Identity and Stillness

I’m back! I really must apologize for my unannounced absence. I am adamant about my belief that this blog should never be a job, so when I begin to grow thin with the time I have available to work on it, if I do not feel inspired, I refuse to force the words. But I’m back, and if you’re still around, please know that your support through this time means everything to me.

ice-crack

Breaking the ice is a mind game. (Photo credit: adstream)

Where do I begin after so long? As is with anything, after such a time of absence, a form of mental barrier is created. Breaking the ice of writing on this blog has become more than just an issue of inspiration or time, but of defeating a psychological obstacle. Imagine how you feel when trying to return to a barely–started project.

It’s not all bad, though. There are things I have discovered during my time away. For example, despite my efforts, I had come to identify with this blog. It became fuel for my ego – that I was successfully writing every day, and above all else, receiving significant traffic and praise. I don’t like that I was that way, but it was what it was.

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Still stuck on my false ideas, I didn’t know who I was. How do you define such a thing as identity? (Photo credit: Cahaya Dalam Kegelapan)

As I struggled more and more each day to write, (Every single piece requires complete focus for up to several hours of time that I may not have) my ego was confronted with an issue – how was I going to keep my identity? I mention the ego, because it is the key factor in this entire equation – and it’s important to remember that one’s ego and identity aren’t really as healthy or important to one’s existence as one may think. It’s an amazing thing, how stepping back just a little changes your entire perspective – for the first time, I may have experienced what many adults seem to experience later on in life, when the vital question is finally asked – who the hell am I really? Without this blog to define me, was I becoming less meaningful/valuable as a person?

Unfortunately, I did what most people do: instead of dis-identifying with the things around me, I dove straight into them with the hopes that somehow I would feel better. By some great misconception, I had the idea that a damaged ego is a bad thing, and that it needed tending, it needed care. What’s worse, it wasn’t as though I was consciously thinking it, it was that society had ingrained that way of thinking as a truth within me. And if I think in that way, who doesn’t? We’re all so brain-washed by our own selves that we treat the ego like a broken arm. Yikes.

Stillness

Stillness. (Photo credit: david.ian.roberts)

Because of the way society is set up, particularly in the 21st century, the “real world” is literally run by the material. And with the right perspective, one would see that it is that material-based mindset that dictates far too much of our lives. And in many ways, it really is. Like I’ve written about before, there is always someone who’s more experienced, better, smarter, faster. This is a tough world we live in. But what we so easily forget is that these things that we use to fuel feelings of self-importance, these things that we use to judge others on intelligence or competence of any kind, don’t matter at all. We must remind ourselves that the truly important things in life, whatever they may be for you, are immeasurable – still, contentment, happiness, love – their importance is not diminished but forgotten in the huffing and puffing that has become life. I lost contact with one of those things, and in doing so, I learned something truly powerful:

Identity and inner-stillness cannot co-exist.

So that’s it from me today. I hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving, although I’d like to add that true appreciation and thankfulness is a year-around thing.

–mrprose 🙂

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It’s a Simple Thing to Appreciate

Hello, hope your week has begun well,

I’ve written before about how learning how to truly appreciate the things that one has and the sees around them, changes the way they will view the world. It’s hard to make that shift, because it requires lots of patience and acceptance. I’m still struggling plenty with it myself. The reward, though, is more than worth it, and that’s why I’m re-looking at the things in my life in new ways.

I’ve naturally take things for granted. All but forget about them. In this fashion, I’ll lose many of these things before I truly appreciate them, and I don’t want to live that way.

Today I look at a major part of my life, a part that I forget I may lose at any moment. A part that I don’t believe I properly appreciate.

That thing, is owning a dog.

It’s difficult to explain exactly how owning and caring for an animal affects you. Particularly Man’s Best Friend. I suppose that it has to do, in part, with the fact that everyone has a different perspective and experience to take away. It’s such a complicated bond, yet so simple, if you look at the core of it.

I believe that it impacts a part of us as human beings that words can’t do any justice describing. You forge a relationship with a creature that knows no conceit, no lying, no backstabbing or greed. Dogs live simple, honest lives. That’s why it’s so easy to create a relationship, a bond of respect, love and most of all trust.

Humans, are after all, a social race, and we crave interactions with others. Even more so, we crave worthy connections of love and friendship. That fact goes down to the core of our being, of who we are, and it’s not just a want, it’s a need. We need such things to survive, to thrive, and these phenomenal creatures are sometimes exactly what we need.

They are our companions. They support us with their company and comfort. I know that when I’m distressed, my own dog, Peanut, will come over and playfully try to raise my spirits. It’s something they instinctually do – I believe that they feel empathy and compassion for others.

So with their joyful existence and happy energy, along with their large hearts, I often can’t help but enjoy their presence, their being there. They naturally carry an air of positivity.

Possibly the most amazing part of that species of animal as a whole (as I see it), is their incredibly strong integrity. They live honestly in almost every sense of the word. They know when they’ve done something wrong. Maybe it’s me personifying them too much, but they don’t ever seem to have malicious intent.

How can one not spot the love in those eyes? I feel blessed to know her.

That’s why I chose to write about this today. The more I watch my own, or any dog for that matter, what they are/what they do, the more I realize how inspiring they are to me. They’re full of plenty of things we as humans have plenty to learn about. They represent so much to me because I get so lost within the intricacies of my own complications that I forget how important these attributes are. Their simplicity exemplifies what simple living can be. And how much more I still have to learn about the “simple” things I thought I had moved past.

So for today, and this week, the remainder of this month, and for the rest of my existence, I want to pay more attention, give more gratitude to this extremely important and positive part of my life. I think dogs are great examples of virtues that we must not forget.

Plus, they’re a part of our lives, and deserve our love and attention. They need it, and it’s the least we can give back.

–mprose