The world paints the perfect picture of what it means to be a success. To go to the perfect school, achieve your degree, become wealthy and powerful being able to indulge in life, and not having any financial worries are the make up of civilization as we know it. Like a woman is reluctant to go outside every day without her make-up so too, it seems unnatural for us to not to venture outside without an attitude that wants to take a stab at life.
Although there’s nothing wrong with chasing your dreams and becoming financially secure, it’s the concept that you absolutely need these things to be happy that is the problem. When you become a slave, and enchained as a prisoner to these illusory images of what it looks like to be a success, ultimately such a spiritual disposition means you’re really walking through life as an absolute failure.
When I was suicidal and depressed, the real root of the problem was my being chained to such concepts. The societal pressure of being looked upon as a failure was so intense that it was driving me to such unnatural extremes. I had to find out where this snake lived so I could cut it off at the head.
I discovered that, at an early age, we are told this is how society works and when you rebel against the system in anyway shape or form, not fitting into the mould, then you’re supposed to feel depressed. In fact you’re told that when you’re not achieving the way in which your mother, father, brothers and the whole of society desires that it’s NATURAL to feel depressed. Imagine being told depression is natural? Furthermore imagine being told that to be a success you must tick all these materialistic boxes is something natural? There’s nothing more unnatural about such convictions held so dearly by the culture around us.
After some thought at length on the matter, and just when it looked like the sun was going to set, and I’d find no resolve, I discovered what it actually means to be a success.
Think of a person who has done you great harm, but whom you forgave from your heart. Go back to a time when someone became unjustly angry with you and you never retaliated with anger but a blessing. Your heart was at rest, you were at peace because you didn’t allow another person and their emotions to dictate to you how you should behave?
It gets harder. . . imagine a time when someone took something that was so dear to you. Perhaps what they took was your favourite car, house or an ex-wife totally cleaned out your bank account following a divorce. Do you remember the anxiety you felt and the utter depressing feeling which turned into an emotion of blazing fire that burned and seared into the bark of your character that you became a mess?
Well what if I told you that all of that is a result of your programming and conditioning by the world and it’s here today gone tomorrow culture? I say gone today and gone tomorrow in reference to what grows old, but such conditioning and programming doesn’t, it’s been here for thousands of years. A computer programmer makes the computer behave or act accordingly, likewise the world around us does the same. Think of it as a virus or disease that passes from one generation to the next, such systems of belief of what it means to be human attaches itself to us and getting rid of that isn’t easy.
Lets say that car, house and successful job you had were lost, but there was no anxiety, no depression and you were as happy today as you were with or without it? Can you imagine the freedom to be no longer enslaved to such ideas, and allowing your happiness depend upon what the world thinks of you, or to depend upon the materialistic things in your life? Wow…what a breath of fresh air huh? That my dear readers is what it means to be a real success, that is true eternal freedom.
What, then, is the first step to achieving this goal. The first step is to realize you actually don’t want it. You’re happy in your emotions and the prospect of getting out of your comfort zone seems so daunting to you that what you’re hearing may sound like a nice dream, but already you’re saying it’s unattainable.
You’d be right that you can’t attain this level happiness as self-reliance on something out of your control won’t work. You need to rely on God for this Grace that’s true, but without your co-operation God cannot work in your life.
Here’s what I find helps, don’t try and change it, simply understand all these illusions for what they really are. I find that when you try to forcefully change your character you can do more damage than good. Just as a piece of sea glass in the sea is formed over time and smooth to the touch, so too is a persons character and soul in good measure. God is the water that gently transforms you overtime so allow this process to take place don’t force it. You need to look at your existing character bit by bit, such as why you get upset, why you get depressed and why your anger is the way it is.
You know why? You’ve been conditioned by original sin and society to behave like that. When Christ was crucified he restored the Grace that was lost by Adam and Eve, giving us the ability while here on earth to restore such grace. All of our emotions are a part of that great fall we had in the beginning. Not only did Adam and Eve become naked but so too did their intellect and soul being deprived now of such freedom.
This is why, along with our journey, we need to pray because Gods grace can then have the freedom to act within us and help that along otherwise it will never happen. Imagine having the freedom of not being affected by people who even praise you and flatter you? You no longer take that seriously and so they no longer have the power to dominate your emotions either positive or negative.
Some of you may be sitting there thinking ”So you’re advertising psychopathy in which we don’t show emotion?”. I’m not saying you shouldn’t show emotion, but that nobody will have the power to dictate to you such an emotion and be able to provoke your positive or negative reactions.
The second step is not to play the blame game, but to take responsiblity for your own emotions. This is tough because the world has taught us to point the finger of responsibiltiy for our emotions upon other people. Therefore already we are finding such things really difficuly to face up to. See? Nobody said it’s an easy road, taking the red pill is going to make you vomit at times as you transition from the old person to the new. If you stick with it, though, like the person who goes cold turkey on heroin, you will come out the otherside clean.
That’s what seeking validation from others and constantly being at the mercy of their thoughts about you is, a drug. And so as I said earlier giving up this drug isn’t easy because we assume it’s needed in order to stay alive. There is even stupid self help books out there written by psychologists that tell you that you need this drug but it’s nonsense. You’ve seen those self help books that tell you ”how to manipulate people and get yourself some friends”. What a load of absolute rubbish, you don’t need to manipulate anyone nor do you need friends to be happy, it’s an absolute con don’t buy into it.
The truth is you don’t need this drug, it’s completely redundant in your life and it’s time to give up the drug and become a real success not somebody who is enslaved to the world, and all the fake ideas of what it means to be a success. Yes go out and earn your house and enjoy your cars and build that career but don’t depend upon it for your happiness.
Be like St.Paul who said, ”for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Did you notice something? He said he can’t do it without Gods grace. Seek out the Lord, and like Morpheus who saw Neo searching for the Matrix, he will come and give you the hand you need to emerge from this world of suffering and pain, and see it for what it really is. I can only hold up mirrors with my words and give you a reflection of what it looks like, but ultimately you must see for yourself in order to fully understand. Begin your journey now.