Did anyone catch Bastille on SNL last week? I heard their song “Oblivion” for the first time and absolutely fell in love with it. I’ve listened to it, I don’t know, a hundred times since then. As I usually do, I was thinking about the lyrics and their meaning.
This week at work I discussed with my co-worker how it feels like we merely work on the latest crisis. We are just spinning, trying to catch our tails, cleaning up the latest mess. We don’t take time to step away and view the situation from a different vantage point. I think of the great Albert Einstein and the quotes he left for us about this problem. You know the ones…
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Everyone is on their own journey and our obstacles are different, but we all have them. If you don’t know what yours are, just give it some time, I promise you’ll find them. Everyone has challenges and fears. From a humanity standpoint, this fact should make us feel closer to each other. We all go through rough times. No one is perfect. We have been placed on earth to live out our journey, our potential. Our hard work will be revealed to us in due time and when we are ready.
As individuals, we categorize everything into feelings of good, bad or neutral. Everything; every person we meet, every place we visit, every object we see with our eyes fits into one of these three labels. “I like this. I don’t like that. I like her, but I don’t like him.” We want to keep good things in our lives, we push the bad things away and we pretty much ignore the neutral things all together.
The idea that I’ve been playing with this week, however, relates to those things that we don’t like. There are people in our lives that push our buttons. We push these people away. We go to great lengths to avoid them. They are like a hot stove and every time they are near us they burn our physical body. We avert our eyes, we plug our ears, and we walk away. But why are you avoiding them?
This week I have been trying to look at those things that bring me pause with a different lens, a new vantage point. Everything and everyone in our lives is a teacher. There is nothing in life that isn’t trying to teach you something. The awareness that there is a teaching behind those things that you don’t like is powerful. Yes, you should find those things you dislike and pull them in closer. I’m not saying that you should go hang out with your worst enemy, but maybe just think for a moment, what is it you don’t like about them? What are they reflecting back at you? If there were no mirrors in the world, then who are you reflecting? You attract what you are. Every person in our lives is there for a reason. There are no coincidences.
Now, you don’t have to subscribe to this message. You can dislike my ideas and push them away. But how many of us are leading our lives this way? You know what I’m talking about. We have been walking around with this emotional baggage for years. It has been tripping us up because we are either in denial of it or we aren’t ready to let it go. Your thoughts of not being good enough, and limiting yourself from who you really are. You are just holding yourself back from your true potential. We all have fear of success, fear of failure, fear of life and death, fear of being alone, fear of losing everything you have ever loved. It’s amazing that we get up every day and function with all of these thoughts roaming through our minds! We put on a great show don’t we? We hide; behind our names, our labels, our families, our careers. Our lives are like a great movie production, the world is your movie set and you are the producer. But pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. You know the one… the man that is afraid of the unknown.
We are motivated by these fears, you know? The emotional baggage that we carry with us is behind everything as an intention, a motivation. Friends, we aren’t even aware of it! It takes work, lots of work, to scrape it away. But when you start investigating, and peel back the layers of the onion, I promise that you will cry. You will be brought to your knees by the truth of your life. Look deeply behind your thoughts, your actions, your speech, it is there. There are deeper layers if you’re willing to look. But you may not want to find it. Maybe you’re okay going on with your life and fighting the latest fire, distracting yourself from all of this.
But if you choose to look, that’s where the beauty is. It’s painful and beautiful all at the same time. I promise.
“What you hate, you re-create; and what you bless, you put to rest.” – Eric Micha’el Leventhal