Some of life’s hard truths are so simple that many of us have a really tough time accepting them and this only makes our lives more complicated.
“There is a feeling which is much more important than happiness, success, or any other sense of achievement in life. It is the feeling of being at home with yourself.”~Rudá Iandê
This quote is by the shaman Rudá Iandê. He’s probably the person who has done more to help me be at home with myself than anyone else.
Life’s Hard Truths
I used to worry so much about not living a full life, not having enough money and being single and alone forever.
These problems come from my expectations.
But I learned from Rudá that every single one of these problems is self-created. They’re real, but only because I’ve created them in my mind.
As Buddha said, desiring and attachment are our primary causes of unhappiness.
The hard truth is that it’s all in our heads, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The key is to learn to live life without all those fantasies and idealizations about the “perfect life”. Let those fantasies go so you can connect with what’s already happening in this present moment.
10 Hard Truths To Bring More Wisdom Into Your Life
With this key insight in mind, I’m going to share 10 hard truths about life I’ve learned that are difficult to accept, but make life much more meaningful when you do.
1. We Haven’t Got That Much Control in Life
Think about your body right now. You’re breathing without thinking about it. Your hair grows without you telling it to. Your glands secrete their essences on their own.
Most of what you do is happening to your body without you controlling it. It’s the same with much of what happens to us in life. We live in a global society with billions of people. Inevitably, some of them are going to do things we have no control over.
Let go of what you can’t control, so have more energy to focus on the one thing you do have control over your reactions to what happens to you in life. After all, your power comes from how you react.
2. Our Expectations Are What Cause Disappointment
When was the last time you were disappointed with someone? What was really the source of your disappointment?
Could it be that your expectations of what they should do is what caused the disappointment?
What if you were to let go of these expectations based on the realization that things rarely work out the way you expect them to?
Try to let go of your expectations in life and simply enjoy life for what is happening, right now.
I used to try and practice the law of attraction. I thought it meant I was meant to visualize a perfect life for myself.
I’d picture the perfect girlfriend. The perfect house. The perfect career.
It propelled me forward in life, for a while.
Then I’d find that reality would always catch up with me.
These days, I embrace the imperfection of life and my own imperfections.
When I lived with the perfect image of myself in my mind, I was distracted by the future I was trying to create.
I couldn’t see what was here in front of me.
If you wait until you’re perfect, you’ll never enjoy the life you have right now. Instead, you have the chance to find the perfection in the imperfections all around you.
Imperfection is impossible and doesn’t exist.
4. As a Society, We’re Way Too Focused On Outer Beauty
Here’s a powerful question to ask yourself.
If the whole world went blind, how many people would see your inner beauty?
Are you living a life of integrity, true to your deeper values? Are you kind to the people you interact with every day?
Our society places a premium on our external beauty. We try to live up to these standards.
But beauty comes in many ways. It comes from our kindness and how we treat people. Our imperfections are beautiful if we choose to see them that way.
5. Overthinking Is a Complete Waste of Time
I used to be a chronic overthinker. I knew it was a problem, so I would try to stop thinking and just be present in the moment.
It never worked. I would only think more about not thinking. I’d wonder if I was present enough. Whether I was in the moment.
Now, I’ve learned that my overthinking can become a strength, but only when I stop worrying so much about overthinking.
I needed to stop thinking so much about what’s happening in the future and start using the power of my mind to analyze what’s happening in the present.
Overthinking became my strength, rather than my weakness.
6. No one Will Save You But Yourself
The incredible video below of the founder of this blog, Luminita Saviuc, contains a valuable life lesson.
Luminita recounts a traumatic childhood. She was raised by a father who replaced love and nourishment with brutality and violence.
She was physically abused until the age of 12. It resulted in her emotionally and mentally abusing herself. She used to live her life based on the belief that she wasn’t a valuable human being.
Luminita was attached to her own pain and struggles, using them to keep others away.
Then a powerful realization struck Luminita. She can’t continue living life this way.
Luminita made a commitment to herself to let go of the toxic thinking that was holding her back. She found a way to find meaning from her pain and suffering, using it to propel herself to personal growth.
Luminita came to the powerful realization that only she can take responsibility for her life. As she says, salvation doesn’t come from outside. It comes from inside.
Unfortunately, sometimes we need to hit rock bottom in life to learn a truly valuable lesson. It’s incredibly difficult, but we can find meaning from our most challenging moments if we can use them as the impetus to take responsibility for our own life.
7. Most of Us Don’t Need More To Be Happy, We Need Less
It’s so easy to think that if we get more material objects we will be happy in life.
But it’s simply not the case.
Our capitalist system is designed to get us consuming more. We buy products that become outdated. Our cell phones slow down, so we need to buy a new one. The clothes we wear are in style one season and out of fashion the next.
The desire for material objects exposes us to short-term fluctuations of happiness.
We can break the cycle by focusing on being happy from less.
Most of us are raised to make our parents happy.
But it’s not always the case that what makes our parents happy will also make us happy in life.
It’s easier to avoid questioning the expectations your parents have for you than embrace the journey of finding your true self.
But, as Ruda Iande says: “We can’t avoid the struggle between our true self, with our own emotions, perspectives and dreams, and the dreams and expectations of our parents. It creates an internal conflict that starts at the very beginning of in life.”
You can continue to hold onto the way things are, with your identity shaped by the expectations of your parents.
Or you can commit to finding your true self so you can learn and grow.
Just as I used to visualize having more money or being more successful than I already was, I also visualized finding the perfect partner.
The image I held in my mind was quite stunning. She was a catch. Kind, generous, humble, intelligent and ambitious. She was also spontaneous and embraced the mystery of life.
The perfect partner in life.
Yet I was perpetually single. I couldn’t find anyone who could live up to this idealized image I held in my mind.
I had to learn that the expectations I had of others hurt myself and prevented me from forging real meaningful connections.
Now that I’ve learned to let go of the illusion of the perfect partner, I’m meeting far more interesting people. It’s more exciting for me to meet imperfect people who are willing to commit and work on a relationship together.
10. Life Isn’t That Serious
The final lesson I’ve got to share may seem a little counterintuitive considering the previous nine lessons.
But it’s just as important.
Life isn’t meant to be so serious.
We get so wrapped up in trying to live the perfect life. We hold images of the future in our minds and try to measure up to these perfect standards.
I’ve tried to share some hard truths about life that help shatter this image of the future so that we can live life with gratitude for what’s happening right now.
Accepting Life’s Hard Truths
These 10 hard truths may be helpful for doing this. But perhaps the most effective way you can give up on your idealized standards of perfection and start living in the present is to stop taking life so seriously.
Life is a game, and you’re one of many characters. You can have fun playing this game. Your life doesn’t matter that much. When you let go, you’re able to enjoy the cards you’ve been dealt with.
That’s when the magic of life becomes apparent. It’s when you’re able to be spontaneous, embracing whatever comes before you, no matter how imperfect it may appear to be.