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.

finger print

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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Limits Exist Solely In The Mind

We are our own greatest obstacle when it comes to what our limits are.

It’s easy to look around and find reasons to blame things for your limitations, your failures. In fact, it’s so easy, we all do it, if even just a little. It’s a simple escape from the hard reality that stares at us all the time, and we’re human after all. It’s something that needs to be recognized, because the lack of ownership people have of themselves and their actions is one of the leading contributors of why there are so many issues in our world today.

Ultimately, we are the creators of our own limits. As I have said before, I always find it fascinating how we run our lives, through our choices, our energy, our mindset. Questions of fate and freewill, of our thoughts manifesting things in our lives, of the way we choose to live, (with or without awareness, etc.) are always very intriguing to me. These questions pertain to our own selves – human beings are incredible mysteries with hidden wonders. But what’s more, once the answers to these questions are found through personal exploration, one’s life will change greatly – a clarity that did not previously exist will pervade throughout one’s existence.

Reflective Water

You already have the answers, just look at them. (Photo credit: Ricky Romero)

The methods of finding these answers, and even the answers themselves, vary greatly for each and every one of us. Always though, these keys to pure living lie within, and the further you go, the more you will find yourself. Superficial living doesn’t in anyway reinforce personal growth. You have to look deeper.

What I have found is that it is one’s own self that is the greatest preventer. I more than anyone or anything, control my life, and it is my own fears that dictate my boundaries. Perhaps the simplest example – I cannot ride roller coasters. They fill me with fear and thus I cannot bring myself to ride them. The fear comes from my mind. My soul, my “I” does not know fear. It is beyond material pains and pleasures.

Now I do not mean to say that the world does not limit us in any ways, for it does. We have incarnated into imperfect bodies after all. But it is not physical limits that I am addressing. It is not about how many miles one can run, but how far they can push themselves beyond pain. Pain, after all, is our greatest teacher on this planet, but that too exists only in the mind. Your soul does not know pain. But I believe we have come down to Earth to be in physical bodies for a reason. And perhaps that reason is to transcend limitations.

To be your full potential, your true self, you cannot not hold with you the restrictions of the physical. Sadly though, we all have them. They exist. Where do they come from? What manifests them? Limits exist solely in the mind.

At the same time, you create your opportunities. I believe the mind plays a part in that as well, manifesting things into being. Sending intentions. Staying positive. Finding the will to break through deterrents.

Limitations.

You are looking at a reflection of your fear. Walls provide a false security. (Photo credit: Alpha Beta Photography)

It’s quite amazing, really. And it creates this wonderful dichotomy of construction and destruction. We are architects, but we are also demolitionists. It all depends to how we choose to use the tools we have – our bodies, our intellect, our imagination. We can contribute to this limitless universe. We can be this limitless universe. Or we can enclose our worlds with mental walls of fear and anxiety. It is always your choice.

The walls surrounding you? They are yours. You can do what you wish with them.

–mrprose

The ‘I’ Is Constant

Hello again,

I must say, this was a difficult question that I posed for all of you on Friday. The struggle for me is how to answer this without going to a heady place. If I did that, I would not find an authentic answer. So here we go.

As can be read in the title, I believe that each and every person has a ‘higher self’, a part of themselves that transcends the physical. That soul, that spirit, or that ‘I’ as I like to call it, is unchanging, it is constant. Ultimately, I believe the I is never truly affected by the material world. You change forms – your physical body will not and cannot last forever – but your essence, your true self, is always there.

who am i?

Do our experiences make us who we are? (Photo credit: paurian)

So then there is the question of where experiences play their role, because life and everything that comes with it (the challenges, the comforts, the pains, the triumphs, etc.) does change you. It’s inevitable. It’s unavoidable.

I look at what exactly the ‘I’ is. What exactly is it that composes our essence? Can it even be defined?

I’ve often explored what the I is that I am. There are many definitions we can place on such a concept of life, and through our various experiences, we all most likely have different definitions. For myself, I see my soul, my I as being part of the greater energy that everything came from. It may seem like we live in a separated world full of isolations, and it may seem like we are two different people, you and I, that we share nothing in common. But we are all connected in ways we cannot yet comprehend. We are all from the same greater energy, and this is just the form we are taking right now.

I Am the Sea of Permutation

I am. (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)

I see God living within me, as I see myself living within God. If I stripped myself of all my ego, of all my materialistic values, of all the things I identify myself with that create my identity, there is something still there. It is the true I that is beyond experiences. It is energy at it’s purest form. It is God.

So where do experiences play their part? They have their value too.

I can say with full honesty, that my experiences have completely changed me. Whether they occurred because of my choices or not, I am a different person from last year, last month, last week.

But maybe ‘change’ and ‘different’ aren’t the right words. Maybe my experiences aren’t so much changing me, as they are shaping me in this level of existence or consciousness. And maybe I’m not changing and becoming a different person, but rather I am discovering more of myself, and my experiences are leading me closer and closer to I.

Dean K. Miller commented something that stood out for me: “My experiences are just that….my experiences. I am not them, nor are they me. But they make up the framework of who I choose to be, moment by moment, lifetime after lifetime. The experiences come and go, here for a reason, recognized or not.”

I connected with those words – experience absolutely makes up the framework of who I am as a human being. It does shape me here on Earth. But saying that I am the sum of my experiences is to look only at one’s identity.

And you are much more than just your identity. You are something much, much more beautiful.

–mrprose

Freewill: You Are Living The Life You Create

Morning,

Spill

How can we view ourselves as mere accidents, like the spill of a drink, in the universe?(Photo credit: Darrol)

So right back to where I left off. As I said yesterday, I very firmly believe that fate plays a large role in the scheme of our lives. Yes, I don’t think we’re all just an accident. That seems like a degrading way to view ourselves, in my opinion. It’s not ego that I’m coming from, I believe what I say because I think life is about learning and that’s what we’re here to do.

But there’s more than just that. Fate can’t be everything to what are our lives. If that’s the case, not only are we simply puppets for some imaginary audience, but our existence is pointless, our feelings mean ultimately nothing, and our discoveries are not discoveries at all. I simply can’t accept that. My existence is very real, at least to me. My feelings are of utmost importance to me, and the discoveries that I’m making are why I’m here and what makes my time here worthwhile.

One way to view freewill in context with fate is that you and I can make what we want of our lives, but only through the situations that come our way. That was an interesting thing that came up on Friday – that fate comes in the form of life only throwing certain situations/struggles at you. You can make of them however you want, through your actions and decisions, but your life is limited in that not everything comes your way.

outlines

Fate sets the outlines that one’s freewill can color and fill. (Photo credit: TORLEY)

Although I also see fate as the skeleton and the framework of our lives, there is one fundamental difference for me: we as people, in many ways, control what comes our way in life. Just as it has been proven time and again that living negatively will attract negativity, and living positively will attract positivity, the same principle applies to all aspects of life. Action leads to reaction.

The only safe example I can conjure up right now is: if you don’t do what makes you happy, you will be dealing with unhappiness. It really is as simple as that. Don’t follow your passion? Bottle up what you want to say, what you feel? Next thing you know, you’re staring depression in the face. Trust me, I know first hand how that feels.

Fate does, inevitably, still play a role in some of the bigger events of our lives. You have to think that your soul mate was “meant” to be with you. If not… then what is true love? These kinds of extremely heavy questions start popping up like balloons (really dense balloons… think steel) if you don’t believe anything at all is pre-determined.

City Lights

I like to think of my life as a city. The ground and the hills are already set in place by fate. It is my decisions and actions that are what build everything else. (Photo credit: Ghassan Tabet)

But here’s the thing about freewill in correspondence to fate that I think is so empowering… one of the most empowering thoughts for me in my life: we are the architects of our lives. I believe we take the events that we will inevitably have to confront, either from our own actions attracting such things into our lives, or supernatural intervention, and make the outcome be a reflection of our actions. If I negatively take a job-loss, and become depressed with myself, and give up in life, then it was I that brought myself down. Losing the job (pretending that this event was fate, despite work ethics) in itself may have been out of my control, but I very much take the power of my life in my hands, and make of the situation as I will.

This thought, that I am truly the master of my life, is one of the chief reasons I feel so strong within. It reminds me that yes, there are things out there that I will never be able to control. But there is also the beautiful ability within myself to shape my world and completely be the one living my life. These two powers, fate and freewill, depend on each other, opposites, yet exactly the same, in creating my life. There is a balance between the two, a fine line where life is both taking the lead and following mine. I am both in control (freewill) and not (fate).

I want to find that balance one day, because I know that when I do, I will come in harmony with life itself, doing my part to lead myself, and doing my part to follow.

This is how I see fate and freewill.

–mrprose

Nothing Happens By Coincidence: Fate

Hello again,

So today, as promised, I am writing my first of two reply posts to my Friday Question. This is exciting.

Before I even begin, I have to first express how I feel on this whole subject: it’s fascinating. We all have our own different and unique beliefs, and I love listening to every single one. I think our interpretation of life says so much about who we are and what we’ve gone through. What I’m writing today is solely my beliefs as I’m not trying to persuade any of you of anything. You’re entitled to your beliefs. Simple as that.

Okay, so onto the topic itself: fate.

As I’ve said before, in this piece, it’s completely natural to wonder about one’s own existence. You do have to be at least a little curious as to how we all got here and what we’re all doing here. What’s the point? Where are we going? The questions are endless.

The fact that we’re all here though, even if the reason why is unanswered, is what it is. We’re all living, doing, being. The question then becomes, are our lives constructed of fate or freewill? Do we actually have control over anything that we’re doing, or has everything already been written out in some master plan, already set in place as the universe had it be?

Introspection.

If you don’t know what you believe, use introspection. (Photo credit: e³°°°)

The answer to these questions has to truly be found within one’s self. One can tell you what to believe, but if it doesn’t resonate with your soul, if you can’t swallow it and accept it, don’t bother forcing it. You just don’t believe it.

What I’ve found through my exploration of who I am, is that yes, I believe in fate. I really do. But at the same time, I also believe in freewill, although I’ll go more into that tomorrow.

According to the dictionary:

fate/fāt/

Noun: The development of events outside a person’s control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power.
Verb: Be destined to happen, turn out, or act in a particular way: “it was fated to end badly”.

Looking at the definition, I have to agree with the fact that there are definitely events out of our control, namely the one’s that happened before we even got here, but the key factor for me, is that they from some sort of supernatural force. Maybe there’s a God watching over us. Controlling us like the pieces of a game. Whatever it is, yes I believe certain events will occur, no matter what I do… (e.g. the death of someone, etc.).

Instead, what I believe is that the universe exists for a reason I cannot yet comprehend, and we’re here to discover who we are. The universe is God, in a way, just not taking the form of a being, but rather…. nothing and everything. I am simply a part of this nothingness and everything-ness. And it’s a part of me.

I know that there is something at work, and there are things in my life that are completely unavoidable (meeting a certain person, having to face a certain situation.) Fate, to me, is ultimately not the only force, because I believe we exist with a say in our existence. But certain parts of our lives and the world we will never be able to change. Through our actions, though, we can hold some sort of control on the situation.

English: By kac's meditation

Take a seat and listen to what the universe is telling you. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I slow down and listen closely enough, I can feel the gentle push of the universe guiding me…. I’m never truly alone. As Larry so wisely put it yesterday, this whole subject really isn’t such a heady thing to be analyzed so intensely. It’s about feeling. Do you feel fate and freewill within yourself, or are you just taking everyone else’s words for it?

So, yes, I believe in fate, I believe that there is a higher power, although not a being conventionally seen in Western society. Instead, I feel, as many have, that fate sometimes takes my hand, and guides me through this maze I’m living in. It exists, that much I know. The question, then, is how much control we have in our lives, how much say we really have, and what’s holding us back.

Rest assured, though, that nothing happens by coincidence.

I’ll be back with more on freewill, tomorrow.

–mrprose

P.S. Thanks for all the comments and participation, tune in for another question next Friday!

Friday Question: Fate or Freewill?

Hello again,

So it’s Friday, and I’ve been blogging now for 11 weeks, and written 71 articles/pieces/poems of some sort. That may not seem like a long time to some of you (I know that careers can and do go on for decades), but it’s a huge amount of time for me. Maybe it all has such an impact because the journey has been difficult and I’ve discovered so much. Despite the fact that I’ve missed a few days here and there, I think that keeping that fact in mind is a great way to positive and a little more confident.

The reason why I’m saying this, though, is because I think it’s time I introduce a new aspect to my blog. I’ve decided that every Friday (or at least the one’s that I get to), I’m going to pose a question for anyone to answer in any manner they like. It could be anything from me asking for your thoughts on some current event, to an inquiry on how you, the readers, view some aspect of life.

I’m encouraging anyone and everyone to comment and put in their opinions on whatever the subject may be. I love to hear all views to the questions I ask. In return, I’ll write a response piece, maybe two, where I talk about my own perspective/perspectives on what I asked about. Who knows, you might see me taking bits of your opinion to add to my articles.

Question Mark Graffiti

What do you think? (Photo credit: Bilal Kamoon)

So without further ado, my question of the day: Fate, or freewill? Which one exists? Or do they both? I think it’s a huge topic to consider in the scheme of our existence. You have to wonder why we’re here, if we’re just the pieces to some gigantic game, or if our purpose is to make something happen, from our struggles and mistakes. Particularly when you question how much your efforts are worth, if they really do mean something, or if fate is already set in place and nothing is really in your control.

I’ll be back with my thoughts soon. In the meantime… what do you think?

–mrprose

Stop Living in a Bubble

Hello, hope today went well for all of you.

So I’ve been pondering quite a bit on what exactly I wanted to write about these last two days. Obviously, I didn’t get to blogging yesterday. It’s not because of a lack of ideas, but rather a lack of inspiration. These are heart-felt pieces that you’re reading on this blog, and sometimes I just can’t put the heart into it.

What I felt, what came to me today, was how much we stay in our comfort zones. It’s a huge barrier that we set around ourselves, and it only holds us back as people. If you do only what feels safe, you won’t go anywhere. You’ll stay exactly where you are, never learning, never growing.

I wrote something similar to this a while back, about showing one’s self to world. The difference from that time to now, is that the fear is more about exploring outside of what you know, what you’re comfortable with. Our world isn’t all cushy and welcoming – it’s an uncomfortable place out there, get used to it.

The motive, though, is the same: to avoid pain. It’s something we naturally do as human beings, as animals. But to avoid the pain of exploring the unknown is to avoid growth as a person, and thus the fear is an obstacle that must eventually be scaled like any other impediment.

That is rather ruthlessly put, and I’m aware of the fact that nothing really is that straightforward. It’s just a bazillion baby steps, if broken down properly. It’s something to grow out of, to constantly push yourself to do just a tad bit more, experience that one tiny new thing. It could be picking up that disgusting garbage laying on the ground in front of you. It could be spending time and getting to know in a new way, people you unfairly judged. It takes time, just like anything, but seeing the world that you’re missing is well worth the your time.

Why? Because the reason for living (in my opinion) is to see everything. everything. From pain to joy to enmity to friendship. The poor life, the rich life, the life right in between. Maybe it takes more than one lifetime. Maybe you don’t see it all on Earth. But you see it all eventually. Currently, right now, we’re living in a place that is full of these things, and witnessing them is what counts. Living in a bubble that is designed to keep yourself contained deprives yourself of these experiences.

I think the perfect example to keep in mind are those clouds of teenage girls that just follow each other around, afraid to be independent. I recognize that being a teenager is a scary time, and insecurity is a given in that part of life (we ALL know about that), but it’s just a perfect example of how that kind of fear to step out of one’s comfort zone inhibits what one can do.

Sphere in room

I like to think of one’s comfort zone as a sphere. You make it as big as you’re willing to go. One day, though, your little sphere won’t just be a tiny bubble in a room, it’ll be the whole room itself. Only you can get it there. (Photo credit: crdotx)

The most important part of exploring the things outside of one’s sphere of exposure, as I like to put it, is that you discover more about yourself. Not only do you learn how you react and interact with different things, but you see yourself in the world. It’s a bit hard to describe, but simply put: you’ll see yourself portrayed in many different ways, in many different forms. Our universe is a reflection of one’s self, as one’s self is a reflection of the universe we live in.

We all have a part of everything around us, within us. Often times, we deny that fact to ourselves. No way am I a homeless person! And yet, despite my different circumstance, some of that is a part of me. I believe we live on this Earth to discover more of that, however you choose to see it. To expose these things to ourselves. To widen and widen the bubble we live in until it encompasses everything.

Think on that.

–mrprose