I can’t remember where I first heard this or who said it but it always stuck with me.
This quote succinctly summarizes the ideas and overall theme of my first few posts. The theme being critical self-understanding.
The ideas of self-reflection, dismantling the ego, spending time alone and creating values all fall under this umbrella of self-understanding or awareness.
Awareness of who we really are at our core. No self-deception or falsehoods. With the goal of defining who we are at a fundamental level and living true to that. Because if we live true to who we are it’s almost impossible not to live a meaningful life.
“if you want to change the world”
Yeh, this is big, yeh this is scary but it doesn’t have to be. We don’t have to change the world to have a positive impact on it. We all live in our own world in a sense. Our world is our world and it’s the most important thing to us. Our reality is all we have. If you look at this part of the quote through that lens it really simplifies the process. All we have to do is positively impact just one other person’s world every day and we are changing the world, changing that person’s world for the better. Right now, this day we can change the world for someone just by showing them love, compassion and kindness.
It’s when we stack these little positive actions that real change occurs. Love compounds, kindness compounds. All it takes is a lot of little actions to affect massive change.
It doesn’t always have to be big to be important.
“First we must clean our room”
What does this mean?
I like to think of this in the metamorphic sense. Our room means our internal self. Simply put it means we cannot take care of others unless we take care of ourselves first.
Deep meaningful connection is at the core of human existence. Fulfilling relationships are the number one indicator of meaning and happiness in someone’s life.
But… Life is also challenging. Bad things happen to all of us and if we don’t process these events properly we can become jaded. These traumas spill over into our most deep relationships with the people we love the most. We often hurt the people we love the most. It’s an unfortunate reality of being human. We can’t help but dump our pain on the people who care for us the most.
I say this because I’ve been there. In a very deep and painful way. Bullying, issues with my Dad, and lack of self-worth all built up inside me and it was the people closest to me who experienced the full force of my pain. From 16 to 22, I ruined all my close relationships because of this reason. I hadn’t cleaned up my own internal mess. I didn’t know how to be there for myself let alone be there for someone else and it showed. It wasn’t intentional but with this stuff it never is.
Of course, we never mean to hurt the people we love.
“it just happens”.
But it doesn’t have to.
I often wonder why I care about this so much and why it’s always on my mind. I think I can bring it down to this one example.
I hope to have a family one day like I’m sure most of us do. When I do have kids of my own, in those early years they are entirely influenced by my actions and choices. As a parent, I will be their “world”.
Where this becomes problematic is if I haven’t taken care of my own mess in the correct way and continue to take responsibility for my own struggles. In a way, it will become theirs. No child deserves that burden placed on them. My actions consciously or subconsciously will impact this person for the rest of their life. Again I can only speak to this from personal experience. I had to take a much longer and more painful route to the place I am today because the people around me hadn’t done the necessary work on themselves and it showed.
I don’t think any parent wants to hurt their child on purpose but as adults, it’s our responsibility to take control of our behaviours so we don’t ultimately hurt those closest to us.
I am forever grateful for everything that has happened to me because it turned me into the person I am today. But I can also decide that the cycle stops with me. We can all decide to do better. To be better for our future loved ones. So they don’t have to experience the pain that we may have.
It’s simple really.
Deal with your own shit so the ones who love us unconditionally don’t have to.
It’s the least you can do.