Finding Clarity Through Reflection

Finding Clarity Through Reflection

Would I rather be living the life of a hermit or a guy in Hawaii, living in a bungalow close to the ocean with no shoes, just a couple of surfboards? My day would involve watching the sunrise and sunset, reading, riding, and surfing. However, I would get bored and lonely without the companionship of friends. Now, with the taste I have for being a father, I would miss my daughters. As a husband, I'd be lonely without my wife.

Suddenly, my tidy bungalow would need to accommodate my family. My ability to go to the beach whenever I wanted would be restricted. I’d have schedules to keep and responsibilities like putting food on the table, keeping the lights on, paying for entertainment and clothing, and all the extras for self-care. The days of lounging on the beach would be over, replaced by family obligations.

I take a deep breath and reflect. I've had a long time to do fun, creative, and reckless things. I’ve used my body extensively and don’t feel like I’m missing out. So, it’s easy for me to say that I’m okay with a simpler lifestyle, dedicating much of my time to serving others.

What do I really want? What do I believe will make me happy? I want to breathe fresh air and be surrounded by trees. This feels extremely important to me. When I was in my 20s, I couldn’t tell that a good portion of my anxiety came from being isolated from nature. I craved going to Central Park and felt great when I went upstate. Even then, if I wasn’t skydiving, I had time to be lonely or anxious. 

Looking back, my anxiety was rooted in childhood, probably ages six through 19. I needed an insatiable amount of adrenaline and danger to distract myself. 

I resisted my healing processes for years because I didn’t know what I was doing. In my youth, I wasn’t committed to personal growth. I wasn’t praying, meditating, setting real goals, or consistently attending therapy. I was living creatively and spontaneously, controlled by my subconscious mind.

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