Being a person is not an easy task under any circumstances, not for anyone.
We all have our own ways of dealing with life’s demands.
Bottom line is: whatever works for you.
There are always complications - as we know - and sometimes things that work, stop working. So you have to find, manufacture, adopt, invent new strategies.
That being said there are a few things that can remain in your arsenal that will always serve you.
For me one of these is to always strive to know what is going on - not to always control because that is not possible - but at least to have a good sense of where my head space is and what I think and feel about situations. Basically, to listen to my intuition, my inner wisdom and let it guide me.
This doesn’t always work, of course, and various times I have gone astray, way off track. Sometimes for years at a time. In retrospect - once I have crawled out of whatever deep, deep hole I have dug myself into - I can work out where I made the wrong turns and how I can avoid the same mistakes in the future.
A few times I have gotten so far off the track that I was lucky to make it back alive.
But such is life.
In these times I have remained true to myself but have let certain aspects become hazy, misguided, misleading.
In effect, I have slowly lead myself astray or, on some occasions, allowed myself be lead astray.
I don’t know why - it’s a gradual thing usually. Like the frog in water that gets increasingly hotter over time - too subtle to notice till it’s almost too late.
Every time I have got myself into some kind of bad place - usually either in a relationship, through substance addiction or over indulgence or through lack of sound judgement, I have had to wake up to myself and begin the long and arduous process of reversing things, turning things around through change of habits, systematic re-evaluations and reconstruction of processes. In layman’s terms: ‘Getting my fucking act together!’
This is usually difficult in the beginning but becomes increasingly easier as the efforts begin to pay off and improvements become apparent.
Looking back now my usual trigger are emotional upset, depression, boredom, loss of direction or plain old simple self delusion. Sometimes they come from an event or series of events but not always.
I have recently surmised that the best defense is prevention. Heed the early signs of decline and intervene. Easier said than done - but henceforth I vow to be increasingly vigilant - cause after a full year of recovery and disciplined self improvement - and having reached a healthy and acceptable place and energy - I realise that extreme ups and downs take their toll on the psyche and I do not wish to slip again.
Even as these ‘bad’ phases were happening, I was still aware of making the best of situations, circumstances. I am not someone who knowingly self sabotages or makes things harder for myself on purpose. This is good - but in some ways, when I am on a descending arc, it is harder to identify. ‘Things are OK’, I will tell myself. But they aren’t.
You need to be heading in the right direction in the bigger picture of things. You need purpose, self improvement though disciplined efforts, a positive vision for your future, something to work on that is rewarding and nourishing. You need to feel useful and, if possible, loved.
As someone who spends a substantial amount of time each day thinking about things, assessing, pondering, considering - when I am writing poems or stories, or cooking up new projects, working on new creative ideas or planning my life flow - I also pay attention to my impulsive thoughts and reactions to situations and my feelings about what is occurring. Watching myself be myself. Wheels within wheels. This is something I am comfortable with and have been doing for a long time. Some may say I think too much and maybe I do. But that’s just who I am. It has it’s advantages and disadvantages. I am definitely my own boss in the mind department and allow myself free rein and a lot of slack. I am not fearful and often really enjoy just going where my mind takes me. Like an adventurer. I know the pitfalls, the dangers. I have gotten lost, gone too far before and I am wary. But I do believe that I am also capable and experienced in mind journeys and confident in my abilities. Like those guys who free climb those giant peaks.
I am not showing off. It’s nothing to show off about, really. Everybody is good at some thing(s). This is one of my things.
The point I began with, though, is about veracity, authenticity. I do not like lies, untruths, misrepresentations. They cloud things, they confuse, they create fog - which leads to missteps and accidents. Truth is harmonious, it is natural, it vibrates and a satisfying and rewarding, an uplifting frequency. It’s a bench mark, an anchor, a level surface. It is where I like to be. It is where we all like to be.
Circumstance, conflicting agendas, complex human chemistry and interactions can easily push us off course, however. It is easy to get confused, become misguided. I find that by spending a large portion of my time alone, in my own counsel, allows me to avoid interference. Of course, it can’t (and shouldn’t be) avoided altogether but if you can sift through what’s presented to you and try and filter out what serves your higher purpose as much as possible - that is what you should do.
I write these thoughts, freely and without edit or censorship. I aim to express what is present as clearly and meaningfully as possible. It is rewarding for me - to write and also to re-read later, but I also do it in the hope that it will be of value to others. I do not do it for attention, praise, financial reward or any reason other than a simple and pure need and desire to express my own truth.
We all love truth. We all need truth. We also need each other. This is my way of connecting. My way of sharing. I may be a bit of an island much of the time - but I am not that far off shore to be inaccessible to mainlanders. One of my pleasures is to return to the mainland or visit other islands and recount my solo adventures, real and imagined.
I know there are many who spend much of their time and energy on their own islands - sentient beings just like me who try and make sense of existence and deal with it in their own unique way. We are a quirky bunch, stubborn, irrational at times but our hearts are in the right place. We probably suffer more than should but what choice do we have but to follow our destinies, the paths laid out in front of us. Sound familiar? Yes, I’m talking about you. We’re the same. Similar, anyway.
And even though that does not really bring big comfort - it does make a difference. We are alone but united in our lyrical aloneness. We are harmonious notes of the same concerto.
Don’t stress, I tell myself. But fucking things keep coming at me that challenge my chill. There is no escape. But what you can do is stay true. Whatever happens. Be you.