Life is a doozy. Seriously, will we ever know why are we even here? Is it to love? To give our gifts? To realize that everything that separates us isn’t actually real? To connect? To help people? To enjoy it all? To eat cheese? To learn lessons we already chose as spirits before we jumped into a fetus and got ready to forget everything we knew about living on clouds?
No one will ever know, actually. Even those people pronounced dead in hospitals, who swear their souls went to another place and heard incredible music, and then came back to life in their body and shocked the hospital, and then wrote a best selling book. Even those people could just be crazy.
But luckily for you, I have spent the past 9 years reading spiritual self-help books and contemplating all of this. So today I am going to teach you some of the spiritual things I have learned. You are welcome.
It is all a paradox.
Most of the profound things in this world are paradoxes (nope, I googled it – the plural is, in fact, “paradoxes”).
Here are some paradoxes for you: Why do we have to accept being alone in order to finally feel genuinely connected? Why do we have to accept the way things are now in order to truly enjoy getting where we want to go? Why does letting go of the need for others’ approval make them like you even more? Why do we have to tell ourselves we can eat the whole pasta dish in order to be happy stopping when we get full halfway through? Why was Harry Potter only able to kill Voldemort once he let Voldemort kill him? Paradoxes. Get used to them.
You can have whatever you want, but it won’t make you happy.
Another paradox, yea.
APPARENTLY, you can learn how to manifest whatever you want. A house. A job. A foreign lover. What do you want? A really fancy boat? It is yours.
Learning about all of that stuff is cool… a little cult-y, but cool. And the books on this subject talk about metaphysics, and energy waves, how everything is connected, and how everything already exists, it is just a matter of giving it “the space and time to appear on the physical plane” … And if that is true… awesome. Play away.
But the missing ingredient is that those things will not make you happy.
You can manifest everything you little brain desires. You can hop to the top, be in power, have an amazing home, go on every vacation you ever put on your vision board, and still be miserable because your first mistake was thinking that those things were going to make you happy. The things are just things. And you got them. Congratulations. You have mastered the physical plane. Everyone envies you now and thinks that if they only had your personal chef and your pilates trainer and your husband, they too would finally be happy like you. But you are still you, still needy, little you, sitting on a fancy, fancy boat, wishing you had a puppy.
How you seek it out is how you will experience it.
If you get to your boat while desperately seeking happiness and status, you will end up on your boat desperately seeking happiness and status. That is just how it works. (I have read.)
But if you seek out your boat while happily enjoying your weird little life, knowing that you like boats, but that the boat is still just a boat, then once you are finally on your boat with your personal chef, you’ll be happy enjoying your big little life and maybe be like, What. How did I do this? This is great. Can’t wait to eat my casserole.
More examples: If you get to your goal weight desperately seeking approval, you will be at your goal weight desperately seeking approval. If you seek out to be a roller derby champion, hoping you will finally be understood and fulfilled once you succeed, you will end up being a roller derby champion still hoping you will be understood and fulfilled once… something else happens.
As opposed to the better option of: “I understand and approve of myself, now, and I want to be a roller derby champion.” Then once you win all your trophies, it is just the icing. See? SEE?!
How Do You Want to Feel? La la la.
Once I learned that all of my vision boarding about being skinny, and being on Broadway, and holding hands on a beach wasn’t going to actually make me happy, I was like wtf, man. I just spent so much time looking at a picture of a smiley model wearing wellington boots and holding a mug, standing next to a male model holding a puppy, in a faux-old fashioned, gerber-daisy-in-a-mason-jar laden, wood and marble mudroom.
Apparently the trick to getting what you actually want, is to figure out how you want to feel. And then, to realize you can feel that way now. Just like I said about the desperation of your boat-seeking? How you go about it, is how you will get it. That’s why so many famous or successful people are miserable. They’re like, EVERYTHING WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AWESOME NOW. BUT I AM STILL INSECURE. Yea, no shit. Everyone is looking at you, and you still don’t even like yourself.
So basically, if you want to have a boat, you have to figure out how you want that boat to make you feel. Fancy, comforted, adored? Like a Greek God? Happy? Great. Give it to yourself now. Find things you can do NOW that make you realize that you can feel fancy, comforted, and adored, now.
Congratulations, life is great now. And the boat’ll be nice too I guess. (I don’t know why boat became the thing, I don’t even understand why anyone would want a boat.)
Happiness is only now. Same concept as above.
Meaning, you can’t be happy in the future.
Meaning, when you keep on thinking that you’ll be “happy once ____________________”, that means that even once you get there, you’ll still be thinking, “wait, I’ll be happy once ________________”.
Meaning, if you are thinking “I’ll be happy once I have my boat, and everyone thinks I’m cool and lucky, and I feel like a sexy greek god”. Once you actually get there, you are still gonna be in future-happiness-mode, “wait, wait… this is ok but, I’ll be really happy once I get a new job and actually spend some time at home and get that puppy.”
If you can’t be happy now, there is nothing to say that in the future you’ll be able to be happy then (“now”) either, no matter how many boats.
So now I remind myself all the time, Caroline, sweetheart, babe, this is it. This is it. This is as happy as it gets. This crumbling apartment, this shower that doesn’t ever normalize its water temperature, ever. This taco, these boots, these hours spent rehearsing performances you don’t get paid for, this quality time spent on your couch, this is happiness. All the accolades in the world won’t make your couch-time-tacos better.
You Have to Give it To Yourself.
Humans need other humans. We can’t survive in a vacuum of solitude. But, still, and this is confusing: your own self-love is still all you’ve got. Because all of the other love you will ever experience from anyone else, will mirror the love you have for yourself, because you can’t experience anything above your own self-imposed love-ceiling. Does that make sense? Barely? Read it again.
That is what I have learned recently. IS IT TRUE? I SURE HOPE SO BECAUSE I AM TRYING TO LOVE MYSELF SO HARD.
Anyway, here is another big one: you can use the way you feel about other people, and the way you fear they feel about you, to figure out what you actually need to feel about yourself.
Afraid they think you’re lazy? That’s you probably fear you’re think you’re lazy.
Do you think they’re lazy? You probably fear you’re lazy.
That is apparently how it works. Isn’t that GREAT?! Don’t believe me? I am too tired to keep convincing you.
(But the truth is you are both lazy and not lazy, and as soon as you’re not afraid you’re lazy anymore, the less power anyone else will have over the way you feel.)
That obviously is not every spiritual lesson. There are a million other things to teach and to learn. But I am tired now.
And you probably have a lot of work to do. I know I do. So, I am going to go lie down now and “meditate” (take a nap) because I love myself.