The key is in pursuing objective reality. If we do not seek this first and foremost then we do not need anyone else to imprison us because we imprison ourselves. By failing to seek neutrality and healthy detachment from our perspective and our own emotions we are subject to becoming trapped by beliefs and hypnotized by our own state of mind. Our mind then becomes our enemy rather than our greatest asset. If we take an inventory of all the distractions that are making us feel lost, this is an excellent place to begin. If we find ourselves wanting to run back to self-soothe our discomforts through those same anxieties, we are at then at a starting place to question why we keep wanting to feel lost and stuck, in fear and helpless.
Objective reality entails rising above. What this means is viewing everything for what it truly is. The truth is it is not about political ideologies, religious beliefs, education, or job titles. We are souls and we are trapped. If we do not rise above what separates us now, we will be a civilization spoken about in great myths of the future. Regardless of what we choose, we will be an example. Do we choose to be a cautionary tale or an epic saga of great triumph?
If you tune out all of the distractions now, you will feel the sunbeams, or the briskness of cold against your skin, you will hear the birds indifferent to your sorrow, you will see that your phone will not feed you and the silence speaks the truth. What can you do today to shine the light that is trapped regardless of the reception? How can you stand in surety of your knowledge of self which is to be free to love and laugh no matter who challenges this? Distraction, confusion, manipulation are adversaries and should be viewed as such. What can you create today, how can you love today, how can you become the silence?
“He who has known himself has already achieved knowledge about the depth of all.” ~The Book of Thomas the Contender
When we are born, we become an immediate recipient of external projection. We are either coddled with hope or greeted with disdain, expected to live up to expectations, or guided to repeat failures. Not only are we told how to act, but how to think, and from the very start what to believe. If we are fortunate, we are reminded to nurture our own minds and trust our innate intelligence, but more commonly we are taught how to avoid embarrassment. This is highly subjective of course, as our caretakers range from domesticated well-doers to heartless materialists, and on the bleaker end of the spectrum institutionalized systems or the cold chokehold of the streets.
This crash course to existing creates a diverse landscape of beliefs. In ignorance, most of the world goes on to confuse their beliefs with truth, but beliefs by definition are opinions. What is also unfortunate is that people label facts as truth, when facts are merely statistics or records that are subject to persuasion, the either purposeful, or inadvertent exclusion or modification of relevant information, or are lost in translation – what can be equated to “broken telephone.” Due to the aforementioned, people become confused, and when confusion is present, it always opens the door for deception.
The only way to protect ourselves from the Trojan Horse of belief is to opt for wisdom. When we abandon wisdom in exchange for belief, we are rejected in return to greet our detriment alone, the very thing we were avoiding. It is indeed a paradox that by creating meaning around figments of the imagination to have something to believe in, we continue to feel isolated even when surrounded by believers in common. Yet and still, we remain paralyzed by the false assumption that the voyage to seek the truth will be a much lonelier place for us and so we opt for inaction as it is more palatable than to endure the shame of failing at finding ourselves while at the same time losing everyone else.
The truth is that the path to knowing and wisdom is difficult and often tormenting. You will be put to the test for certain, but just like an orphan goes on a mission to find their biological birth parent unsure of the reception, so you must go on the mission to reunite with yourself. It is true wisdom comes at a great price, yet once you join the dues remain free. For this reason, anyone that has experienced wisdom has a duty to speak until those that believe also come to know:
Knowing vs. Believing
Don’t believe anyone, ever. Know them. – People show you who they are, that is if you take the time to observe and get to know them without projecting your hopes, desires, or motives in place of the reality of what is. When you know someone, you know what they are capable of good or bad, and you are not susceptible to living in delusion or denial. If you don’t take the time or energy to really get to know someone, you will be forced to believe them, which means they are already controlling your experience. If you ignore what you come to know in exchange for belief, looking for further proof, you are doing so at your own demise.
Know a person’s character rather than believing a narrative (either yours or theirs), and you will never be in disbelief. – Often people say, “I just can’t believe they did that!” This is quite mystifying because it didn’t take any evidence to easily believe the converse. Rather than believing, it is to our benefit to see things coming. The better we are at anticipating the actions of those around us or within our environment, the more readily able we are to positively impact the world. If we allow ourselves to be at the whim of what we believe, we are susceptible to constant setbacks or being caught off guard by others, unable to focus our energy to create and build things with meaning.
Don’t believe facts because someone told you they are true. – Anyone that has worked in science or marketing for that matter, knows that data can be manipulated to achieve the desired outcome. This can be based on sample size, demographics, and a plethora of other criteria. Besides the point but relevant, one day I saw an athletic brand doing a Frontal Attack (Marketing term) on a competitor via an Instagram ad. I often read comments for the wealth of comedy and random information and happened upon a woman talking about how unkind the ad was, unnecessarily offended. But someone that had studied marketing could identify that they were leveraging a textbook strategy; therefore, not emotionally influenced. The same can be said for deciphering information on any media platform. if you are a learned Botanist and nightly news gives false information out to their viewership about plants, you will know immediately that what you heard was not true, but a statistically significant portion of the viewership will believe it because they do not know what you know. This applies to our personal relationships just the same. We can want to believe in something so easily that we fail to see what others know. Study strategy, study how you are susceptible to manipulation, and most of all ask in which ways you are looking to delude yourself by ignoring your intelligence.
Ask yourself often, “Am I being basic?” – Per Urban Dictionary, to anchor the nuance with today’s times, being basic is characterized as someone who is a total follower; a person that cannot make their own decisions or think for themselves. If you only believe information or knowledge that comes along with a logo, a false persona (reputation), or follower base, you are more than likely, basic. The same goes for believing everything you were taught in school or church I am afraid. Believers (followers) don’t seek the truth because they don’t have faith. They doubt their sovereignty and the ability to be fearless. They live under the thumb of bogeymen and die there too, contrary to what they would have others believe. Basic people are also often distracted and entertained by external stimuli, failing to distinguish themselves from the show they are entranced by. The Roman Empire was infamous for their blood sport and theatre which were a way to keep citizens and communities distracted (entertained), persuaded into autocracy through fear by suggestion and adrenaline addiction. Entertainment is a synonym for diversion.
Blind trust is respectfully reserved for the blind, not the ignorant. – There is a popular saying that goes, “It is like the blind leading the blind,” in other words, those without sight attempting to lead others who too, cannot see, which is what happens most often when we believe. In our haste to turn a blind eye, we miss the glaringly obvious reality that the evil leading the blind is monumentally worse. Just like the frontal attack in marketing doesn’t care if it is mean, those that leverage you for their benefit don’t care if you are sad, jobless, or left destitute for that matter. Know that sociopaths infiltrate movements and places of power, even under the guise of good causes. This is a sweet spot for them and has been evident in foundational psychological research which has assessed the tendency for this trend in both historical and present society. Breadcrumbing the destitute or lost is entertainment for such characters. Sociopaths also permeate the hearts of weak believers through contrived intimacy and flattery. All we have to do is observe how it turned out for those lured in by the charm of Jeffrey Dahmer (technically a psychopath), but do remember, one doesn’t have to literally eat men to be a maneater.
The worst place to be in life is to not know what to believe and be unsure of what you know. – It is obvious that the only way to know something is to find it out. We can either decide to know what is in our capacity to know by seeking knowledge and wisdom, or we can wait for the unforgiving wrath of her abandonment to show up through hard lessons. Our personal regard is only one facet of how we interact with the pursuit of knowledge. For example, if we believe ourselves to be unworthy of love, there is no truth to be had, only created experiences that further support our belief. Another aspect of our relation to wisdom is our propensity to avoid acting on the knowledge we have gained. As Haile Selassie put it, “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”
Know thyself, but remember what you think you know, might just be a strong belief unbacked by any wisdom whatsoever. – How to tell the difference, let me reference the following quote, “The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know,” Aristotle infers that a) you stop believing because you grow wise to your own ignorance and b) seeking knowledge becomes a lifelong endeavor and will always lead you to seek the truth. People don’t seek the truth because when they find it, they might have to do what is difficult. They may have to admit they were wrong, naïve, they may have to change their behavior, make tough choices, change jobs, relationships, or more serious consequences that involve life or death. When you do know yourself, however, you know you aren’t at risk of believing, you know that you are never alone when wisdom walks with you.
Lastly, don’t be so ignorant to believe you know it ALL. – People that know anything have the understanding that knowledge is infinite. Know what you know and focus there. Make it relevant, make it just, make it resonate with your higher self and your heart. Always keep seeking, and always stand for truth. More importantly, if you don’t know something to be true, do us all a favor and stop being the truth police.
If the above sounded a bit harsh, let us inspect some basic language and common pretexts of believers to clarify further:
“Benefit of the doubt.” There is doubt (I don’t believe, and I don’t know) but am still believing anyway and going to opt for giving someone a benefit for no sound reason.
“People change.” Yes, but they change on their own accord and then give you evidence by making serious amends and substantial long-lasting behavior modification that is not contingent on your acceptance of them. In summation, they do not change because you give them another chance to slight you through blind trust.
“It is better than nothing.” (Lazy) No. I think we can all agree that we have all dated somebody where nothing would have been exorbitantly better than the something that experience represented. Have some standards, aim high, and for the love of all that is holy, stop disgracing yourself now!
“I just don’t know what to believe!” I am sure you have heard this one. We have all been there. Don’t believe anything, seek knowledge and wisdom. Undisciplined people find wisdom’s demands too hard and don’t have the determination to meet them.
“I choose to see the best in people.” That is the same as saying that many different wavelengths of energy do not comprise our light spectrum because you believe it so.
“I believe they meant well.” You are free to believe whatever you want, but only another knows what they truly intended. The meaning you place on something to believe in it is not the same as what it means.
Thus, it turns out, to know anything, we must first quit our relationship with belief systems. Unbeknownst to most, what one chooses to believe only reveals their own lack of wisdom, it doesn’t prove another’s ignorance. Beliefs are energetic prisons that inhibit freedom from tyranny, either our own or another’s. In a dualistic world, it is not negative or pessimistic to seek understanding of what lurks in the dark, it is wise. So, seek the truth and build your constitution, but to do so you may first have to call bullsh*t on yourself.
Life allows you to see a piece of yourself in all things, or at least it offers you the opportunity. Whether you do or not is up to you.
It is not “nice” for me to extend a kind gesture to another if I do so from a genuine place, it is merely me recognizing the potentials of myself either good or bad in another. In the same vein, it is not kind to do something nice to appear good.
If you cannot recognize yourself in an egomaniac, or a self-sabotaging soul, the beauty of life is escaping you.
We are living amongst iterations and fragments of time and reality. All it takes is one misdirected choice, one spiritual attack, or one wrong thought to shift in time. You can make your way back or to a new timeline, but it takes the focus and dedication of a monk. These are not games to be played, so you are well-advised to find a healthy balance each day between bowing in humility and standing in sovereignty.
As a sovereign being, you must know that your identity which you adopted is quite different from who you are and is merely a weak vessel on the seas of high wind. It is rocking you from place to place and will move you with each wave. You are one with the ocean that moves you and the air and planets that move it.
If you cannot extend pure grace to another, then I fear you cannot extend it to yourself.
The reaction is a response that requires no thought, meditation, or self-control. It is a temporary salve for an open wound, that ends up stinging it after time.
Nothing is ours to keep, but we are to be good stewards.
We are to make wise decisions that honor the energy that was put into earning or creating something, and not just ours but the other backs it was built upon.
See we do nothing alone, so therefore we cannot claim that we are self-made, if we live in the lowest Plutonian state of our ego-self we will convince ourselves we are heroes when we really are not saving a thing, not even ourselves.
We will use props to support the idea that somehow we know a sacred secret that others don’t and are more special, yet we do not use one dollar to spread our secrets because we are afraid that they will be stolen. The reality is they are not secrets at all, they are universal truths: any of us can create whatever reality we want.
If you are afraid for someone else to create a wonderful reality too, then you happened on your reality by windfall or thievery. In which case, you know these two basic principles: if it is too good to be true, it is, and what goes around comes around.
When you are in solitude you are in your natural state. There is nothing there to activate your inner wounds; Nobody’s actions, or their words, no one acting as the mirror for what you don’t wish to look at. Unless of course, your primary emotion when alone is loneliness, then spending time in silence may evoke sadness and thoughts of your self-perceived unworthiness. It is then that you might ask why you don’t like spending time with the person that will be with you until the end of your days. Have you created a story around why you are alone, or what it means to be alone, something lacking, with negative connotations?
If spending time with yourself is painful, then spending time with others has the potential to only create more pain dear one. Why? Because they are either a distraction so that you can avoid yourself, they are a vibrational match to your disliking of self or are using you in kind as just a fix for their own loneliness.
Beware of sacrificing discernment for your desire for companionship at the expense of authentic connection. You may just accept less desirable interactions, instances of disrespect both by the other, and violations taken against yourself. Even if it is just the offense of silencing your needs, stifling your power, or foregoing your desires. You may think of that loneliness and vow to never go back there by any means, convincing yourself that the pain inflicted by another is better than the sadness of your solitude.
Lovely, maybe you have chosen too many distractions time and time again, so you don’t have to face the loudness of your thoughts, the sting of your memories, the confusion of where to begin. It takes resolve to say no. To admonish what other people have said, what your charlatan of a mind tells you, and to start to tap your feet dear one to the faint pulse just above your solar plexus that gently reminds you that you are made with greatness and you have been chosen, that you are called to live your wildest dreams. I assure you if you weren’t, you would never have been stifled, oppressed, or misled.
It is unfortunate but beautiful at the same time that life’s strategy is to see what we are made of, if we choose the door of safety and smallness or if we choose to challenge the rules to look life in the face and prove that life is just a tool for our soul and we are not its’ prisoner. We always have the key and we are never alone. We exist in the passing wind, the rustling of the leaves, and in the laugh of a child. Indeed we are in a strange place, but we are only passing through here, enjoy the scenery and don’t go home from the trip having just talked about all of the places you wanted to go.
Every day we let the outside world that we live in dictate how we feel. Our experience can begin to erode the strength of the love and joy that we naturally have within. The world can convince us that there is no love. That others are separate from us, just out for themselves, and quite frankly we may not like them much. We can’t trust people not to take, lie, or hurt us. We are overworked exhausted and stressed. We ask ourselves when this will ever end and dream about the day we are finally happy. Sometimes we get a spouse, have kids, or buy new things because we believe we will be happy then. Sometimes it is true, but always fleeting.
I would like to remind you that your mind is the only thing that can dictate, your world view, your interactions, and your peace. Seeking knowledge so that you may understand events that you witness and they don’t confuse you. Seeking knowledge so that you understand your place in the world and how it works. Seeking knowledge so that you can most importantly understand your mind and that it is separate from who you are, and you have the ability to control its unchecked dominion over your every experience.
Our primary aim in life should be knowledge of self.
See we can create realities that don’t exist and we often do every day. Realities about what someone is thinking or saying about us, what they want to do to harm us, or things that we may lose, so we have to be on guard in our interactions. The funny thing is that it also works the opposite way, you can see love in everything, opportunity in everything, beauty in all things. You can tap into your sovereignty at any moment in time and realize that you are the one directing this fine movie dear one. You can easily become fooled to believe you are a character in other people’s films, but that is the biggest deception. To believe you are not the ultimate creator.
You cannot sit down and beg for a shift and beg alone. You must work toward your masterpiece every day, in how you think, how you feel, what you see, and what you allow to be done to you. You are never alone and you are not weak. You are not powerless, you are not what other people think. You are a grand vision that is pleading with you to take the blindfold off. It takes work though lovely a commitment to a never-ending search for the one lost at sea. Just when you think you catch a glimpse it was just a ripple. Keep searching, this, after all, is the only reason you are here for you to remember. It is a game of distractions so that you never will.
Among all ailments of the human experience is the desire to place emphasis on external factors. This includes how others may help us, hurt us, or guide us. We not only seek answers to the most basic questions but also are easily influenced by the smallest external stimuli. It takes work to embrace curiosity. It takes dedication to ask yourself why you are having a particular experience, emotion, or relationship. Especially when most often these involve recurring similarities in outcome or feeling. When we look for others to provide us with answers we seek because we deny our own power to do so, we can be led down any path, even if the path is not what is good for us.
The answers we seek are within, but it is hard to know what is within with too much external stimuli. When we are constantly being fed information through television, cell phones, work environment and we are expected to stay “in the know,” we do not have the silence necessary to look within. Even meditation has been apprehended by capitalism with artificial intelligence and hypnosis. We cannot seem to sit with ourselves for even 5 minutes.
After a prolonged period of time we get further away from knowing how to tap into what is within and so begin to increasingly avoid even attempting it, because it begins to feel too hard. This is why many struggle to even spend time alone, because even starting to dive into what that means and what is going on within feels too difficult and uncomfortable. People don’t know where to start so they rush to distract themselves from this reality with misaligned relationships, inebriation, or other easy distractions; Because who they really are is what is external to them now. But once you make the commitment to choose to discard everything that you have learned you gain much.
There is a reason for fasting. Fasting from food, sex, media, and other attachments allows you to see that you are a divine incarnation with much capability and power, that you create your environment, and are not a victim of it. If you are distracted indefinitely however you will never realize it.
Chasing success at the expense of our internal world is the old paradigm. When we do that, we end up competing for a slot as a slave to someone else that has more successfully ignored their inner world. This is not to say that you can only have one or the other, but unfortunately the reality is that most are pushed in today’s culture to choose.
Choose wisely and be brave.
If you cannot sit in silence for one minute, then sit there for ten. Show up everyday until you can. Or you can live a life of excuses, it is your life after all. Or is it?
“In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair…the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.” ― Dorothy L. Sayers
Just a few short years ago I never would have envisioned that I would have shifted my career trajectory, had a parent die, shed my ego-based image for more passionate pursuits and practical possessions, and most of all fallen deeply in love after many years of living in an emotional fortress. This “falling” led me to feel accepted in a way that I never had before, creating the desire to accept another too. My relationship forced me to confront outdated beliefs about myself, which ultimately dictated what I would come to find acceptable from others, including my romantic partner.
Almost from the start, I was met with an abundance of opportunities to accept another individual for their shortcomings and process the continued jewels inherent in “getting to know someone”. Unbeknownst to me at the time, everything I believed I had accepted, was in fact not being accepted at all but like a dead-end job was merely being tolerated. Not dissimilar, I was left hoping there was better but feeling immobilized to go after it due to the daily erosion of my belief in the future. The slow murmur of discomfort continued to pulse, slowly leaching joy with each movement of the hand on the clock.
The things that were tolerated ranged from the innocent to the heart-wrenching, making the innocent like ants on an open wound. Soon the big and not so big blended together to create a cushion for my high horse and pedestal. Falling into childlike traps I would try to fix everything, thinking the more I threw at it, the better it would get. The more I “taught” my partner through anger filled glances, sighs, and unsolicited lectures, I would advance to the front, in some invisible know-it-all perfection board of love chess. I would become victim yet again of someone seizing my kindness for weakness, reaffirming my story I had created and keeping me trapped in a cycle of enmeshment.
I failed to see that my tolerance was not only a lack of boundaries, but a lack of clear guidelines of what was acceptable for me within the bounds of love. Just because you love someone does not mean that you must tolerate certain behavior or acts. Accepting someone for who they are, does not mean tolerating them to hurt you or repeat toxic behavior in the name of love. Just because you want to be accepted for who you are, does not mean that you should tolerate other people’s actions and label it acceptance. Which leads me to my point. There is no tolerance in love.
According to Merriam-Webster, tolerating is by one definition, “the capacity to endure continued subjection to something”. By contrast love is by one definition, “a great interest and pleasure in something.” To gain great pleasure in enduring something is almost by definition a masochist, “a person who enjoys an activity that appears to be painful or tedious.” Although it may seem required of you to endure certain discomforts in a relationship, there are a few guidelines that may help you to see if these are healthy discomforts that create growth, or if they are discomforts that are detrimental to your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.
Guideline #1: Has my passion for life, experiences and accomplishments increased or decreased?
· Do I look forward to my future independently and/or with this person? Make sure that this gut check is in comparison to what you know to be true about yourself. Was I goal oriented in the past; did I explore my passions before being in this relationship? E.g., Did I go to art classes before, read books, trips, look forward to career milestones?
Guideline #2: Do I feel freedom to grow, explore and most importantly be myself?
· Am I able to do basic activities I was able to do before I was in this relationship without receiving guilt trips or resistance?
· Do I have the freedom in this relationship to try new things that are not harmful to the other person? Am I met with support or objection? *This objection can be overt or covert with subtle body and expression cues as well.
Guideline #3: Do I feel confused often whether I should continue to be in this relationship?
· Am I often left questioning my own feelings or questioning if this relationship is for me? Am I often hoping it will get better or reminiscing on how much better I felt in the beginning or prior to the relationship?
Bonus Guideline: Am I getting back what I give?
· Does this person respect and honor my concerns and feelings, expressing their own? Or do they often disregard my concerns and press their agenda? Does this person take more than they give, do I give more than I receive?
For anyone that has been in a relationship whether romantic, platonic or professional, it is common knowledge that they can indeed have challenges. Challenges push us to grow and come out the other side better than when we came in, stronger, more polished and confident in new found strengths. Accepting what is offered in relationship and in turn reciprocated is fine-tuned through years of building confidence, self-esteem, acceptable boundaries and baseline standards. Some young people seem to come out of the gate with this knowledge, good for them (and their parents)! There have been many people that have had to tolerate treatment without the consent that acceptance requires. They have had to endure mistreatment because of race, gender, handicaps and at other times for maybe more subtle reasons.
Love always provides the opportunity to accept another for exactly who they are, it does not however ask us to tolerate them, or tolerate an unhappy, undesired reality.