Enlightenment is different for every person. The path towards enlightenment is different for every person as well. Following your heart and mind is one of the best lessons I have learned. When my heart and my mind are in total agreement, a lot of things make sense. I get a lot of certainty and a lot of peace. I can stay in the present, be mindful, and enjoy my life more because I do not require a lot of external validation. This path may not be for you and it may not make sense at all. Your path maybe the opposite of this. Every one is really the same or your life leads the same way as everyone else which is that you are born, get to experience life, learn lessons and then die. The emotions that you feel are exactly the same thing as everyone else. Your experiences does not have to be painful. You do not need suffering to learn your lessons. You do not need unhappiness to learn what joy or happy is for example. You can lead your life, and experience life in a joyful way. When your mind and heart are one, you can journey through your life in joy rather than suffering.
Society On Success Versus Failure
First, let us think about what happens when we succeed. When we succeed, we get trophies, certifications, and rewards for succeeding. Society gives you applause, society becomes proud of you. Think of the most successful people in their niche like Michael Jordan, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and so on. When you are successful like these guys, people want to meet you, shake your hands, invite you parties, get your autograph and so on.
What happens to people that society considers as failures? The obese people that sit on their couch all they long. The unemployed people that have no dreams nor ambitions. People that are going nowhere with their lives. People that fail in school, or people that did not graduate high school. People that are considered failures, no one wants to be near them or shake their hands. No one tells them that they did a great job for failing. No one is proud to have known them. They do not get invited to parties. Think of a homeless person sleeping on the streets and think of one of the most successful people in this world like the ones I mentioned, then tell me who would you want to have in your birthday party? I know a lot of Filipinos have dreamed of having Manny Pacquiao make an appearance at their birthday party. Society does not like failures at all.
Your Parents And Teachers Punish You For Failing
There are many times when your parents and teachers feel disappointed when you fail. Some parents will punish you and make you study for 1 week. They will take away your television, internet and so on. I did this with my brother also. I took away the computer that I bought for him to make him study. He spends too much time on video games. It is not our fault for punishing them for failing because we want them to survive. The easiest way for them to survive is to be good in school.
The Path Towards Hating Yourself
The path towards hating yourself starts very early. We are conditioned for it. It is believed to be a necessary evil to help us survive in this world. So you cannot say that this path is evil or not good because this path helps us survive. However, as you grow older, become an adult, you no longer need this path. Your world opens up, your road isn’t one single road anymore. It forks, it jumps, it swims, it flies, and etc. As you discover that you are amazing, your path is no longer one dimensional or a straight line.
Your path being 1 directional is the start of the path of hating yourself. Whenever you fail, you view yourself as unworthy, unloved, not good enough and so on. We feel that we need to be good always to deserve love. We feel that we need to get external validation to be good enough. Some feel that they need to get a car in order to get the girl like Tobey Maguire in spider man. Some feel that they need to impress people to be good enough. Some feel that they need to have muscles, be skinny, have the perfect body, and so on to be good enough. When you go to this mindset of lack, you start hating yourself, you start seeing yourself in the eyes of society. You start going for external validation and start having desires to make other people happy or make society happy.
The Moment You Abandoned Yourself
I was meditating on this topic. I closed my eyes, practiced breathing techniques and cleared my mind. I saw myself being successful, and I saw myself failing. I saw my life, or my past. I saw myself being so happy when I succeeded because I get applause, I got trophies, I got recognition and so on. When I failed, I feel so bad. I feel embarrassed. I feel alone and not good enough. I do not ever want to feel that kind of feeling again.
I saw myself as a little kid around 12 years old and I was in a basketball court and there were a lot of people. I was in the free throw line. I took the shot and it went in. The crowd went wild. It was like every guy’s dream to make the winning shot. I was 12 and I was so happy. Everyone was giving me praises, and complimenting how good I was. The scene rewind itself. I was still 12 years old, and I was still at that free throw line where everyone was watching. This time around, I missed it. The other team won and they were celebrating. There was only disappointment in the crowd. I felt bad. I felt like I let my team down, I let my family down, and I let everyone down. I felt like I have to apologize to everyone for screwing up and failing.
The scene rewind itself again but this time, there was no audience. There were only 2 people in the court. The adult me and the 12 year old me. The 12 year old took the shot and it went in. The adult me was so happy. I hugged the younger me. I told my younger self “I love you. You did great. You were amazing. I am so proud of you.” The scene rewind itself again but this time, my younger self missed the shot. The adult me was so disappointed. I told my younger self, “Why are you such a failure? Why couldn’t you make that shot? Why are you such a loser? Why didn’t you practice harder. Why didn’t you prepare more for this day?” The adult version of me pushed my younger self and said, “I hate you!”
After this, I saw everyone I ever met. They all have the same thing. We hate ourselves whenever we fail, whenever we get rejected, whenever we come up short and so on. We view ourselves as not good enough. We see ourselves through the eyes of other people. Whenever we fail, we see ourselves as not good enough to be loved. When we are successful, we see ourselves as good enough to be loved. A lot of us, take this further. We view success as having material things so therefore having material things means that we are loved or that people will love us. We end up searching for external validations and then we wonder why we still feel empty. We still have to keep getting external validation over and over to feel good about ourselves.
Loving Yourself Equates To Healing Yourself
We need to start loving ourselves. We need to love everything about us including the part of us that fails and disappoints people. If we do not, it will be very hard to listen to our own heart. We will not be able to distinguish whether we are making decisions to make other people happy or to make ourselves happy. Sometimes we make decisions to make people, we do not even know, happy by sacrificing ourselves so that we can get external validation and attention. We need to heal ourselves to get to know ourselves better. In my meditation or vision quest lol, I hugged both versions of my younger self. I told them that I loved them both and I love them both equally. I love all my other parts as well including the one that was afraid to take the basketball shot. I loved the whole me, and not just parts of me. So whenever I remember a painful experience, I remind myself to tell myself that “it is ok, I love you still. I love you equally.” Memories where I failed, I was embarrassed, or I came up short, or memories where I just felt bad, or made a tiny mistake, I tell myself that I love myself, I love even parts of me that failed or made a mistake.
Look at it like this, if you have a lover and she becomes sick, she loses her job, she feels bad, she failed and so on, will you abandon her? You will not abandon her. You will love her still. You accept her for who she is because you are madly in love with her. It should be the same thing for yourself. You need to be able to look into the mirror and love yourself. You have to love your whole self and not just parts of yourself.
You will never be able to fully control how society views you. You have your own gifts and talents. You are far more beautiful than what society gives you credit for. Society will see you based on the ugliness, failure and the parts that they do not love about themselves. It is for this reason, you cannot see yourself in other people’s eyes. You have control of how you view yourself. This is the only thing you can change or have full control of.
External Validation And How The Mind Logically Tries To Make Us Happy
To a lot of people, their self worth is directly tied to external validation. The way their parents view them, the way their friends view them, the way their lovers view them and so on. We let the perception of others dictate how we view ourselves. We view the perception of others to be loved or unloved. When people approve of us, we view it as love. When people do not like us, we view it as abandonment and not loved. Most people will spend their whole lives trying to appear good or righteous to others. They will play the victim if things go wrong. They will blame other people. Some will not take responsibility about their lives or actions at all. A lot of us cannot accept the other possibility which is that people will view us as evil, bad or up to no good. Most of us want to be the good little girl or good little boy.
Note: The bad boy mentality is a lot more fun and gets a lot more girls by the way hahahaha
When The Mind And Heart Do Not Agree
I see this in a lot of guys when they try to get the girl they like to fall for them. The heart says you need to be stronger emotionally and mentally then this girl will fall for you. The mind says you need a sports car to make this girl fall for you. So the guy buys a sports car. The heart says you need to be more reliable so that this girl will fall for you. The mind says you need more money to make this girl fall for you. The guy tries to make her believe he has a lot of money. The heart says you need to be secure and confident so she will fall for you. The mind says you need to impress her to make her fall for you. So the guy tries to impress her with intelligence, his clothes, his material things and so on. Guys wonder why these things do not work. The mind will always point to external validation because to the mind, external validation is love and failing is abandonment. The mind does not even consider the heart because the heart makes no sense. It views the way of the heart to be stupid and not logical which will lead to abandonment and pain.
Women have this problem also. I look young. Most people think I am 24 or 25 years old. I attract very very young women. Some of them are 18 and sometimes even less than that. I look younger now or maybe I feel younger. I think it is this enlightenment thing. I get a lot of positive energies so my wrinkles are disappearing and my skin is glowing. Anyway, I still attract very young girls. When they learn my age, they get hesitant. When I see them, I can tell that we have this strong connection and sexual tension like we can be in Hawaii for 1 week and we will not leave the hotel room at all. They get hesitant because of the age difference. The heart says Hawaii scenario but the mind says her parents, friends and people she knows will abandon her, gossip behind her back and so on. She follows the mind because the heart makes no sense.
I learned that when I get rejected, it is not about me. She has fears. Those fears are not mine and they do not belong to me. I learned that there is only one way to make the girl leap or be more open to being with me which is for me to fall in love with another girl and forget about her. But this is another topic for another time lol.
The heart and mind concept can apply to anything or any desire. Regret happens when the mind and heart cannot agree. You will always end up looking back because deep down you know that the heart maybe right. It may not make sense but the heart knows certain things that the mind does not. When people regret, it is when your mind and heart do not agree and you followed one of them. Most of the time, it is the mind because the mind creates fear. The mind wants to think that it knows all the possibilities and that it has control of everything so it tries to make sense of everything. The mind does not have the answers since your heart knows things that the mind does not.
To Have No Desire
Buddhism has an answer for external validation. It is to have no desire because desire is fleeting in their viewpoint. To them, desire is like a cup that never gets filled because the achievement and emotion becomes a memory. It is not tangible nor solid. Let’s say you made a million dollars. You feel good and you bought a lot of good things with it. But feeling good and the feeling of success is only momentarily. It only happened for a moment or one day. So the guy tries to become even more successful. After he made 2 million, he tries for 4 million and so on. The guy is trying to fill a cup that will never get filled. The answer that they came up with is to have no desire because desire leads to pain, suffering and anguish.
My Path Involves Following The Heart And Mind
Every question I have with my life, for some reason, Steve Jobs’ speech has the answer for it. The guy is the last person I can think of as being enlightened since his emotions are often anger and rage. Fortunately, his speech has a lot of answers. Even in spirituality, it has the answers that I need which is follow your heart.
When you are listening to your heart, you do not need to abandon yourself anymore as a way to motivate yourself. You no longer have to use the fear of abandonment as a way to motivate yourself to succeed. According to one of the best entrepreneurs of all time, the way to succeed is following your heart. When you are listening to your heart, you will love what you do. It is all that you need to persevere. Following your heart will lead to bigger and better achievements for yourself.
When my heart and mind are in agreement, there is no fear. There is only certainty. When my heart and mind are one, I see my past mistakes as lessons I need to learn, I see my present as beautiful and fun, and I see the future to be wonderful as well because if today is good, tomorrow will good as well and so on. Following my heart allows me to live in the present, allows me to enjoy the present, and allows me to be happy in the present moment. Even if I experience setbacks, failures and even I have to start things over, I view these as moments of learning and that I am closer to my goals because of them. In a way, my present moment is where I am supposed to be, I am needed to be, I am expected to be, and everything is well in my world.
Listening to your heart is not easy. When my heart speaks, there is only silence. It is like a tiny voice in a room full of loud music. When my heart speaks, it whispers and I have to clear all of these loud noises to hear it. The loud noises could be fear, could be ego, could be pain, could be external validation, and so on. All these things cloud the mind and makes it hard for the heart to be heard. You have to train your mind to be silent. You have to train yourself to be able to listen. When there is only silence, it is scary. We are used to having so much thoughts in our heads. It is like one story after another story after another narrative that never stops. The way to listening to your heart is to start feeling rather thinking. Feel what is right and not think what is right.
Listening to your heart is good because there is so much to learn about ourselves. When you know yourself, you can wash away all of the filth and dirt that this world has forced you to have. You can rely on yourself more to make yourself happy. So when the heart and mind are one, you are one with yourself, you are acting with your authentic self, you are one with the universe because you are one or at peace with yourself.