A lesson on adulting

Essay.

Right now, in the slowness of a worldwide pandemic, I wish more people took the time to get to know themselves better. Imagine the kind of world would emerge on the other side. It’s really scary for humans to sit in one spot and take a peek behind the magic curtain of who is actually running their lives. Maybe, if we were given the tools as kids we would be in a better spot as adults. That would require parents to be actualized, adjusted, whole human beings themselves. If only these tools were given as heirlooms, passed on for the wisdom to accumulate and grow. Very few cultures have figured this out. That level of consciousness is alas, not a global pandemic.

So we just struggle along, bumping into other fellow humans and sometimes creating new ones. The cycle continues, millions of people without the tools needed to be functioning, healthy adults. Nonetheless, fellow adults press you to be miraculously responsible, and brutally criticize you when you fail. If you haven’t been given the tools to learn how to become a responsible self, then…? No wonder there are completely inept adults out there, all confused. It becomes this moment of magic when an adult becomes responsible for themselves. Maybe, it’s a moment of self-interest in studying the higher minds of the likes of a Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra or Brené Brown, out of preservation. Maybe, after making endless cycles of the same mistakes that adult wonders, what do I need to do to get off this god forsaken ride? How many failed marriages, angry children or spouses is it going to take before I become responsible for myself and stop blaming others?

Not all tools work for all people. I always wondered at the idea of how to take responsibility for my life. Specifically, what do YOU mean when you say it, versus when someone asks it of you. What’s the consensus on meaning? What do I do with all the history that made me? Where do I put the negative memories and feelings? Where do I place the resistance to this as it sits on my chest and holds me back?

***

Imagine you pick up a handful of stones and assign each stone a particular memory that you just can’t seem to overcome. You’re stuck with this memory and thought no matter how hard you try to let it go. Place that specific energy, thought, memory, into one stone. Place it on the floor. Pick up another stone and repeat. Maybe, you’ll run out of stones, and it’s okay. Look at all your memories there on the floor. Each stone has a special spot, each memory has a place. Now stand in front of these memories, this array of stones you created. They’re all behind you. They’re still there, having a spot, a special place, but now, in front of you is free and open. You have no stones in front of you because those memories haven’t happened yet.

You’ve taken the time to finally take responsibility for yourself and your life. You’ve noted what has been holding you back and made a place for those memories. They’re in their proper place, as memories should be, in your past. Now, however, they live fully where they couldn’t exist before, not having a special spot in your life.

In front of you is freedom, supported by where you’ve been and what you have lived through, all for you to arrive at this very moment.

© Isabel Alvear, July 2020

#kindness #DeepakChopra #selfcare #BreneBrown #Pandemic #adulting #humans #DalaiLama #Philosophy

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