Staying within the social norm and fitting in, to most is more valuable than authenticity. Don’t attract attention to yourself, be liked by others and do what your told seems to be the mainstream mantra. Life is not a uniform organism. The truth is, we will never find personal freedom by trying to please others and conforming our life to a template. If we are all truly different, why do we try to force the unique shapes of our personalities, skills, beliefs and ideas into the square peg of social acceptance?
[Note: This is the 1st article in the series How to Make Your Dreams a Reality.]
We have all had incredible dreams at some point in our lives. As children there are no limits to our imagination. We want to become a space ranger, a superhero or a magical medicine woman that saves lives and whisks people off to safety in the face of impending danger.
When we’re young we’re told that we can be that space ranger or have that amazing life that we dream up in our racecar bunk bed.
Marrying my wife was the best decision I ever made. We have an amazingly close relationship, and we’ve also had our share of ups and downs like anyone else.
Despite the luck I had marrying my wife, our relationship still takes a lot of work and patience. I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I’ve also seen the ugliness that is failed relationships (I’ll spare you the details).
I’ve avoided writing about this subject for a while for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I don’t want to seem like a know-it-all or that I have relationships figured out any more than anyone else.
Our lives are inundated with practicality and productivity. We think that if there’s no purpose to something, there’s no point in doing it. In reality the best things in life have no purpose.
We sacrifice our time and our sanity doing what we don’t want to do, so at some future point we will create the freedom to do what we love.
We seek happiness in things. We seek happiness in the acceptance of others, in material possessions, in social status.
“When the mind is somber, broad daylight gives birth to demons and evil spirits. When the mind is clear, a dark room has its blue sky. That which is self-concious and ulterior is far from the Truth. That which is Mindless, is near.” – Taoist poem.
There’s a common saying in Zen that says after Satori (Enlightenment, there sits the ordinary old man.
Something extraordinary happens through Enlightenment, but nothing at all. Vedanta â€” the philosophy Buddhism originates from â€” translates to “the end of knowledge.”
If Enlightenment is the end of knowledge, the end of struggles and the end of suffering, what is left in life?