evolution – noun
2. the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to more complex form.
In the matter of beliefs regarding the development of humankind, most people fall into two categories. You may follow religious or spiritual teachings of a higher power, or your beliefs go more in the direction of scientific theory. Either way, what I have to say about evolution is still relevant. I think we can agree that regardless of how human beings came into being on earth, we are ever changing beings. Just as animals survive in the wild by changing and adapting, both physically and in thought, based on their environment, we, too, learn to adjust to the many factors affecting us throughout our lives. It is a form of evolution.
For example, if we lose our job or get divorced we plummet into a changed life. We have to learn how to function in a new way. We may not have looked for a new job for years and we suddenly find we have a lot to learn about resumes, interviews, and impressing people who know nothing about who we are. It is time to start learning fast, jump in and start swimming.
Even though, a divorce can be a negative or positive thing, there are still adjustments we have to make, especially if we have children whose responsibility and care will fall more heavily on us alone – we have to learn how to manage a new system. Perhaps we need to learn to budget our finances, mow the lawn, repair a drainpipe, or move ourselves to a new location, etcetera, we have to adjust to these new responsibilities. We evolve under the pressure of new circumstances – from necessity we adjust and survive.
My point is, we are always learning and growing, not just because we have gone to school and received an MBA degree, but because life puts us through a lot of crap. Daily, we are running a gauntlet of joys, sorrows, and potential death experiences. We are leaping and dodging the ever changing conditions of the world around us – and transforming. On a grander scale, I believe our lives as a whole are personal evolutions where the ultimate purpose is to become the best version of ourselves possible, which is a balanced and content human being.
We are continuously improving every step of the way through our life experiences. But this evolution does not necessarily need to be an endgame win. In other words, it shouldn’t take a lifetime of good and bad experiences to reach a state of having learned enough in order to find the pot of gold (happiness) at the end of our life’s rainbow. When, finally, at the end of our days we reach an evolved state of being and feeling whole, wise, and happy. Although this is how it can seem when we look at our clever, fully developed, and content elders, who have done and achieved great things in life and have so much to offer and share with us. But, suddenly they’re gone, before we can learn their secrets to that state of perfect existence. Happiness.
If only we could realize what real happiness looks like sooner and had the right tools to make it happen, why couldn’t we accelerate our evolution and live, for a longer period of time, in a state of sustained happiness? The sooner the better. Because the fact is we are not born unhappy and dissatisfied – our misery is learned. We spend too many years of our lives trying to undo how bad we feel inside, and sadly most of it was caused by other people. Usually those close to us.
One of the biggest problems we struggle with is a big ugly nugget of false information that exists in our minds. I call it – the biggest lie. I don’t know where this lie comes from, but I am nearly positive we are not born with this little gem imbedded in our brains. This lie is gifted to us over a period of time, and it probably begins with the people who bring us up from infancy. I am not blaming parents, or other relatives for doing the very thing that has been handed down throughout the history of man, but most of the mental scars and low self-esteem we carry around as adults does originate from childhood experiences.
The lie is: You are not enough.
Now, I am not a big believer in positivity mantras, except for one. This one counter belief is and says all you ever need to know about yourself and about achieving a happy life. It is the secret truth that each one of us needs to instill within ourselves, because if we did – we would never need to seek to fill the void inside ourselves again, because it would no longer exist.
The secret is: You are everything that matters.
It may sound selfish to think that we are the most important person in our lives, but it’s true. We cannot count on anyone else to bring us the happiness we desire, nor can we think to nurture those around us if we do not possess a certain level of happiness within ourselves.
You have probably heard people say, “Nobody has it all figured out.” It is true! As I have said before, we see a lot of pictures and stories on social media that tell us otherwise, but it is our perception of what other people post that is misleading us. Of course, everything is great on those platforms, because that is where we can share our best moments. Nobody is going to post their ugly cry face from yesterday – when they were feeling miserable, are they? Or the poopy diaper that oozed everywhere? How about a blow by blow report of a bipolar episode they experienced? No.
The truth is everyone is going through something. Your best friend, your dad, your neighbor, the pope, or the even the best life coaches are all working things out. We are just at different stages of our personal evolution. There should never be competition or comparison because none of it has anything to do with another person. We are apples, oranges, and some bananas, like me.
Some make traversing life look a little easier. They possess a calm confidence and contentment of self that we sense because it radiates from within them. They are levelheaded, project an inner strength and have learned to navigate the dramas of life with grace. They are more internally evolved. They have stopped grasping at the cheap grab-n-go happiness of the external world, because they know true happiness can only be secured from within.
We each are the key to our own happiness. Any other goodness and joy we experience external to us are the sweet toppings that make life even better. But the question is how do we get from the state of mind we have now, to that point of fully appreciating ourselves and finding that inner joy? It takes some effort, as I said previously – we have to learn to change our way of thinking and that requires that we realize the negative ideas we hold about ourselves were given to us early on. We have to disconnect from those false labels and beliefs of who we are.
More to come in my next post.