalized into little modern cults of the privileged soul-seekers.

When we constantly try to PROVE to the world (maybe to ourselves) that we are on the ‘right path’, via displays of calculated deeds, ‘cool’ ‘nice’ actions, and whatnot, we are only creating more anxiety.

 The truth is no matter how with it we make ourselves out to be, fighting against ignorance, bigotry, patriarchy, racism, homophobia, etc etc. we will also always suffer from lapses of judgment (some more frequent or less frequent), and this does not make us failed people. Attaching success to a hypothetical principle is what makes us feel that we have failed, it is not failure itself that rips open our hearts and sits itself there which makes us ‘fail’.

That my life is simple and unremarkable, for example, does not mean I don’t have goals, or that there aren’t good things I want to do. 

For the last two years my life mostly consisted of eating and writing and socializing and reading sometimes and lots of sex and not much else, quite frankly. and many, many, many times, i have felt the guilt, I have felt demonized and looked down upon for how not obvious my achievements are. and this has left me in a state of stasis- this has left me with thoughts of ‘I’m good for nothing’ ‘I don’t have what it takes’ etc. and this is completely useless.

 I suppose what I’m trying to say is that, to make something pragmatic of life, it might do to just, treat mistakes and unfulfilled goals as just that- mistakes and unfulfilled goals. they are not fatal blows to some goldmine of wisdom which are inaccessible without some perfect following of behaviour that make us the flashiest candidates for the ‘lived life’.

If you can’t travel, then do the next best thing. don’t get caught up in the fact that you can’t do something which you think you are meant to do. just do the next best thing. do what you CAN do, which is the next best thing.

 You don’t have to love all people. you don’t have to make your life exciting in the way books and tv and films make of ‘exciting’.

You don’t have to look like anything specific to be valuable. you don’t have to follow any of your peers’ or community’s counsel on how to ‘find yourself’.

You are already found because you are yourself. this is not a matter which need be complicated through extraneous rituals. you do not need to find anything more about yourself than what you already know of yourself. explore, learn, experiment, do whatever you want to do, but realize that regardless of how well you can do any of the aforementioned, it is not like you are any less of yourself because you didn’t do certain things. of course when one is constantly told to ‘find oneself’ one will feel that there is something missing which must be attained. but there isn’t. everything is there, everything is here. ordinary or unremarkable as it is (or beyond), it’s there.

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