Why do we, as humans, always try to complicate things?
A few months ago I experienced something emotionally painful which led me down a path of personal growth and understanding. While I won’t go into details, the situation became a mirror for me to see things about myself that I needed to change, where I could improve, and how to love myself more fully.
It was a situation that ended abruptly and left me with zero answers. As I tried to heal, the more I found myself searching why things resulted the way they did. I went within. I read books. I went online. I scoured heaven and hell trying to find an answer that only the other person held. It was an answer that would never come.
The beautiful thing was that as I look back now, I am forever grateful, as it helped give me clarity to answers I’ve been struggling with for a long time. From one triggering event, I managed to recognize unhealthy patterns in my marriage. I learned to find my voice and feel good about vocalizing what makes me happy and what doesn’t. But the most rewarding aspect, was that I found my faith again.
Stay with me, here! I promise to not get overly spiritual with you, as I have a much bigger point I want to get across. When someone else holds the answers, it’s hard to find clarity. And when you are left with ambiguity, it’s hard to understand the purpose in that. What I’ve learned is that we, as humans, love to know what our purpose is. And so, that is where I began my journey.
I kept feeling this need to find purpose and reason — the why, if you will, of why I went through what I went through. And the deeper I dug, the more I found myself immersed in how much I didn’t know. And the more I kept trying to understand what I didn’t know, the more confused I got.
I found myself having to trust that there was a reason. Not only did I have to trust the unknown, I had no choice but to be okay with the unknown. Do you know what usually happens when humans are faced with the unknown? Our fears are activated. Something inside us sets off an alarm that says, “Run!!! Run like hell!!!”
And that is exactly what I did. I ran.
I tried to alleviate my fear in trying to understand the unknown. Out of this came a journey down the philosophical rabbit hole. There were parts of that journey that were absolutely magical. I found myself immersed in Tarot card readings (which are eerily accurate) to YouTube videos on spiritual enlightenment to a theoretical book about one consciousness. I leaped from one school of thought to another. And this is what I realized.
We overcomplicate life unnecessarily.
The Art of Complication
Why do we need to have all the answers or figure everything out? All these theories about why we are created, about the meaning of existence, how we came to be, all of it just distracts us from what is right in front of our faces; life.
Life is meant to be lived!
It’s meant to be enjoyed! It’s meant to be experienced and to experience it fully requires only one thing; to be present. In all these theories and philosophical conjectures there will always be something new to be learned. For some, this can be magical, but for most of us, it just overcomplicates things and takes away the joy right in front of our noses.
Something happens in our brains as we grow from children who read fairytales to adults who pay bills. We tell ourselves there is no such thing as magic. We pack up all those beliefs, along with our teddy bear, and blanket and tuck them neatly away because we no longer need them. And you know what happens? Life becomes mundane. Monotonous. Ordinary.
We conform our dreams to what the world tells us is acceptable.
We read about Einstein, Galileo, Aristotle, and all the greats who changed the way we see our world today and we are taught that we need to take out thousands upon thousands of dollars in loans to get fancy degrees to get a fourth of the knowledge that the greats bestowed upon us.
We are spoon fed that we must be the best and we believe it. Not only do we believe it. We strive for it. We worship celebrities and people who have great monetary wealth and dismiss the poet who writes with all he has.
Funny enough, most of the greats will tell you that their greatest endeavors/epiphanies came to them out of the blue or as Einstein summarized, “through intuition.” With regards to my triggering event, it was linked to my intuition or the following of my heart.
Finding Magic Again
As I wandered Target this evening I found myself in my emotions. I had almost finished reading my philosophical book about life and still wasn’t any closer to feeling resolution. None of my searching was fulfilling. At the end of the day, I still was left feeling heavy, when everything changed for me in a single moment.
There in the aisle stood a dad, his teenage daughter, and a younger daughter who appeared to be about eight. The dad and the oldest walked, absorbed in their quest (like me). They searched up and down the aisles looking for whatever it was that they were looking for. Trailing behind them was a dancing queen. She struck pose after pose, sashaying in the aisles, with her pink sequin shirt glimmering at every dance transition. She hadn’t a care in the world. In that moment, she was living her best life and no one was going to tell her differently.
I stood there as the rest of the world passed me by and took in that moment for the lesson that it was. As a child, I dreamed of being a figure skater and a gymnast. I practiced on iced-over puddles in my backyard and my rickety swing set that sat amidst a sea of old tires and junk. I just knew I was going to be famous someday! There was no telling this dreamer that welfare recipients and children of drug addicts are very rarely afforded those types of dreams.
For me, life was magical. It was full of hidden doorways and secret lands that took me on adventure after adventure. My dreams gave me purpose.
And then I grew up.
I put on my mask and became like everyone else, that is — until I was triggered and realized that not everything has to have an answer.
While the unknown can activate fear, it is also the same unknown that allows dreams to take flight. When we allow ourselves to simply be, we allow creativity to flow again. We allow ourselves permission to get lost in the moment and to feel the magic of life again.
When I was a kid, I didn’t think logically or rationally. If I wanted to build a spaceship and fly to the moon then all I needed was some cardboard boxes, a little tape, and a whole lot of imagination. The moment I became an adult, I started calculating up the cost, figuring out that getting to the moon will take “x” amount of whatever and two seconds in, I manage to kill the dream.
You want to know the big difference between being a kid and an adult? Adults try to figure out the who, what, where, when, and why. We take all the mystery out of life. We complicate the hell out of it. And when we complicate the hell out of it, we take away the magic.
I get that some things require us to be adults. But it’s an important reminder to not take ourselves so seriously all the time. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and hopeless about the future, remember this: Simplicity is the key to being limitless. We don’t need to control everything or know the outcome. Sometimes we just have to have faith that things will work out.
If you ever remember anything I wrote, I hope it’s this: Have fun! Enjoy the simple things! Take risks! Fall in love! Dare to dream! And find the magic that once existed in you~