ASK ABDI: HOW TO BE REAL?

QUESTION: You have a profound real energy. You are REAL, which is not so common in our days. I had a corporate job, which terminated due to market crisis, and this was a great thing (this is how I see it now). I never had the real honesty to look myself in the mirror and say "man, change". Last year, I started thinking, listening, and questioning myself, which was of a great relief. I realized that I might never stop doing it for the rest of my life, which I am happy about. I have a lot of answers to those questions, but I still do not know who I am. I am a strong character, trying to be a good person who wants to be happy in life and make others happy (there’s no other way to be happy).

I read and listen to so many “preachers”, but most of them tell you good things, but you are something different. You are REAL, I can feel it. You give concrete responses, which are very practical as they come from your experience of struggle in life.

To cut the long story short, I’m trying to figure out how to find the job I will be passionate about. I want to own my own business, and the problem is: I have so many things I am passionate about that it makes a big confusion in my mind.

ANSWER: You say that I am real. What part of you feels that? It is the part that is real? It is quite easy then: start paying attention to what is false in your life and let that part go. And examine what feels real, and feed that. Of course, there can be much mayhem in that simple formula. We spend years building the false self as a way of protection, but alas all it leads to is a deadening of our self. Which, in term, leads to more pain and more behaviors that fortify the falseness. That is the disease of our culture and what is killing us and the planet at large: the empty hole that can never be filled.

It takes much pain to come to a point in one’s life where one looks in the mirror and says "change", as you say. Mostly, it is a long drawn-out bloody battle where we gain an inch and give a couple feet. True transformation is a process and not an event, as much as we wish it to be otherwise. Events (peak experiences, moments of intense clarity, or painful events like getting fired) are an appetizer. We have to work hard to make it stick. To your point about finding your true Self, that journey can take a lifetime. It is not about finding it as much as to turn down the noise and behaviors that block it. Do not confuse your mental constructs with the answer. All the things that you describe are adjectives, find the verb. The answer is to be lived, not to be discovered in a thought.

Start with quieting yourself down and see what is poisoning you and what is feeding you. That is a felt sense, not a mental exercise. Literally learn to FEEL how things, situations, and people make you feel. That will be the smoke that leads to the fire. Here's to a fruitful investigative journey. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride.