Advice. Everyone has it. And everyone has received it. But in the end, advice, while perhaps from a place of good intention and experience, is just someone else’s opinion about how to do something. Even the most refined professional can give you their “educated opinion” in the form of “expert advice” and it may not work for you. And this blog is really no different. My hope is that my words cause you to think about things differently, but overall these words are just my opinion. And as the definition of “opinion” says, an opinion isn’t necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
Can’t deny that I was hoping the definition’s example contained the word a**holes. (I know, such sophomoric humor.) Moving on…while the opinions in this blog may express the potential for something better, they may or may not come from what the Western World perceives as a “place of knowledge.” But in my opinion, they come from a place of inner knowledge. And they resonate with me, so much so that I’ve put them to use in my own life over and over. And what’s more, they seem to be working. So maybe they’ll work for you, too. After all, there’s no harm in an opinion.
So in my last piece, “Life Has a Hidden Roadmap,” I drew some pretty big conclusions. The essence of that piece was about gaining perspective. You know, “Hindsight is 20/20,” and the like. What I did was look back over the last few months of my blog and found that I knew what I needed all along. I just couldn’t see the clues I was giving myself. Simply because I viewed everything in my life from the perspective of my external reality. The reality where life is happening to me, not through me. And I did my very best to overthink it.
Everything I had written in those blogs was in context of my outer reality and very linear of thought. Just how I liked it. But I realize now that if I was going to get the message I was giving myself I needed to take things out of context. Because it was the words I was using which mattered, not the context in which I had used them.
Had I approached my life from an internal perspective, the one where you see your outer reality as a reflection of your inner thoughts, I probably could have seen the clues a bit sooner. But I’m learning that this new path/way of thinking takes practice, and a ton of patience.
And It Was a Weird Experience
It took a little while, but I began to see actionable words repeating, and I didn’t even realize that those words were my clues to what I needed to do to move forward in life. Words like “surrender” and “control.” And while I don’t want to rewrite my last blog from a new perspective, you’re welcome to have a look for yourself, the essence is, I realized that there are clues in our past. Messages to these present versions of ourselves. But I wasn’t sure how to find them, or identify them. So I asked myself directly, “where are these clues?” And wouldn’t you know, I answered myself.
Opinions: No Trespassing
The clues we give ourselves are found in our opinions. But not in the opinions which were created for us by our parents and social circles. And not in the opinions we (hopefully) have formed for ourselves. Also not in the opinions which have morphed into some weird form of advice, whether to us or from us. These types of opinions are what I meant when I said,
These are opinions which keep us wrapped up in the outer world experience. So much so, we spend most of our time reacting and trying to control for our opinions of our outer circumstances. It’s like a reactionary opinion. A “what’s best in this scenario?” opinion. It’s survival. It has nothing to do with our inner-anything. Not a bit of instinct, not a bit of inspiration. It’s all root chakra.
A Confident Opinion
So where do we find the opinions which give ourselves clues to living our best life? Well, we must turn our focus inward and see how we describe our current circumstances. And if you revisit your descriptions objectively, you’ll be able to see the difference between the facts of the circumstances and your personal truth. You’ll be able to see your opinions. And within your opinions you’ll be able to see your vulnerability. And that’s what you want. The vulnerability. Because vulnerability shows us where our confidence is lacking and this knowledge provides the opportunity to change it.
Taking things a step further, looking at the words we use to describe our vulnerabilities are the building blocks of the phrases we need to execute to make real change. Words, which when extracted from their context, help guide us to living our best lives. Our own advice is already in us. We don’t need to “figure it out.” We’ve already done it. We just rarely notice.
Ever notice how we can easily give advice to others, but have a hard time taking our own advice? Yeah. That.
So Where Do We Begin?
In my humble opinion, we begin in the place I’ve been droning on and on about for months. It’s the most honest place I’ve ever experienced. We must face the darkness. Keep in mind that as unappealing and daunting as this may seem, facing the darkness simply means being brutally honest with ourselves. Truthfully, the darkness isn’t all bad. It’s the anticipation of the darkness which is the worst part.
What we find in the darkness are our descriptions, our interpretations of all of life’s undesirable circumstances. And interpretations are just a fancier, more educated way of giving an opinion. Thus, this is where we find our most honest opinions. And if we’re objective with ourselves, and leave the outer world influence out of it, within those opinions we find our vulnerability, which is the source of our strength. It is within these descriptions where we will find the breadcrumbs of which I spoke. The words we use to describe our outer experience hold the keys to unlocking the layers which others have piled on top of our true essence. You just have to know what words apply. And it’s so simple, I’ve written it in a poem.
In My Opinion
Honestly, the darkness I’ve become so cozy with really isn’t that daunting. It just seems to be simply because we’re so focussed outside of ourselves. The most difficult part of all of this is embracing the element of faith which is necessary if we are to begin literally “leading our lives.” But not faith in anything or anyone other than yourself. Faith in your instincts, and faith that somehow inside your mind, or your heart (I’ll leave that distinction up to you) you truly know what’s right for you.
I’ve spoken so much about this inward journey and what I’ve learned all along the way. But today is different. Now I have begun to apply what I’ve learned inwardly, rather than attempting to use it to control my outward reality. From this new perspective, I can see how the darkness is essential to each of us. How it can teach us, once we’re done letting it hinder our attention. So what I’m wondering now is, is it necessary to reconcile the darkness before discovering the clues to your life’s unique roadmap? And the answer is not as simple as I once thought.
I’m just not sure that the darkness needs reconciling. It is there. It is part of us. And it holds valuable answers. If we keep ignoring it and continue to allow others to influence our lives with their opinions our individual darkness just gets bigger and louder until it gets our attention.
It’s really up to us if we want to continue ignoring and diverting our attention from the darkness. It’s not going away, that’s for sure. If you’d like to determine whether or not it’s time to tip your toe into the possibilities the darkness holds you must honestly, and I mean honestly answer one simple question, “Is life what you had hoped it would be?”
What I’m about to say might shock you. Especially after my previous social media rants. But I truly think that there are many people on social media with good intentions. They’re “spreading the word” on some serious goodness. But I noticed that there is a lot of advice going around about how to react to the outer world. How to handle people who treat you poorly, etc. And those posts get a lot of likes. Because people like those empowering opinions. But the simple truth is, you can think two ways. Inwardly and outwardly. And if you acknowledge that you are aware, it means you are also self aware. And thus you can take charge of your perspective. You can stop reacting to the outer world and start fixing your inner world. Which will seamlessly change your outer world. (I know, a bit of a brain bend there.)
But if you can observe the outer world, you can observe yourself. And if you keep practicing this self observation you can gain perspective. And soon you will clearly see your personal “life roadmap” unfold.