It is utterly impossible to pause the voices in my head and quiet my mind long enough to complete a thought, one, single, complete, thought. I live a fairly simple life. I have no children, work one job, live alone, and while I feel I have more than enough friends, I really only explore life with the one's who I find to be a dismembered piece of my soul, so I don't get out much. And somehow, 24 hours in a day, never seems to be enough to accomplish anything worth while.
I have shared with you all, that writing subsides in my gut, my spirit, my complete livelihood. And that I wasted ten years of my life avoiding it. Forgetting it. Life gets in the way, so easily. How do we stop the voices, stop the maintenance, stop existing, and start forcing ourselves to live our purpose? How do we even find out what our purpose is!!! With all of the chaos devouring our moments, eating alive our capacity to imagine our future, and mindfully erecting hurdles at every turn, how can we possibly get through the day without scrapes on our ego, and setbacks in our plans as we attempt, daily, to reroute our mindless drudgery through it all?
The last thing that I will say, is that it's easy as steps a, b, and c. Truthfully, I haven't gotten a well thought out, catch-all patchwork that frees the momentum in us all. I have, at best, a week old, oily grasp on my own. But the light, oh the light that it shines, is unmistakable. Once you take hold, the pull from all of the demons in hell on their strongest day in tandem couldn't pull it from your weakest charge.
I shared the other day that someone I love dearly, reached my dream before I did, and it hurt. It was deserved. But it hurt no less. Possibly more so because I knew how much fault I had in my own failures. Sometimes, it will take nothing less than a slap so hard in the face to awaken our spirit and get you back on track. Sometimes, we don't have that luxury. So the best thing I can do, is offer you the tricks I know to keep you focused, help you end the obsessiveness of everyday mediocrity and move in on your life's purpose. It's in there. Deep. But I promise.
The most important piece of advice I can ever give anyone regarding anything, which also happens to apply here, is to know yourself. How does one do this? You would be amazed at how easy it is to lie to yourself, or even just deny the life around you the ability to process into your own consciousness. Knowing yourself goes beyond simply, "I like horror movies but not romance," or "I'm just not a morning person." Knowing yourself has more to do with reaction, defense vs. offense, clarity, prioritizing your thoughts, and mostly, raw, ugly, often hard to face, honesty. Are you always on the defense with the people around you? What does this do to the relationships you have established? Do you take time to clarify the events that have occurred throughout your day? Do you look back on the life that has led you to here, this moment, and put the puzzle pieces together, in an attempt to clarify your exact location? Do you confront your demons when they are stronger than your angels and question their motives? Do you question why your angels were so weak on that day, that your demons were able to win? Begin by answering these questions.
Know your own mind. Examine the pieces as if they were fine Swiss interworking's of a master timepiece and no one is left to fix them if they stop working. It is the only mind you are given. You can honor it, or you can allow it to run amuck, building dust, slowing over time until the pieces no longer work together. Which brings me to my next point.
Never stop learning new things. Some of us have luck on our side in the event that we know at the top step of our lives, a mere babe, at eight years old, that we will write one day. But the fruits of my labor browned as I walked the path life put before me instead of discovering my own. Knowledge is the only power in this world that cannot, with the mightiest army against you, be taken from you. And the more of it you possess, the more powerful your purpose can become. Learn a little bit of everything. In the end, if you liked nothing of it, you can say, at least, that you tried.
Lastly, keep your power for yourself. So often, (I literally have to pause, gasp, ugh, and painstakingly maneuver my way around this concept), so often, I see people, men and women alike, shifting their power to another, a spouse, a child, a family member, an enabler, a drug, an obsession, a perversion, a thing, a measly thing because it occupies their mind for awhile. Literally thinking, "oohhh, it's shiny," or "that label will make others think I'm important." (I know, I know. I'll catch slack for that one from those who know me because I have been a label whore in the past. But I've changed. I'm a quality whore now. Deal with it). But the power you have has been building your entire life, through the events you haven't examined, from the knowledge, you haven't let settle in, on the wings of the angels you often weaken with your intent to only exist; that power is inherently, justly, only, yours.
I sit here, knowing how incredibly strong I can be in the face of the ugliest demons. And then I check my phone. No one is immune. The world has coveted such chaos and misery at times that it occupies our entire ability to be. Sigmund Freud, once my very own antagonistic reason for being (I acutely thought at one point my entire purpose was to disprove everything he had ever done, until his smallest book crossed my mind's eye), yes Freud, nearly sixty years ago, revealed the magical revelation that would continue to grow, as humanity continued to diminish. "The irremediable antagonism between the demands of instinct and the restrictions of civilization" can be traced back to his earliest writings. He noted, and I've used this quote before, because its accuracy is frightening, that "it is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement-that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life...and in making this generalization, we forget how varied we, and the world are." Civilization and It's Discontents (get a copy immediately).
The world, let's face it, is beyond any control we will ever possess as individuals. But our world, however, maintains only because it is controlled by us. Embrace who you are and what purpose you are here to give to the deteriorating world. If you make a cognizant effort to not only keep your power, but enlist it each day, your world will expose your purpose. You may only flourish when you maintain your power, your honesty, your dignity and allow nothing to interfere with the light that is waiting to shine for you. But your eyes must be open. Your interworking's must be dust free. And your wings must be strong enough to lift you off at any moment. Always be ready for that greatness. You will never be remembered for how many facebook "friends" you were able to get to click, "accept." But you will never be forgotten for the purpose you drove into the hearts of the friends you embraced on the path you dug out for yourself.