Can’t sleep

Can’t sleep

When I lay awake at night, when the long night won't take me on a short journey so easily it's generally because there is too much going round in my mind.

I'm thinking of life, living, being and how to do those things properly, as always. It's not uncommon for me, I seem to be particularly concerned with these topics, more so the ideas of, than the implementation. It is a topic you can never stop learning on, there is no definitive answer, more a general direction and in a sense, journey.

The art of living you might call it, a path that if achieved properly will be full of events which topple you, that will throw you down the stairs. But only due to these events will you then climb higher than before. Each stair ascended you'll realise there is even more steps than previously thought. In a sense this is the journey.

Here are some pointers that I can humbly offer to help you climb.

Make good sacrifices.
A sacrifice is essential to being human. Many thousands of years ago we discovered what sacrifice was, that is to bargain with the future. While our being is trapped in the eternal now, our being, within this eternal now can project the concept of time to allow us to make choices that benefit this future self. So in a sense this is what allows you to improve yourself. This is why you save money, go to university, skip desert and iron your shirts. While this all seems rather obvious one fact you may overlook is the quality of your sacrifices. Not all sacrifices are successful and we often never understand why, but if you sacrifice what is of value with faith, if you give with truth and honesty it will be repaid. You will see returns worthy of your risk. Try it.

Speaking of truth this is the second pointer I can give

Speak the truth, no matter how much it hurts.
Now this is a kind of obvious but this doesn't just mean to others, but to yourself as well. Speaking the truth has power that is hard to comprehend till you wield it and use the spoken word to bring forth betterment for you and all others beholden and stranger. Truth will strike through any problem, it is that powerful. When you speak the truth good things will happen, by that I don't mean you'll suddenly end suffering on Earth. What I do mean is that you can, with your effort and truth, bring light to your own little garden. Start speaking the truth to those closest to you. Watch those relationships become stronger, as they will starting speaking the truth also. The hardest concept to understand of this is that by speaking the truth doesn't just mean saying things that are true. Discovering what this means will have profound effects, just try it.

Life is suffering.
This is pretty much the first thing you should learn about life. It ain't simple, easy, kind, compassionate or fair. These are simple facts. The sooner you realise and accept it the easier the whole journey will be. Not because you cannot then be disappointed, but because then you will find value in life. You will see that the suffering you accept and bare burden to is what makes being human so special. This is a great segway into the next pointer.

Don't be afraid to be vulnerable.
The reality is that life is suffering because your immense vulnerability. From disease, from injury, from cancer, heart disease, drowning, suffocating, the list is endless. It's a wonder we all can get out of bed in the morning really, but if you think like that then you are missing a very valuable lesson. To be vulnerable is to be human, to be limited is to be able to strive. To be human is to fight, for life, for survival, for growth, for success, for your fellow man. With this our emotions would be useless. What good is love without loss. Our vulnerability is what moves us to emotion. It is what fills us, it fills us to the point of overflowing, in art, in music, in exploration, of mind, body and world. This is how we create what gives us joy, what gives us drive. This is what gives us purpose! We take what is raw, we take what is cold and we bring it to life because we feel it, we can emote and bring meaning upon it. To be vulnerable is to be alive, embrace your vulnerability as it is what brings the value to your suffering.

It is late so I must retire, but when you lie in bed awake next think of your sacrifices, your suffering and your vulnerability. I hope these thoughts fill you with the fulfilment they do for me.

Vulnerability.

Vulnerability.

A word many associate with the negative. A word, that to many means weakness. Such an ideal  is only born of immaturity and fear. I however can understand how people come to see it this way though as I used to be one of them. I was once afraid of it, afraid I’d appear weak, not good enough. I feared the consequences of opening myself up, I feared whatever was shared would be used against me.

What I did not realise is what I was trading for my perceived protection was worth far, far more. The problem many face in their ignorance to the value of vulnerability is a rather complex one, one made up of many facets. So lets try and break it down.

I feel the first major concept one must understand is why one would find value in vulnerability. Essentially this breaks down to creating value within any kind of relationship, including one with your self. What I mean by this is that the more protection one has, the less committed they are, and not only that, the less they have to lose. If you hear of someone flying to the other side of the planet to chase a lover, you think, shit, that person must really love him/her, on account of the high risk and cost if rejection. You see it is this display of vulnerability that instilled value into his/her lover. Lets look at another example, a woman who quits her established career to follow a dream of being an artist. In this example the value is created in the art, for she has raised the stake of its importance, this is therefore transferred directly into this passion.

I can understand some might find this all a little.. abstract. Well, it is. But if you keep following I hope I’ll iron and dispel and doubts you may still have.

In economics there is a term “scarcity creates demand”. This is rather effective term to explain the next point. While one of the more obvious features of being vulnerable, it is nonetheless important. So to explain, why do we value anything? Almost always the value of something comes down to its availability. Can you easily get it, or is it hard to get. I don’t think I need to explain this one too much, except on how it links in. Vulnerability, regardless of how comfortable you are with it is something not something found in abundance, this is where scarcity comes, and you guessed it, demand. As humans we value people who show us vulnerability, it shows how much that person values us, and in return, we value them.

As we get deeper down this rabbit hole the concepts get harder to explain, this next one takes some fundamental rewiring to understand. It is also not easy to explain, but I shall do my best.

Being as it is, and that is rather abstract, these examples might be rather abstract also. But bear with me. So, if we think of heaven, or god even, lets us go with god. So god is meant to be three things, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. This is theologians idea of an unlimited being, so the one thing god cannot be in limited. This is where we have our uhuh(!) moment. Because to be all these omni-thingies is the very definition of not being able to value anything. I know, this is confusing, but let me explain. Think for a moment about why we as humans generally love all things “cute”, what would you suggest all these “cute” things generally have in common? I’m fairly certain most of you will agree that is vulnerability. So following this logic you can see, while many may still claim to love god irregardless of this fact, but other things are valued due to their vulnerability. It is where if you remove this vulnerability that you take away the things you love. If kittens had hard skin as protection, we probably wouldn’t find them so cute, if your lover was devoid of emotion like a robot you might find them rather hard to love.

If the world of love and relationships were a market, vulnerability would be like gold, nothing else would be valued as highly. So ask yourself this, why exclude yourself from this market when you have something so valuable to trade. You have it, we all have. 

We just have to be open, be free, be naked, leave you inhibitions, your reservations, your doubts on the floor. Don’t dip your toes in, just jump in. 

If you’re not vulnerable, you’re playing a dumby hand, it’s not real, you aren’t playing for keeps. You only have one foot in ready to pull it out incase you’re caught over investing. Fear will control you till you self author your life.  

You only get one shot, make it count.