On this particular night, it’s hard to swallow the swirl of emotional soup that comes from turning 28 years old, it’s still hot.
While 27 was the best year of my life, a touch of sadness and fear arises from within. Fear from the unknown certainty of the future, and sadness for the waning years of my youth.
Yet this negativity is unfounded. I am nowhere near the ball-and-chained, house-owning, well-bearded-man-with-a-dog many think a nearly 30-year-old man should be. A more authentic path has been carved out, one paved with self-love learned from experiences past.
A solitary night spent contemplating life’s many lessons recalls a deeper meaning behind it all; the choices we make, the human elements, and the energetic life force that powers them. I believe if we were all to dig a little deeper within ourselves, then perhaps we would find the answers to the questions we’ve all been desperately seeking.
This is what inspires me, this is what brings me awe, this is what gives me an element of peace.
I’ve come to realize that the chaos of one’s 20s is the unfolding wisdom of the rest of your life. These lessons masquerade as confusion, joy, loss, love, fear, happiness, sadness, placidity, and youthful innocence. This trickster, this lover, this foreign, yet familiar figure requires nothing more for you than to dance with her. For it’s the dance of duality. There is no light without dark, positive charge without negative, peanut butter without jelly. There is no dance without you.
This duality is integral, yet it’s tough to truly appreciate the hidden blessings that are darker days. Life can be extraordinarily heavy at times, a proverbial hell on earth.
Yet, there is hope. More than that, there is salvation. To start, all it takes is a change of view.
Perception is the lens through which you visualize the world. For a lot of us our reality is constructed upon how we piece together the information we receive in the present moment, through a filter of experiences and ideas that we’ve lived through in the past—a.k.a. life thus far. These could include traumatic experiences, joyful ones, social conditionings, biases, and everything in between.
We are, in part, being manipulated by the information of the past to make an understandable picture of the now. One that’s conceivable to our brain’s own self-limiting concept of who we are.
This concept is important to a certain degree. We must rely on the past to recognize danger, discomfort, life’s basic needs, and so on. Yet, this same cerebral mechanism is exactly what holds us back from our core, true selves—our highest potential.
When we live too much within the mind, we start to compartmentalize what is happening in the now. This, in turn, alters how we react to it. Our view of the world becomes distorted and narrowed. It is our past that haunts us. Poltergeists of the mind risen from the grave to damn the living.
Our natural reaction is to try and control our experiences. We attempt to design a desired outcome based on the assumed mental construct we have built, instead of letting ourselves and reality flow in a natural state. This, in turn, leads directly toward inauthentic actions. Most of the time, this is all completely unconscious—a Pavlovian response pummeled into our brains by years of cultural conditioning and bad habits.
This illusion of control—this lack of trust boiled down to its core—is fear. Fear of the unknown, self-responsibility, and our own tremendous power. Our true, confident selves are being buried from view—veiled by our faulty lenses and fear-based decisions.
To alter these paths, we must change our perceptional lens from one of fear into authentic self-truths. For that, we must learn who we really are.
Each year, each month, each day, each passing second, we have a choice to be the person of character we’ve always envisioned ourselves to be. Deep down we’ve been them all along. The catalyst between being this person and anything less is this: courage.
This virtue is one of the single most important attributes to change. Courage to look inward, courage to be honest with ourselves on what we unveil, and courage to make positive actionable changes in our lives to live more authentically.
We must consciously observe our actions, emotions, and thoughts daily. How are we holding ourselves back? What behaviors are no longer in alignment with who we want to be? What feels stagnant and old in which we need to let go of? Is the lens through which I am visualizing my world, helping or hindering me?
Observe not only physical or mental habits, but how we feel while engaging in them. What truly feels right to you? What doesn’t? What brings you genuine happiness? Not what you think will, what does. There is an important discernment.
Discover what no longer serves you and discard it. Replace it with what resonates with authenticity. Within our hearts we will begin to feel a sense of correctness in our actions. “Going with our gut” taps us into flow where everything starts to click. People, opportunities, and insights will all be drawn to us as if we were magnetized. All of this is our soul’s internal compass toward personal bliss.
The buried truths we unearth from this laborious work will change the entire trajectory of our lives. It is possible to piece together our perception of the world through a more positive, joyful, and loving lens.
Yet don’t be mistaken, sustainable change is amongst the hardest things we will do. We must be diligent, for resistance in all its forms will attempt to bar our path. Few around us will understand, for the road less traveled holds a sparse crowd. But we are on a path to personal sovereignty, kings and queens within our own domains. We will not stand for anything less than what we deserve.
We have an upmost responsibility to become this person. Not just for ourselves, but for our family, community, and world at large. There is a vast reservoir of untapped potential waiting to be discovered. The world needs our gifts, our medicine. The world needs you.
So, let’s wrought these unconscious thoughts conscious. Shine the light of awareness on what has been cast in darkness for so long. What happens next? Magic is what happens, alchemical magic.
The eternal soul craving release, seeking realization, unfurls in blinding beauty. Incandescent in an ever dim world. Our life, our light, and the energy we bring shines in all its brilliance for others to see, to feel.
This is you at your most natural state. It is pure and indestructible. The ichor of divinity permeates your being. It pulsates throughout your bones, seeps through your blood, pierces out of your eyes, and energizes your ever-beating heart. You are light, you are love, you are happiness, you are God. Feel it, know it, accept it. Fall within its warm embrace.
It is yours by birthright.