It's easy to tell others what to do and how to do it. If a friend asks for advice, or for reassurance, we're always there. Picking up the pieces for others may not be easy, the hardest thing though is doing that for ourselves. Trust among friends is common, and after relationships are developed over time, we become comfortable. Why can't we, after a lifetime, ever be comfortable enough to trust ourselves?
When I sit down every day to write the #AfterLife column, one thing is always on my mind: how can I help?
If my thoughts can point people reading them into the right direction or at least give the reader peace of mind, I've done my job. The feeling of empowering others, and ultimately trying to help your own generation is a great one. It gives me purpose on the days where I feel like I have none. It's about inclusion. It's about dedication to the greater good, when sometimes you feel like the bad guy. We are all dealing with similar issues, and though every single person has a different experience, we can identify with simple truths. If I can wrap my mind around these concepts looking in from the outside, I should be able to look at myself too...right? I should be the most put together out of everyone, the way I talk about things.
Wrong. There's something blocking me from examining my own experience honestly. From where I'm sitting, it's nearly impossible for me to take my own advice. I don't think I'm worthy of my own help. At the base of most humans is the guilt of being human, of making mistakes, of screwing things up. I'm not immune, and I bet you aren't either. I can look my friends, a family member, whatever, in the eye and tell them exactly what I need to hear, but I don't hear it. I can't hear it. For some reason, the wisdom I can impart on others never hits my ear. It's like I'm a self-sabotaging sage, unworthy of my own advice.
In the high times of our own enlightenment, we feel it necessary to help others. We want to blaze trails for those who are not strong enough to do it on their own. The cost, however; is our own trails, the ones we let grow-over because we are too focused on others. There must be a healthy balance between caring for someone else, and caring for yourself. We often view the converse of this as selfish, and egotistical. Whatever the view, there is a high price for ignoring your own needs. I know that from experience. Nobody has all the answers. We only have our own lives and the things we've been taught to draw on. Knowledge is relative to experience.
Your personality will change if you don't have faith in yourself. If you spend most of your time feeling guilty about your mistakes, and shortcomings, second guessing every move like I have, you'll end up trapped inside your own head. You have to let yourself out for good behavior, or else all the little things that people find comfort in will pass you by.
You may have nailed the big things, like getting a job, or saving money, or starting a family, but if all of the little chaotic elements that contribute to a happy life are out of control, you may have some bigger issues than you acknowledge.
Wisdom has its price much like freedom, those who possess the knowledge to succeed often don't because well, they know too much. So they know enough to subconsciously sabotage themselves, for true success is far scarier than failure.
We just have to get past the fear of success. The fear of losing everything we know keeps us held back. If we take our own advice, we just get closer to that inevitable, dangerous enlightenment every human desires. And that is a scary thing.