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You’ve got to figure it out.

Yeah, it's true that at some point you have to stop trying to figure it out and just live. That's right. Absolutely. But what does that even mean? Those are just words on a computer screen for you. To me they mean something, because I've read them, lived them, savored them. But to you? I don't know what they mean. You have to figure it out.

Life is not a science. Science can help us, yes. I mean, science helped showed me that the God I believed in as a child wasn't real. It can show us many other things, too. But science can't tell us about love, or about meaning. It can't tell us how to live our lives. Nobody can do that. You have to figure it out.

You have to figure out what makes you happy in life. You have to figure out if being happy is even what you want. Some people don't want that. Some people say that happiness is just the other side of sadness… I would agree somewhat. But it depends what you mean by happiness. Again, you've got to figure out what that statement means, and what it means to you. Because in my experience, things certainly do get better. We don't just have to settle for misery and bullshit. Yes, I accept all of my negative emotions and bad days, too. That's fundamental. But you don't have to settle for misery. If you don't agree with me, that's fine. But you've got to figure it out for yourself.

Absolutely nobody, NOBODY knows the correct way to live this life. We're all talking shots in the dark here. It just so happens that some people have found things that work for them. You could say those people are more qualified to be giving guidance, advice, teaching, etc. But still? What do they know about you? YOU have to figure it out on your own.

Enlightenment, I believe, is something like relaxing totally into the flow of life. But again, what does that mean to you? Because you can conceptualize it, you can read what other people say about it, you can wonder if you've attained it… but at the end of the day, what does it matter? The Universe did not create this thing called "Enlightenment", and if you do X,Y,Z, you'll get it. That's ridiculous. With science everything is certain: water reaches 100 degrees, it boils. But enlightenment isn't like that. What the hell does enlightenment even mean, anyway? The spiritual masters can agree for the most part, but that doesn't mean it's actually an objective, tangible thing. YOU've got to figure it out.

People are always going to give you their opinion. But guess what? You don't have to take it. What's certain is that this life is YOUR life. You only get one shot at it. If you disagree with me, that's fine. You are welcome to your beliefs. I think you are in denial. But that's OK. It doesn't matter to me what you do with your life, it's yours. But as for me? I truly believe we only get one shot at this. And I intend to make the most of it.

So the folks who are constantly butting in and saying "do this, do that"? Guess what. You can ignore them. It makes absolutely no difference what anyone thinks or says about you. None whatsoever. I mean, if going agains them puts your life in danger or something, then be careful. But words are meaningless. Absolutely meaningless. And nobody has a better gauge on your life than you. Nobody.

But don't take my word for it. You've got to figure it out. You've got to stumble around a bit, take chances, follow your heart, eat dirt every now and then. This is how you find what's out true, and what's real, and what isn't. It's just the way things work. There's no getting around it. I mean, if you wanna get around it and say "it is what it is", that's fine! That's kinda enlightened, I suppose. But many people, in my experience, just use that as an excuse for their misery. As far as I can tell, "it is what it is" is a tool for acceptance. But that doesn't mean that "it is what it is, I'm a miserable alcoholic, end of story" is the best course of action.

I have taken action in my journey. I lament the fact that action is so discouraged in the spiritual community. I was someone who identified as an alcoholic. I surrendered to my powerlessness over the problem. Mentally, we stop fighting it. It's weird like that. But at the same time, on some level, we have action. They told me to go to a meeting. Get a sponsor. Work the steps. Get honest. So I did. I had courage. It paid off.

Now I have an understanding of what it means to accept things, vs. what it means to actually act in a way that is congruent with your heart. In fact, acting in a way that is congruent with your heart IS the ultimate accepting of things. It's just accepting yourself and your longings on a deeper, and deeper level. Things can get better. Accept your misery, yes, be honest about it. But then take a jump out of it! Why in the world would you stay there?

But that's just me. Call me crazy, but I don't want to be miserable. And I'm not. I'm sober. 7 years sober. Life has become a real blessing. It came due to acceptance, but it also came because I gave myself permission to follow the longings in my heart. It has not been easy, but I've done it. And things are getting better each and every day.

Don't take my word for it, though. What do I know about life? All I can tell you is about my life. I certainly know nothing about yours. So all I'm saying is this: if you want to have a fulfilling life, it can be done. But don't take my word for it. You've got to figure it all out. Not boil it down to logic, no. But the heart tends to be a pretty good guide.

It's good news, guys. Life is a blessing. At the very least, this is how I have chosen to look at things. It is available to you as well.

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