1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 40: Stay Awake.

Stay awake until the final second, until my head falls and takes my body along with it, the movement waking me in mid-air just in time to save me from cracking my head on the floor or the edge of the table. Sometimes we stay up just to stay up, just to keep time ticking, to feel like it’s still going. We can’t simply call it a day and head to bed, or take twenty minutes to analyze our day and then head to sleep. We have time for everything other than order though. We fall asleep and we don’t remember what time we fell at sleep at, since we were already half asleep while we were still doing things, still surfing the net, nodding off. Why are we always searching for more? Why can’t we be at peace, even in our own rooms? A crazy, constant search for stimulation, a lack of appreciation of what we already have, an inability to slow down and enjoy the little things, to explore the wonders all around us. When I was younger and still living with my parents I would often come home and shut myself in my room, reading about all sorts of cool places and things to do around the world, wishing I could be somewhere else. Now, even though I absolutely love living with my wife and being independent from my parents, I do miss our moments together at my old home, all the great times we had growing up, and the great times that could have been, had I appreciated what I had. It’s sad to see it happen, yet it’s a common pattern of behavior, that as young children grow into adolescence, they become so caught up in social life, in peer pressure, in keeping up an image, in being with so-called friends at all times, always out and about, that they forget about their parents and how things used to be between them. Children’s impulsive behavior can lead them to act in risky ways, in ways that might make it seem like they don’t appreciate their parents’ dedication towards them, and it is precisely because they are growing up and feeling like they belong, like they are popular, or that their reputation is now at stake, depending on everything they do or don’t do, every event they attend or miss out on. In a teenager’s world, everyone wants to be in on everything, and it is also like this in the world of anyone who lives off of other’s impressions and ideas about them. Too many people live lives of fear, they require certain things, certain conditions to be met, during every interaction or social situation, in order to feel like they belong, in order to feel secure about who they are what they are trying to represent. People don’t know who they are, they know about their inner chaos very well, yet they haven’t taken the time to analyze it and to understand it, they haven’t done the work, and have preferred to run from it instead. Self-analysis is tough love, self-love, self-care to the highest degree. When we can be honest with ourselves, that means we have a loyal friend who we can probably trust, probably something like ninety-nine percent of the time (we all lie to ourselves sometimes, even in the smallest matters). If we can’t come to terms with all the aspects of who we are then we are forever destined to look for external meaning to no avail. Your life’s meaning can never, will never, be found externally, in some group or some organization, in becoming something new, in doing something new, in acquiring some new possession. Only you can do the necessary work, can go through the inner process, which will allow you to submit who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, to the divine will, and to trust and have faith in the process, doing your best and expecting the best out of every situation, especially every bad one. Only then will you find peace. Other than in this divine peace, there is nothing else which is peaceful outside of it. We are always searching for a high, for a thrill, for a stimulus to respond to. There is a space between stimulus and response, as Viktor Frankl stated, yet very few of us are familiar with it. In many cases we respond before the stimulus has even finished taking it effect on us. We always want more, we want to hear more, not necessarily to listen more, but then we want to talk even more, much more than we want to hear. We all believe in something, we all want others to believe in the same thing, so that others might be saved, so that others might come to know the truth, so that they may escape suffering. But we are all neurotic, we are all constantly on the move because we can’t really stand the truth, we can’t stand the silence, and the pain of solitude, we can’t stand being stripped away of all that makes our identity, of all that seems to make us who we are. We are not prepared to stand naked in the face of adversity, in the face of others, in the face of our own higher selves. We are all imperfect, sinners if that’s what we wish to call ourselves, we have missed the mark. We have all fallen victim to temptation, to the Satan within ourselves, to the little devil on our shoulder. We have all placed our own pleasure above whatever was the right thing to do at the time, we have all considered taking revenge, or have in fact taken revenge, against someone who has seemingly harmed us. Indeed, many can attempt to harm us, and it will seem as if they have succeeded. They can succeed in harming us, for we cannot control the actions of a criminal, or a murderer, yet whether they succeed in robbing us of our inner peace is completely up to us. For this reason, we must stay awake at all times, alert to what may possibly be the cause of our downfall, if left unchecked. 

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 41.

~ Rebel Spirit

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