We each have a border – an event horizon in our existence – that we cross over and over, back and forth throughout the course of our lives. When we’re within the border, we’re completely taken up with the day-to-day details of our lives and the associated headaches and heartaches that go with them. But when we can escape that part of our lives and get past the border of our day-to-day, we gain perspective on our existence and can see the big picture. In this state, we are significantly less impacted by what is happening around us. We’re aware of it, we respond to it, but we are not controlled by it. Some people live their whole lives within the border of the day-to-day – they have a limited perspective and they are unable to step back and take a deep breath. Others have learned to live beyond the border. They engage and they take care of business, but they don’t allow the details to control the flow of their lives or their emotional landscape. If you can be aware of this border, you can learn to live beyond it and control your existence.
Self-loathing is so easy. Everyone has setbacks or makes mistakes, and many go through a period of being very hard on themselves afterward. After a mistake, you may be focused on the consequences or the sequence of events that led up to the mistake, but many people make beating themselves up a higher priority. Of all the options that you might consider after a mistake, beating yourself up is the least helpful. It’s important to be aware of when you’re doing this and replace it with other reactions. The first among these must be learning from the mistake, with forgiving yourself a close second. If you’re able to incorporate these reactions to mistakes into your life, there will be no room for self-loathing.
How well do you really know people? Is your picture of them true to who they really are?
I have this habit of creating really high expectations for people—especially those who I admire or feel strongly about. I put people up on a pedestal and mentally create an idealized version of them and how they fit into my life. When people don’t meet that ideal, I’m disappointed, but that’s when I start to really get to know them. Some people have lived up to the ideal I have created for them, but not exactly in the way I had envisioned. For some rare people, my ideal becomes a dynamic between us that I continue to pursue. It’s based on the potential I see in them and for their relationship with me and not any commitment or promise they’ve made. Ultimately, these idealized versions of people are my creations and my responsibility. Sometimes, I transfer the disappointment I feel when people don’t live up to this standard I’ve created for them, but I know that isn’t fair. It’s important to be aware of how we perceive people and that our perception is likely not the whole picture.
Some people are larger than life. They seem to loom large over every interaction we have with them, not because they try to be dominating or because they are necessarily smarter or more talented than anyone else, but because they have a special presence. What is it about these people that makes them so special? They may have attractive attributes, such as intelligence or empathy, but (in my experience) they also may not. They may be successful in life, but they also may be living an “average” life—one that is not particularly accomplished or high profile. I call these people “large-souled,” meaning they have a significant presence in the universe. We may identify different people as being in this category depending on the way we interact with people. Maybe some people don’t recognize this category of people at all or mistake good looks, success, wealth, or charisma for a large soul. I’ve always felt drawn to the large-souled and have aspired to be one myself. Because the qualities of these people aren’t effable, this can be difficult.
Reality is a squishy thing.
Our perception and interpretation of the conditions and events in our lives are what drive our reality—even more so than the conditions and the events themselves. That’s why certain people living in what most would call trying conditions appear to thrive, while others who “have everything” are depressed and anxious. There are also people that will fight reality every step of the way. They can’t accept certain events or conditions, so they don’t. Most people live on the very surface of reality, while others are able to delve into their reality and truly understand their place in the universe. If you can do this, you can start to influence and even create your own reality based on your life force and your influence.