One of you got in touch with me via firstname.lastname@example.org and asked something along the lines of this:
“I feel caught in a perpetual battle between what I want and what others want for me, between contentment and angst. I try to live my life in two separate modalities at once. But, if I live in two opposing modalities at once, how can I expect to ever feel satisfied, and how on earth can I be authentic?”
Ultimately that’s what life is – living in two or more modalities.
Being aware of the good while it happens but having the sobering knowledge that it won’t last.
It’s the beauty of life.
Rather than be blind to it or constantly struggling to be in control, think of it like a rollercoaster or a river. You go with the flow and gently direct the way you go.
If you fight it by trying to swim upstream, that’s when you suffer. So when you have a high – enjoy it and make the most of it. And when it’s down, do what you can and it will pick up.
There are societal pressures but if you rise up, you’ll see it all for what it is. I was reading an interesting article by Bret Easton Ellis about Charlie Sheen and this is what he had to say about mid-life crisis:
“The mid-life crisis is the moment in a man’s life when you realize you can’t (won’t) maintain the pose that you thought was required of you any longer—you’re older and you have a different view of life and this is when the bitterness and acceptance blooms.”
Don’t look for meaning or order in it. Because there is none.
The key is being able to detach from what you can control and what you cannot.
You make your choices and go with them regardless.
You can play two games, one of the career and the back-up and one of what you really want in your life.
You won’t know what you want and, in actual fact, the two things end up merging into one. You do certain things to get other things. As long as you have an over-arching strategy for where you want your life to be or go, you’ll be fine. It’s all lessons and experiences.
Life is up and down and high and low.
But the lows teach you about yourself and whether you’ve grown since the last low and give you context and comparison for the highs.
The trick is to be ok with yourself throughout those because those are external to you.
Meditation and all that stuff is good at entering yourself, seeing within.
Also living life and hardening yourself with life experience will show you the true nature of things. People cling on to deeply held beliefs for comfort.
Expose yourself to the grit of the world and things don’t seem to harsh. It seems ordered. Weak characters will say the jungle and the wild are barbaric. But there is beauty in it.
Beauty that a coddled person will never truly understand.
The adrenaline of a chase of a lion vs the fear of standing over the ledge of a tall building.
That’s the up and down of life.
It’s what’s being alive is.
Go be alive.
Test your limits and test your personal boundaries. There is a Polish saying: “Your ass will always go numb in cotton.”
If you do that, very quickly the existential woes and all that nonsense will go away because you’ll be busy living.
P.S. Thanks for reading and feel free to subscribe to my email list.