The Lightness Of You

To shine bright in the darkness of this world you must be who you truly are.

“Just be yourself” isn’t that what they always say? To be completely honest this sometimes seems like the most corrupt piece of advice we could ever be given, or for that matter, project upon a person.

But is it?

Most of us have no idea who we really are. And yet if we somehow succeed in weaving this somewhat simple skillset into that of who we truly are below the surface, it’s almost guaranteed that everything will evolve for the better.

There is a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that has been simmering with me over the past few weeks. He said, “to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you be someone else is the greatest accomplishment.”

But how does one do that?

Who ought I be? Should I be the chivalrous gentleman my mother raised me to be? How about the smart student that all of my teachers knew I could be? Or should I be the funny, caring, compassionate father that my friends and family have always seen in me? What about the romantic poet that’s always been hidden inside of me?

To tell someone who is confused and stressed out about the direction of his or her life, “just be you” is, at best, a heavy-handed piece of advice.

Yet we hear or offer it up to someone else every single day.

Now I am not writing this to claim an advantage over others in this particular arena of life. I am not here to compete, far from it, I’m just trying to be better than I was yesterday.

But I have learned through my own discrepancies that it is hard work, and at times it has been borderline brutal, realizing that self-awareness is a skillset never perfected. Self-awareness is not a privilege; it is only earned through the blood, sweat, and tears of life.

Self-awareness is often heard through the head-splitting wake up calls that ring through our ears whenever we chase what we think is important for our growth, especially when we become so disillusioned by it that we ignore how painful the process really is.

“Self-awareness is not a privilege; it is only earned through the blood, sweat, and tears of life.”

For myself, that means that I have to fully let go of the person I think I am to truly be me. This is an infinite process, and at times it is extremely dark and lonely, but it has been worth it. I had to peel back the layers of myself. And in the solitude of me, I’m beginning to see the sweetness at the core of my true being.

And by doing so, I am beginning to experience something I haven’t felt in a long time. I am confident. I am growing happier, more content with me, more and more with every new day. This is something that even as recent as a few weeks ago, I thought I might never genuinely feel again.

This newfangled awareness has made me a better boss, a more patient father, a more attentive friend, and it’s quite possible, a more mentally organized and sympathetic writer. At least that’s what I think. And again I am probably getting ahead of myself.

It is no easy task to discard all the masks that life has demanded we wear. To become our true selves takes years of strenuous self-labor, excruciating self-reflective questions, and an infinite look in the mirror of said self. But the end result looks to promise the grand prize of you and that alone makes it worth every effort.

“You understand that to shine bright in the darkness of this world you must be who you truly are.”

When you embrace the inner work of becoming yourself, you start to see the path take shape along the perpetual pursuit for authenticity. You start to taste upon the palette of your soul, the flavor of true freedom. You understand that to shine bright in the darkness of this world you must be who you truly are.

We begin to experience a lightness of ourselves that cannot be weighed down by the heaviness of external achievement or so and so’s validation.

And then one day you wake up, and just like that, boom, you are as comfortable as you’ve ever been in your own skin. One could go so far as to call it, “The Lightness Of You.”

Yet to come to grips with this lightness, one must remove things from the routine of one’s self instead of adding things. Things like negative thoughts, self-doubt, forced relationships, and so forth. It demands a complete inner rebellion of sorts.

Over the past few years I have been putting forth the effort into the building of my own little creative garden. I’ve built everything from an IG page (www.instagram.com/promising_poet) to a few different blogs, and now I am in the process of putting together a photography website, so to share my passionate eye for photography.

But let’s be real here, these are just more creative masks. And while I think they are laying the creative foundation of who I truly am, do they really make up me?

Yes and no, or better yet, maybe. But more on me next week. For now I would like to wrap this post up by touching on the radical effects of inner rebellion.

“Rebellion is the seed for the transformation within.”

There have been great people in the world, but even the greatest of them are very small in comparison to the authentic rebel I am talking about, because they all, in some way or other, come to compromise with the establishment. And that’s where the true rebel differs from them all.

They were wise, they were creative artists, they were musicians, dancers, poets, all kinds of people, the past has produced many luminous figures; but something was missing in them. One basic thing missing is: they all lived in compromise with conditioned interests. They compromised by trying to be an image of habituated beliefs. None of them knew totality in their rebelliousness, well except for One.

Yes, partial rebels have existed, but a partial rebel is not enough. Man needs to rebel within the habit of what he has been, who he was taught to be before he can ever truly be free. Before he can make a difference he must bleed.

No, this world needs wholly authentic rebels to change the destiny of mankind from digging its own grave, to turn the direction back towards the Garden of Eden.

And if you take absolutely anything away from this post, I hope it is you.

To be continued…

—BeLove

For What It’s Worth

A warrior does not give up what he loves, he finds love in what he does.

The warrior stands rebellious, graphite sword in hand, contemplating over a cosmic plain.  Below him or her is a spinning sphere full of trials, tribulations, threatening adversaries, and tempting shortcuts.  Across the plain rises a mountain called mentality, full of promise but harboring a myriad of challenges.  On the other side of the mountain awaits something of which they are not exactly sure.  Could it be valor, transcendence, illumination, possibly enlightenment?  Or perhaps something more sinister hides behind the mountain in the shallow shadowed valleys below.     

All he or she knows is that they must carve a chivalrous path through life’s uneven landscape and scale the mountain, leading the way for those who seek something better on the other side.  They must guide with empathy and compassion through the shades of peril that lay ahead.  They know that death is an option from which they cannot opt out of.  They are very aware that survival could escape them, but they are prepared and are capable of leading those they love to safety regardless of their own well-being.  But they are also confident and their spirits can barely contain themselves.

Follow Your Heart

The warrior wears their heart as a shield, protecting what they love from the evil that lurks in the dusk of fear.  They defy the nightmares of deceit, false belief, and the judgments that create suffering and false happiness.  It is a war that once was waged within their own hearts and minds.  They stare fear in the eye with an awareness that the inner conflict of adversity has already taught them.  They know that truth, divinity, and unconditional love are what lie ahead on the other side of fear.  They know what is at stake and it is more important than anything else to them.  It is Freedom.  Or call it cerebral liberty if you will.

The warrior breathes benevolence for what they wish to protect, in this case, the reverence of love, and freedom of the mind.  Their tears are hidden behind their eyes, for it is love, not hate, which motivates.  They acknowledge that bravery comes in the presence of fear and not in its absence. Afraid or not, they keep emotional arousal at bay and instead use its energy to finish the task at hand.  They are confident in their skills of struggle and that conceit is an exploitable weakness.  They feel everything that everyone does, but answer otherwise.  Their commitment to peace and harmony is deeper than any river they have ever crossed.  It is what they live, love, fight, die, and write for. 

The warrior knows that in order to win the war against fear, they require awareness, valor, discipline, and promise in order to transform the emotional body of the whole.  They know their inner strength is a weapon but how it is used depends on their hearts and minds, and of course their soul. 

Be Aware

Awareness is the most vital tool of a warrior.  We often think we are aware but to be purely aware does not involve thinking whatsoever.  Awareness is unpolluted because there is no interpretation to the thinking process.  To be aware means that we perceive with clarity the truth of what is happening in the present without opinion.  In a moment of pure awareness the dialogue in our mind stops.  We see from a point of view separate from the scrutiny of our mind.  It is in the awareness of an epiphany that balance finds its way beneath the warrior’s footing, balance being extremely important, as we will discuss later on as we stumble down this road. 

Awareness is essential because it is a state of consciousness that allows us to discern between the facts and the truth, and between the story and the lies in our mind.  Our mind is filled with false perceptions and false beliefs.  The mind is crafty, but it is also full of assumptions and limited patterns of perception, it is easily fed with distraction. 

Self-awareness is the clarity to know who and what you are, and not become so entangled in the image of yourself.  Your self-image that is your utmost distraction will often misrepresent the sense of who you really are.  False internal images can lead you to lower self-esteem and self-confidence, or they can lead to being self-centered. 

Mind Your Head

If you have an idea of who you are, then contemplate that you are not that idea in your mind.  You are the one creating and discerning it.  When you become aware that the images of self that you hold in your mind are nothing but illusion, you recognize the essence of freeing yourself from self-importance.

The warrior has the courage to question his or her own beliefs.  By challenging our own beliefs, we begin to recognize the lies that cause our own suffering.  To challenge our own beliefs requires courage because it is a means to the end of the illusion of safety.  A warrior learns not to defend what we believe, but to challenge those very beliefs ourselves.  It is in this way that we are able to sort the truth from illusion.

Discipline is of the utmost importance in the spirit of a warrior.  Discipline is stringent upon staying the course when faced with the inward challenges of the mind.  A warrior must have the discipline to continue to practice against his or her own mind, without any outside motivation.  They must exercise their own free will at the command of their heart without outward representation.  This often means going against the fearful opinions in our minds that allure us with patterned illusions of both punishment and reward.  They must also carry close the discipline to follow their heart when tempted by judgment.

Love Yourself

The warrior must commit to self-love.  They can then extend that love amongst others, as well as humanity.  Self-commitment is required because along the journey we are certain to fall many times.  It is with strong commitment that the warrior gets back up again.  It is common to fall upon the fleeting judgment of others.  It is easy to love some people, particularly those who treat us with mutual respect.  However, it requires an incredible commitment to love in the face of those who reject us.  This commitment will challenge us.  It will challenge our beliefs about our own judgments, while teaching us that pure compassion is the only defense required. 

The warrior is committed to love beyond their own self-serving interests and what it will bring them.  This is how we become happy past our own paradigm of longing.  Over time, we become committed to love for the sheer enjoyment of expressing love.  This is what the spirit of a warrior lives for, to love.  They nourish themselves with the love they express.  A warrior will always express their love, even when challenged. 

The warrior always expects the best from themselves.  They may not always overcome everything they are faced with, but it is with certainty that they will give it their all to rise above failure.  They will make the best of every situation and seek to unleash their greatest potential even if they do have to dip into the madness of their own mind.  They expect to set the example of what it takes to lead and inspire others, no matter how close to the edge they take themselves.  Therefore, they must be ready, willing, and able to carry the burden, even when lost in the arid desert of their mind.   

A warrior understands that they only have one life, so they treat it with reverence and fill it with those peculiar moments that make life worth living and with those they find meaningful.  Sometimes a warrior must walk away from everything he was to find out where he truly belongs.

The Takeout

But what do I know? I am not necessarily a warrior, I am just some guy who likes to write, but I believe in something much more greater and graceful than the good we are promised.  I have a vision and I believe in it with such passion, I will seek it out until the day I die.  The funny thing is that it’s right here within me.  It always has been, somewhere deep, and probably pretty damn dark.  But it is true; there is a light of faith that will always shine through.

It is in these moments when I write that I find meaning.  The means of myself seem to meet with pen and paper.  For some odd reason, I associate words with leaving a mark on the world.  I’m not sure why. I do know it is borderline brutal to be an open book in a world that barely reads anymore.  But writing allows my soul to saunter with creative experience and not wither away to the misuse of boredom’s mediocrity.  I guess it allows my mind its daily serenity and by treating every minute as a gift—with a gift—is a great way to align my life the way that I see fit. 

So, let us stop wasting these precious minutes, and start running towards those dreams.  Starting with today, go get whatever it is you wish to deserve from this life.  Or you could just continue to put it off until tomorrow, but eventually, you will have to either walk away from what it is the spiritual path demands or stare it down and give everything that you have got to get to the results that Heaven and the One Upstairs desire. 

And for what it’s worth, the warrior knows that he doesn’t have a lot to offer, but what he truly believes in is worth something, as long as he can manage to stay out of his own damn way.

–BeLove