In this hectic and chaotic world with our daily pace growing exponentially, we do not have enough time to remain still with the hushed voices of our true selves, not even for a millisecond — or else we’d “fall behind.” We get frustrated when we’re asked to slow down and we indignantly claim that we are nowhere near where we have to be.
We believe that we aren’t enough.
We are constantly rushing to get from one point to the next and sometimes we strive to do multiple things at once to get there faster, so we can work more, buy more, be entertained more, know more and gain as much as we can in all areas in life.
We never stop to think or reflect on why we are being pushed by stampedes of people behind us, causing us to panic and push ourselves to go faster before they overtake us in this chaotic, emotionally taxing race to nowhere but death. We have a vague purpose in mind, but we don’t bother to clarify it or work with it to see if it’s truly right for us — and so we choose ease and predictability, but still that does not lead us closer to peace that we were told to expect if we obeyed without question.
We are competing with each other for limited resources and opportunities to shine and prove that we can be authentic while simultaneously exceeding high standards to be loved by many and respected by all.
But then we run into dead ends. And question everything, but then we return and pretend that we’re okay. Sometimes, we genuinely are okay, but most of the time we feel the intensity of the void pulling us into its nothingness again. And we get frantic, silently screaming for someone to hear us, to listen to us.
Perhaps all is vain and purposeless. Do you ever stop to think about why you are here and what your accomplishments will ever amount to? And why insist on worrying when you could be sitting in silence, questioning everything you’ve been told to consider as important? Maybe you do find everything in your daily life important, but I guarantee that you’re missing something — something truly important and priceless that you’ve tried too hard to put a price on. I don’t know what it is, but it’s eating you from the inside, yet you’re doing your best to avoid it.
I am, too.
People may think that this way of living can get them to where others say they must go. As if there’s a concrete destination that we have to be at by a certain time or else we’re resigned to a lifetime of perpetual and intensified suffering.
While we might try to put up a happy and successful front, and our peers praise us for what we do, we are inwardly miserable, frustrated, stressed, and fearful of the future. This is surely no way to live, yet we are always pressed onward, to rush and rush in order to “be prepared,” until we reach the final destination of our lives where we are unprepared for the very thing we have tried so hard to avoid — death.
All things of the world are meant to distract us from the void within ourselves and the true severity of death, not just the agony of a physical death, but the nullification of everything we’ve ever worked to acquire, and though complete annihilation seems so far away to even fathom, in the end, we will all burn and be reduced to nothing — and this nothingness brings terror into our hearts and not even our minds can rationalize it. No matter what sort of phenomena that scientists or astrophysicists or prophets or cult leaders claim would send the earth spiraling into oblivion, we will all burn. It could be this century, or the next, or several thousand years later. Or tomorrow.
Sometimes I wonder what will happen, and I dream of all the possibilities. Death is such a frightful thing to think about, yet why am I still so full of worry about the imperfect versions of me that I’ve grown to despise?
And I often think that the modern world is there to distract us from death and delay thinking about it for as long as we can. It’s comforting to know that death isn’t going to arrive any time soon. In the meantime, we keep going about the daily grind, wavering between having hope for the future and having all of our hopes crushed when we hear about some catastrophic and disturbing event on the news.
Your premonitions of the future and your perception of reality fluctuate with your emotions and all the things around you that culminate into a set of circumstances that also fluctuate as nature, humanity, and institutions do. Everything is fleeting and ever-changing, yet we do not live as if we acknowledge this fact.
Some people are content with their lives and have no aim of being remembered or even praised for the things they do — they simply live as they are. But many aren’t happy and always chasing after everything to make them seem stronger, brighter, more significant, and more beautiful within and without. And people all suffer in their own ways that they can never fully comprehend, not even when they arrive at the version of the future that they fear the most, the final days before a death they cannot predict.
Maybe your purpose is simple.
We can never find solace in the world, for it taxes us daily, as if our toil and blood isn’t enough to satisfy the powers above us. Many people are ruthless and unsatisfied. We condemn each other but we mostly condemn ourselves. We feel guilty when we never measure up to the heightened standards of callous system that views human beings as numbers and nothing more. And this is why we yearn for more.
We have such limited time to do the things that the world deems is important, yet we never prioritize ourselves — we barely find time to quiet our souls or experience the full blessings of the shortest, yet most miraculous time, which is right now.
Stillness brings peace and peace brings wisdom and wisdom brings a heavy sorrow and by experiencing this heavy sorrow, we find profound joy.
And how can we joyous when we are at war with ourselves and external forces are at war with us, trying to make us believe that we can never be enough, and we always have to put up with endless worries that somehow others find a way to profit from?
Let us remove ourselves from the wars of the world and live quietly, deaf to the cacophony of the outer world and temporary strife of the external, so that we may hear the voice within and truly listen to the beauty of silence that speaks louder than the vain, raucous voices of our insecurities, which are enslaved to self-importance and greed. We do not have to do anything drastic or rash to achieve this. Rather, we can take back our time, little by little and make an effort to speak with our inner selves and listen again.
And let us remove ourselves from chaos and destruction, stand not in their way, and instead, learn to sit alone without feeling any shame, so that we can reconnect with the selves on the other side of the void — the true selves we’ve been taught to suppress.
Let our fears be kept at bay — the fear of death, the fear of insignificance, the fear of humility.
For there’s no greater or more joyful time than now.