After months, okay, years of sitting on my hands feeling like the world was a horrible place and that most if its inhabitants were out to get me I finally gave-up. Almost literally, I packed it in on what I thought was the world and my rightful place in it and shed the notions of romantic love, companionship, security and basically anything that I had grown to expect was my birthright. I made the decision to not date or fall in love because I felt that the people I was attracting and was attracted to were not going to work with me.
It wasn’t until about 6 months into this giving-up that I realized what I had done. I had identified something that wasn’t working in my life and I changed it. Months before I had made the decision to stop pursuing romantic relationships because they hurt and they require a long time to get over, time that I had not taken because I just moved onto the next relationship.
Looking back on before this decision, I hadn’t realized what life is like when you live it with only having yourself to consider. But it really is living! When you live a life surrounded by people who are not your responsibility, you gain a tremendous amount of mental time to focus on yourself. For me, I sort of went into my head while doing a ton of things by myself. Played a bunch of guitar, drank a lot of beer, rode like crazy, read, wrote, and generally floated through days, weeks, months coming to terms with the fact that without a significant other in my life, I was basically worthless.
Now, when I say that, people tend to recoil first, then move to rebuild me, but they shouldn’t. I honestly believe that there’s more to be gained from the wisdom that you are basically worthless than from the delusion that you are unique. From embracing the “I’m $7 worth of carbon, a giant meat sack, a bag of particles” view, one is freed from the responsibility to act like something. You’re moral and smart, so you aren’t going to do stupid things, but realizing that you are not what you think you are is going to free you up to BE what you actually are.
The inverse wasn’t working for me, that’s all I can tell you. Believing that I was unique and therefore special created an internal narrative that I was entitled to stuff – a girl friend, a job, lots of money, effortless success – which really doesn’t align with reality. But so long as I maintained the view, that I was worth something, I was going to wait around for success to land on my lap which doesn’t happen. So until I embraced my insignificance I suffered the hell out of life.
Without a girl friend, I started to notice that my jokes didn’t really need an audience to exist, I could just think them. My thoughts had paper instead of an ear. I had myself if I wanted to go to a movie, or climbing, or camping, or whatever. This was the change in my life I needed because I could do more or less what I wanted without holding back or being limited by what I thought the other person expected or was thinking. I began to grow happier and stronger, setting out and taking an active role in making the life I wanted.
It required work, it required my shift in perspective from intrinsic value to innate worthlessness. And that is something your mind doesn’t really want to wrestle with because it goes against almost everything we think we know and everything we have experienced. But the rewards are well worth a trip 20 times as hard!
It all comes down to “if you want to change your life, change your life!”