There are times when life simply becomes too much to bear. Whether it’s the dread of having to get up in the morning to go to a job that you hate, or simply being alone again on a Saturday night, the possibility of stress is always around the corner.
I remember back in 2010 when I was working at a software company in Baltimore, it was very difficult to find any joy in life, even outside of work, because I knew I would eventually have to go back to work soon enough, whether it was the next day, or on Monday once the weekend was over, and I would, almost reflexively, do all I could to numb myself of this ever-lingering fact by partying and playing video games all the time.
My habits were never severe to the point of being a danger to myself or others, and I was not an addict or miscreant, but regardless if I was going to drink one beer or ten, I could never lie to myself about why I was making the decision to engage in my unhealthy habits—to escape my unsatisfactory work situation, and numb my pain.
Everyone seems to have their own drug of choice: gambling, television, cigarettes, even working all the time can be an escapist maneuver, but what are we all hiding from? What is the trigger we all have in common that makes us resort to our unhealthy habits?
It’s more than just having an unsatisfactory relationship, job, or being alone again on a Saturday night, it’s a deep-seated existential crisis that’s been conditioned into our psychology generation after generation. It’s the despair of not knowing who you are, why you’re here, and how to deal with this situation, and without a solid foundation of self-esteem and purpose, life can seem pointless and even utterly hopeless.
No wonder the world is in the dreadful state it’s in! With so many people living (more like pretending to live) in pain day after day, how can we possibly expect anything better? Our addictions are just like bandages we keep replacing on our wounds that never heal, and do you know why those wounds never heal? Because a bandage cannot cure that which needs an entire operation—an operation called spiritual awakening or ascension.
Eventually there came a breaking point for me when I simply could not handle working at the software company anymore. It was seriously affecting my health (well, it wasn’t, but I was manifesting the illness through my dissatisfaction), so I was left with no choice but to call a meeting with my boss and put in my two weeks. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life, and I am forever grateful to myself for doing it! Although I gave up a solid full-time job with good pay, I took my life back into my own hands and restored my integrity, which ended up being the catalyst of my spiritual awakening.
It wasn’t until over a year later that I started Freedom Earth, but in that moment I set my course for the future by creating the necessary space for myself to expand into a new realm of consciousness. By rejecting the system, I was able to confront my cultural programming, and make the conscious decision to choose the life that I wanted for myself, not what society had told me to want, and that simple distinction made all the difference.
So when you’re faced with hardship in life, whatever it may be, just know you can always choose another path. Let your suffering flow through you, and savor it, because it’s in those moments of despair that true enlightenment is available to you. By embracing your emotions, and fully allowing yourself to sit with your pain, you can become conscious of your feelings, instead of letting them control you. It’s not about being “happy” all the time, as in putting on a fake smile, it’s about being honest with yourself, especially the darkest parts of yourself that you’re afraid to confront—the light in the darkness, the joy in despair.