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Let’s finish playing the “what if” game.
What if my Spirit was gone?
My spirit gives me my flaws. Makes me imperfect. Allows me to feel nervous or anxious.
It also gives me my blessings. Makes me naturally good at things. Allows me to feel confident and satisfied.
My Spirit serves as a guide that shows me what I care about and how much I care… It does this by the way someone/something impacts me physically.
A tightness in my chest tells me something is important to put in time and effort.
Or energy and mental alertness that lets me know that I’m on the right track.
It can also give me signals by how often someone or something passes through my thoughts, and the way it makes me physically feel, which can even contradict each other… this is my Spirit telling me something is important enough to spend the time reflecting for further clarity.
The negative side is a necessary counterpart that uses bad feelings as its primary line of communication. Being uncomfortable gives me the drive to change something and to pursue relief from the discomfort.
However, relief from discomfort is not meant to be held on to, and joy and happiness come with a high risk of developing a tolerance. I have a tendency to take things and people for granted, because the initial intrinsic value diminishes over time as things stay the same.
I also begin to “expect” them, subconsciously choosing not to put forth any time or effort.
In other words, I get used to things after a short while, and I mistake them into believing they are deserved or unconditional; which is never the case.
This is why I need and deserve consequences, periodic criticism, and blunt honesty. For those are how others help my Spirit tell me I need to change something.
To know what is next, I need to continue to take risks, meet new people, put myself in situations that may make me feel nervous, or force myself to fight insecurities and overcome these negatives…
And I need to do this on repeat for the rest of my life.
What’s most interesting, is that to sustain the highest level of happiness, I must accept that life works like an engine that creates small explosions through combustion, creating immense pressure, forcing the piston to move up to relieve the pressure.
Once the pressure is relieved, the pistons go back down building more pressure over and over again.
If combustion were to stop altogether, and repeated pressure were to cease, the piston would no longer need to move… and the vehicle would go forward no more.
Life goes up and down on purpose.
It is both – the up’s and the down’s – that drive Life forward.
Things would still be important, regardless of my memories and my spirit, because my interactions with others will provide others with their own versions of memories… that are hopefully positive.
So yeah, being able to enjoy my accomplishments sounds like something I’d have a hard time letting go of. But in the end, how I feel about things isn’t what’s most important. It’s my interactions with others.
…what I bring to the conversation.
…whether or not I contribute to society.
…whether or not people are better off having known me.
It is my responsibility to put aside my negativity and do my best not to spread it on bad days, because it is not fair to others that I impart unnecessary stress and bull shit on their lives.
It’s selfish, albeit not obviously so.
I will make mistakes- and I’m sure at least one more person will give me the finger in traffic in my lifetime.
Hence, perfection is an imaginary expectation. Unachievable in every scenario.
Minimizing mistakes is where my focus should lie.
Of course people may overstep and take advantage of me or wrong me in any number of ways in the future.
What will I do then?
My answer is to read the situation and choose the action that offers the best chance of the negativity to cease. Overreacting, in most cases, perpetuates problems causing more stress than necessary.
This doesn’t mean to be unconditionally nice and accepting of all things and people, not at all. It could mean to tell someone something that may be hard for them to hear (or for me to say) or to stand up to someone who exhales bulls shit onto others- then that is the bridge I must cross.
This isn’t to say fight every battle but fight the ones that might do the best good. Time is too precious for me to waste effort and take personal risk on irrelevant situations with unequal consequences. How I behave is the responsibility I have to others. To participate in society and live peacefully, regardless of believing the same things, or anything else for that matter.
I must strive to not just maintain neutrality but to be a part of the up cycle of progress… To leave this place better than when I arrived.
Whether or not I remember the things I’ve done, or if others ever knew, it has nothing to do with how I must focus my decision making. I need to reach and express my full human potential and give back to the Earth and humanity; again, as a responsibility to others.
…to essentially say thank you for the gift of life.
Perhaps it is the brief moments that make up a lifetime that are what make my decisions and actions worth the thought and effort.
According to where this Live Writing has taken me, seeking out something intangible- like a “brief moment” – is apparently the thing that gives me my zest to live; the energy for my next breath; and intrigue to seize each day.
Let me conclude…
My Spirit is what allows me to cherish every moment… Every moment spent with family and making others smile.
It’s what allows others to cherish the many moments they remember that I may not.
Someone overhearing some advice to a friend, and I wasn’t aware. Their spirit allowed them to care and be interested enough to get distracted and listen in.
And it’s the spirit that gives me my worst flaws. Because overcoming flaws makes life challenging; and ultimately rewarding.
Flaws also reveal my strengths. And influence the path I take. And signals me when something is wrong through discomfort and anxiety.
If I were to lose my Spirit, gradually over the next 10 years… until…
Then it shouldn’t change a thing about how I feel and act today.
Shortcomings, Temptations, Compulsions, and Discomfort – – Passions, Blessings, Talents, and Pleasures… all working in tandem.
That is how I define my Spirit.
And my Spirit is how I define myself.