Friday, November 22, 2013

What Will You Suffer For?

A friend shared this link today, and through reading the article, I was struck with a real "oh moment." The article is saying that we can judge what it is we really want in life, based on what we're willing to suffer for. And as such, we shouldn't be asking ourselves what we want in life, as that answer generally comes quite easily, but instead, we should be asking, what are we willing to suffer for? For what in life will we endure all the risks, all the gains, all the struggle, smiles, and especially, all the pain? Mark Manson writes,

"If I ask you, "What do you want out of life?" and you say something like, "I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like," it's so ubiquitous that it doesn't even mean anything.
Everyone wants that. So what's the point?
What's more interesting to me is what pain do you want? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives end up...
If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe you don't actually want it at all...
Choose how you are willing to suffer.
Because that's the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have the same answer.
The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain?
Because that answer will actually get you somewhere. It's the question that can change your life. It's what makes me me and you you. It's what defines us and separates us and ultimately brings us together." (Source)

I think this is an incredibly interesting and insightful way to consider what it is we want in life. It is so true, that it is so easy, to say what it is that we want, and that those answers usually are related to pleasurable things. You never ask someone what it is they want to do or have in life, and get some horrid, negative response, unless they are suicidal or having an awful day. We all want some pretty "basic" things in life -- love, happiness, to feel like we're making a difference or doing something meaningful, and to be able to support ourselves and our loved ones. But when it comes right down to it, what do we really want? Or, as Manson puts it, what are we willing to suffer for?

Considering this question, as opposed to its more positive alternative, definitely helps me have a very, very clear answer about what it is I really want and will do in life. I am given insanely clear answers when I ask myself, "What will you suffer for?" "What pain are you actually willing to endure?" And, "What risks will you take, accepting every and all parts of the outcome?"

"What will you suffer for?" The ones that I love.

I will spend all my money, use all my time, go the distance, and be left hanging, all for the sake of my loved ones. I will make the effort, I will do what it takes, and you know what, if they don't meet me half-way, that's fine, I'll go their half of the way too! I will kill myself trying, even if they always won't or don't. I will be left in debt because I booked something, thinking my friends would come, just to be left alone. I will suffer like this, because in those moments that we are all together, that it happens, and we come together, there is pure, unconditional love, and nothing in the world is more beautiful. Nothing else matters, except that we are together, and we love each other. None of the struggle involved is present, and it is sheer bliss. That is what I will suffer for -- those moments when everything really falls into place, everyone is there, and we are just in our massive cuddle puddle, laughing and loving like there's nothing else going on in the universe, because we are it.

"What pain are you actually willing to endure?" The pain of loneliness.

I am willing to accept that I have chosen a lonely lifestyle; one in which you move often, and to far away places. You leave behind your family, friends, and current girlfriend/boyfriend, in search of new places, new languages, and unknown lands. I am willing to spend days, weeks, months, and perhaps years, without friends, but be living in a new country or city, constantly learning and expanding. I am willing to accept and love myself enough to know that sometimes I will be all I have. Of course I never really go alone, since my God is always with me, but I am willing to endure the pain that comes with turning to a friend, but one not being there. I am willing to endure the pain of being in a new place, where you can't speak the language, you don't know where to go, or have anyone to talk to, and feel so lost and confused the only logically thing to do is laugh or cry. I am willing to endure this pain, because I know I will never really be alone, the right people always come along; and I know that my passion lies in exploring new places, and experiencing new cultures. This, I can be sure of, especially now, more than ever.

(I'd like to add that my confidence in my ability to form uncanny relationships with people everywhere I go helps, as I never am short of random conversations. And I'd also like to add that while you go into a place friendless, it is very hard to come out that way, and I am so grateful and blessed I've fallen in with such a special group of friends here. Friends I really connect with, love, cherish, and will keep for the rest of my life.)

"What risks will you take, accepting every and all parts of the outcome?" The risk of losing it all, and dying "alone."

In the life I have chosen, there is always a risk of dying alone. (In the sense that you die without a life partner. You almost always die with an international collection of friends and family.) It is hard to find and maintain a relationship when you plan to move to a new country every few years, and therefore, you can never be sure if you'll ever really find [and/or keep] your forever. When I decided to move to Spain, it was the hardest decision I've ever made in my near-25 years. I had to leave behind the person who could possibly be the love of my life, my forever, and twin flame, on the hope that I was making the right choice for myself and my soul. I do not know if I will find another love so great as that love, nor do I know if I will find another perfect piece to my puzzle like he was. That is a risk that I took, and a risk I will always take. Because I have faith in love, I have faith in the strong love I carry with me everywhere I go, and I have faith that all things turn out how they are supposed to. But also because I have faith that you cannot go in search of your personal legend (thank you for the terminology, Paulo Coelho), and not get and find exactly what you're supposed to. All of this is part of the risk of this traveler's life I have decided to live, and it's a risk that I accept. I may not want to accept the possible reality of not being able to sustain a relationship for longer than a year or two, but for me, it's not a risk too great to keep me from living this way.

When I consider all of these things, and realize my answers to these questions, and the unwavering certainty in which I can answer them, I know I am doing the right thing for myself by living out here, in this way, and thinking the way that I do. And that, that is powerful, that is wonderful, and that is magical!

I've always wanted my life to be the most epic story it could possibly be, for that moment before I ascend into heaven, when it all plays back across my mind. I want to relax and be blissed-out, and know that I have lived. And I can say, without any sort of doubt in my mind, that for me, this is life, I am living!

Consider these questions, sweet darlings. I think that they can help us really figure out our passions in life, and therefore, where we should be focusing our energy. It's important to channel your energy into where your passions lie -- that's how we achieve success in every facet of our lives. I hope that you are on a path that pleases your soul, and that you have an insanely blessed moment, every moment!

Much love bright lights!

Blessings, Love & Light <3

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