Life Lessons.

What is it?

Clean your room

Growing up, I liked cleaning my room. No bullshit. I’d begin with the most obvious things that didn’t fit the parameters of a proper, purposeful room. I’d put my dirty clothes in the hamper, toy cars in a box, sheets on the bed. I might come across a thing without a proper place — an impediment to an ordered environment — and fit it into a place that would make it easier and better to deal with next time. Always the question: Where should this thing go, and why?

Not only did I want to clean the room, I wanted to make the room better. I wanted to create optimal conditions, which required some experimenting. After a couple of hours, I had usually rearranged everything. The environment was new. It was organized. I knew where everything was. It had all the same parts, but the way I would relate to it from there forward was different and better, I hoped. It felt refreshing.

If we clean and rearrange our room enough times, we will be so familiar with its parts, so confident of its potential, that an earthquake could ravage it and we’d know how to make the best of what‘s’ there. So clean your room.

Our physical space is an extension of our headspace. If there is chaos in our environment, it will be bound to chaos in the psyche. If we create order in our environment, we are creating order in our psyche. If you want to organize your psyche, start by organizing your room — if that would be easier. A nod to Jordan Peterson on this one.

Okay. Now that that’s done…

Accept responsibility for your actions

Let’s say you do something that brings negative consequences to you or someone else. If you don’t accept responsibility, then what about it are you accepting? A lie. If you live with enough of these little white lies, eventually you won’t be you anymore. You‘ll be a manager of illusion.

When you accept responsibility, you give up the need to toy with things other than the truth. You also accept the consequences. That takes courage.

Until you accept responsibility, you can’t be a part of any change. And change will keep happening regardless of how many lies you throw at it. It takes a lot of energy to turn reality into something you want it to be.

Accept responsibility. Even if it sucks. Even if somehow it shouldn’t be yours.

Be authentic

You are who you are. That’s the way it is. If you don’t like it, you can either change the way you are or pretend you are something different than you are. It takes a lot of energy to pretend to be something you’re not. It also takes a lot of energy to worry “What’ll happen if they know the real me? My weaknesses? When I pretend?” Not only do you have to put on the act, but you also have to worry about being found out. That lack of trust, it puts you alone. Well, not totally alone. Authentic you will have inauthentic you. Will you’s live happily ever after?

Authenticity requires transparency, which involves vulnerability, which involves courage. Courage is acting with fear, with vulnerability, not without it. You are putting your naked self out there hoping it won’t get laughed at or scolded or looked down upon. When you are authentic, when you are courageous, you can see that everyone is naked. Vulnerability is universal.

When we realize our shared vulnerability we can be comfortable being authentic. By being authentic you don’t have to play:

“I’ll pretend you are who you think you are if you pretend I am who I think I am.”

You are authentic already. All you have to do is be that. All you have to do is not make a feeble attempt to clothe the reality of who you are with a show.

Be authentic and you will show others it’s okay for them to be authentic too. By being authentic you are accepting responsibility.

Practice compassion

If someone does you wrong and you want to return some suffering on to them, you have a problem. If you practice reacting to wrongdoing with wrongdoing, then you are doing yourself wrong — even if you don’t know it. You are clinging to resentment, in other words, clinging to the suffering you are upset about. “I need this anger to make them pay!” What’s happening to you? You’re suffering at the whim of a madman! Your ego. What’s happening to them? “Who knows? I’m busy being angry so I can pay them back later.” Lolz.

Practice compassion instead. When you forgive, you release the ego from duty and have an opportunity to be with the truth of who you are. When you forgive, you have an opportunity to be with the truth of what they are. And you see that you are much the same. When you forgive, you are practicing compassion not only to them but to yourself.

Now imagine the world has done you wrong. An earthquake has destroyed your house and everyone’s house — or room. There’s no one toward whom to redirect suffering. But again, you hold it. You need it. It belongs in this context. Out of compassion, out of the urge to relieve your suffering, a person has come to you to help you. You look into their eyes and see yourself in them and you want to help them too.

Now imagine no wrong has been done to you. You are not suffering, but you come across someone who is suffering. You don’t like their suffering. You don’t accept it. You know you have the opportunity to alleviate suffering. Your world has now become more about them than about you. Help them clean their room.

To do this is to practice compassion. Compassion is selflessness. And the absence of self is the basis, the definition of objective reality.

Listen

When you listen, it’s not about you. When it’s not about you, you are practicing compassion.

Complain less

Of all possible good outcomes, complaining leads to none.

Appreciate more

Of all possible good outcomes, appreciating leads to all.

Let go of the need to be right

Somehow, it’s okay to be wrong.

Tell the truth

How circular can this be? Or is reality the middle?

At least don’t lie. That’s a start.

Put your *ucking phone down

Period.

All these things have to do with accepting reality as it is. In 2020, you can choose to live in reality or suffer the consequences until next year, at which point you can choose to live in reality or suffer the consequences until next year, at which point…

At which point will you stop *ucking around and just do it?

Now.

It’s all there is.

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