20 Nov 2015

Are you a beggar begging from a beggar?

When I was in my twenties I told an old wise man that I found life to be complex and hard, his response was: “life is easy, it’s only the first fifty years of life that are hard”. I laughed thinking he was joking but when I looked at him, his face was serious and certain.

I think about what he said a lot, especially now that I’m in my mid-thirties and after so much suffering and so much struggle, I’m only just now learning how to live, only now understanding truths and waking up to life-altering revelations that I needed to know in the beginning of my life not in .. well.. what I imagine is the middle of my life (who knows!) but that’s the thing, nobody hands you a life manual when your ten or when you’re twenty. There is not life manual because everybody else does not know how to live either, that’s why there are philosophers constantly telling us that we need to change the way we think and live and religions controlling the way we think and live and people killing each other all the time.

I don’t claim I have the answers but one radical shift in my way of thinking has done a tremendous amount of positive difference in the way I am living today comparing to my younger years, the shift is loving myself ferociously. It sounds simple and easy to do but it’s not. Most if not all of you are products of inadequate parenting, the rest (like me) have grown up in dysfunctional families, saturated in mental, emotional and physical abuse. Because our parents didn’t like themselves they couldn’t teach us to like ourselves, setting us out in a hostile world searching for someone to love us because we didn't know how to love ourselves. We grow up full of hope in finding this “other” who will love us, who will accept us, who will give us care, attention, value, validation, only to be disappointed over and over again by people who like us did not like themselves and needed us to like them, we were like beggars begging from other beggars.

But those disappointments are very useful, because what they really say is this: “you gave another person the power to give you what you desperately need and now this power is returned to you once more because no one can give you what you need but you”, life will repeat this lesson until we learn it. Life was extremely generous to me because it gave me a dozen of these disappointments. 
Realizing that I am the only person who can love me the way I dream of being loved freed me, it changed my understanding of life and love and I am grateful, very grateful for it