“It takes a long time to become young…”
Space, and Time. That’s all this is. And so, what’ll we make of these loose ends? Our paths to power is paved with potholes. And so, who clears the way for future generations? It’s time we grow beyond these loose ends. And tie existence back into a beautiful bow.
“Hello. I’m Toso, and doctors say I’m schizophrenic.”
Wanted to start off by getting one thing clear.
This isn’t for you.
I mean, technically it is –
But… really, it’s not.
But it is though.
Honestly, I’m just offering a glimpse.
Into my thoughts, struggles, and battles.. with sanity, reality, and self.
Decided I’d undergo this whole “healing” thing folks talk about.
Not as glamourous as they make it seem on Instagram, that’s for sure.
Started off by writing daily.
Wanted to document the vibrations in my soul, and share them with the world.
Wanted to explore the realms of what is real, and what isn’t.
So, I did.
Made a podcast about mental health and my experiences with it.
And now, to find my why.
These essays are a means to decompartmentalize the maze.
To become human again.
I’m an open book, y’all.
But, enough about me.
Who are you?
Acceptance is a weird thing.
It’s like, you have all this stuff that’s objectively wrong, and..
Just have to be cool with it?
Not indifferent, just aware.
Understanding that these things take time.
Maybe, to accept a thing means to understand it.
Because once you ‘get it’, you no longer need fear.
Once you’ve integrated your entire self, you the graduate to a new state of being.
A state where human connections are the norm, and truth is the standard.
The intimacy that comes with being understood..
I think, that’s what love is.
You don’t need psychic powers to be aware.
Or, to be awake.
Though, like getting up after a long slumber, sometimes the alarm is necessary.
I think that’s what is happening in the world right now.
In fact, that’s what I am.
And one that will continue ringing…
Louder, and louder.
Until you decide to wake up.
Unfortunately, your masters want you distracted, as they continue to hit the snooze, even as society implodes around them.
Well – at least, society for regular folks.
Religious persecution? Snooze.
Sexual exploitation? Human trafficking? Climate change?
Snooze. Snooze. Snooze.
Not even a worldwide epidemic has managed to get us out of bed.
It’s like the house is on fire, yet you’re in dreamland – in a sauna somewhere.
It’s time to wake up and assess the damages.
We are only now beginning to see the scope of our collective depravity on full display. We are only now beginning to sound the collective alarm.
I call it, “the big oh-shit”.
When you had an interview scheduled for 10:00, and now its 10:30
Only now, this mess has gotten way out of control.
Many continue to sleep in while millions of “shits” have amalgamated to create a defecation the likes of which we’ve never seen. It’s truly insane.
The problems before us are massive.
On a physical plane, we are being attacked.
From lead in our water to aluminum on our skin.
On a mental plane, we are being attacked.
Psychological warfare is very real, only now we’ve turned on ourselves. Social media has become weaponized, and the levers for control have been levied upon us.
Even on a spiritual plane, we are being attacked.
Cut off from our divine nature (Google endocrine system) and convinced to assume a position of servitude and consumption within this social bubble.
My generation’s flaw seems to be a fatal one.
We’re intellectually lazy.
Perhaps what’s worse, we don’t seem to care.
Why make a decision when one can simply ask one of our almighty tech oligarchs?
Why rule ourselves, when we can outsource those pesky details to global governments?
Why even think to question when all our information can be spoon fed to us by resident intellectuals and expert panels?
Because you can.
And yet, we have effectively muted our own voices in favor of the mob.
System-wide failure becomes inevitable, the feedback loop has been severed.
Voices of reason are silenced, or ignored.
Those that remain pay with a tacit approval of the status quo.
We all know what’s going on… but nobody wants to say it.
Well, I don’t mind being that guy.
Wake the fuck up.
Ignoring the mess doesn’t make it disappear.
In fact, ignoring the mess is what got us here in the first place.
Our propensity to operate on autopilot has rendered us incapable of producing anything other than steaming piles of “shit”.
Accumulated from childhood through adolescence, and now baked into our adult lives. We pretend we can’t smell it, but.. everyone else can.
Though after a bit of quality time with self, you’ll be able to smell it too.
It’s a scary moment.
But, also a beautiful one.
Because once you’ve come to terms with reality; you are free.
The lies we tell are like defense mechanisms for oversized egos.
What we really want, is to love.
Only way to get there… is through our shit.
(Just be sure to bring a plunger.)
Metacognition means, “thinking about what you’re thinking about”.
It’s a powerful tool with even more potent implications.
Humans are unique in this ability.
To think, reconsider, and self-actualize.
Think about it.
Who are you?
There’s the ‘you’ that’s reading… but then there’s also ‘you’ that is thinking, or the ‘you’ that likes to procrastinate, while the other ‘you’ shames ‘you‘ for it.
Here’s a concept.
You dont run your thoughts..
Your thoughts run you.
Yet, the vast majority of people today are pulled through life by their emotions and subconscious thoughts, reacting out of their lower ape-like motivations.
Their limbic brain keeps them in a state of primality.
But, we are not monkeys.
We are human beings.
So, how do we flip the script?
Overthinking can be a problem too.
It leads to anxiety, which ultimately leads to more fear, so this cannot be the solution.
Rather, our goal should be to properly identify useless thoughts, and then replace them with productive ones.
Like Jenga, only better.
Recognize that your ‘random thoughts’ are probably bits of programmed information uploaded to your subconscious mind over the course of your life.
Because, make no mistake, we have been programmed.
This is not hyperbole, or metaphor.
This is fact.
Television and radio “programs” started what more sophisticated technologies impose on our psyche today.
Complete control over collective thought.
This is the Marxist ideal they leave out at the book club meetings.
It also doesn’t help that we join in on the charade.
Accepting false characters as real, and adopting curated masks as our own.
(They are not.)
Yet, we legitimize fake roles and false claims on our being through an unwillingness to be real with ourselves. Or to even recognize ourselves.
To be sure, some are so far gone that these adopted labels have become anchors to their assumed identity.
A job role, a social group, or a relationship status can fundamentally comprise their entire self concept and respective levels of awareness.
“Codependency” is what the smart people call it.
The solution is simple, really.
The only way to win, is to accept our real selves, building upon the unique nature of our authentic expressions of life in full.
Otherwise, we’re simply playing video games with an unplugged controller.
Be honest… are you, you? Look in the mirror, and don’t flinch.
It’s time to own yourself.
Ownership is another weird thing.
We talk about it when considering stock options or land purchases, but what are the deeper implications?
As in, what’s it really mean to own something?
What does it imply?
I think, freedom.
To own a thing, is to be free to do with that thing whatever you wish.
Of course, freedom comes with an added measure of responsibility.
When you rent a house, you don’t get to make big changes.
Maybe the wall colors. But that’s it.
Once you own it, the options become limitless.
Gut out the basement, put in a game room.
Plant a garden, get a chicken coop, build a moat if you want.
Because ownership = freedom.
It’s the same thing with people.
Some of us are in control, others aren’t.
It’s easier that way.
Sure, less freedom.. but also, less culpability.
Someone else is now responsible for your life.
You’ve outsourced your power, and don’t even know it.
You feel like you’re doing something, but really, you haven’t done anything at all.
That’s why I named this chapter acceptance.
It’s the jump off point to a type of identity formation rooted in something real.
The goal is to become yourself.
The struggle is to own yourself.
Your full self.
The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Most of us only own up to the “good” part.
This “goodness” then becomes a public facing persona.
A flimsy veneer of social norms protect fragile psyches in the short term.
But they can’t hold.
Reality is undefeated.
Eventually, masks become prisons.
We are then fixed to fake standards of engagement created by programmers armed with computer algorithms and dreams of world domination.
We have effectively become robots.
Controllable, distracted, weak, and dependent.
Because if we don’t accept the ugly parts, somebody else will gladly exploit them.
Only when we decide to take ownership, can the healing process begin.
Until then, we have no choice but to crowdsource bits and pieces of our self esteem. From social media, from money, from fame from relevance.
Anything to fill the hole.
So, attention becomes a drug. And social media becomes your dealer. All with the express desire to lull your soul into a state of submission.
It’s a trap.
Fact is, you don’t even get to create your identity.
Not really*. You just discover it.
unless you’re playing 2k.*
Regardless, me personally?
I wanted my whole self.
And as of 2018, I probably owned 10%.
So the process began.
Ownership starts with acceptance.
And so that’s what I did.
I became aware of my shit.
Awake to my mess.
But also, attuned to my potential.
Both the depths of my depravity and the heights of my morality were on full display for my minds eye to play with and analyze.
It was a lot to take, and not just for me.
For everyone involved.
Left Chicago for LA, kicked it in the mountains for six months.
Then, left California for the UK, and have been here just over a year.
Needed space to think, space to be, space to consider – apart from all the external noise modernity forces on our state of being.
(At least, that’s what I tell myself.)
Though, I think I was also running from responsibility.
The nexus of lies became overwhelming, everyone was a suspect.
I didn’t know who to trust, or what to believe… so I shut down.
Decided best not to deal with any of it.
Not the best coping mechanism, but hey.
To be honest, thought I was done “healing” after writing my book last year.
Boy, I was wrong.
So, here we are.
Re-hashing “old shit”.
Slowly learning to accept that 100% of my problems are self-imposed.
(Even if they aren’t.)
For me, I had to make a decision to war with my demons.
This is the dark side to spiritual growth that they leave out of the meditation apps and yoga retreats. Awareness is not like a light switch to enlightment.
More like, a pathway to it.
It’s the part that Carl Jung calls, the shadow.
“Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.
If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.“Carl Gustav Jung, “Psychology and Religion” (1938). P.131
Another rub – owning your “shit” isn’t appealing, but blaming others is.
It relieves us of a duty to act.
The onus is on someone else now.
For a serial procrastinator like myself, and someone who has dealt with a lot of pain in the past, this route has been very attractive in past iterations of self.
Because sometimes, the situation really is unfair.
And sometimes, they really did do you wrong.
But, if you want to own yourself, if you want to be free… you’ll have to bite the bullet.
No one can save you from your “shit”.
That’s just between you, and God.
Like the classic tradeoff, the more risk you take the more reward you are in line to receive.
For example, Elon Musk has to deal with loads of “shit”.
(Both of his creation, and of the externally produced variety.)
But – Elon Musk also gets to reap the rewards.
Sure, he works hard.
But once you get into the ‘B’s‘ of net worth, you’ve mastered the art of leverage.
Meaning, you are no longer doing the heavy lifting.
Elon is a billionaire, because he’s willing to take on the risks of ownership at scale.
Some people don’t want the problems associated with extreme ownership, thus, they will not reap the rewards of abundant freedom.
The road to an unfruitful life is paved with ignorance, not stupidity.
You know exactly what you need to do.
The only question is, will you?
I am a human being.Tweet
Follow me on Twitter @Toso___*
Or, check my alter (non) ego @timetogrowdude
*I’m not nice, just good.