What is to be well integrated as a person?
It is to have a sense of direction in life and that one is on the way to reaching goals of one’s choosing.
No easy feat.
Most of us have to work for a living. Unless we’ve been gifted with a standout talent, we end up doing things that are not what one most desires. So we save our money and keep searching for that one activity which will be most pleasing emotionally and intellectually.
We try this and try that.
And sometimes get a little lost.
Enter the importance of knowing our emotional world — in detail. For to know one’s emotions is to unlock the power of the mind.
We start by acknowledging our flaws, each and every one of them.
‘Why did I do that, or this? Why did I react in such way?’
And biting the bullet. As in accepting ourselves as we are.
Flaws come in different sizes, but the sooner we get on with it the easier it will be to handle them.
‘Why did I get angry with X or Y?’
‘Why did I ignore that?’
‘Why did I deny this?’
‘Why did I not take a stand?’
‘Why did I lie?’
‘Why did I not show courage?’
Such dialogue frees up energies.
For most us living in a free society, life is in our hands.
What we think and feel makes a difference in what we do.
Processing our flaws lead us to face envy and learning to manage it.
We cannot eradicate envy. It is too strong a force. The best we can do is learn to manage it.
Recognizing it. And checking it.
‘I envy this person or that one because they have this quality which I do not have.’
‘Person B is excellent at this or that, how can I ever hope to reach the same heights?’
‘Person A has such ability to create wealth, I envy him or her. Why can’t I have that?’
Keep doing your best.
All the while allowing for the possibility of our emotions coming back to us and saying, ‘that is not your path. Look elsewhere.’
And listen we must.
To not do so is to pay a high price in anguish and time lost.
We can be good at something and still not be properly integrated, but the more connected we become to our emotional world, the closer we get to embracing our uniqueness.
A word of caution about the media in today’s world.
Media outlets of all kinds, tend to overrate accomplished people in any field. They love hyperbole. ‘Such and such did this and that and now she’s a zillionaire. Look at their homes, their planes, their yachts!’ But do we get a peek into their emotional world?
The superstars of our world deserve much credit but so do all those unnamed people who helped them get there.
There’s no substitute for hard work. What we find most satisfying will always demand sacrifices.
To become who we can and should become, we need courage. Lots of it.
Where do we find it?
In the journey itself. We just need to get started.
Life is better lived when we give it purpose.
And it is up to each one of us to find it and name it.
Once found, we’ll never lack the courage we need.
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I went out for a walk after writing the draft for this blog. On the way back I walked past a corner where a homeless lady stays most of the time. She’s been at that location for months: the same raggedy clothes, the floppy hat pulled down over her head, the face mask. Sometimes she’s talking to herself or to someone in her imagination. Sometimes she’s lying on the bus stop bench, a blanket covering her. Once or twice I made eye contact but she looked away. The sad sight of her reminded me of how some people, like the severely mentally ill, don’t have the option of attaining personal integration. The pursuit of it is a privilege.
Oscar Valdes oscarvaldes.net, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts.