Have you ever stopped to consider the vast amount of content that exists on the web? Comparing that to the world we live in, how much of it could be considered debris and rubble, and how much is actually infrastructure and life? How much of the cyber world would be amazing malls and theme parks with millions of visitors and how much would be desolate or even worse, dark and seedy place?
With all the real estate on the web, you ended up here. How did that happen? You wound up on a story written by a relatively unknown writer in 2020 during the Coronavirus Quarantine; a story living in the unlikeliest of places, a financial website.
I won’t call it fate but I will openly suggest you’re here for a reason. Read on and I promise you won’t’ be disappointed.
We live in a miracle!
I huge part of this miracle is perspective, the narrow light that illuminates the vast abundant universe through the tiny hole of our front door. Driving this miracle is time, the imaginary force that forms the tiny blues lines guiding our pens through the pages of our lives.
Perspective and time, a pair made in heaven. The dance to last a billion lifetimes. In sync, they weave the fabric of our memories into moments that define who we are and what we will become. We are these memories- every single one compounding and acting as the building blocks to every single experience.
Let’s take a quick detour. I promise if you stick with me, this will all make sense.
Today I acted foolishly. I picked up food from a restaurant and they didn’t include any sauce for my Cajun fries. I’ll let you process that for a moment. NO SAUCE! Can you believe that? I was so pissed I even recall saying, “I spend all day doing my job and now I have to do theirs too!?”
Sure, you may consider this example to be incredibly mundane and superficial, but that’s the point; it’s something we all have encountered, so stick with me.
I was mad as hell and apparently I had to tell somebody, so I called the restaurant and complained; of course I complained. THEY FORGOT MY SAUCE!!!
Fast forward thirty minutes later- two things happened:
- I started writing this article
- I realized complaining was a huge mistake
For the next hour, I vigorously wrestled with regret- what a disappointment. I actually perceived somebody else’s carelessness as a personal attack on my happiness. Who knows, maybe you agree that complaining was justified, but in the grand scheme of things, what did it accomplish?
When I thought about my actions, I realized that nobody had attacked me at all. This was just a story I made up in my head to justify the way I was feeling; a natural reaction we all use in order to balance our emotions. We place the blame somewhere else and blame is a very effective tool to make us feel better; it makes handling the tempest of emotions we’re facing easier like a powerful elixir that numbs the pain and anger. Blame becomes the morphine that makes things right again, but like any powerful opioid, it’s effects are temporary. When that emotional morphine wore off, it was just me and my disappointment left standing in an empty room.
What. a. disappointment.
We’ve all felt this before. We’ve all had to face our poor decisions, look them square in the eye, and admit our judgment was bad; our choices were poor.
Have you ever considered how it’s even possible for somebody to perceive one situation in two completely different ways? It’s a 180-degree change in perspective that can happen immediately, or can take years or even a lifetime. The bottom line is, we will surely discover, through time, that so many of the decisions we’ve made with absolute conviction were simply made using poor judgment.
So what changes within us that provides this clarity and truth? Why is time the catalyst to this change? My particular change of heart was practically immediate, but there are some who have spent years without speaking to family and friends over disagreements. There are those who fight tirelessly on the Facebook battlefields to convince others their opinions are correct, blocking and unfriending one another, disagreeing vehemently when at the core, they can barely agree with themselves.
Our entire experience is undeniably molded by the lens we use to view the world. A tiny sliver of reality we peek through every day in order to interpret things. These are the millions of tiny decisions and assumptions we’re forced to make every single moment of every day that ultimately defines us.
When I put it that way, it’s easy to see how sometimes, we simply make mistakes.
Our minds and hearts change because our experience grows broader and, in turn, we grow wiser.
When we look at the choices we made and the paths we’ve taken, we need to look with love and empathy at that young person who was desperate to grow faster and stronger than they ever imagined was possible. That person wanted only one thing, to make YOU, the person reading this piece, proud. All they ever wanted was to have been the greatest experience you ever lived.
Despite the disagreements and changes of heart, we can’t break up with ourselves. We can’t block or unfollow ourselves or even move somewhere else. We simply can’t escape the person in the mirror. We can be stuck looking at them forever, or forever embrace them. Every day, we’re forced to accept the choices we make, whether right or wrong, and in the end, we either learn and grow or lament and ultimately perish.
So here you are. Standing among piles of internet rubble reading this thing I’ve written with no desire for money, with no need to be heard, and no claim to fame. This piece won’t get many shares or likes and won’t be featured in the NY Times, but this piece has you; you’re reading it.
What started as anger and disappointment over a trivial moment in my life encouraged me to follow inspiration through a dark alley that led me to you.
Maybe this was a waste of time to read, or maybe, this actually made a difference; maybe this even changed your life… Maybe…
And maybe tomorrow, we’ll find the courage to love ourselves once more, the way we did when we were just starting our lives, before all the lessons and experiences that shaped us; with all our faults and imperfections.
Maybe this is the moment we need to embrace our past, and appreciate the boundless opportunity that is the present.
Don’t squander this opportunity.
Learn to love yourself and each other.