May 14, 2015

I am Unashamedly Flakey.


I was supposed to go do a thing yesterday and I didn’t do it, because I was up all night dealing with my craziness and pain.

I’m supposed to be going to do a thing on Saturday, and earlier today I thought I wouldn’t go, but now I probably will. Because of, see above.

And I’m in a strange city, surrounded by strange people, and I have no idea how to love, or be loved, and what does it mean to be human.

And I can help other people really easily, but when it comes to unraveling my own stuff, it’s hard.

And I think life is hard. Life is messy. Life is painful, but also, yes, beautiful and mysterious and sweet.

How do you be on time for everything?

How do you be consistent with everything?

How do you keep on keeping on without falling off, all the time?

I have no idea.

But I know this. I am starting to not give a f*ck, and boy does that feel good.

Because for the longest time I not only struggled to be me but I felt terrible about struggling too.

Now the struggle is a little simpler—live one day at a time, relax, accept and keep on trying to fall in love with life.

If you think I’m flakey or inconsistent or unaccountable so be it.

In reality I’m accountable only to myself. And if that bothers you, that’s your problem.

Don’t we all have to set our own standards?

Aren’t we all, as the saying goes, fighting a tough battle?

And aren’t we all really completely clueless about each other’s battles, most of the time.

One thing is for sure—there are people who have it easy. Maybe their parents loved them more, or were more present. Maybe they got lucky with the schools they went to. Maybe they just have good karma!

I don’t know.

But I know that there are people in this world whose pain I cannot even begin to comprehend.

I know that there was this beautiful boy, Paul, at university with me, and he threw himself under a train. And I see him from time to time, in a crowd, or in my dreams, or on the street.

I know that from time to time I say: “Wow, I must have seen it all now,” and then along comes another client whose story brings me to my knees. Unimaginable things.

I know that as a species we’re in a process of evolution from survivalism to…something better. And that we’re still rooted, so many of us, in survivalism. And really struggling to let it go. Really clinging on to it—even so many who think of themselves as “spiritual” are full of fear, full of clinging, full of unconscious hypocrisy.

These things I know.

But if you weighed what I know against what I don’t it’d be a pretty uneven contest.

Lost as we all are in an ocean of ego.

So forgive me if I don’t live up to your standards. Forgive me if I don’t meet your expectations or tick some of your boxes.

Not because I need your forgiveness.

But because you do.



Relephant read:

Why Telling the Truth is So Hard.


Author: Ben Ralston

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Flickr/Katy Warner

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Elizabeth May 17, 2015 1:51pm

Thank you, great article. I've been struggling with explaining why I am exactly this way and this article was serendipitous.

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Ben Ralston

Ben Ralston has been practising personal development—necessity being the Mother of invention—since he was about six years old. He’s been teaching and sharing what he’s learnt along the way for a couple of decades. His main thing is Heart of Tribe retreats—whose very purpose is to help you fall back in love with life, no less. Leading these retreats alongside his woman Kara-Leah Grant—also an elephant journal writer (that’s how they met!)—they combine a deep well of lineage-based yoga teaching experience, with expertise in healing trauma and various other methods of personal development. Ben also works with clients one-on-one via Skype, writes, makes videos from time to time, and is passionate about parenting.
He lives in an intentional, tribal community in the hills of Croatia, where you might find him gardening barefoot and talking to the rocks. Connect with Ben on Facebook or YouTube or check out his website for more info.