Maybe it’s because I’ve been through a year of major life change (i.e. new baby, taking on new life roles, etc.) or because the end of my 20s is rapidly approaching, or just because it’s a new season and a time for new thinking… who knows, but I’ve been having one of my big life/mind/spirit reconfiguration moments, yet again.
I’ve been feeling an underlying sense of tension, stress and dissatisfaction lurking in the corners of myself and sometimes seemingly taking over my brain! The reason this has been particularly annoying or troublesome is the fact that so many things in my life are absolutely amazing, so it’s frustrating to have part of your mind getting in the way of all the good stuff. So, very slowly and painstakingly, I’ve been trying to understand what’s going on with me and work through it. Basically, I want my life back and want to fully live in all the amazing stuff that’s going on around me, so that means doing the necessary work of getting to the bottom of all these swirling, chattering, rambling thoughts and difficult emotions!
One thing I realized today while having my nice refreshing shower (it’s one of the few places where I have peace and quiet for a few minutes! Haha!), was that I have built up a strong habit of constantly comparing my life and myself to others and that basically, I need to wake up and start listening to the wisdom of my own life and experience, so to speak.
I wrote in a previous post about my frustration with politics and specifically the way that people are engaging in politics in the US at the moment, and that frustration is what has sparked my current inquiry into things. I find I get so passionate or angry or almost personally hurt by some people or some groups’ beliefs or ideas or actions in relation to all this. With some of my pet issues, I just get so infuriated and sad about what I perceive as other people’s hurtful or selfish or close-minded beliefs and I want things to change, right now! I have a vision of what I imagine my country or the world, etc. to be like and sometimes I find it rather crushing to find that so many people want something so different. Of course, I don’t have all the answers to all life’s problems and issues, and I know people have reasons for whatever they believe, but anyway, that’s the sort of response I’ve had to it all, for right or wrong.
I think I’ve developed a habit of being very critical over the years. Critical thinking isn’t a bad thing in and of itself obviously, and it’s the way we figure out the world, piece things together and decide what it is we believe or reject, and so I think it all began in this more positive way of making sense of the world. However, I think over time my ideas have become somewhat stagnant, I’ve gotten into a mental rut, I am more critical than I am creative, and I think it’s become a bit of a problem for me.
So, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching, and I’ve been thinking and reflecting on way more things than I have time to write about here, but I guess today’s realization is in response to all that criticising I’ve become stuck in. I’m so often either picking apart the ideas of others, and thinking about how much I disagree with this or that concept or belief, and seeing the flaws in everyone else’s interpretation of things. It’s a destructive process of seeing the negative in so many things and people, to the exclusion of positives that might co-exist there as well. And of course, it seems the main thing that when we’re thinking about how wrong other people are, that is always in contrast to how very RIGHT we are. It’s a way of validating my own thoughts and making myself feel more knowledgeable, compassionate, worldy-wise, etc.
On the flip side of all this criticising is the search for positive role models to imitate or learn from. Again, reading about things or people that inspire you is obviously not a bad thing in itself, but sometimes I get too caught up in trying to find validation or identity in other people’s lives, thoughts, beliefs, etc. I think after all these years of knowing that it doesn’t work like that, I’m still secretly looking for the meaning to life and a perfect formula for living in a book, obviously a book I haven’t read yet! If I just keep searching, maybe I’ll find it yet! (Actually, I know I never will!) Anyway, all this is just another way to compare myself to others, and it means I’m not just living my own life!
So, there you go. None of this is a new or revolutionary discovery. Basically, the answers to how I should live my life and who I am as a person are only to be found in my own life and experience! It’s time to stop all the comparing and judging, and trust in the wisdom of my own life to give me a sense of meaning and grounded-ness. I don’t have all the answers in life, but I know enough to know how to live well, and I need to just chill out and trust in that.
Now all that thinking has made me really hungry, so I’m off to the kitchen, which may actually be the real place to find life’s answers! I’ll let you know if I find out anything good!