"There comes a point in our lives when the contents of the boxes that we’ve contained our story inside start spilling into each other. All the things we think we know, that we find safety in knowing shift from hard stop periods to question marks. The structure in which we’ve built our entire life upon crumbles below us and, in the most painstakingly metaphorical sense, our life is completely up in the air. We are flung in directions that feel uncomfortable, towards people that challenge us, into situations that are not within our familiarity.

And, we have to choose.

We have to choose whether we will fling ourselves off the edge into a great unknown or cower backwards and find safety in the Known. There is safety in living within what we already know. We challenge ourselves to the point in which we know the outcome. We take calculated risks. We choose the siren call of reality over the freedom call of intuition. We plant our feet firmly and say, here is where we are and here is what we know and here are our possibilities. And, we shrink our lives down to what we know we can handle, what we’ve proven to ourselves that we are capable of. And, we set up a life there. We put up the fence and we decide that we like to be able to see the further reaches of our boundaries.

Because, limitless is terrifying.

Choosing to create a life within the knowing that everything is uncertain and impermanent is terrifying. These are terrifying Truths about our world. It’s terrifying to realize that anything is possible and that there are no boundaries or limits and that everything we have right now could be just as easily stripped from us. It is reasonably quite difficult to lean into a world like that, even if it’s the truth, even if it’s all around us whether we’re awake to it or not.

Because, that’s the thing about reality: it’s our perception of reality. If I close my eyes and sleepwalk through my life, then I will know nothing of limitlessness or impermanence or uncertainty or a life without boundary. The only thing stopping me from that kind of life is whether I choose to awaken to it or not. I can quite simply refuse to see it. I can box myself in. I can “ground” myself within what I know to be true about the world. And, I suppose I can find a sense of comfort there, too.

Yet, we yearn for deepness. We yearn for more. We yearn to expand. We yearn for purpose. This is why we question and challenge what we know. This is why we seek more. It is not for happiness or joy. It is to solve a human need to continue to know. Because, while it may seem that what we seek is some everlasting happiness, what we truly seek is growth. What feels like sadness or anger or any number of “negative emotions” are simply resistances to growth. Emotions are markers, breadcrumbs, these little hints on some grand Scavenger Hunt of life. Any “negative” emotion is merely showing us where we need to rise.

But, rising up takes courage, the kind of courage that does not come easy, that does not just simply present itself. It has taken me a long time to understand that it’s easier to believe in the randomness of experience. It’s easier to be snarky and jaded and bitter and helpless and to decry anyone who has hope. It’s easier to believe nothing changes, despite evidence to the contrary all around us. It takes far less bravery to hate than it does to steadfastly love. And, it takes the utmost bravery to embrace life as a means to growth, to enrich your own life and the lives of others, to create the life you want.

And, while it may be terrifying to step into the limitlessness of a less certain life, we have to believe it’s worth doing so, if only for the opportunity to deepen ourselves and to experience more of everything. That leap toward the unknown is not for the weak-willed. It means shedding who we were in the unsteady hope of becoming and continuing to become. It’s about stepping away from who you are and stepping into, simply, being. Existing. Experiencing. Without meaning or attachment. It’s lightness. And it’s wonderful and terrifying and lovely and peaceful and chaotic and it’s everything and nothing simultaneously. In short, it’s your life, that patchworked version of it, all frayed edges and uneven cuts. But it’s yours. And, that means a whole hell of a lot.”

You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.

- Azar Nafisi

Conditions are never perfect. ‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually’, just do it and correct the course along the way.

- Tim Ferriss (via onlinecounsellingcollege)

I don’t want to sit around and hope good things will happen. I want to make them happen. I want to be in control of my own destiny.

- Drew Barrymore (via onlinecounsellingcollege)

Ideas about things — especially the future — are just inferences, guesses, deductions. “They cannot be eaten, felt, smelled, seen or heard. To pursue this is to constantly pursue a retreating phantom and the faster you chase the faster it runs. You never stop to eat and see and smell and be what’s in front of you.”

You’ve only programmed yourself to chase the idea.

We live in a culture of almost-but-not-good-enough.

We were raised to dramatize the bad and maximize the good. We were conditioned for being ultimately dissatisfied because the dreams we were given to idealize are inevitably elusive, and come at the cost of a kind of superiority-complex-laden-kind-of-success.

We were taught that there was no point at which we should be content. That the dissatisfaction we feel at present should, and could, only be remedied by hoping, planning and waiting for the future. Unfortunately, what we all eventually find is that we’re left perpetually waiting. Worse: we feel like failures if our big, bad American dreams don’t align with the ones painted for us.

So we see people from all walks of life dissatisfied. The grass is only greener because we don’t water it where we are. We were taught that normalcy is failure. We regard average as sub-par. We were taught to value things that are ultimately shallow and meaningless, but we cultivate such a passion for attaining them that we allow it to consume us and convince us that we actually do feel strongly about something that’s nothing but a mask.

We don’t choose love when we feel love, we choose love when we feel fireworks, because we want everything to be explosive. We want easy, we want available, we want incredible. We want remarkable but don’t want to work for it.

And the problem we’re left with is that we’re deluded and dissatisfied by what life really looks like. We stop acknowledging that we have jobs to make income, and that passion can and should be pursued, but ultimately, we aren’t failures for doing what we need to to get by. The dream we have is someone else’s happiness.

So we breed a culture of individual competitiveness. We lose sight of the fact that the ties that bind us are common to being human. We isolate ourselves as superior, and, in an effort to define people as other, we belittle and dismiss them. We choose not to raise ourselves up on our own merit, but rather in contrast to someone else’s shortcomings. We have ideals that aren’t based in goodness or equality, they’re based in superiority and conviction.

The grass seems greener when we’re better, when we’re superior, when we’ve won. But do we ever win? Can we ever win? It’s a never-ending cycle. Paradoxically, it’s in that cycle that we bring ourselves down too.

Because though we point fingers and strew unaccepting attitudes, all we really want is for other people to love and accept us, because the reason we adopt other people’s dreams is because we believe, somewhere, somehow, that they will lead to our satisfaction by the nature of wanting connectedness. That what makes other people happy could make us that way too. It’s really just a symptom of being conditioned to see ourselves so isolated independent from others, we forget that it’s an illusion at the end of the day.

We have to start realizing that contentment can only, and will only, come from processing whatever experiences we’re having with a different mindset and value assignment. If we constantly judge others to make ourselves feel better, we’ll never stop to realize that culture is a curated thing. What is given attention will grow, and the things that we give our attention to largely stem from the places in us we are trying to either heal or make up for.

The only way to change us as a whole is to change us as parts. And that starts with realizing that we’re connected in such a way that would allow for that exact manifestation. Right here, and right now.

So many people glorify and romanticize “busy”. I do not. I value purpose. I believe in resting in reason and moving in passion. If you’re always busy/moving, you will miss important details. I like the mountain. Still, but when it moves, lands shift and earth quakes.

- Joseph Cook  (via c-oquetry)

(Source: jnc-ink)