Having the courage to recognize ourselves is nearly impossible. We’re so used to wanting to be associated, in some form or another, with society’s standards and norms, that to look at what we really, really want can be very strange and difficult.
The important point is to somehow get a glimpse of your own value: your meaning. And for that, you’d need to look beyond what you know—beyond what exists in your frame of reference, beyond society’s standards and norms, and beyond your Factor-x.
Once in the habit of recognizing yourself, your value, and your meaning, each attempt becomes easier. When starting out to recognize yourself, everything that exists in your frame of reference will kick and scream against accepting what you see. That’s assuming you have the courage to look. Usually, it’s just too scary to even look. Besides, there’s another aspect you should probably first look at: that is, are you quiet enough within yourself to see what’s going on?
So, there is a whole trainload of aspects involved in seeing and recognizing ourselves. To see ourselves is truly difficult, and there are many hurdles.
The first step is to have a reason to want to recognize ourselves. That step only comes up if we realize that we’ve created a life for ourselves that we don’t like and possibly don’t even want. Another possibility is that we get to the point where we question the meaning of the life we’ve created for ourselves. As mentioned before, yet another possible reason we’ll stop and look at our lives is when we suffer a traumatic experience.
In short, we’re most likely to stop and look at the life we’ve created for ourselves when we have reason to question our life. Until then, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see a need to do so.
Say you have the intention to stop and look at the life you’ve created for yourself. To quiet yourself so you can see what’s going on inside of you usually isn’t straightforward. Your mind might be racing so fast, perhaps because of your busy life, to slow it down is a difficult, perhaps nearly impossible task. In this case, what are you to do?
There are various ways to quiet ourselves. One is to breathe deeply and hold our breath for a moment, and then slowly exhale. Repeating this thirty times would certainly quiet us, if only slightly, especially if we concentrate on our breathing and not let our minds wander while breathing. (Later, in the section titled, “Creating an Inner Calm,” you’ll receive specific assistance for doing this.)
Another approach is to cast our minds to a peaceful place in nature where we can visit—if in our minds only—and look at the scenery while at the same time breathing deeply and slowly. Such calming exercises are a form of what is referred to as meditation.
Yet another approach is to apply the meditation done by David, which you’ll read about in, “Meditation, Grass.” This meditation achieves best results when done by a reader for the benefit of another person or a group.
Assuming we’ve managed to quiet our minds, when we then observe ourselves while in this quiet and most likely relaxed state, we stand a chance to observe what we’re experiencing. To get here, if we’ve never done it before, could be considered a miracle. Our minds are usually so busy, rushing here and there and all over the place . . . and besides, even to acknowledge that the lives we created for ourselves aren’t working for us takes heaps of courage.
Another aspect of this experience is to describe to ourselves what we’re experiencing: not in a million words, but only one—one word we muster that describes to us, in the most powerful way, what we’re experiencing. If we want to see what our lives are really about, this is an important step.
Look quietly and carefully at what you experience in that quiet moment. Don’t force it—feel it. Stay in the moment. If the word eludes you, then just stop and wait and return there when ready to explore the quiet moment again.
Oh, and this isn’t about thinking. Thinking won’t help. In fact, all thinking will do is cause a distraction. This is about feeling, and then describing the feeling with the most apt word—describing the feeling powerfully.
Let’s repeat this caution: Thinking won’t help. All thinking will do is cause a distraction.
Now, go to a quiet spot in nature, in your minds, to explore a daydream. Look at it carefully, and in a way that you can then describe, in one powerful word, what you’re experiencing. Remember, you’re likely to recognize through feeling whether the word you’ll use to describe what you’re experiencing is indeed what you’re all about. If you don’t recognize it, and if you don’t feel you’re on track, then merely stop and return here, again and again, until you know you’re on track.
If all else fails, make contact with me, via Peace Evolution (formerly Life Can Be Different) under the “assisted member option,” to explore whether you’re on track.
This is about uncovering yourself—something you might not ever have done before—so you’re in new territory with these “firsts.” The first new territory you covered was recognizing your Factor-x, and that it stands in your way to recognizing yourself.
Assuming you’re able to describe your experience by describing in one word how you feel when you daydream, that word is most likely what your life is really about. So, feeling and describing this experience is another new territory you’ve broken into, by feeling to see what your life is really about.
Let’s take it a step further. When reliving your daydreams and when quiet enough, you might recognize what you feel. This being the case, the experience you described in one word is likely the value of your meaning.
When living your meaning, you put your meaning into whatever you do, as opposed to looking for meaning in whatever you do.
Having gotten to this point is almost certainly a miracle. But be warned, from this point on, it will take even more courage than what it took to get here—almost certainly more courage than you’ve ever needed for anything else you attempted before in your life. Merely considering breaking away from society’s standards and norms can be overwhelming and intimidating. You might find that merely considering going for what’s important in your life as opposed to society’s standards and norms is almost impossible to contemplate. So, if just considering it is so difficult, what chance do you have to actually find and live your meaning?
This is where the courage comes in: heaps and heaps of courage.
Chances are, by now you feel that surely you’ll be ostracized by your family, friends, work colleagues and society in general. Yes, this is the reality. The reason is that very few people have the courage to walk down the path as guided by their own meaning. And don’t think your Factor-x will let you go without putting up an enormous fight, warning you of the perils of breaking away to do your own thing and live your life outside society’s standards and norms.
The irony is, while we’re sticking to being dictated to by our Factor-x, it serves nobody, not even us. Furthermore, we might consider ourselves selfish if we break out, and might even think that’s how other people will see us. However, while you and I and everyone else are being driven by our individual Factor-x, no one is being served: not us, not them, no one. After all, Factor-x is a figment of our imagination. Also, going on the path as guided by our meaning serves us and everyone else, so how can that be selfish? On careful inspection, it’s a case of caring for ourselves that we chose to be guided by our meaning. Conversely, when we do as dictated to by our Factor-x, it’s at the cost of ourselves and everyone else.
You might be thinking, How could this be?
When we’re dictated to by our Factor-x we aren’t serving anyone; its origin is a figment of our imaginations, and we’re on a quest to disprove that our Factor-x exists and therefore we don’t live our own lives.
Looking at it even more carefully: If there are people you care for—family, friends, spouse or partner—while you’re being dictated to by your Factor-x, your caring never gets to those people. When you’re guided by your meaning, however, those people receive that caring, even without you being aware of it. Your underlying attitude is different when you’re driven by your Factor-x as opposed to being guided by your meaning. Therein lies the difference. When driven
by your Factor-x because you’re seeking meaning in your supposed caring, the people you care for feel that it isn’t genuine. Just as in the following simplistic example:
Say you smoke, and you tell someone you care for that they shouldn’t smoke. They feel the insincerity, and what you’ve told them doesn’t help them. But if they see for themselves that your behaviour is consistent with what you’ve asked—that you don’t smoke—they would get the idea of not smoking.
The smoking example isn’t necessarily in context, but what is in context is that those that we care for instinctively sense when we’re sincere and when we’re not. So if we live our lives by walking our own path as guided by our meaning, this automatically serves everyone, starting with ourselves. And that takes courage, not idle talk.