I am a middle-aged, white, cis-gendered straight man. I am starting out with this because I want to make it clear that I recognize that with that comes a certain level of privilege it’s important to both recognize and acknowledge.
I grew up in a middle-class home in the suburbs of Minneapolis. Though it was a single-parent home, with my mom and my sister, and though we were among the few Jewish people in the area, it was a loving home.
My father was still in the picture, although he did live halfway across the country from us. However, this meant that as a child and into my teens I had the privilege to travel, explore places with family all over the United States, and had a pretty comfortable life. I was very fortunate in that I can honestly say that overall I had it fairly easy.
Why am I sharing this with you? Because I want to be clear about where I come from. Recently, I was reading an article by Jessica Wildfire about Lazy Self-Help, and I wanted to be upfront and clear about what place I am coming from. She’s wise in pointing out that far too many of the self-help gurus out there fail to entirely recognize or acknowledge their own privilege or background and its differences from where others may come from.
Your experiences may be, and probably are, different from mine. Especially if you are a person of color, female, LGBTQ, or what-have-you. We all come from different places — but that doesn’t me we don’t have common notions and goals. Particularly if that includes choosing the life you most desire to live for yourself.
You can live your best life, no matter where you come from
Birth does not determine if you can be your best you or live your best life. Neither does gender, religion, skin color, nationality, sexual orientation, culture, environment, economic status, or any other matter — save you yourself. You could have come from a place of wealth and privilege, poverty and scarcity, or somewhere in the middle. Still, if your goal is to experience life as fully and completely as you can you are able to.
Sure, this is going to be a lot harder for some people than for others. If you have had to struggle to get places all throughout your life your path is going to be and has been one I may be incapable of comprehending fully. Yet that doesn’t make you lesser or greater than me and my challenges.
For me, most of my struggles have been mental and emotional. Thoughts and feelings of inadequacy, of being incapable of living up to the expectations of others, and being unworthy or undeserving for one reason or another have been my personal, greatest issues.
You may have had the same struggles or other, physical ones. Most of the women I know and am close to have had to push extra hard or alter their actions to combat the patriarchy in some way or another. Hell, my wife is in an industry largely dominated by men. I’ve never had struggles like hers in the working world because I am not a woman.
But that doesn’t lessen my ability to empathize.
Even with challenges and struggles in your life, you are capable of finding and/or creating an incredible life for yourself. How that works, and all that will go into that will differ from person to person — but nobody is less or more worthy nor deserving of this notion.
No simple solutions, no quick-fixes
Whether I’m writing about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, the Law of Attraction, or any other matter of self-help, self-care and the like, I never make promises. Nor do I offer any quick-fix ready-made one-size-fits-all solutions.
This is because there are NO simple solutions. Nor are there any quick-fixes, either. On the surface, positivity and mindfulness are simple — but in practice, they can take a great deal of work.
This is particularly true when you are undoing decades of mental conditioning. If there are certain beliefs you are working to change, and/or struggles specific to marginalization and the like, it probably takes even more effort.
Overcoming past mental conditioning cannot be done instantaneously. Why? Because your mindset and psyche were not created in an instant. They are a product of a lifetime of experiences, education, environment, and numerous other life-impacting factors.
Further, who you are and how you think, feel, and act is entirely unique to you.
Perception of the world in which you live is singular to you. Nobody else has had your experiences, there is no one but you inside your head, and as such your perception of reality belongs to you and you alone. This is why two people from very similar backgrounds can completely disagree with one another about life, the universe, and everything.
For example, I have been teaching medieval fencing for more than 20 years. I have never thought women were less than the men I’ve taught, and always treated female fencers as equals. Yet there are some in the community who see women as lesser and treat them like they are neither as worthy nor deserving as the men fencing.
No matter the commonality of your goals to mine, the how of our approaches will take time and effort. But it’s worth it.
The common goals of most
When I write about a common goal, there is really only one I can think of that applies to pretty much everyone. It is this:
To live the best life you can.
What that looks like for you is not the same as what it will look like for me. Your best life may include a huge house with lots of kids. Or being a well-respected business mogul. Or maybe a hermit living in solitude in the woods with wifi and many, many books. Whatever it is, the best life you can live is going to be entirely unique to you.
Because of this, how you will achieve this is going to be unique to you. Your experiences, environment, education, choices, decisions and so on will make your best life and how you get it something only you will be able to totally comprehend and achieve.
However, the ideas I share about mindfulness, positivity, and conscious reality creation are still something you can use. Your ways and means for using these tools might be different from mine, but that doesn’t mean they are not available to you.
Nobody can just wish things into existence. Manifestation takes thought, feeling, action, and time. How long is impossible to quantify, but with dedication, desire, and intent you can find, create, and have a life that you are getting the most out of.
How I have gotten to where I am is certainly not the same as how you have done so. But that doesn’t mean I can’t share what I have worked with, and maybe help you to grow and change in ways to find your best life.
Wherever you have begun your journey in life, you are worthy and deserving of achieving your goals, whatever they may be.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter, as do where we come from.