#028 - It's still going to take a lifetime, no matter how hard you try!

At some point in my teens I became very good at slacking. I was skilled at not doing what I was supposed to and doing what I wasn’t supposed to as much as possible. For instance, getting high before basketball practice, skipping school, stealing, applying only to colleges that didn’t require an essay in the application were all tools of my trade. I was looking for the easy way through life, and I really tried to find it! What that got me was a pretty good addiction, no money, no job, and subpar relationships across the board.

So what did I do when my life as a slacker came to a head? I decided to try really hard to get my shit together! I followed directions, did what was suggested of me, I meditated, prayed, and stopped the drugs and drinking. I even stopped smoking cigarettes!  I was hell bent on finding a way to live life without pain, not by avoiding pain through numbing out, but by being really good and doing all the right things. And you know what, that strategy didn’t work either!

I had tried avoiding life by being a slacker for many years, and then for many years I tried really hard to find victory over the pain of life by being really “good.” This being really good strategy has its benefits. But I lost some piece of myself by looking outside of myself to find out what was the right way to live. I lost my curiosity, experimentation, and the rigidity of being good backfired.

What I was left with was the painful realization that there is no right way to make it through this life. As my friend Charlie Horton says in his newest book, Three simple questions: Being in the world, but not of it: “Keep in mind that it is not possible to fail at this thing we call life. Just remember that the eternal purpose of life is physically existing, then dying, and growing in love during the process. Within love, it is not possible to avoid accomplishing that, a realization that you may find comforting. It is certainly possible to fail to achieve certain goals during the life process, but that failure has little or no eternal significance.”  I began to wonder if there is no way to do this right then why am I trying so hard?!

That there is a very good question! No matter how hard I try, no matter how much I strain to find a way (pain free) through this life it will still take me my whole lifetime. There is no making the process go faster than it wants to. I can complicate it, slow it down, but I can’t make my growth via love any faster then love wants to go. You can’t bully love around! Let it soften you and take your time. If you are like me and want to find the fast track to peace and happiness then try, just for today, to give yourself a break. I have learned that when I do I find love, peace, and happiness right there inside of me all along, the last place I would of looked for it!