I am afraid to show you who I really am, because if I show you who I really am, you might not like it–and that’s all I got.
– Sabrina Ward Harrison
Mute the bastards
Have you ever tried to come up with something original? Something that you put a lot of energy and effort to get right and it means a lot to you? You’d give your life for it! But out of the blue, your imaginary critics come!? Their little and insignificant opinion begins to affect you. They’re laughing at you. You are on the line. You can’t escape because that’s the price you pay for being open. You feel like a loser. It can get as bad as it gets in this video. Poor she. “What do you expect? Could you do any better?” I bet this is what a bad trip feels like.
So you decide that you’d rather not do it and save yourself the shame and humiliation – you’ve decided that it’s better to keep things nice and neat. But the truth of the matter is that it isn’t. You are not serving anyone a purpose by not expressing yourself. A little trick that I use to free myself from those imaginary critics is to mute them. Duct tape in most cases does the job. I also imagine them saying things like “MHmmgmmm… mhhhmmm… aaaammm… hmmm… ummmhhggg… uMMMMMMMMMM… uuuMMMMMMMMMM… uuuMMMMMMMMM”. I’ll even go further and have a conversation with them: “Did you just try to say something?”; “Ummm, I couldn’t quite get that…”. If they don’t seem to be affected by the duct tape and just give me a nasty smirk, I’d use a rubber ball gag. They can still give me a nasty smirk but now it has a totally different meaning :D. It’s even cooler when you share your trick with them in real life. Since no one likes to be imagined with a rubber ball gag in their mouth, especially by a freak like me, they’d rather not say anything at all. I hope you get the point. Be creative. Make it humourous. Do whatever it takes to get over this idea in your head that you are insignificant, and say and do what you really think. Please note that this is not to be used as a way of getting away from constructive critique, advices, different perspectives or arguments – I welcome all that. It’s just for shutting up those people whose opinion we are so afraid of, that we would never do or say anything because of it. And those are the same people who would never do anything original themselves or put their guts on the line so shut ‘em up :).
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.
- Dr. Seuss
This is a bit more serious but still fun. One great ways to extract wisdom out of yourself is to imagine that you are going to die right after you finish your work (letter, post, artwork, song etc.) Imagine that it’s your last one. Really get in touch with the idea that what you are doing right now is your last chance to say what you want to say to the world, family and friends. In my view, the intensity with which you deliberately choose to show up in the manifest world counts the most. Contemplating on the idea that you-no-more-tomorrow can release you from fear of being yourself and the opinion of others. Write/work as if you knew you were going to die. Imagine that you won’t be around by the time others are reading/looking at your work. Imagine the reaction of your friends when they find out about your death and that you knew you were going to die because of what you wrote. I love doing things with this idea in mind. Now all you have to do is close your eyes and release it while you are still alive. Here, in this video below, is professor Randy Pausch (October 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) who didn’t have to work hard to imagine it. But on the other hand you don’t have to wait for it to become reality.
From Top Five Regrets of the Dying : #1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
Letter to myself
There are many movies where people go back into the past to meet themselves and change “their future”. Although it’s pretty science-fiction-y, it’s really a great way to see yourself in a new light and squeeze a bit of that sweetness out of you. Imagine that you could send a letter to yourself 5 years back, 10 years back, 20 years back etc. Recall what was it like when you were at that age (whatever it may be for you). What were some of the difficulties and concerns that you encountered back then and you somehow managed to get over? If you could get your own advice back then from your future you, what would it be? If I have to be honest the first thing that came to my mind was: “I’m the guy your parents warned you about” (who are my own parents) However after a while I began to realize that this is a great opportunity for me to change my destiny in the way that I want to, and save me a lot of trouble and suffering. Wouldn’t you want to meet your 10-years-in-the-future-self today? I’d love to get a letter from my future me. So instead of just writing a letter I’d write an entire book to myself. The table of content of which would look like this:
- Dealing with fear
- Dealing with depression for no reason
- Dealing with death of a family member
- Say goodbye to the world you though you lived in
- Religion, Spirituality, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Self-help, Personal-development – making sense out of this mess
- The purpose of life
- God in a nutshell
- The truth about psychedelics
- Intimate relationships
- Love & sexuality
- Losing your virginity
- How to satisfy a woman every time and have her beg for more (an actual book by Naura Hayden)
- Etc etc.
The cool thing about this process is that since it’s just you and you, there is no wrong way of doing it. All your fears will be gone because you wouldn’t worry about the opinions of others. You don’t have to twist it and bend it or sugar coat it and candy wrap it so that people can understand you. You don’t have to worry about spelling and grammar because all you care about is to get the life experience across. You can be as open and intimate with yourself as you want to be and you won’t get judged. You’ll also find out that you are much more valuable than you thought you were. The natural way you lived your life is now of a great significance.
Thank you for your attention.
What would be your table of content or final words? Leave a comment below (anonymous is fine)
Also, let me know if there is something off of my table of content that you want to hear more about.