For some time now I’m trying to become the best version of myself. In every possible way: physically, mentally, spiritually, you name it.
And, of course, whenever you wish for something, followed by taking action to achieve that ‘something’, there’s almost no way you can fail (unless you wished for something that is objectively unattainable in this world or in your particular situation 😇). So, yes, I’m seeing some progress. I’ve radically changed my way of thinking and also the way I look at things (and people). But, it’s a long road ahead, I can feel that…
Since I embarked on this self development journey, every now and then I would run into people who (I recon) are probably not even aware of the possibility of taking the personal development / self improvement path. So whenever I bump into an old friend who is (obviously) not very much into competing against his yesterday’s self and we touch the subject of self improvement, the conversation goes approximately like this:
Old friend: “Dude, you’re just overthinking and making it too hard on yourself. Relax, man. Chill. Have a beer. And don’t forget to enjoy life, ok?”
Me (thinking, but not saying out loud): “But… I am enjoying life. I’m truly and totally enjoying this transformation from a pessimistic, chronically broke, financially uneducated, materialistic, drinking, smoking, fat, lazy, crooked teeth, planless, disorganized, nothing-ever-works-out-my-way-anyway, victim mentality, spiritually unawaken, sleep-walking-through-the-9to5-life and ungrateful type of guy to a… complete opposite!”
Also me (actually answering the question): “Yeah, sure! Enjoying life is important. And of course, you could be right about overthinking. But, you see, once you actually start thinking about the various aspects of life, about the reasons of our existance, our purpose, you can never be sure if you actually are overthinking or is it your deep reflection that went too far, too deep… ah, never mind. Forget it. Have a good one. Bye! 🤗”
What usually comes to my mind in such moments is that cute illustration with the caterpillar and a beautiful butterfly sitting at a dining table, drinking wine like two old friends and the caterpillar says to the butterfly: “You’ve changed.” The butterfly then replies: “We’re supposed to.”
Does it hurt? The transformation? When the cocoon rips open and the butterfly tries to slip through this small opening, before entering a whole new, different world as a new being, with a different perspective… well, sometimes it does. In my experience at least. But in a nice way. Let’s call it the “pain of creation”.
Wait a second. I gotta check something… Ok, so I just googled for “the pain of creation”. Oh, well, this expression exists already. For the moment I thought I came up with such a great new expression… haha. Yep. My Ego us still quite alive (but I’m at least aware of this). And… I’m obviously still somewhat naïve (or uninformed) in my mid-40’s. Like a grown up child. Haha. 😊 Ok, now, back to the topic…
So, yes, this (re-)birth does hurt. Sometimes. The only analogy I can think of right now is: building muscles. Do muscles hurt after a really good workout in the gym? Yes. But, do you worry about it? No. Do you focus on that pain? No. You’re actually looking forward to it. So, if big muscles (i.e. self improvement, starting a new life) is what you’re after, then you’re looking forward to this pain.
I guess only a person who is not on this “self improvement” trip could then ask: “Why are you doing this to yourself if it hurts?? Why don’t you just chill on the couch and enjoy life? Why do you have to change?”
“Because we’re supposed to.” Butterfly