Our Deepest Desires Are a Test
It is often hard to admit what we want most in life.
When we want something forbidden, it can be hard to admit to ourselves - hard to own up to. Hard to share our secret desire with others, to trust the world not to laugh in our face for what we want, to belittle us and crush our dreams.
Yet the test of “getting what we want out of life” is central, essential to the Human Condition. This test of life is custom-tailored to each of us, as individuals.
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No one can take this test for you. In this way, the fulfillment of our deepest desires is very much like being born, falling in love, becoming famous - or of course, dying, which all men and women experience on their own.
True Tests Present Us A Choice
When we are tested (and I mean really tested by life; the only kind of tests that matter), we respond by either Growing Stronger, or by Giving Up. As far as I can see, there is no middle ground.
I mean the test of ourselves vs. ourselves. Facing down our doubts, when no one else can face them for us.
The true test is that dream that won’t let you sleep right anymore, but you pretend you’re not thinking about it.
I don’t know what your dream is, but I know you have one. Selling everything for an RV trip around the States. Quitting your job and making art. Becoming an architect even when you don’t know how to draw.
Your end will come in such a short time. You know it will, and you will not get a second chance…
It’s that whisper in your soul that you’re trying so fucking hard to shove down. But in the dark of the night, the anxiety eats at you, when everything is quiet and all the screens and sounds are turned off, reminding you that you are - actually - on the verge of giving up on your dreams.
Losing Our Self Is Petrifying
To wonder if you’ve lost yourself is to know pure terror. It is a silent, endless witches’ ring that you dance against your will through the loneliest, quietest, remotest place in the night.
“Don’t let me lose my soul. I won’t give up. Can still turn it around. Tomorrow I’ll try harder. I know I can do it, fuck. Then why am I not there yet? Do I not really want it? Fuck, maybe I don’t want it any more. Have I changed? If I’ve changed what I wanted most, am I even the same person I once was? Can I even trust my own desires? Or am I just lying to myself, and rationalizing the fact that I’ve given up on what I wanted most? That I gave up on myself?”
Reminding you why you were afraid of the dark as a kid. That the most terrifying monster is your own brain when it’s pissed-off.
Anxiety Is A Question:
Giving Up can take many forms. It often manifests in bitterness.
Growing Stronger also takes many forms, most of them uncomfortable in some way. In my life, growth is always preceded by discomfort. I don’t mean that in a bad way. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the same for plants and animals, growing up and living out there in the rain, under the stars.
Anxiety is an emotion, or sensation in the body, that forms a boundary line between these opposing poles of giving up or growing stronger.
Anxiety is an emotional twilight between choosing to live and choosing to lay down and die. It borders both life and death, but is neither - yet contains aspects of both. When you feel anxious, ask yourself “What am I on the verge of giving up on?”
But be also sure that you are taking deep and measured breaths. Attend to your breathing; in other words, focus carefully on breathing correctly. Then try again to think about the question.
Only Those Who Fight Will See Their Dreams Firsthand
Wild animals know what it is to fight every day simply to live. As humans, most of us have forgotten that lesson.
To Grow Strong requires the Will to Fight. The Will to Act, and the Will to Endure Pain.
Only a child believes victory can be achieved without sacrifice.
Only a coward or a fool would fight to win a prize which no opponent valued enough to try to take from them.
Are you fighting hard enough for what you believe? There is no middle ground. If you believe in nothing, ask yourself why. You cannot avoid the pain by pretending.
‘The world can be cruel, but it is also beautiful.’