You mean forget your neighbor?
What is conscious living?
So many clever slogans abound in the self-help corners of new-age literature. I have long thought that if you are lucky enough to be really awake, then the game of conscious living is to first be able to operate as yourself.
Human beings spend so much time thinking about things that don’t matter and worrying about what other people think. As a matter of fact, we are born into focusing on what others tell us we should be focusing on. Seldom, do we actually realise who and what has conditioned us the most. Many of our reactions and habits were imposed through peer pressure, rather than having been developed autonomously.
Loving yourself is much harder than you think
Bold premise: The key to understanding ourselves and make our relationships truly satisfying is selfish autonomy. Putting yourself before anyone. Oh boy, does this sound ego-centric! I know, the title of this article should have been “Love Thyself, forget your Neighbor”. Too weird? I simply want to draw your attention to aspects of our existence we might take for granted thus missing out on some important growth and self-respect.
Every human being has a natural way to make decisions. Unique to them. Early on, this innate power and autonomy is taken away: by parents, siblings, peer pressure, teachers, friends, rules of society, etc.
“If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes”
The authentic and natural expression of our deepest desires can only emerges as a direct function of the freedom to make decisions as ourselves. Having the autonomy to run our own show, so to speak. Haven’t you noticed that regardless of who influenced your decision-making process, you always end up being the one paying for the consequences? Which career to embark on? Whom to marry? What job offer to take? What college to go to? Getting an abortion or not? You are the one who has to live with it.
In truth, you are the only active ingredient for decision-making. It is a very necessary process. After all, through your entire existence until the end, you and you alone will experience your life. You can have empathy and compassion…