Hello Dearest One!
Here's what I know to be true:
Living a life where you are trying to become someone you aren't, is one of the most painful ways to exist.
Most people live their entire lives trying to become the person their caregivers, religious leaders, governments and popular cultures have told them they are 'supposed' to become.
Most of us are doing this with no awareness that we're doing it.
We really BELIEVE we are being true to ourselves. That we are following what we 'want' to be doing. When we sit down and think about our careers, our relationships, the things we are trying to achieve in our personal growth/spirituality/wellness practices - our lives in general - we feel a vague sense that the path we are on is either the only 'right or safe' option - the only one that makes sense or seems doable - even if it feels terrible.
We loop in patterns of self destruction, self sabotage, coping, numbing, scapegoating, addiction. Needing to be stimulated either through substance/nervous system attacking practices/guilt/anxiety/fear of what will happen if we DON'T move into action, and then needing to be numbed, drugged, or otherwise entertained into coming 'down'. We feel constantly wired and tired. We try so many different ways to 'heal' ourselves of our flaws - never finding that we make actual PROGRESS - instead we face the same gut level feeling of aimlessness/hopelessness/pain no matter how many different ways we try to fix things.
All because we are trying to force a reality that doesn't exist - we are trying to create an 'us' - and to live a life based on that self - that can never exist.
Most of us have no idea we are doing this because our conditioning is so deeply engrained. We are following a life path and holding onto an identity that was handed to us the moment we were born. We were indoctrinated into our culture from breath one.
This didn't erase reality.
This didn't destroy our true nature and what we actually need to thrive, what we are naturally inclined to do and become. It didn't fundamentally alter our basic structure.
Thus - anything we have been conditioned to deny in ourselves or to try to create in ourselves that doesn't exist is going to cause us pain.
But to actually look at this pain, and address the fact that we aren't going to be what we have been trained from day one we MUST become in order to be loved, safe, provided for and successful would lead to the most intense kind of existential crisis - so we push it away. We keep looping. We keep blaming ourselves and our 'bad behaviour' for our pain and unhappiness. We find new and exciting ways to fix ourselves, end up disappointed in the results, blame ourselves or the 'thing' then find something new. We keep pursuing lives that stress us out for the promise of what they will give us in the future. We stay in relationships that aren't functional. We keep engaging in practices that don't actually nourish us.
All because owning the reality of who we really are, choosing to become our true selves in this world that isn't really set up for actual unique expression, learning how to figure out what we need and how to get those needs met, is really really hard.
But it's easier than denying reality.
Owning who you are is the scariest thing you will ever do, AND it is way less painful long term than living the conditioned fantasy life that will never help you feel well.
Letting go of our conditioned ideas of who and what we have to be WILL cause many dark nights of the soul. We will feel lost. Petrified. Terrified. Convinced we will die - but as we work through those feelings, we WILL figure out how to live in this world in a new way that actually deals with REALITY.
We will stop fighting with reality, and then reality will lead us to a life that actually works.
Our Culture Of 'Not Enough':
When we begin to allow ourselves to release the conditioned version of ourselves - the 'us' we've been told our whole lives we MUST become in order to be good, worthy, successful, enough - we can grieve the loss of love and security seeking for that being brings us.
Then, we can get on with figuring out how to create a life that actually works for the reality of who we are.
THIS is hard.
We are raised in a world that has deep core wounds. That has many, many fear based ideas about what we are and aren't 'allowed' to be. These ideas are based fundamentally upon a system that believes competition is the only way to survive. Humans against humans. Humans against nature. Those in power over the resources keep that power via making 'other' groups insecure and unsafe. Either through deliberately making their access to resources and the capacity to make a decent life for themselves impossible OR through the mind virus of not enough.
THIS constant drumbeat of 'not enough' keeps us locked in states of fear that then turn us into batteries for the 'not enough' system. We turn inwards. See enemies in everyone. We allow ourselves to fight for ourselves at the expense of others - and to turn a blind eye to the systems we participate in that do so on our behalf.
We are so worried about 'not enough' that it drives us literally insane. To a point of total reality denial. We believe there's not enough when there would be if we could learn to cooperate. If we could release these systems of competition for new ones based on each individual being themselves, offering what they offer to the group, and allowing the rest of the group to do the same. In this we don't lose our individuality - rather we lose the FEAR that difference = threat to my already not enough. We would then see that we can work together to value life - building new systems that support the whole.
On an individual level, so long as we are engaging in 'self improvement' that is built around the idea that there is some inherent lack or flaw in our nature that must be corrected - we've bought into the system. And of course we did - it's the only system we've ever known.
The System Feeds Us Solutions That Aren't Solutions: They Keep Us Stuck:
Most of us are so deeply entrenched in the idea that we are broken that when our spiritual when self help gurus teach us to transcend ourselves, to get over our addictions and coping mechanisms, to do whatever it takes to have success in the system that is destructive at it's very core, while learning to have nothing but joy while you do it - we believe. We buy. We go to the conference. We blame ourselves when the breathing, chanting, journaling, medicine and so on routine doesn't magically transform us into a highly profitable, self actualized consumption machine.
We are so conditioned to be against ourselves and for the system that we will forever blame ourselves and one another while never having the courage to say - may be it's the set up that doesn't work.
Maybe the rose isn't blooming because the environment is toxic. We keep blaming the rose.
When we let ourselves release the conditioned us we think we have to be to be safe - we find fear at first.
Fear of losing love.
Fear of being abandoned and shamed.
Fear of not being able to provide for ourselves.
We see that all the coping, self sabotage, addictions and scapegoat behaviors are rooted in a self deeply in conflict. Conflict between our true nature and what we actually need to thrive, and the culture that has made all these rules to keep the power structure as it is.
We see that so much of the spiritual and self improvement work we were doing and selling was based in trauma not truth. In a desire to erase humanity in exchange for the mechanistic program.
We will all have the FEAR of death come up when we start to embrace ourselves.
When we let go of the idea of who we thought we were supposed to become. The career we thought we had to have. The lifestyle. The temperament. The personality. We will face our humanity - both our true brilliance and our inherent flaws - and we will have to reconcile with the reality of it. That in the end we can live lives where we are forced chasing the high of consensus reality approval through self and other manipulation - continually hoping for a heaven that can't ever come where we 'arrive' as the 'enough' version of ourselves, who have enough and are secure forever.
Letting Go Of The Fantasy Of Who We Were Going To Become:
We have then to come to terms with the fact that life isn't a before and after. There's just journey. There's just what we are and aren't capable of. What we can and can't do. Where we need more individual strength and where community is needed.
When we finally get brave enough to let go of - piece by piece - the conditioned 'I' and all the ways we've needed to cope, sabotage and numb to try to live as this 'I' so to we let go of the fantasy of becoming.
Then we can start to address reality.
Who we are.
What we want.
What matters to us.
And in THIS we find our real power.
We stop trying to fix ourselves. Arguing with reality. We embrace what we are in this moment and we surrender to the path of, brick by brick, building a life we can actually LIVE.
We embrace our hurting parts with love. We reparent. We learn about aspects of who we are through the lens of acceptance - 'what does this part of me need to feel safe and nourished?' Instead of 'what's wrong with this part of me.' We start to take the scary steps of owning what we are in this moment, letting that be enough, and watching as each aspect naturally grows when loved and supported. We don't have to force it.
Then we can start to build that life that will actually work for the human we are. We lose people. Lose visions that were never genuine. Face dark nights of the soul. We confront the idea that We are broken over and over and replace it with compassion and curiosity. We discover our true needs for the first time. As adults we can then create systems for ourselves that allow for our true selves to grow as they are. Society can accept or reject - and in many cases it doesn't matter like we thought it did.
When we embrace the reality of who we are, we can stop fighting with reality. We stop trying to create from a false foundation that can only ever lead to a faulty structure. We let go and then can go about building something that will actually work.
A real life. True to self. Not fantasy. Not before and after. Just you being you, every day, little by little. Creating. Expanding. Feeling. Relating. Working. Resting - in ways that fit you as you are.
THIS is the essence of building the new systems. Each one of us releasing out battle with reality to embrace our true nature - warts and all - then actively working to create a life that works for our true humanity. Due to our connection to all, the more we embrace reality in ourselves and then create life systems around that reality, the more our impact is such in the greater community. You do it for you, and you will be doing it for us.
I know it's scary. But there's no bad part of you.
What do you need to feel nourished and safe?
How can you support yourself?
Show up for you?
Request what you really need?
Allow the growth to happen as you love yourself the way a perfect parent would love a child who's here to mature through constant learning in an environment of unconditional love?
THIS is the awakening path. Who are you really and how does that being function? Build those systems. For yourself and for all of us too.