What’s wrong with me?
This morning I sat at my desk and found myself with zero motivation to save any animals.
Not long ago, I wrote out a ‘life-plan’ which involved writing out my deepest life goals and for purposes of motivation visualising myself at my own funeral (this wasn’t pleasant, for some reason the benches in the church were very hard and a kid wearing an Arsenal top was screaming the whole way through). What did I really want to do with my life? The idea was to tap into my truest values.
One of the things that came up, from the depths of my belly as it were, was this desire to help animals. Kind of surprised me actually. I had read about all of all the benefits of living according to your ultimate values: serenity, clarity, fulfillment, happiness. I decided to write this blog, take a year out etc.
So why am I drinking coffee and feeling like a bored monkey?
I’m split, that’s why. Split between what I want and ….well… what I really want.
We are all a bit split I think (if I may be so rude about you, your friends and your whole family). Split between what you want and what you really want. Split between what we desire in the short term (comfy chair, TV, coffee, duvet, cigarette, huge bag of classA drugs) and what we hope for in the long term (fulfilment, health, world peace, leaner muscles). We are very bad at exchanging one for the other, as anyone that has tried giving up chocolate or cigarettes ….or meat….must know.
It seems to me that to live according to your values is a MAJOR hassle. Peace and fulfillment…what a pain in the arse! Spiritual honest, what a bore! But mental chaos, now that’s easy.
Well, in the short term it is.
Just like it’s easy to throw all your rubbish out of the front window and go to the toilet in your window plant pot – until a few days later the effects catch up on you.
There are clear two pains in my life – maybe in yours too. One is the pain of living according to my values. The other is the pain of NOT living according to my values. The former is sharp and immediate – it means getting up and writing this blog, going out and trying to make a difference, probably giving up meat, questioning my motives, giving up earning money for a while. The latter appears less painful: it’s eating meat (mmmm!) its not giving a crap, it’s NOT making an effort. But in the long term this option is SO much more painful – the slow, grinding, weariness of never being true to yourself sets in like a heavy belly that comes from not exercising, or a thickened heart from not loving. I’ve got to the age now where the option of not living according to my values is NOT an option. I don’t want to help animals because I’m a nice guy, I want to help animals because I have to for my own well being. It’s selfish compassion in all its golden-plastic glory.
So what did I do?
I scanned the internet at animal charities.
Just one picture it took.
This picture of a bear that was kept in a cage for the extraction of its bile – it was rescued but never recovered from the trauma of its abuse. Simple, cheap stuff really. But it wakes up the animal inside.
How can I be fulfilled while this happens on my watch? Wake up M.