My time in Arizona has been brief, but it’s been a culture shock nonetheless. There are some AMAZING people here (cheers to the few I’ve found!), but there is also a prominent culture that thrives on IMAGE: pretext, possessions, and a best-face-forward approach to relationships that is ingenuine at the least and duplicitous at the worst.
If you’re as self-analytical as I am, you’ve probably noticed patterns in your past relationships at some point. Doesn’t it always seem that things are golden and peachy and marshmallows and rainbows – UNTIL shit hits the fan… until push comes to shove, and outside or inside circumstances put some heat on the relationship… and that facade melts away like dross?
The truth is, if you want to know who someone REALLY is, or if you want to truly know YOURSELF, you need to look at their/your weakest moments.
Who are you in the broken places? The in-betweens in life? When things are uncomfortable, or painful, what do you do, what do you say? Who are you when you’re being hurt, maligned, slandered, attacked? Who are you when you suffer job loss or breakups or put-downs or rejection or neglect? Who are you alone, who are you with others, who are you when things aren’t going your way? Who are they? And who are you… REALLY?
You’ll learn quickly in life – if you choose to observe – that people will be what they want you to THINK they are… until they’re in life’s pressure cooker – with or without you – and their true self comes out.
The same is true for you. When shit hits the fan, all of your insecurities and fears and confusion and uncertainty will, too. So how do you make sure that the you that you are is the you that you want to be?
You prepare NOW for life’s inevitable tempests. You hone your mind, you direct your thoughts, you invest in your passions, you pursue the things that matter. You figure out your weaknesses, you attack them with vigor, and you hone your strengths. You surround yourself with people who make you recognize and realize the best parts of who you are. You make sure you’re in tune with the deepest parts of you, so there are no surprises. You choose to let the right people into that, so they can shine light on the good and help chase out the evil. You never. Fucking. Coast.
Don’t settle. Don’t go with the flow. Don’t live in your comfort zone. Don’t abdicate responsibility over the importance of sharpening body and mind to prepare your soul for battle in the rough places. Act, and act NOW.
If you want to love yourself, and be loved for who you are – if you want to survive the toughest storms, you need to know – you need to explore and invest in understanding who you are… really.
“Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.”
― Ramana Maharshi
“I have realized; it is during the times I am far outside my element that I experience myself the most. That I see and feel who I really am, the most! I think that’s what a comet is like, you see, a comet is born in the outer realms of the universe! But it’s only when it ventures too close to our sun or to other stars that it releases the blazing “tail” behind it and shoots brazen through the heavens! And meteors become sucked into our atmosphere before they burst like firecrackers and realize that they’re shooting stars! That’s why I enjoy taking myself out of my own element, my own comfort zone, and hurling myself out into the unknown. Because it’s during those scary moments, those unsure steps taken, that I am able to see that I’m like a comet hitting a new atmosphere: suddenly I illuminate magnificently and fire dusts begin to fall off of me! I discover a smile I didn’t know I had, I uncover a feeling that I didn’t know existed in me… I see myself. I’m a shooting star. A meteor shower. But I’m not going to die out. I guess I’m more like a comet then. I’m just going to keep on coming back.”
― C. JoyBell C.