I recently saw a bunch of women asked what do you regret? They all had given up on dreams. Not one of them said I have my life ahead of me, my dreams are still alive. Some said: “I certainly wouldn’t be an accountant, I’d be a rock star”, “I wish I’d been more inspired, learned how to play an instrument”, “I wish, if I’d practiced more, I’d been a professional ice-skater”. It’s terrifying. They’re dissatisfied with their lives, they think their dreams are over, which means they probably are. The walking dead.
What’s stopping the accountant from learning to play an electric guitar and singing? What’s stopping miss uninspired from going to therapy, starting an instrument now, and what’s in the way of the ice-skater getting back on the ice and practicing now?
This is the thing about a certain part of South African culture that shreds me. People give up so easily. “But what can you do”? is like a national anthem, a mantra. There’s virtue in the self-sacrifice of it, the saintly shrug of the shoulders. If life didn’t work out there’s nothing you can do about it.
It’s just so not true. You could still have your dreams. If you just opened your mind to the possibility that the way you see life isn’t the only way that life can be. If you considered things like your permissions, your how-to’s, your early influences, your present emotions.
If you could just allow yourself to consider the concept that we believe things we’re not even conscious of. That we’re puppets of our conditioning, doomed to blindly act out what we’ve unwittingly learned only up to a point. From then on we can wake up to the truth of what controls us. We can face our truth. We can learn to be free.
If you could only embrace the idea that we don’t have to believe we can’t do anything about our lives and the ideas we cling to which suffocate us. If you could only allow the possibility that just because you can’t see solution doesn’t mean it isn’t there, that the choices you made which prohibited your dreams from coming to fruition are choices you’re still making.
There’s so much entrapment here by undermining beliefs and ideas about how life has to be. Such a huge persecuting critical parent ego state. Such nauseating, stifling and life-defying compliance. So little entitlement. So much repressed emotion. So much victim, rescue, persecution. Out of which horrifying medium has emerged my own psyche, self. No wonder I’ve needed to change.
I can never understand why people aren’t totally consumed with longing to reach a better place. “It’s not so bad, I can’t complain, I have to make the best of it. Oh, what’s this, have I got cancer? How did that happen? But it’s not so bad, it could be gangrene or something. No use in complaining. Just got to be brave.”
It makes me want to scream. Yes it is so bad. Otherwise you wouldn’t mention it. And why can’t you complain? There’s plenty of point in doing it, it’s called expression. The more dissatisfied you let yourself be, the more likely you are to do something about it. Why try to make the best of something that’s crap? What’s the virtue in accepting less than your heart’s desire? What’s the point of living such a compromised life?
Who is it pleasing? Not you, that’s for sure. God? I don’t think so. Why would that get you into heaven? Please, live while you’re alive. Don’t die before you’re dead.