You can learn a lot from your favorite sweater.
You must shatter like fine porcelain meeting a cold sidewalk… be smashed into a thousand pieces, most likely to be discarded by anyone or anything. If you’re a masochist, watch the reactions of bystanders while it happens. As best as they try, they won’t be able to hide their aghast looks. And can you blame them? It’s based on instinct. No more, no less. It’s nothing personal, shrug it off if you can, but don’t stop there. The exterior is just the start.
Next, the fabric of your soul must be pulled and tugged at in every direction until it is all stretched and worn out like your favorite sweater. At that point, no one else will recognize its value except you. Like most things in life, there will be a temptation to get something shiny and new, to take it through the same process of stretching and tearing, but resist that urge. I implore you.
Instead get comfortable being uncomfortable. Wear that sweater until it feels like a second skin. Just like your favorite jewelry, you must eventually forget the weight that it holds, and I’m afraid to say, only time and familiarity will deliver that, but it will happen. Once that’s missing, you’ll see that it’s beyond ego… always was, always will be.
And if you are the impatient type, then explore the four corners of your microcosm, traverse the universe, get lost in living, get comfortable with dying, and before you know it, that day will come, and you will no longer carry that burden. In fact, you’ll wonder why it was even a burden in the first place. Furthermore, your once cracked porcelain exterior will surreptitiously be repaired with a fine lacquer, mixed with powdered gold to accentuate. Every crack will shine like a lighthouse beacon at night but look at their faces now. Aghast becomes awe, and you will never again have to hide what metamorphosed you into the extraordinary machine that you now are… the fine specimen you always were.
The alchemist is within.