FIND YOUR BLISS pt.1
We’ve all done it. Found ourselves stuck in jobs we hate. Devoting our waking hours to endeavours that we just don’t care about, beyond the paycheck they provide. It happens.
Sometimes it happens because we’ve chosen it, deliberately. We are fine with selling our time and efforts to somebody else, to reinforce their will. But sometimes, we look up, in the middle of life and wonder how exactly we got to where we are. How our life turned out so differently from what we thought it would be.
There may be lots of reasons that it happened, but the underlying reason, I believe, is that you lost touch with something in yourself — a piece of divinity, actually. A piece of God that existed in you, since childhood, but was drowned out by the daily concerns of living in a late capitalistic society.
You stopped following your bliss.
What is bliss? Well, Joseph Campbell says it’s a deep sense of being present. That’s a pretty good answer. It devoting your life and energy to the thing that makes you feel most like yourself. It’s living in the place where you stop noticing the passing of time. Does that ever happen when you’re chasing somebody else's’ dream for them? Or are you constantly watching the clock, waiting for your time of servitude to be over?
If you’re reading this from America, rejoice. You live in the perfect environment to follow your bliss. Many societies throughout the world and throughout history have seen the transition into adulthood as a transition away from bliss. When childhood ends, so does individuality. That thing that makes you who you are dies on the altar of the tribe. You go from a distinct person with distinct gifts, to a worker bee whose soul task in life is to make sure the system continues. In America, however, we have tried, at least, to put the value on personhood. On individuality. On being you over being everybody.
Some people will tell you that living your bliss is a millennial generation pipe dream. These people are as close to heretics that you’re probably ever going to meet, though. And their memory started yesterday. Bliss is not a new concern. It has been the object of a grail like quest for centuries. The ancient Hindus talked about it. These detracting voices will not be helpful guides on your journey and you may even need to exorcise their influence, be they familial, religious, or occupational.
The point of this blog series isn’t to teach you how to get paid to do what you love. Though, I think that is entirely possible, especially in this world of internet connectivity, where you can more easily find the people who value the things you value — the point of these blogs is to teach you how to reconnect with that part of yourself that maybe you lost, moving into adulthood. That part of yourself that wakes up excited to start the day, that works late into the night, not because of stress or necessity, but because of love. Maybe that thing will make you money. Maybe it won’t. Bliss and profession are not always the same thing. Profession pays bill. Bliss pays dividends.
FROM DEATH, LIFE
Mythology will be a helpful tool in this quest. The ancient myths of the world, almost regardless of their culture of origin, contain wisdom that will push you along on this journey.
We start at the zenith of many religions. We start at resurrection.
Resurrection myths are important. They tell a story that is rarely historically important as they are mythologically important. In them, a deity, a god-figure, gives his life as a sacrifice for the common good. That god-figure is a metaphor for you. And though, you won’t have to give your whole life, you will have to sacrifice a facet of it. You, instead will sacrifice the old you, the you that was willing to turn away from what you loved for expediency sake. In crucifying this part of you, you are sacrificing a thing of value, a thing that kept you afloat, kept you sane, and maybe even saved your life. But it’s value system of “merely survival” will carry you no further. So, like the gods in myths, it must die. Then after a time, something new, something transcended will rise in it’s place. This process is call apostasis. Death and rebirth.
Your reborn being is marked by new priorities — priorities beyond just paid bills and full tummies. These things, vital as they are, will not lead you to your bliss. Your new priority is to reconnect with that divine part of yourself — transcendence.
This resurrection goes by another name: growing up. It is the process of being the authority of your own life. Becoming the adult. Don’t you think it’s time?
END PART ONE