REFLECT. CREATE. RECHARGE.
a life on the road, with a head in the clouds
I heard something about a month ago on one of my favorite podcasts that really spoke to me: "A real man is someone who can give love he never got." Of course, this can be applied to anyone and is not gender specific. I know I speak for many of us when I say my upbringing was less than traditional. Don't get me wrong, I have tons to be thankful for and wouldn't change a thing about my upbringing. And I truly place blame on no one. Everything in my life, and all of ours in my opinion, has happened for a reason and has made me who I am. So this is simply a reflection and not a complaint. But I didn't know my father until I was 9, and until then was raised by a single, severely head-injured mother. She did her best and is an amazing woman. And my father did his best once he was around as well, and I'm forever grateful that he came back when he did, and for everything he's done for me since. For much of my life, though I didn't realize it, I had a lot of general resentment and anger (especially towards men) and subconsciously let it justify certain behaviors. But just because we've been hurt and haven't received the love that we are all warranted as a human being doesn't mean it's ever okay to project that onto others. Just because we've been going through something hard or haven't had certain luxuries that others may have never justifies treating people badly or taking it out on others. Our trauma is absolutely valid and acting out of fear is understandable, but its important to look inward to heal ourselves so that we may react outwardly in a pure and open way, rather than out of fear. Our trauma is not anyone else's fault. And even if it is directly someone's fault, that doesn't make treating them the same way justifiable. As we all know, it's quite difficult not to project our fear and our pain onto others, but the kind of love we should all be striving to put out there is this kind of unconditional love; giving love despite the fact that maybe we didn't receive it in our formative years, or whenever. The first step in this, I think, is forgiveness. And real forgiveness is the abandon of the idea that "because I've been hurt, I get to do some hurting." I've been on both sides of this. I'm definitely guilty of it, as I'm sure many people are. But recognizing this projections is so important, in order to do the self-work that is necessary in order to heal, and try to be the best humans we can be. Questions like "why am I saying this thing or feeling this way? Is it something I'm saying out of fear or anger or jealousy (both of which actually come from fear if you dig deep enough)? Is it a reaction to something that makes me feel insecure? Or is it something I'm saying out of love and openness?" are important things for us all to be asking ourselves. I feel very strongly about the fact that love always wins and not only is it in others' best interest, it's in our own best interest, in terms of mental and emotional health goes. I happen to believe it's also just the right thing to do, but even in recognizing that everyone has their own moral compass, it's not difficult to realize that it's in our own best interest. Love truly always wins. And the game of life is no joke. And I'm not only talking about this physical life in this particular society.
I recently had someone question my ideal of striving to put others before me even in situations in which I can admit logically that I will likely come out worse on the other end, and the conversation challenged me in a great way. It really got me thinking.....
My answer was this: It depends on the situation and I could never promise myself or anyone else that in a life or death situation I wouldn't be ruled by fear and decide not to help someone else because logic dictates that I will definitely get severely hurt or possibly even die. No one wants to die. It's obviously difficult to look at a situation such as running into a burning building to help someone, or getting in the way of a predator when someone is being attacked. It could put me very much in danger. But I'd like to think that I would have the courage to put others first. And no, it's not about being a hero. It's about us all helping each other and living for others instead of ourselves in any situation, even when it might be dangerous. In general, I think this is the type of society we should all be working towards. I realize this may not always be easy or even possible, because a lot of variables can get in the way, and fear is strong. Especially in a society predominately powered by fear. But we can start in little ways, doing whatever we can. We can choose to do the self-work needed to be prepared for any situation. We We can forgive. We can show unconditional love in everyday life to those around us, and put others first. We all have the divine flame, and the more we spread our flame, the more the light will grow. One single flame can light hundreds of candles. Love is light and light is true.
I hope everyone had a great weekend and that the week is off to a good start! Get outside, do some reflecting, and let your mind expand! It can't expand nearly as far when it has a literal ceiling on it ;)
Stay Sunny, y'all. Happy Monday!!