“You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering.”
― Henri-Frédéric Amiel
In a way, who I am is inseparable from my suffering. My pain dictates my personality, my emotional resilience, and my ambition. My struggle to establish a soul that belongs to me only affects my relationships, even determines the people I want close to me.
If I had to get rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels too. If I’d never write about my suffering, you’d never quite get a sense that I’m an actual human being. Just like every single one of the perfect strangers you encounter on any given day.
“If anyone can refute me — show me I’m making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspective — I’ll gladly change. It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance.”
How often do you change your mind? How often do you change your beliefs? What about your principles? Or your self-image?
How often do you admit that you were wrong?
How often do you force yourself to see things from the opposite of your usual perspective?
It can often feel like a cardinal sin to change one’s mind, to admit being wrong, but the truth is that the inability to change one’s mind is the foundation of a fixed mindset.
There’s this fun experiment I’d often try with folks. I’d ask them to imagine themselves winning the lottery.
They’d tell me all the things they’d do with the money, all the places they’d travel to, all the stuff they’d buy.
It was then that I’d ask them to tell me how they’d feel. Would they act differently? Would they talk differently? What about they way they’d carry themselves? Their demeanor, the way they’d walk? Would that change as well.
When I was a kid, I thought I was destined for great things. I was born on Christmas Day, exactly one year after they shot Ceausescu, the only ruler of a Communist country to ever be executed. Now, in the same spot, they’re building a shopping mall.
Maybe because I was born when I was born, I don’t really listen to what other people tell me I should do. I never did.
I don’t like authority. I don’t like to follow rules.
I am not afraid of the consequences of not doing what I am told. I am not where I’d like to be in life because I don’t like most people. I have long suspected they don’t like me back.
I am a rebel without a cause, garnering a bit of applause here and there from those who read my stories.