Because I’m a little dry where my writing muse is concerned, I decided to post something that I wrote on another blog two years ago. Yes, it has made that big of an impact on my life and is probably the only time I’ve written entirely from the heart. Please don’t take it as preaching – it’ll seem that way – and just read it as the history of my awakening.
From January 20, 2006:
To all the people out there, young and old, who are having problems as life gets hard:
I know you feel like the world is against you.
I know you think that your parents (or your spouse, or your friends) hate you.
I know that you believe that life dealt you a bad hand.
I know you.
I was you.
No, I didn’t “find God”. I never looked, really.
No, I wasn’t brainwashed by some speaker or counselor or religious institution.
No, I haven’t become some hippy freak.
I just figured it out.
It’s actually quite easy, but you won’t think so at first. You’ll hem and haw and whine and make excuses as to why you can’t change. You’ll do that because you’re not ready. But you’ll eventually be ready, and you’ll know it’s time when you start seeing yourself from a different perspective. When you look at something you just said, something you just did, and you blink, and you ask yourself “who was that person?” or “what the hell?”… or when you see those things and feel enormous guilt over them… then it will be time.
See your ego and stop feeding it. You are not the center of the universe, and you should never consider yourself to be any more important than another person on this planet.
This is not to say you are not important. Of course you are.
With you comes change – it’s the nature of our species. Each one of us changes another in our personal interactions, no matter how small. Everything we do is an interaction with everyone else, whether we do these things with others or not. Things we do – or do not do – to ourselves will act upon our entire attitude, which will in turn affect the way we interact with other beings.
You might wonder “why should I care about other beings?”
Simple answer… because what happens to you is determined by how others interact with you, as well. It’s been called “The Golden Rule” and attributed to Jesus, but it’s been around far longer than the entire Christian thing.
Be the change you want to see.
That’s usually something that you hear in the media, a quote from Gandhi, and it usually relates to the world as a whole. It works on the smallest levels just as well. In fact, it NEEDS to work on those smallest levels in order to work on the larger scale. What’s great is, once you learn to let go of the “me first” part of your attitude, and you begin to believe that things are getting better… they WILL. Put a positive spin on everything you do, no matter how distasteful the chore or how boring the activity is. If you get stressed – maybe things aren’t changing fast enough, maybe someone else around you is having a problem with maturity, maybe you’re upset about the state of the world – take a breather. Go for a walk, do some exercise, meditate, lift weights… do something that will benefit your self.
And that brings us back to the subject of ego. Self is different. Self has needs, Ego has wants.
Self needs clean air, clean water, pure foods, shelter, companionship. Simple. Every being on this planet deserves as much.
Ego wants to stay out late, eat junk food, booze it up, smoke, do drugs, stay in bad relationships, buy big cars, have lots of things. It wants to avoid doing things that might make someone else feel better. It wants attention, no matter what it has to do to get some. It wants to sabotage other people’s efforts to change it for the better, and so it won’t listen.
Self’s job is to tame Ego. Put your Self in charge of your life, and stop worrying so much about what the “other guy” has.