Blessings and Curses (that are actually Blessings)

Be careful of what you wish for, the saying goes. Once upon a time, in a fit of emotions that included disgust, hope, and perhaps desperation, I wrote the following affirmation:

“The rate at which I grow and learn accelerates day by day.”

The reason it was there was because I’ve suffered from Precocious Kid syndrome. On top of being an insufferable know-it-all, it stopped me from learning some important lessons, some of which plagued me for as long as I could remember. Having clung to the victim mindset for a little over 26 years (like eating bad food and taking bad drugs), that affirmation (and the concept of affirmations, for that matter) changed my life.

It started a sea change in my perception. Over time, my perception changed from “This fucking sucks!” to “How do we change so that it would no longer fucking suck?”

Make no mistake, learning and growing still hurts. Especially for someone as averse to humble pie (another perception I am working to change) as yours truly, every time a valuable lesson appears, it nearly always challenged my Ego (“YOU WERE WRONG, MORON!” Said the Ego to himself) and therefore I hurt every single person who had ever had the bad fortune to care just a little too much about what my actions represented in their world. Sometimes, they cared about me as a person and these are the people I hurt the most.

Dear God, family, friends, enemies, and acquaintances, as I wrote that, I am suddenly overcome by immense remorse for my thoughtless reactions and actions even as I am overcome by gratitude for all the attention and lessons I have ever received. I recognise that you are all my teachers and I would love nothing more than to make all of you, yes, all of you proud. If you were ever in my life, do know that even if I were ever snarky to you because it wasn’t what I wanted to hear at the time, I am grateful now that you braved my negative demeanour to deliver me from ignorance. For that, I wish nothing but the best things in life to you and that I will take what I got from you to make this world a better place.

Anyway, did the rate of growth accelerate indeed. Few are the days that go by where I feel at peace and I am on top of things. Even now, there’s a mix of emotions consisting of a little gratitude, unworthiness, excitement, guilt, anxiety, ungratefulness (Yes, entitlement is an emotion), heartbreak, happiness, and those other feelings that defy articulation. Even as I am grokking what my soul wants right now, I am learning how to make the results of my actions entirely beneficial to the people who, like it or not, depend on me.

It is apparent that I do not fully consider the full ramifications of my actions before I execute them. In fact, that is exactly the reason I am wracked with guilt and remorse every time I am faced with the less desirable fruits of my actions, which I then have to remind myself that this is another lesson that I have to take or become extremely unpleasant to the people around me.

Rambling aside, this is what I meant by curses: I asked for faster growth, and now I get to experience the constant emotional challenges that come with it.

And here’s the thing about self-awareness: Even if you know that the hurt and feels serve a greater purpose, it doesn’t change the fact that it hurts and is extremely unpleasant. And while it is possible to change our perception so that the old triggers do not trigger the emotional responses anymore, there is still the transition period to endure.

Change is instant, yes, but habits take a little longer to break out of.

So, if you are in the middle of your own personal development project and are finding it extremely tough, I salute you because I am also in the middle of my struggle and I can understand your pain. I wish I could say something like “It’ll get better, soon,” or “This too, shall pass,” ┬áBut we know that those are smug platitudes told by people who either do not know our struggles or have already reached the better place, so I won’t.

Instead, try to enjoy the pain. Exult in the bitterness of humble pie. Take heart for all the times when you tried to break an unpleasant habit but have it reappear and make you feel guilty as fuck for indulging. You are going in the right direction. Eventually, if it is your lesson to learn, you will get through to the other side and when that happens, you might wonder why did it hurt you so in the past.

And if it isn’t, then it is okay too. At least you paid your dues and nothing can take that away from you.

Rage Against the Foreseeable Future

I railed. I railed against inevitability, against reality as only a human can rail.

I fought the future. And I could not tell if the future is all in my head or because it is all in my head, so shall it be.

Perhaps after all the optimism I project onto people, the one person I could not do the same to is myself.

Would someone please tell me that things would be better? That I would have the rest I so desire? That all this time of abusing my body will yield at least the rest that I want?

Would someone please help me?

…Please?

Deserve What You Want

Futher along the lines of deserving, I also discovered that ironically, the “nicer” we are, the less we deserve the things that we want. Simply because “reality” loves it some homeostasis and when you exert some power over it, it will do what it can to stay in its current state.

What this means is that if what you want encompasses people, they will get upset because you are now attempting to change their world. And if you are “nice”, you will do anything to not feel like you are responsible for upsetting them. Of course, this is pretty low level thinking because there are books and people whose very message is about getting what you want without making people upset.

Herein lies the problem: People being what they are, there will be people who will get upset regardless of how much benefit you are going to give them and if niceness is the overriding directive, then you are in for a fucking bad time.

Perhaps this is all bad logic and I am merely uncranking some crank I have been working up these past few months. Perhaps the only world I need to change is my own and I am a little too attached to its current state.

On the Nature of Getting Things

So there’s a prevalent theory about deservedness when it comes to actually getting stuff that you want. Everyone, as it turns out, gets exactly what they deserve in the end.

But who gets to decide what you deserve? That is the question, isn’t it?

For most of us in privileged Gen Y (There’s also underprivileged Gen Y as well), it would seem that our parents are the ultimate decider, like yours truly. Since we grew up in the good graces and providence of our parents, we only get what they allow us to get and God forbid when we rebel and attempt to get what we want but they disapprove.

And then there are those of us who didn’t have a central provider for our nice things in life. I have met some of you, and you seem to be able to just “get” your blessings under your own power, much to my envy, even as you envied the seemingly easy life of the privileged.

For years, I grew up feeling that I did not deserve the things I got simply because they were handed to me and all I had to do was to enjoy them. Except that I didn’t really, or rather, I didn’t want to, because I didn’t have to work as hard as the rest did, see?

And so I always came across as some sort of ingrate because I never valued my blessings, because I never worked hard for them, etcetera.

But I suppose vertical social mobility being what it is (Extremely hard, no matter where you are), all we could do is be grateful for our lot in life, yes?

Existence – Now, Yesterday, and Forever

Thoughts pop into my head. About a son I may have one day. About the smile of a lady quickly growing in significance in my heart. About what I am doing now. About the blessings I have received thus far.

And yet, I know that they are just beautiful dreams. But what is life without dreams? Tolle talks about the Now, about what is instead of what we want to come to pass. Instead of the past that haunts us. Funny how the past mostly consists mostly of loss, but isn’t that what it is? Seconds in time lost forever. How much of it is real and how much of it is made up?

I listen to Jason Silva enthusing about an optimistic future and find myself yearning for such a future. Surely, if I could remember a time without cellphones like it was yesterday, there will be nanomachines and immortality in my lifetime? Surely if less than a hundred years ago, a “World War” involved only of a bunch of nations around Europe, we can envision a world with no countries? If less than fifty years ago, most of the Western world legislated the end of discrimination against 50% of the human race, we can expect the end of identification with arbitrary geological territories?

But what are they if they are not beautiful dreams? What’s left for us to do today? Now? Does anything in the past matter?

Loneliness

Because sometimes you just want someone to tell you you are awesome.

Because sometimes, just sometimes having an interesting lunch conversation would be nice.

Because when every single piece of advice out there tells you to start giving without thought of receiving as the cure, you wonder how they came to realise that.

Or if they are as guilty of pressing the proverbial “nourishment now!” button.

Sometimes I wonder if scientific method testing is the way to go when it comes to emotions, particularly my own.

So, how long more do I have to reward my own productive behaviour?

Now, to figure out how to make other people’s states improve while I am stuck in this mire.