Note To Self: Hang In There

It’s one of those times when one feels as if at the bottom of a deep empty well where the top is too far away to climb and the faint daylight looks like a white pinhead on a black canvas.

Yelling inside one’s head doesn’t go through to anyone else and it’s quite pointless.

Asking for help is a difficult proposition because those who care do not know how to help, and those who know, simply don’t care.

Everyone is trapped in their very own worldview, fighting their own battles, parrying with their own demons, and trying to save themselves. The ultimate advice is to wait for no one else to save you, you simply have to do it yourself. Marcus Aurelius famously said in Meditations: “Get active in your own rescue.”

The answer? Stop panicking, stop fidgeting, stop screaming at the world behind your mute polite smiling angry eyes. Drop a bucket of water on that big chunky smoldering hot ember of fury and take a deep breath.

Breathe in deeply, breathe out slowly, stay calm and centered, and above all, surrender to the moment.

The past is gone and doesn’t help you to carry it atop your weary shoulders, so drop it and lighten the burden.

The future is fraught with all sorts of unforeseen slew of random unpredictable events that will eventually demolish all plans, no matter how meticulously you account for them.

All we have is the here and now. All we have is how we can live our best life in this very moment right now and try to rise above the pain.

The bad thing about a happy life is the exact opposite and good thing about a miserable existence: it never lasts.

Good or bad, high or low, fast or slow, it never lasts.

Nothing stays the same. Not even by name. What you once thought of as a blessing, could turn out later to be a bane.

Something’s got to give. Fortunes are capricious, which means fate could turn in your favor from time to time.

There’s no promise that the stars will line up for you and all the lights are going to turn green on the road ahead.

The promise is that if you find yourself going through hell, keep going, because one way or another, you’re going to get through. Staying put and cursing the times, fate, god, parents, the government is never going to help you, motion is.

Keep going forward, keep fording through that flood of negativity, cynicism, poisonous defeatism, and simply do your own thing.

Your biggest triumph is simply and slowly putting one foot in front of the other, even at great difficulty at times, at great cost at other times, even when you don’t feel like it, and when giving up and punching out seems like the best way out, never surrender to that feeling.

Winston Churchill said it: “Never give in, never give in, never never never never, in nothing, great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”

Keep at it, look for doors, and when you find them try to open them, if they won’t open, knock and ask to be let in, if no one answers and the gatekeeper refuses to let you in, look for the back door. One way or another, you’re bound to breakthrough.

The “No” you hear is actually a “Not Yet.”

In that old Shaolin Temple Kung Fu movie I’ve seen as a kid, the would-be apprentice is denied entry at the door the first time he asks. The second day he’s still at the door, and yet the monks deny him entry. The young man has to prove that he really wants it before he is admitted into the fold of a hard endeavor that requires serious commitment.

The same scene was recreated in the movie “Fight Club” when Big Bob was turned down at the Paper Street Soap Factory cult house but then pursued by Edward Norton who talks to him empathetically and tells him this is how he should play the game, by sticking around until he’s worthy of being let in.

And that’s kind of the theme to every rejection you’ve ever had in your life, whether it was for a romantic interest, a job interview, or a creative endeavor. When people turn you down, it only means you’re not yet ready, get some more work done and try again. And one day, one of these days, usually when you least expect it, someone will open the door wide open for you and welcome you in.

They’ll say come on in, you seem ready for crossing this door and we’ll let you in.

That’s when you’ll finally realize that there is another closed door on the other side of that room that will require you to level up before it opens for you.

Life is a grand video game and all we have to do consistently is level up, collect experience points, health packs, extra lives, and fight the big boss at the end game level, only to find ourselves later playing at level 1 as a novice in a more difficult game where we can’t last more than 5 minutes in our first attempt.

That’s all there is to it.

Just keep at it. That’s your whole thing. That’s your sweet spot. That’s where you find your happiness, knowing you did not give up, that no matter what happens, win or lose, all honor and all esteem is in not giving up.

Hang in there.




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