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Are our cultural differences becoming less significant?

Cultural differences quote on desert background.

“The old differences separating one system from another now are becoming less and less important, less and less easy to define.”

From ‘Myths To Live By’ by Joseph Campbell

In my opinion, cultural differences were becoming less important.

The more we all were able to see each other, travel, read and experience cultural differences, religious and political differences, etc., the more we seemed to see our human similarities. It was rough at first, but felt as though things were going to get better. Maybe those differences wouldn’t be so important.

It seems, though, that in response, those that hold power in the old systems are getting worried. That worry translates into power grabs and sometimes violence. It’s a dangerous time to be living in, mostly because it seems so easy for one group to turn on another.

A common tactic, which we are seeing now, fifty years after Campbell wrote this book is to set up divisions, throw out land mines of opposition. False information, gossip, and scare news, are thrown around in ways far easier to accomplish than ever before, especially now that those that live in cities are being ordered to stay at home and not gather with others. People from outside the cities are ordered to stay out of city centers. We all get our information through “social networks” and the national and worldwide news media, through our phones and computers, with no way to confirm what we’re seeing there with the actual physical world around us, except those of us that refuse to comply with those orders.

We humans crave order to our universe.

We can’t stand not knowing what the plan is, who’s in charge, and what the rules are. In general, we’re much happier building up illusions and myths about the world around us, than facing the chaos and uncertainty that real life is. Strange isn’t it? I wonder what kind of evolutionary help that was. What was it about creating stories about the world around us that made it more likely the next generation would survive?

My opinion? The more you can know about others, the more you move outside your own circle, the more you realize that we’re all basically the same with wildly different ways of filling those identical needs of food, relationship, and procreation. Cultural differences slowly become far less important.

The more we stay separate, the more walls we build, the easier it is for us to be used as tools. There is, and always has been, a small group of people that believe they know what’s best for everyone else and are happy to take care of the rest, by force if necessary. And there is also a much larger group of people that simply want to live their lives without the burden of independent thought.

There’s a third group, though. One that wants to be left alone to live their lives as they see fit, take their own chances, and accept responsibility for their own choices. They want to explore the world of people and thought on their own terms, using their own resources. They don’t need a mythology to control the world around them. They want to embrace those cultural differences, the chaos, and live within it, as part of it, with no one to blame for the outcome but themselves. They believe anyone can, and would choose to, live this way if they were only shown it was possible.

I used to believe that third group was growing in size, as I feel Joseph Campbell probably did when he wrote this book in 1972. But this past year has put a lot of holes in that thinking. Maybe we aren’t so evolved as I had begun to thing. I’m still watching and waiting to see what happens. I still have hope that it’s only a minor setback.


Want to read this book? You can get it on Amazon HERE.

All Characters Are Important to the Story

All characters are important quote from the book on a desert background.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that you just can’t subtract a human from the story, no matter how hard you try. Even death doesn’t do that.”

The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith

In fiction and reality,
all characters are important to the story.

Yes, even the minor ones, the angels and demons, the good guys and bad guys. Everyone leaves a mark on your life, moves the story along, or simply creates depth to a moment in time.

My grandfather died. He was 86. Dementia took nearly ten years to fully claim his mind and he had been living in a memory care facility for the past year. So…to many of us…he was already gone. To those closest to him physically, his caregivers and my Mom, he was still a main character and his loss is strongly felt. To some of his family, he had faded into the background of their story long ago. And to others, he had been deleted completely, or so they think.

This quote reminded me of him and many other characters in my own life story, all of which are important and can’t be subtracted, even those I really wish could be. The cruel teacher from elementary school, the mean girl in junior high, the abusive boyfriend; heaven knows I’ve tried to erase those memories. Even if I were successful in erasing the memory of an event, I would still feel its effect on my life, like the way we “see” a blackhole in space. The event isn’t seen, it’s felt. To ignore that feeling, those clues, and continue your journey is a recipe for disaster.

The people in our past, the choices we’ve made, the opportunities we’ve taken or let pass, those memories aren’t all we have.

We have the imprint of those things on our life story. If we subtract people or events from our lives, the story is inconsistent. When we try to effectively work our way through the life we have today, we can feel like pages are missing. Things just don’t make sense. It’s extremely difficult, I’d say impossible, to work through a story with missing chapters or characters; to complete a puzzle with missing pieces.

He’s been gone from my daily life for many years now, but I still miss my Pop, more so now that he is physically missing from the world.

My grandfather was a major character in my life story, one of my biggest influencers growing up.

The older I get, the more I see him in myself. We both suffer from anxiety, a deep need to control the world around us, not to be in charge or the boss, but to make things easier for ourselves and hopefully the people in our lives. Our response to the overwhelming stress of trying to control outcomes typically results in anger and frustration, sometimes violence. We both feel things deeply and are known for our passionate responses. From the awe of a beautiful garden or majestic scene to the love of our families, from the excitement of a new experience to the frustration of dealing with troubles, neither of us has moderate feelings, only big, sometimes scary ones. In my case, I’m told that it’s part of my charm. In my Pop’s case, it was a demerit against him. I guess it just depends on who is judging, whether you are a positive or negative, a major or minor character in their story.

Characters, humans, cannot be subtracted from your story.

When you try to do so, you leave holes big and small. Holes are a mess to work around. A story with characters, paragraphs, chapters, or pages missing does nothing for anyone. Leave the bad parts, the rough parts, and the scary parts right where you can see and use them. Those people are part of you. For better or for worse, they made you who you are today.


Want to read this book? You can find it at Amazon HERE.
Want to read more quotes from this book?

Will We Lose Ourselves in the Virtual Reality?
Anxiety: The Lies My Brain Tells Me
Would You Want to Come Back for a Day?
Do We Have the Ability to Change the Meaning of Our Life Story?

Will we lose ourselves in the virtual reality?

Virtual reality quote from the book on a desert background.

“Once, people memorized books’ worth of spoken words, songs, and sagas that contained all their history, traditions, stories, survival.”
“I’m not a storyteller.”
“Then go back to your library.”
Claire tossed the book on top of her bag in a huff. “You’re crude.”
“And you rely too much on those bits of paper.”

The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith

Wasn’t memory the original virtual reality?

Today, we digitize everything, creating a virtual reality alternative to the printed word. It’s all out there saved on the cloud, not just the consolidated and thought out written words of the educated, the trained artist’s pictures and paintings, but everything. Photographs of everyday life, random thoughts, opinions, jokes, off the cuff thoughts from everyone. All recorded on social media.

Like the librarian that laments the loss of the printed book, worried that the stories will be lost if the books are gone, we wonder if physical reality will be lost in the invention of the virtual.

But the unrecorded virtual reality existed first, didn’t it?

When we sat around a fire and listened to someone speak a story from their minds, all we had at the end was the memory the act created in us and then it was gone.

When we began writing the stories down, those that spoke them were concerned. If the stories are written, we’ll forget the ability to memorize and speak them. And in many ways, we have.

Today I can read the exact same story you read, even though we are worlds apart. The storyteller tells it once for all, with no changes, no reading the room and weaving more into and out of it.

And now here we are with the medium changing once again.

When I write a digital story, I can change it any time I want. You think you are reading the same version as someone else, but are you? I’m sure there is a way for computer savvy people to know, but most of us don’t. That article in the Times could be a completely different spin for you than for me. We both click the same link, but does it take us to the same version?

You don’t have that problem with the printed word. It’s there “in black and white” and, while it can be changed with another printing, there will be a physical copy of that change, something to compare it to.

In a way, it feels like we are going back to the old way of verbal story telling.


Want to read this book? You can find it at Amazon HERE.
Want to read more quotes from this book?
Anxiety: The Lies My Brain Tells Me
Would You Want to Come Back for a Day?
Do We Have the Ability to Change the Meaning of Our Life Story?

Anxiety: The Lies My Brain Tells Me

Anxiety lies quote from the book on a desert background.

“You’re right. Brains are fuckin’ liars. But you got this.”

The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith

Anxiety sneaks up on you.
Your brain lies like a rug!

The character was having an anxiety attack. His friend walked him through the panic in the sweetest way I’ve ever heard. She didn’t deny his feelings or tell him to get over it. She simply agreed with him and gave him time, helped him breathe to calm his heart rate and think more clearly.

Bravery is personal. No one can do it for you, no one can spur you to take the leap. It has to come from inside.

Our brain…well…
it can lie like a bitch sometimes.

I have a paper bracelet on my shelf that reads across the band, “Depression Lies.” I should make a new one that says “Anxiety Lies.” I printed it from a website over ten years ago and used to have it taped around my wrist as a reminder. It sounds silly but that little piece of paper may have saved my life. It got me through a rough time, and it sits there reminding me to this day that my brain could be lying to me. If I’m feeling badly, I need to double check my thinking and possibly adjust.

How we think about our objective reality (the weather, the situation, the sensation) is completely subjective. Our reactions to it depend on our personality, our past, our culture, and our imagination. Unlike animals, and the demons and angels in this book, we have the power to direct and control what we think, how we perceive, how we judge, the world around us. We have imagination. We make up stories. It’s what gives us our edge. It’s that “god” in us, the likeness we are created in. But it isn’t easy to control and we aren’t born knowing how to use it well. It takes effort and practice.

What’s the difference between lying and telling a story?

Nothing really. It’s just what we think about it. My Grandmother telling us that elves were looking in the window and would tell Santa that we were bad? Lie or story? She wasn’t trying to entertain us with fables. She was trying to get us to settle down and behave ourselves. She knew there were no elves, but when she told us that and we’d all go running to the window to see. Some of us would burst into tears at the thought of Santa finding out that we weren’t “good.” Others thought Grandma was clever, some thought she was probably crazy because she really seemed to believe her own story. Her intentions were good. She wanted us to settle down and she found a clever way to do it.

Our brains do the same thing. Our intention is to stay safe and get what we need out of the current situation we find ourselves in. And we invent stories to make sense of the input and act appropriately. Life experience, instinct, and imagination play a big role in the decision making. Sometimes we make a big deal out of nothing. Sometimes we make too little a deal, too.

I have a tendency to let my imagination run wild and react without thinking things through. Maybe that helped me survive in a past life. Maybe there is some sort of cultural or evolutionary memory in our genes. Here and now, though, it has caused me some pain and heartache. I’ve learned, like the character in the story, to get my body calm first and then re-think.

I ask myself, “What’s the story here? Can I confirm any of it? Can I re-frame the input in a way that serves me? Can this be something I don’t fight or run away from?” And I ask for help from people I trust to give me honest feedback. I have two main people I go to right now, my husband and my best friend. I talk…a lot. And they listen while I work things out for myself.

I picked this quote to write about because I saw myself there and it made me smile. Sometimes my brain likes to tell me I’m all alone in the world, one of a kind, unlike any other human on the planet. It’s a lonely place, and I’m not sure why it thinks I need to feel that, but then I read books like this. We all feel this way from time to time. We all make up stories about the world and they aren’t all helpful. We all need a friend that can make space around us so we can sort things out.

““Want to walk around? No? Good choice – this grass is kind of scratchy, don’t you think? And that air – smells like butterfly farts, yeah? Look at those squishy, weird flowers. Wonder if you can eat ‘em…” Brevity kept up the words, grounding him, creating a steady soft patter that, over a handful of minutes, slowly eased Leto’s shoulders away from his ears. Brevity produced a small blue bottle from her bag and pressed it into his hands before shooing the rest of them away to give Leto a chance to recover.”

The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith

We all should have a partner like that.


Want to read this book? You can find it at Amazon HERE.

Want to read more quotes from this book?

Would You Want to Come Back for a Day?

Do We Have the Ability to Change the Meaning of Our Life Story?

Would You Want to Come Back for a Day?

Book quote on desert background.

“Theaters traditionally always closed for at least one day a week, leaving on the ghostlight, to appease the ghosts. To allow them one day on the stage to perform their acts. To live and love and hate and triumph on the stage like the living.”

The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith

The ghostlight allows the dead to come back for a day.

I grew up in the theater, mostly backstage. It started in elementary school with school musicals. I remember working so hard on learning to sing songs from Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. My mom made my costumes, and I was proud of those shows and myself for being up there.

In junior high school, I took acting lessons after school and, because I felt like I could not dance to save my life, I joined the “drill team” for more movement practice. I vaguely remember not wanting to continue, but my mom wouldn’t let me quit. I’ve always been shy, self-conscious. My mom thought those classes would help me and I remember being angry and fighting her about it.

Here’s a weird thought though, did I fight with her about them? I’m not sure about memory anymore. I think we build up bigger stories on what little we actually remember about our lives. The farther back you go, the bigger the story.

I continued theater in high school, acting when I absolutely couldn’t get out of it (and badly), and eventually moving backstage to do tech work; designing and building sets and running the shows as the stage manager. Those classes propelled me forward into university as a theater major, possibly the least useful Bachelor of Arts degree ever created. Luckily, I caught wise during the third semester and dropped out, but I paid a lot of money for that lesson.

I got a job a Knott’s Berry Farm as a stagehand, moved through the ranks there for several years, and then returned to Disneyland as a stage technician. It felt like eons as I went through it. Looking back on those ten years of my adult life…not so much, a blink in time. And all so long ago now, fading into the past.

The ghostlight brought it flooding back.

Theaters are full of superstitions, some based on actual safety issues. Whistling on stage is bad luck, because the riggers above and backstage were usually ship riggers and they signaled each other with whistles. The wrong whistle heard at the wrong moment could get a piece of scenery dropped on you.

Ghostlights are another superstition built around a safety precaution.

The stage is raked down toward the audience and drops off, usually at least three feet at the foot without a warning like a handrail. Past that front edge is typically the orchestra pit, filled with chairs and music stands. So, when the stage is empty and unlit, there is a ghostlight set up; a single bulb on a stand, rolled out to the center of the stage and kept lit just in case someone wanders in and doesn’t realize where they are. It keeps creepers from getting themselves killed and becoming new theater ghosts, which, trust me, we really don’t need.

As a stagehand and a manager, I have been the one to put out the ghostlight many times. It was one of my favorite things to do and I often stood there with it awhile to take a breath. A theater week can be exhausting, six long days of activity. Crews and performers fill the building from top to bottom. And theater people are not low-key or reserved in any way. At the end of the day, and especially at the end of the week, setting that light up and shutting everything else down, was somehow special, comforting. If I could go back in time, I’d take those moments more often and consciously meditate a while.

This story used the “ghostlight” as a transportation device from hell. The “ghosts” of humans can use this device to spend one day back on earth. They used it to finish things they had left behind when they died or visit with the living. They had to return before the light burned out though, or the hounds of hell would come to get them.

It seemed a perfect literary device for such a simple safety precaution, adding more spiritual drama to an already loaded superstition.

If you were stuck on the other side of the veil, aware that the old world existed, would you want to come back for a day? What would you do? Relive a moment, visit a relative, or comfort a friend? Would you have a mission you’d want to complete, some unfinished business?

Interesting idea, isn’t it?


Want to read more posts related to the book, “The Library of the Unwritten?”

Do We have the Ability to Choose the Meaning of Our Life Story?

Do We Have the Ability to Choose the Meaning of Our Life Story?

The quote from the book on a background image of a book.

“He’ll remember the story, turn it over carefully in the back of his mind, feel the edges of it like he would a lucky coin. A story will change him if he lets it. The shape and spirit of it. Change how he acts, what dreams he chooses to believe in. We all need our stories; I just fed him a good one.”

The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith

What is the meaning
of your life story?

If my personal story is one of tragedy, that will be the plot that I follow to the end. If it’s one of transformation and ascendance, I’ll follow that to my death. It’s up to me to choose a story.

We all begin choosing the meaning
of our story early in life.

Our family, friends, culture, society, religion, all help us to shape that story. I remember fantasizing a lot as a teenager. Don’t laugh, but I desperately wanted my life to be more than what it was, like every teenager I suppose. I read a lot of horror and watched a lot of movies of the same genre. At one point I really latched on to vampire stories and really believed that I must be one. I was living a double life, one of a white middle class teenager and the other a sensual, life sucking, demon of the night. It was a far more exciting story.

The fantasy comforted me. These people around me had no idea what I was. I wasn’t like them, not really. And some day they’d know…right as I sucked the life from them or made them one of my minions.

I grew out of it, eventually, but really, I just shifted my story. I started working at Disneyland and was part of “the show.” Everyone came to see me, everyone wanted to be me when I told them what I did. In my twenties, I was one of the guys on the crew, working toward a spot on a touring show or on Broadway. I’d design and run shows everyone saw.

When I got married; I became a wife and mother. I started homeschooling my children; I was a homeschooler just slightly outside “mainstream” society. I found Jesus; I was born again, destined for more than this world had to offer. My story continues to change every year, every day for that matter. I’m always working on it. Sometimes I’m a writer, an influencer of people’s minds and their stories. Other days, I’m just a housewife in the desert trying to share the interesting things she finds, probably nothing much to see here.

And there are still other days when I can’t find a story. Those are the bad days when I just want to disappear, feeling that I already have, or maybe never really did. Dark days.

It’s all just a story, one we make up to explain the world we live in. There has to be a meaning to what we are experiencing, right? It can’t possibly just BE.

Here’s the exciting part to realizing that it’s all just a story…you can change it if you want to. It’s not easy, but it’s true. Try some small adjustment and see what happens. I don’t HAVE to go to the grocery store, I GET to and there’s so much to choose from. My friend isn’t answering my text because he doesn’t like me, he’s busy. My parents weren’t horrible people bent on controlling my every move and making me into mini-them, they were just people doing the best they could with what they had and they love me.

Try it. I double dog dare you.

Do you want to read “The Library of the Unwritten”?

Can More Faith in Yourself Lead to More Faith in Others?

faith in yourself quote with background image

“Only the person who has faith in himself is able to be faithful to others, because only he can be sure that he will be the same at a future time as he is today and, therefore, that he will feel and act as he now expects to.”

The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm

Find the book on Amazon, HERE!

Loving others starts with having faith in yourself.

We simply lived without school. But that doesn’t mean that we didn’t learn. The outcome proves that.

My sons are both out on their own, living productive lives. One traveled Europe, and now has a good job with potential for growth, along with his own car and apartment. He’s 20 years old. The other has been at community college here in town for two years, working, and has his own car. He’s transferring to university next semester and will be leaving the state to live in the dorm and focus on his studies for the next couple of years.

What did we do instead of school?

Our faith in our own drive to learn led me to believe my children had that same drive.

We lived and learned together. We read books, watched movies, built things, went places. We talked and laughed and loved together. We cried and fought, worked things out as best we could so that everyone had their space and got as much as they wanted without stepping on anyone else’s toes. I rarely said no to things they wanted to try out. I spent a lot of time searching for new experiences, and then making it possible to do them. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.

I had faith in them from the moment they were born. I knew myself and so did their father. We didn’t need an authority to guide, protect, and direct our lives. What we wanted more of growing up was less direction and more support, so that’s what we gave our kids. We knew they would find their own unique way to adulthood if we gave them a loving and supportive home, if we led by example and followed our own interests, served our own needs, without sacrificing anyone else’s lives in the process.

I had faith in them because I had faith in myself.

And I have faith in others because I have that faith in myself. I know that others can take responsibility for themselves and their families if they want to. I’m not special. My family is not special. We are not more intelligent or lucky than anyone else. The only thing that is different is that, for some reason, we have faith in ourselves.

Real love starts with you loving yourself, believing in yourself, and taking responsibility for your own life. And no one can give that to you. I believe all of us have the ability, but somewhere along the line we have lost the knowledge of it.

I’m telling you that you have it. Start using it.

Want to read other posts from this same book? You can find them here…

How to Parent by Respecting the Individual

Learning to Concentrate by Being Alone

We Cannot Give What We Do Not Have

Where Did Our Words For “Love” Go?

How to Parent by Respecting the Individual

“How many parents experience the child’s reactions in terms of his being obedient, of giving them pleasure, of being a credit to them, and so forth, instead of perceiving or even being interested in what the child feels for and by himself?”

The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm

Parenting Needs Respect

I hear and see parents do this constantly, everywhere I go. A baby cries and it’s a sign of “neediness” or the baby is already trying to exert control over the parent. A toddler throws a fit over something and they are called “strong-willed.” A school child interrupts a LONG adult conversation, and they are scolded and pushed away.

It couldn’t possibly be that the baby’s only way of communication a basic need is to cry out, the toddler wanted something that was important to him but couldn’t communicate it in time, or that the school child had a limited amount of patience to wait for a break in adult conversation.

Contrary to popular belief, your children are not actually a piece of you walking around outside your body.

That is supposed to be a metaphor for how you feel, but it doesn’t really help you treat them as the whole individual human they were born to be.

We all are born with our own innate wants and needs. Our first communication tool is noise and as we grow and learn to control our muscles, we learn to communicate better and more precisely. Our job as parents is to help our children learn to use these tools. It takes a lot of time and patience because not only do our children have limited communication skills, but they also have a limited attention span and patience as well. And the only way to expand those is by giving them the time and space to practice using them.

Parenting Needs Patience

Poor communication skills and a lack of patience in adults, in my opinion, comes from lacking in practice while a person is growing up. Children that are set aside, ignored, or not treated as relevant human beings with independent wants and needs, grow up to be adults that insist on centering the world on themselves and treating others as NPC’s. That’s “non-playing characters,” people that have no active narrative, space filler for the game, for those who are not gamers.

Recently, within the last few years, my brother opened a car repair shop and has been complaining about people making appointments and not showing up, requesting things be done without regard for his time and effort, and things of that nature. I had the same experience working at a pregnancy clinic in the past. People would make appointments and not show, complain about how the place was run and what they received (for free, from volunteers and donations) when they were asked to complete tasks to qualify.

How do we, as adults, “reparent” ourselves so that we learn to treat others with the respect we wish to be given? How do we make it clear to those that treat us as NPC’s that we are not? Yelling and cursing at each other isn’t working. Calling people out for bad behavior, punishing people for having little patience, poor communication skills, or no respect for us, doesn’t seem to help either.

When a baby cries out, we look to see what the problem is and attempt to fix it quietly and calmly. When a toddler pitches a fit over the wrong color cup at lunch, we lovingly give him the one he wants when we can and when he’s happy again, explain how it might be easier for both of us to get what we want next time. And when the school child interrupts us with his antics, we hold his hand or let him join in our conversation for a moment and then shift the attention to him so that he’s shown he is respected and how adults give others a chance to speak. We don’t hold grudges against them, yell, or punish.

Could that work with the adults around us? Loving space, respect for individuals exactly where they are, and sympathetic consolation for the natural consequences of their actions would go a lot farther than pushing people into a corner until they behaved according to our own wishes.

Learning to Concentrate by Being Alone

“The most important step in learning to concentrate is to learn to be alone with oneself without reading, listening to the radio, smoking or drinking.
Besides such exercises (meditation), one must learn to be concentrated in everything one does, in listening to music, in reading a book, in talking to a person, in seeing a view.”

The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm

In writing a blog post.

Learning to concentrate and focus.

That’s my trouble right now as I write this. I have too much to do today and the thought of that list of things to do is keeping me from getting anything done. I’m unfocused, so everything I do is taking longer to get done AND not getting done well.

I’m certainly not very good at being alone with myself. It’s something I have been actively attempting to cultivate. Living in a small house, married with children, and sharing space with my mother-in-law, hasn’t led to much time to practice in the past, that’s for sure. These days, things are different. Life is getting quieter, which has led to some fairly serious panic attacks.

In my search for peace and focus, I’ve learned to meditate and make space for these feelings.

It’s strange, really. All these years of having so much to do with the family, just wanting a few hours of quiet to myself, and here I am panicking the moment I start to gain that time. What happened?

If I could start my life over, I’d learn to be alone with myself, and be happy about it, before I moved in with a partner or got married and had kids. I don’t think that was ever presented as an option when I was growing up. Every fairy tale, book, movie, and song was about finding your person, your people, being part of a whole group. I think it would have been easier if I had built up a better sense of who I was as an individual before I voluntarily became part of a community of any kind.

I think, I hope, I gave that to my children. In choosing to home educate and keep our children outside of any school system as small children, it was my intention to allow them to develop themselves as individuals. The point wasn’t to create self-centered monsters, as many assumed would be the outcome, but to give them the space to know themselves before they voluntarily chose a community. And it seems to be working so far.

For myself, I believe doing that for them also did the same for me. I learned a lot raising them with my husband, and I’m learning even more as I watch them go off into the world to continue to follow their own path.

It’s my turn to focus on myself more, to pursue my passions and interests.

It started with mediation and continues with yoga, walking, reading, and writing here. It grows every day in ways I never expected, in ways that delight and inspire me to do more. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and worried about where the path will lead to. It feels futile and excruciatingly slow paced. “What is the point of any of this?!” I frequently scream to myself and scribble in my notebook.

There is no point. It just is. I refocus on the task at hand, do what I can, and see what happens. I’m learning to enjoy the process itself, not reach for an outcome.

My next project? Learn to listen better and react less. There’s room for everyone.

We Cannot Give What We Do Not Have

“Giving is the highest expression of potency. In the very act of giving, I experience my strength, my wealth, my power. This experience of heightened vitality and potency fills me with joy. I experience myself as overflowing, spending, alive, hence joyous.”

The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm

When we give, we do not deprive ourselves of anything, we enhance our lives from our abundance, and it comes back to us as joy.

Most importantly, we cannot give what we do not have.

That’s something to remember when you love someone, but they don’t seem to be loving you back the way you wish they would. Everyone loves in the way that they can, unconsciously. They give from what they have. If they feel they have little, they give little. It’s up to you whether you accept their offering of love and continue the relationship, or not.

Love is not a tit-for-tat thing.

We give of our time, our energy, our love, and our finances, voluntarily. When our cup is full and we know it, we feel it, we can’t help but share of it. It cannot be forced or coerced, and it never needs to be.

One little thing that I have to say, though, is that making a law, enacting a tax, using the force of government to make other people share what they have is not love. It’s a lack of faith in humanity, and it spreads that lack of faith. Ultimately, nothing good comes of it. It creates animosity and forces people to take sides against each other.

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