It’s been a while, and the coming months will likely be trying, but the importance of trying cannot be understated. In both facing our fears and putting forth our best efforts, we should care. Caring is one of the most difficult things we can do, and it gets harder the more things we experience. The more we know, the more we realize how our compassion and vulnerability can be used against us, or sometimes worse, be ignored altogether.
In many ways, the story of human life is one that longs for connection and becomes frustrated in the journey again and again. Babies cry, and almost immediately we begin training them to shut up. It’s necessary. We have to be individuals that are self-supporting, but we can’t exist too self-supporting or else we become miserable and alone. If we are too dependent, on the other hand, we become aware of the burden of our existence on others. We are each like parts on a bike; the grimy handlebars wish to be the free-wheeling tires, the exhausted tires long to be the lofty seat, the squashed seat desires the control of the handlebars and the spokes just pray they will be able to hold everything together.
When we are unhappy, it can infect everything. A neutral or happy past experience can be twisted into a negative narrative. Being sad gives us this hungry drive to make everything else in our life fit that mood, but it can’t, not completely. No matter how insatiably wretched we may feel, we haven’t spent every waking moment from the womb feeling that way. We’re human. We have complex emotion, often more complex than we want. Caring, putting ourselves out there, all of these things are so important and can become staggeringly difficult. Yet, just as we realize how dismal we are in the moment, we can trust in our own fickle nature. We will find beautiful things we enjoy, whether we are looking for them or not. Things hurt. Let yourself be angry, let yourself be sad, but also don’t forget to let yourself be happy too.
The beginning of the week is hard. Then the middle comes, and it feels even worse. Then, sometimes we can even find a way to make the end of the week difficult. The facts are, life is far more challenging than we want it to be. The reason we often don’t realize the ‘best times’ of our life is that no time is so perfect that you can’t find fault with it. We get used to the level of stress, and if it isn’t that strenuous, we often find a way of making it so.
As humans, we need some sort of conflict to keep things interesting, and to motivate us. Without problems, we would truly be miserable. Our problems are our own, and help define us. Sometimes we may mistake positivity as somehow enjoying difficult situations we find ourselves in– this isn’t what I mean to argue. Instead, our problems are necessary parts of our lives that we need to continually fight to overcome. Like any good superhero fiction fan knows, the best rivals are the ones you learn from, respect, and never give up fighting. That doesn’t mean that our problems are easy to deal with, or that people will all suffer the same amount. It means that we should take our problems on as something we can overcome, and as something we will learn from.
Come what may, you are far more capable than you realize. Our beliefs can either hold us back or open us to new areas. Our limits go out farther than we assume, and most importantly, we don’t face challenges alone! Everyone needs and uses support, so use others and appreciate them in all you do. You can do this! Whatever it is, you can get through this.
When we are in a good mood, we automatically see the silver lining. When we are in a bad mood, we seek out the storm clouds. Sometimes there are things that are unavoidably terrible and miserable, but those things are rare. Most times, we can fight our tendency to look at the negative bits of life.
Life is ambiguous and relative in many ways. We are dependent on context and what we’re comparing things too. It’s hard to not compare because in many ways, we’re comparing machines. In order to be adaptable and problem solve, we think in ways that compare our situation to past situation. We need to look at our choices and make the best ones. We need to look between people and decide who we want to be around. All of these comparisons are driven around a negative bias, this extra emphasis to be wary of what’s going to hurt us and make us feel terrible. We might not be looking for the Best solution, just one that isn’t going to cut off our heads. But that wariness that we need, it can make us hone in on the negative aspects of our lives in unnecessary ways.
We need to compare in order to exist effectively. It’s not a curse, its just a handy tool that we sometimes end up using too much and on situations that don’t need it. If you sit there and tell yourself that everything sucks, how can you expect to be able to he see anything but that? We can’t just stop our thinking habits on the drop of a hat, but we can start making the change little by little. Force yourself to look at the big picture. Give yourself something else to do that isn’t misery-making. Remember that we look for what we want to see.
We are not who we were in the past. Sometimes we go back to old places, come across old friends or enemies, or maybe even just pick up some item that sends you reeling back into a past obession. In those moments, it suddenly becomes very obvious that you have changed. We are wiser or more bitter, or maybe we just feel like a different person in different circumstances all together. However the change is recognized, it’s sometimes hard to deal with the fact that we can’t go back.
If we knew then what we knew now, we’d still mess up, just in a different way. Each age also has its own pros and cons. As children, we have some limited freedoms, but we are dependent on others and their expectations of us, plus a whole slew of disrespect. As teenagers, we have struggles and problems that no one takes seriously because everyone goes through them, but those struggles help define us. As adults, we have freedom but so much more responsibility. There is no golden era. There is no perfect time. The best time of your life is the present, because that is the only thing you can change.
As messed up or fantastic the past has been, we can’t fix it or continue living in it. It can be easy to see our past self as someone who is entirely different from who we are now. However, there are certain things that don’t ever change. We are born with a temperament. We have key obstacles that keep coming up to trip us. Our history will always be our history, we just keep adding to it. It’s a rush to be reminded of a past event, but at the end of the day, that event helped bring you to where you are now. The best part is that we always have the ability to use our past to make our future better.