Love thy self

In a world that works on the principle of copying in the name of inspiration. Where we are scared to walk our own path. I see a lot of people around me whining, struggling and making themselves miserable for money, power and so on. Giving away their peace of mind and running behind something that is meaningless at times, with a short site for life, losing faith in everything and running like robots towards an endless road of misery. Not only do we lose faith in the journey eventually we lose faith in ourselves. We start believing in the surrounding and external factors that can only pose pressure for what they want for us. We fail to remember that they can suggest but, in the end, it’s our journey and only we can visualize our end. Nothing else other than our own self can stop us from achieving our goals/ dreams. Breaking the barriers, believing in ourselves is the first step towards our goal. A goal doesn’t always have to be fancy like climbing a mount Everest or so on. It could be as simple as making healthy dinner for ourselves each day or losing that one extra pound.

I strongly believe that life is never too easy and it has already set up its mind to showcase us as heroes but, it depends on us and matter of time to work towards it. We are all embarking on the hero’s journey to some extent or another. We generally forget that each one of us is a hero of our own story, struggling and finding our own way. The hero’s journey is a mythic, universal story of transformation and awakening. It is full of challenges and tests. It is the path towards true self, one that if ventured successfully, will inevitably bring good deeds back to us. But there are things to be aware of when we want to live our dreams. There are major challenges that show up as obstacles and resistance.

Parents, society, peers tell us it is impossible to have what we really want. This is the first and biggest obstacle. If I can’t believe I can have what I want, or let myself dream it, then I certainly won’t pursue it. Paulo Coelho says: “We learn from childhood onward that everything we want to do is impossible. There comes a time when our personal calling is so deeply buried in our souls as to be invisible.”

As young kids sitting by a canteen, we may want to pursue dance as career or photography as a career but, due to the external forces, we fail to see our future and bury ourselves in the rat race. Believing in what we want is possible. It is possible because it is a deep desire that has arisen within us. Know that we deserve to have what we really want. This way our self-esteem and self- respect also will grow. We will certainly only do things that will help these grow in the journey. It could be that heart’s true desire which springs from the deep desire of the Universe. If this is true, then the Universe will conspire to make it happen, though there may be severe tests and challenges along the way. It will ultimately test our strength and resolve. I sound like Shahrukh Khan don’t I? But, this is certainly true.

Paulo Coelho writes in Alchemist, “We know what we want to do, but are afraid of hurting those around us by abandoning everything in order to pursue our dream.” We are so attached to the people we love, we cannot leave them or disappoint them to pursue our own calling. We see pursuing our life’s dream and providing love for others as mutually exclusive, instead of seeing them both a reflection of a greater whole.

Being in pursuit of what we love should not diminish our connection and love with others. In fact, it enhances it. our true friends and loved ones should support us in our highest path. They should always be there for us, and by living our true path, we will have more to offer them. Anyone who abandons us in search of our true path may have done so because of their own fears, needs, and insecurities. “Love” that keeps us from our own dreams, is not true love.

The talk about personal challenges and love relatable to what Viktor Frankl talks about pain, anguish, suffering, but that’s not all that it is about; it is also about dealing with these problems as it talks about how the writer was able to survive the Holocaust. The first part of the book describes the many problems that the prisoners had to face at the hands of the Germans, and how they had to avoid death, from being sent instantly to the gas chambers to succumbing to the extreme cold weather. This part describes ‘what’ happened to the prisoners. The second part of the book focuses on ‘how’ the prisoners were able to survive. This is the inspirational part of the book that shows that if someone facing such precarious conditions as being in a Nazi concentration camp can survive, then people who have many minor problems to deal with should not have to try so hard. So, hardship is part of legends journey. We only look at stories of success of a person and do not focus on the journey. If we do then we will realize that nothing comes easy in life.

The second obstacle is the is fear of being defeated along the way is the biggest problem we need to overcome. We are afraid of failure. We put so much into following our own life path, by taking an enormous leap of faith, it becomes increasingly difficult to pretend that it wasn’t a big deal that we didn’t achieve it. We fear to look bad. We don’t understand that defeat is part of the path. Often, the further we are along our path, the more difficult it can be. We will face setbacks and failures. You will not know which way to turn. At some point, we will think the journey wasn’t worth making. This is part of the journey. We must remember that whatever anyone else thinks doesn’t matter. Not even our best friends. We should give ourselves permission to fail. The more we do, the closer we are to succeed. While success is subjective, some us want power, others want money and most just want to live a satisfied life.

When we persevere and overcome defeats, it is certainly worth it, because we are filled with a greater sense of self and purpose. With so many people around us who have not realized their dreams, sometimes we feel guilty of having realized our path. So many people do not live in pursuit of deeper meaning and dreams. Why should I? I do not feel worthy of really achieving my dreams and therefore will often stop short of realizing it. I must see myself as worthy of accomplishing my dreams. Again, if I can envision it, why would it not be mine for the taking? When my dreams are closest to me, they will often feel most far.

The last stretch towards our dream will seem most difficult. It will test our inner sense of worth, perseverance, and faith. We so deeply crave and want acceptance, that we are willing to hold ourselves back to “be” with others. Things did not work out for others, why should they work out for me? I do not want to separate from the pack or allow myself to soar higher. “Who am I?” I ask. Instead, we should ask ourselves: “Who am I not?” Something all of us should certainly remember is what I choose to do has nothing to do with others. When I follow what I love, I should allow myself to be transformed in the struggle of my journey. I become the hero of my story, but I must give myself permission to discover my own inner excellence and channel it deeply and freely. This certainly gives us the courage to walk away from the pack and walk in a direction that we are meant to be walking.

Alan Watts encourages us, “To follow your own weird… and thus be odd in the service of God.”

So I should let myself fly. Be a weird. And let my brain loose to dream big!

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