streets | teach

circumstance teaches us to live or to lose…pick one.

Tag: Human Nature

Being Human | Impermanence

We are not infallible, unflappable, or innocently without ego. We are not pure, perfect, or naively unselfish (however we may try to convince ourselves otherwise).

But really, this should be ok.

If we were born without err and error then we’d be utterly boring, indecently bland, and tragically lacking purpose. After all, perfection is not something we often try to pervert or transform.

As humans… we are constantly churning and flowing and falling victim to bad decisions or burning our hands on hot stoves. Perhaps, whats so beautiful about being human is the sheer and undeniable fact… that we change. We are impermanent.

So then why do we, throughout our lives, become so quick to criticize and deter one another? Is it competition? Is it envy? Is it defensive mediocrity or the realization of false confidence? The process of realization is stellar, but sometimes the next step and true test is overcoming denial.

Once denial has been conquered, then, we have to prepare ourselves for judgment and negativity in media, within families, friends and foes alike. And I wonder why… when really, we are all imperfect. We are all impermanent; and therefore equipped to constantly change and transform and morph into however many stages and phases and fads that our individual lives see fit. You have your own path, and so do I.

Is it possible for us… to actually embrace one another fully? Imagine how lovely it could be to fear less… and to trust that your darkest secrets may actually be shared experiences- space to grow and outgrow. Whatever it is that you try to forget about your self, your past, your present, or your future… what if you could be accepted and loved EVEN WHEN all is out in the open?

Non-judgment is a skill… its a learned habit and a practice…

I can’t help but be saddened by the burdens we all place on ourselves… too often.. and for too long…

guilt. shame. regret. embarrassment. remorse. terror. jealousy. manipulation. self-sabotage.

I have yet to meet a single person who has never experienced one of the abovementioned… and yet we all seem so critical of one another as if we each haven’t truly lived through these things.

What makes us human is our impermanence. What makes us impermanent is that we are meant to change, transform, metamorphosize… at our own pace and on our own time.

I’m going to make it a priority to focus less on what COULD BE and more on WHAT IS.

By being present and aware, I can hopefully be reminded of my own human imperfections and therefore allow myself and anyone else a real chance…and unrestricted freedom… to experience life, make mistakes, enjoy guilty pleasures, and maybe learn to love; to fail, but try again, and follow their hearts even if it seems unreasonable; to take risks, to experience extremes and naturally learn to value refinement or to loathe conformity and live as a vagabond… we all deserve this space to just freely, be.

… and we all deserve at any moment, to have the support and unconditional love of those around us; as we make up our own minds to change with conscious endeavor… or… allow time to slowly unravel “change” for us.

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The Nebulous Space Before Realization

We’ve all experienced that one friend or lover who we just KNEW was a good person, and we convinced- even confabulated- to believe that its true. Then that person betrayed our expectations, let us down or really, just acted to his or her true character. The illusion was lifted- suddenly-and realization kicked in. The “wow” moment. Or the “How could I be so stupid/naive/blind” moment. At once everything became so damn clear. 

Better late than never, so they say… 

But really… what is this space… this nebulous/cloudy/illusive space before realization… that makes us feel so certain, and sometimes aggressively defensive? Is this about knowing… or is it about not knowing enough?

Is it about proving something to those around us; maintaining a facade or image? Or is it deeply embedded in a more daunting fear of facing and overcoming our mindset, habits, and circumstances.

Perhaps society is responsible for making us too concerned with how we appear rather than astutely aware of who we actually are/what we actually need/how we actually feel.

Esse est percipi, says George Berkeley; to be is to be perceived. Let’s say he arguably places the power of identity into the hands of the observer. And perhaps we define ourselves by how we are viewed or perceived (from the past, in the present, and for the future- either way, we all seem to burden ourselves with a need to fulfill expectations/impressions/perceptions).

This need is profound in so many ways, especially as trends of massclusivity and media-driven ideals continue to define society in macro and micro terms. What happened to introspection and analyzing our decisions so to not make the same mistakes over and over and over… in this age of information overload and the critical need to feel plugged in to the network, we somehow lose the ability to pause and rethink things or question ourselves. We’re teaching our students and kids and peers to do the same; the result becomes detachment from ourselves and detachment from one another.

So who are we, really?

And at what point can you or I overcome the perceptions of others? How many times have we seen or heard stories like Chris Gardner‘s and felt intimidated by it. Could you pull yourself to your feet after losing everything? His path from homeless to millionaire is beyond comprehensible for so many of us… but why?

What’s holding you back from truly realizing your potential? What’s holding us all back from helping one another be real for a change… face our fears… reinvent ourselves… overcome hesitation and embrace possibility?

“You are exactly where you are meant to be in life, right now.”

This thought puts a heavy responsibility on those of us who are writing and reading and thinking about the need to change/do better/move forward.

A sense of urgency, even.

And so the challenge begins… to follow your intuition from the start, and not suffer through the sticky, miasmic, space that lingers before realization sets in.

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