Welcome to the revolution.
It is the time for open-mindedness, heartfelt apologies, healing through therapy, expressing deep emotions, and contemplating everything and everyone around us.
This is the hardest path one could choose. It is not about an emerging, new generation. It is the general consciousness of each generation trying to change and acknowledge what has not been working for decades.
Each and every one of us is born with a distinct personality and is socially molded depending on our customs and culture. Many believe their way is the only way to live happily, while not being aware that something different is possible. We are taught since birth about society’s customs—for example, patriarchy, homophobia, greed, and violence. Having the courage to unlearn these behaviors is possible but it does not come easy for most people. This is okay, because what truly matters is not an immediate change in your mindset but the awareness that there is room for change in time.
When it comes to our relationships with other people, I believe most people are in one of three stages of self-awareness in their life:
1. They’re unaware of how their behavior affects others.
They’re simply living life day by day, chasing the next big thing.
They’re thinking about the future but only if they see a benefit for themselves. They’re unsure of what they want and who they are. In this stage, they can have a negative impact on many people who enter their life—they can be selfish because of not knowing exactly what they want. They show off like they have everything under control—when in reality there is a great uncertainty and insecurity in who they are and what they want.
2. They’re aware of how their behavior affects others.
But they still don’t have the tools to work on this.
Most often, they are in the process of recovery through therapy to heal past traumas or behaviors that have affected them deeply, or healing because they have affected someone negatively without meaning to. The crucial difference is the awareness that they are not perfect and that they do not know what they really want—but that it is okay because they now realize it’s part of their ongoing process. This is the healing path.
3. They’re aware of how their behavior affects others.
And they have the tools to manage different situations that present themselves in their everyday lives.
It is not the definition of finally achieving happiness, but more about acknowledging a problem, using the proper tools to manage it, and finally being open-minded to the possibility of a favorable or unfavorable outcome. It is the awareness of win-lose. They know they do not have control over the thoughts and actions of others, only of themselves. It is one of the hardest paths because once you reach it, you are bound to live it until you live no more. It is a lifestyle, a constant internal battle, an uncomfortable path—but a most memorable one. I believe this is the closest path to enlightenment.
Read these points above carefully and try to identify yourself in one of them—this will make it easier to move ahead if you are still stuck in stage one or two.
It is not about knowing the correct word or thing to say. It is about having the open-mindedness to seek help, if needed, and try to make this life easier for each and every one of us. We can make a change every day we are alive, and even in the smallest details, there is room to inspire and make a difference for yourself or someone else.
And it is not just about peace and beauty; it is more about a daily challenge to believe in something better. To believe in others, despite the hardships they, too, have endured. It is about empathy—but at the same time, having the tools to protect ourselves from those who have not yet found themselves in this crazy but amazing life.