Iceberg Mentality

The inevitable crashing of life’s currents. Breathlessness, heart-wrenching time suspension. Love is both incredible and unfortunate. Weeding out the ones who make unnecessary waves is something like massive torture, and also quite relieving.

Loving people and having relationships is a good way to learn a great deal about one’s self. However, the translation of unfortunate events can muddy the results.

I have been through what feels like enough failed relationships to make a semi-sturdy conclusion on this unavoidable occurrence.

My conclusion thus far is this: to love greatly, love others no matter the circumstance; but also remember religiously that such relationships come and go, and none of them are obligated to be permanent.

On many occasions, people find suitable partners early on in life and it is good or even great. Some marriages fail, some last entire lives. However, for the section of people who have not fallen upon such a “lucky” endeavor early on in life, the wait is a crucial and a potentially toxic period of one’s life. Coping with such a weird, lonely existence can be draining and may mask itself as a lost purpose.

There are many ways to perceive being single, but I feel there are two obvious distinctions: the ones who genuinely enjoy the freedom and find it a thrilling experience; and the ones who become lonely and slowly lose themselves in not having a partner.

I am the latter, if that wasn’t apparent. Loneliness and instinctual defense mechanisms battle their way into my life, the mixture is an exchange much like sticking swords into my own back. Misery at its finest.

However, the misery is created and when one is aware of such personal sabotage, one can begin to enjoy their own company.

I am a do-er. When my brain gets bored, my impulse is to do something about it. The urge may drive me to steadily tap my foot, or bite my nails, or clean up around the apartment, or to organize. Or maybe even to do something mindless, such as binge watch TV, listen to music, play video games, or stare into the pits of Facebook.

This urge, when a relationship is applied, is to do more. For satisfaction, for their happiness, for our future. The drive is intense and short-lived when the relationship becomes sour.

Having received a decent amount of lemons in my lifetime, I’ve started to notice this pattern of mine. Was it my decision making, or was it the people themselves? Should I not care about anyone, or should I endlessly search for someone to spark my potential?

Clearly there has to be a middle path. To not expect would be fighting human nature, however lowering expectations greatly is a start to an incredibly different perspective. To not expect would be to let go of control. Letting go of controlling life’s ups and downs, and letting go of what “should be” or “could have been.” Letting go of controlling who stays in one’s life and who goes. It is exhausting to think one has the power and strength to make every situation happen as planned. It’s a spiral that leads to disappointment and an unsatisfactory quality of life.

The ideal perspective would be to let people and things come and go, and to not fight, resist, or deny what currents life dishes out. To learn from every experience seems impossible, but to truly understand letting go of control would be to trust that ones current is headed in the right direction. And that each struggle is inevitable and the reason is indeterminable. To make sense of every hurtle would drive one to insanity. But to understand that you do not have to know the reason for every struggle is the cushion that is releasing the unnecessary, personally assigned responsibility that is the irrational belief that controlling life’s current is even possible.

It is this understanding, that I have recently began to grasp, that is opening my eyes to the belief that I can be alone and be genuinely happy without a significant other. That the failed relationships were not without purpose, but to teach me this very lesson.

To introduce significant change in perspective is exhausting and incredibly rewarding.

To understand life is unnecessary. The point is to just live it. To enjoy it, get the most out of it, and to not let doubt or fear stop any progress. To have a whole life to achieve anything, and just sit back and wait for someone to light the way, is the best way to sour each and every day. There is no candle, the light is not able to be viewed or speculated. To know the way, or path, ahead of yourself, you must be willing to trust in yourself and also trust in life’s intentions.

“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.” -Theodore Roosevelt

“The greatest loss of time is delay and expectation, which depend upon the future. We let go of the present, which we have in our power, and look forward to that which depends upon chance, and so relinquish a certainty for an uncertainty.” -Seneca

“To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clingings and disappointments of the past that bind our spirit.” -Jack Kornfield

“You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.” -Jan Glidewell

Why this is it.

When I wake up each morning, there is a plan. Each day has its rhythm and choices, but along the way I developed a set of routines. Ever changing, depending all on me and what I want. Where I am in life is irrelevant, but somehow I’m supposed to know what I want out of tomorrow. A list of goals and objectives, a separate list of maybe’s and probably should not’s. A set of responsibilities that don’t necessarily make sense, or even make me happy.

Caught up in a time where needs and wants are no longer black and white. There is an entanglement. Somewhere along the way, the purpose of our being was lost.

Every morning I wake up and wonder what mine is.

A purpose, such a loaded and questionable thing. Words are only labels slapped on like price tags. Most of them make sense, but a decent amount make you wonder “am I understanding?” “Is this right?”

Well a great majority of purpose is within us all, much different and unique to its person. To put a finger on it would be impossible, but we all try now and again.

Two things dictate ones purpose: to first know what they are passionate about, and to take risks and actively put effort into their passions. The second thing is helping others. Not by request, but because fulfillment within is so much more rewarding when given away. Because passions bring us never ending supplies of happiness, and spreading joy with others is more rewarding than acting on ones passions alone and/or without giving away what you know has filled your cup and then some.

The more fulfillment, the better the life right? Happiness is everyone’s goal in one way or another. Enrichment, pleasures, achievements, good relationships – all mix together into an exceptionally decent life.

How to obtain all at once is the problem. And in a world full of distractions and responsibilities, one can often lose sight of what they really desire out of their own life.

How to stay focused?

Become habitual. Locate your passions and goals in life, and incorporate it into your daily life as if it were food itself. Passions can be money making and not, but the most important ones may be the ones that do not pay in dollar bills. Some of the most enriching experiences will be for the pure enjoyment of the experience.

Risks may involve money or time, effort or traveling. Whatever the cost, the pay off is what is important. Within the boundaries of reason, of course. For example, one must budget to afford certain expenditures,  and all choices should be filtered through whether it be logical and/or timed correctly.

But no matter the risk or circumstance, right before taking the risk, one gets a feeling of “this is it.” And if the risk was worth it or more than worth it, then that feeling expands and fulfillment floods every sense – and those are the moments we live for.

I have found myself not taking risks for years. The result: an unsatisfying life, few friends, few hobbies, few goals. I have taken many spirals into the state of mind almost everyone has been in: hopelessness. For many, the feeling may only last a short while; but for some, the choices add up to a heaping disappointment. And it can become overwhelming. It can be uncomfortable, like feeling completely lost even though you are home in bed or the living room, or wherever.

It’s an emptiness that seeks fulfillment. And when given none for too long, it begins to seek immediate satisfaction. It asks for indulgence and instant gratification. It knows that it is empty, and it asks to be filled.

It took me a long while to pin point exactly what it wants. Feelings are confusing, and not at all direct; but the conclusion was simple, which was ironic since I had been searching for what feels like my whole life.

The answer is within the confines of love itself. To love everyone seems impossible, to love few is achievable, to love yourself is the battle; but to receive happiness and enrichment by taking risks for individual inner passions, is what will make loving so much easier.

I have discovered that, by filling that pit of emptiness with acts of goal-oriented personal passion, I can find true happiness and be ready for life’s ever-flowing current, no matter the circumstance. And the outcome is satisfaction.

“Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.” -Theodore Isaac Rubin

“The ultimate victory in competition is derived from the inner satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best and that you have gotten the most out of what you had to give.” -Howard Cosell

“Young people are threatened…by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire.” -Pope John Paul II

“Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.” -Jack Canfield

“If you so choose, even the unexpected setbacks can bring new and positive possibilities. If you so choose, you can find value and fulfillment in every circumstance.” -Ralph Marston

“An attitude to life which seeks fulfillment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth – in short, materialism – does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.” -E. F. Schumacher

“I have brought myself, by long meditation, to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and that nothing can resist a will which will stake even existence upon its fulfillment.” -Benjamin Disraeli