Thursday, June 5, 2014

Taking the First Step

Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated
until defeat has been accepted
as a reality
To me, defeat in anything is merely temporary,
and its punishment is but an urge for me to exert greater effort
to achieve my goal.
Defeat simply tells me that something is wrong in my doing;
it is a path leading to success and truth

~Bruce Lee


We all feel it. Physical. Mental. Psychological. It's there. And when we feel it, it can be gut-wrenching. 

What I feel right now is a mix of pain, energy, nervousness, and aliveness that has not been present for quite some time. It feels like my whole life has been marred with hiding under the covers, afraid to step into the light. My ego has been in control and my mind has been running my life. It wants to survive. And I have allowed it to take complete control over my life. The ego wants to be right. The more power we give it, the stronger it becomes. It's like the Native American tale about which wolf we feed. In my case, I've been feeding the ego more than my heart. 

The Ego and Heart

Living life underneath the covers is not living life at all. As a child, I can remember running away and hiding underneath the covers when I was scared. It seems like a natural thing to do. As an adult, the act of hiding underneath the covers has disappeared and shown itself in different ways without me knowing.  

I've been a coward most of my life. How many risks have I actually taken? How many times have I actually been courageous? It's hard to even think of instances of using courage. In fact, it can probably be counted on one hand. This is not to put myself down and welcome pity. It's the reality I've created. 

But we are not our past. And identifying weaknesses is one of the first keys. Identifying the problem is hugely important. And sometimes, it's the most difficult thing to accept. To accept that we ultimately have the power and control over our lives. To accept that our minds are a tool rather than identifying yourself as your mind. This is a trap. And I fell into it long ago. What I thought I knew was a lie my mind and ego tricked me with. They were protecting themselves. Now the mind and ego are not enemies of my heart, who I really am. But they have no place in things like love and dealings with the heart.


The failure of listening to my heart and other people has led me astray. And once you have shown your inability to listen, people stop trying. It becomes a chore and a waste of energy for the people. This is what I have done to people around me. I've done it to myself as well. 

Typing the failures is difficult and I feel a trembling. I feel a sort of shakiness. It's not paralyzing, but it's an energy that is unlike any other I have felt. It feels like a last chance, hanging off the top of a cliff. My hands are ripped, callused and bleeding. My grip is slipping and death is near. The heart is pleading with me one last time to pull myself up. The mind and ego want nothing to do with the heart. And this is the fork in the road. Who do I run towards? Who do I spend my time with now? Do I follow the mind and ego into the death of my soul? Or do I follow my heart, knowing it can break, knowing I will suffer, but knowing that by following it I will be saved.  

The road has light, but it is very dim right now. The darkness can easily overtake me if I falter. And when choosing to listen to my heart, resistance will try and come in to drag me down. There is no second chance anymore.  The time is now.  

How Many Tomorrow's

How many tomorrow's do we have? How many more times will we follow the darkness instead of the light? How many more times will we allow the mind to lead us instead of the heart?  

It takes tremendous courage to live life fully. It may not look like what we associate with courage, but is the best example I can summon. People who live life fully are the most courageous. They are the heroes. They are the ones who serve as role models. Children are one of the best examples of courage and living life fully. 

I've had the pleasure to know some of these heroes. One in particular shines her light so bright. She fails, she falls, she gets back up and listens to her heart. She experiences life fully. The polar opposite has been me. Analyzing life instead of living. It's much easier to do that. Sit on the sideline and analyze life, you don't risk anything. To experience life and follow the heart is the most courageous and risky thing we can do. But is the most glorious adventure. And for the short time knowing her, it's amazing to have been around it. 

We all have the ability to do great things, to lead with our hearts. I am an example of someone who has  let the mind lead me. And it has led me to horrible pains and depression. It doesn't have to be that way. We all have something we are pulled towards. And in this time we are living, it's possible to make those dreams of our heart into something we can call work. But without living life, we will be a shell of ourselves.  A Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. Sometimes living life and being wonderful, someone who people love being around and sometimes being the vampire and sucking everyone's energy. We have the choice, we have the power, and it lies in being courageous. 

How many tomorrow's do we have? 

I hope that each day can be a step in the right direction. I hope I can find the strength and courage to continue on. Because while doing so will influence my happiness, it will influence everyone around me too.

And living a life where so much is wasted is one of my biggest fears. We all have something to give and something to share. But if we don't take care of ourselves first, we will waste our opportunity.  

So if you take anything from this post, hopefully you learn the anguish associated with letting your mind lead you through life instead of your heart. Observe your mind and watch your mind, but do not associate your being with it. 

There's so much love in this world and so many things we can do to help each other. Start with loving yourself and following your heart. 

It will lead you to amazing places. 

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