Staring Into The Abyss Without Blinking
Staring into the abyss is wrestling with personal Demons
I’m a man, unapologetically so and because of that, I have my own personal demons.
As much as I want to be the shining example of what a man should be for my siblings, my children and my partner; I often fall short of the goal.
It’s not for lack of trying, but because the more you dwell on the thing you don’t want to be, the more likely you are to become it.
Nietzsche said it pretty clearly in Beyond Good and Evil
He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby becomes a monster.
And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.
Sometimes Nietzsche can ramble and in this particular chapter, it seems like he’s just spitting out random thoughts, but the statement itself is still poignant.
You are what you think.
If you think of criminal activity all day, what does that make you?
If you think about poverty all day, what does that make you?
Mother Teresa is famously quoted as saying:
“I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me.
On the surface, they seem like distinctions that don’t really matter, but they do.
An anti-war rally is one that’s concentrating on all the misery and hate that goes along with armed conflict.
While a peace rally is concentrating on all the success and advancement that comes with it; human cooperation.
I hate to sound cliché, but you’re what you think about. You’re what you put out into the world.
So, when you’re staring into the abyss, don’t blink, rather change the image.
Instead of concentrating on what shouldn’t be, concentrate on what should
I hate when the forever optimistic life coaches throw out flowery words and phrases that don’t really mean anything when put to the test.
“So what do you want?”
“I’m hearing that….”
“It doesn’t matter what I think, what do you think?”
“Choose your intention for today.”
“When you’re old and grey, what do you want to say about your life?”
“Shift your paradigm.”
I’ve had it up to here with their crappy videos and even crappier writing. You can read one of Alden Tan’s rants on the subject.
There is a grain of truth behind all the flowery words.
It’s not about what you want to avoid, but rather what you’d like to become.
It’s about perspective.
Ask yourself, “Which abyss are you looking into?”
Are you looking into the abyss of your potential or the one of your demise?
Stop Blinking Dammit
We all look into the metaphorical abyss.
We can’t help it, but we can decide what’s inside that abyss.
We can decide if it’s something we want to be consumed by or if it’s something we should dread.
I’m working on defining my own personal abyss.
Wrestling day and night with my demons.
Sometimes I’m on top and other times they’re kicking my ass.
I think it’ll take me my whole life, but that’s what personal development is; a lifelong pursuit.
I don’t expect results tomorrow, hell, I don’t really expect any noticeable changes.
It’s more like waking up one day and looking back at all your improvements and saying:
“Damn, I’ve done well.”
Step out of the shadow of what you don’t want and begin to look at what you do want for yourself.
It’s not going to be easy by any means. If it was wouldn’t everyone be doing it?
But I can guarantee it’ll be worth it.
There’s no greater feeling than conquering your own personal demons.
Wrestling with them the same way Israel wrestled with God for an entire night.
Kicking them in the ass and taking names.
Changing the definition of abyss from:
Regions of hell conceived as a bottomless pit
A profound difference between two people.
An abyss separating the person you are today and the person you’ll be in the future.
Wrestle with your personal demons like it’s the most important battle you’ll ever fight.
The next time you’re staring into the abyss, you won’t even think about blinking because you like what you see.