What Are You Avoiding? Reality
Embrace Your Responsibility
Welcome to the YouTopian Journey. Each week I will be sharing unique wisdom that can help you in the daily battles that we must all fight in the game of life. This week we discuss how we must stop avoiding reality and instead, embrace it.
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Now onto the good stuff.
A FLIGHT FROM RESPONSIBILITY
“Flight from life does not exempt us from the law of age and death. The neurotic who tries to wriggle out of the necessity of living wins nothing and only burdens himself with a constant foretaste of aging and dying, which must appear especially cruel on account of the total emptiness and meaninglessness of his life.”-Carl Jung, Symbols of Transformation
There is a mass migration taking place right before our eyes. This is a migration not of the physical realm, but of the mental. It’s happening right now. Many can’t see it while others refuse to.
Lured by false prophets and social media gurus who promise health, wealth, and happiness, we easily fall prey to scams and schemes. Beckoned into a world of endless content, we become distracted. Pulled by distractions and drama, we become addicted to the trivial instead of following what is meaningful.
Understand that life is a battle. It always has been and always will be. We are assaulted on all sides, each and every day. Yet of all the obstacles we face, none seem more difficult, more indomitable, and more unsurmountable than reality.
Reality cannot be negotiated with. Its responsibilities cannot be mitigated, only avoided and ignored.
And it has never been easier to avoid, ignore, and flee from the responsibilities of reality.
After all, we can fake everything else.
We can fake our professional careers, claiming education we did not receive and experience from companies we never worked at. We can stretch the truth by claiming we had larger roles at companies than we actually did.
We can fake our personal lives. Our personas can be altered to fit an online avatar that looks nothing like us. Followers can be purchased. Likes and comments can be manufactured. With the entering of a credit card and a few key payments, an entire social media personality and expert can be created for the world to follow and experience.
We can fake our successes, parading them while at the same time, concealing our failures. We can turn our requirements into triumphs, giving us more credit than we truly deserve.
For everything else? We can simply avoid and ignore, plunging ourselves into a world of distractions.
We can engage in fights in the comments section, do “our own research”, seek drama and conflict, play a variety of free online video games, scroll through our social media feeds, or get lost in the endless metaverse that awaits us.
But this cannot last.
“Man has two faces; he wants to grow toward maturity and freedom, and yet the primitive child in his unconscious yearns for complete protection and irresponsibility.” -Joost Meerloo, Rape of the Mind
Sooner or later, the responsibilities of life will add up. Sooner or later, you will need to face your fears. When this happens, you may not be able to effectively handle the situation. The accumulation of avoidances will crash into you like a train, leaving you doubting everything, including yourself.
Better to prepare now, while our energy levels are high and our minds are ready.
You must understand that no matter how many distractions are in front of you, how much content keeps getting released, how much drama is generated, that you have a responsibility to not only yourself, but society.
You have some task to achieve, some difficulty to overcome, or some fantasy to transform into reality.
You have the powers to do this. They are within you, lying dormant. They are awaiting a challenge, a crisis, or even an opportunity that will allow you to shine and become the person that society needs you to be.
“Only a crisis-a great responsibility, a matchless opportunity, a sudden death of disaster-avails to rouse and develop those unused powers. Lacking the crisis, we are prone to sleep or fritter our lives away.”-Edward E. Purinton, Efficient Living.
THE COURAGE TO ACCEPT REALITY
“It’s a hell of a responsibility to be yourself. It’s much easier to be somebody else or nobody at all.”-Slyvia Plath
Growing up, one of the insults I would always hear would be to “get a life.” While childish and meaningless, this was a cause of real concern as all of the “good lives” were already taken and being lived.
This left only one course of action, to accept the reality of the situation.
You have to live your own life.
You cannot emulate someone else. Try as you might, you cannot be a carbon copy of another individual.
“Even if you’re going to live three thousand more years, or ten times that, remember: you cannot lose another life than the one you’re living now, or live another one than the one you’re losing. The longest amounts to the same as the shortest. The present is the same for everyone; its loss is the same for everyone; and it should be clear that a brief instant is all that is lost. For you can’t lose either the past or the future; how could you lose what you don’t have?”-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
You must live your own life.
Not the life according to your parents, your peers, or even your society.
But the life that you desire.
This isn’t an easy path. In fact, this will be one of the most difficult things one can do. It is precisely why so many people avoid the responsibilities of reality. The requirements are too difficult and too daunting.
And what are those requirements?
And most importantly, COURAGE.
These requirements, especially courage, are hard to come by in our age of lethargy and conformity. Where our movements and actions are broadcasted to the world, where strangers judge us and our friends and family may not even offer their support. Nevertheless, you must possess these requirements. This is worth repeating.
You must possess them!
“Every human being must have a point at which he stands against the culture, where he says, this is me and the damned world can go to hell.”-Rollo May
The greatest among us have always gone against the culture that birthed them and forged their own path. They understood the burden of responsibility that came with this course of action. They faced loneliness, ridicule, insults, and worse.
But they kept moving forward.
And you can as well.
But you must have the courage to accept the reality that is before you. You cannot escape into the world of fantasy to avoid your responsibilities. You must keep moving forward. Eventually, your actions will bear fruit.
You will come to see the results of your actions.
You will come to realize that your reality is malleable and that your future can be altered by the course that you set. Thus, you must set a good course and have the courage to follow it through until the end.
“Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be.”-Jose Ortega y Gasset
AVOID COWARDICE AND ACT NOW
“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.”-E. O. Wilson
One of the major themes of YouTopian Journey is taking action.
Because action is what alters reality. The actions you take today will change what happens tomorrow. The vows you make, the thoughts you act upon, all have an effect on your future. But if this is the case, why do so many lack action? Why are so many taking a passive approach to life?
Our society is based on cowardice. Its institutions are based on it. We give children participation trophies, so there is no need for risk. We transform minor wins into world altering victories so that we can feel better about ourselves. We encourage safety over risk-taking behavior. We fence in the horizons, replacing the loftiest goals with minor achievements and meaningless awards.
You must not fall prey to this.
You are more powerful than you know.
You can alter your reality in ways that you never thought possible.
You can not only bear the burden of the responsibilities placed upon you, but can lighten the load for others.
You have this power.
Take up the mantle of responsibility and go after what you desire.
Do not give into the pressures and comments of the crowd.
Dream big and act on those dreams.
Accept the reality of your situation and responsibility for your life and actions. No one else can and no one else will!
And above all, don’t let it all slip through your fingers.
“Man has it all in his hands, and it all slips through his fingers from sheer cowardice.”-Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment
CAN YOU HELP ME?
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I’m Shaun Gold and if you are reading this, you are already on your journey. Catch you next week.