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Being The Best Me

February 21, 2017

You’ll hear this phrase or something similar at least once in your life: be the best version of yourself that you can be. There’s a lot of truth in that as we do shape our realities based on how we’ve acted previously. Dick someone over and you’ll probably get dicked over as well. Be a good person…yeah, still might be dicked over but you have support for when it happens. See, we like the idea of being the best person we can be, but yet have no frickin’ clue who the best versions of ourselves are. These things are all subjective anyway because it’s really dependent upon what you consider ‘the best’. If you’re a cocaine addict then chances are your best is going to be loaded on cocaine. Or if you eat a lot then eating less will do.

In my experience I think we should work on just being. I feel like very few people are ever just there mentally, emotionally, and physically–including myself We’re all just worried about things that really do not matter in our lives overall. Having anxiety does give you a better perspective on what’s bullshit and what’s not. For instance: I used to be so anxious about gamma ray bursts. Oh, I know they’re rare, but the anxiety let’s it play out in my head and just fills me with fear; or disease. So much disease fear. Body horror. Shit like that. I very much fall into what Alan Watts said:

“Try to imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up… now try to imagine what it was like to wake up having never gone to sleep.”

That used to, and still does, scare the piss out of me. However, I’m gradually learning to live with that thought. But it has given me a sense of what I value: my girlfriend and my relationship with her, my family, my sense of purpose, and all in-between. I’m learning to let go of the bullshit, though, I have had setbacks recently and I’m learning to overcome those, too. I’m a much stronger person than I once was. But yes, anxiety does give you a different set of values and realizations of what’s important. It’s why, for instance, I could give two shits about my biology class. Not because I don’t want a good grade, but that it’s all bullshit. We made it up, the grades, it’s not a measure of intelligence or how hard you can work, because I worked quite a bit on my exam and still flunked that shit.

I just worry about how my girlfriend is doing in the class because she needs this and I love her and want her to succeed. Where was I? Oh yes, being your best self. Your best self is an illusion and it’s based on  a mountain of subjective personality traits that we’ve concocted into making us think we need to be our best selves. No, we don’t. We just need to be ourselves, without fear, without shame, and to be brave enough to face a world that’s telling you to be otherwise. I’m not saying that if you have problems like being overweight (guilty) or procrastinating (guilty as well) or anxiety (so guilty) that you don’t need to work on them. Just that should you fail to work on them sufficiently today that there’s nothing wrong with that. We all work at our own pace. And that trying to be your ‘best self’ is a bit of bullshit that only adds to our already over-bloated collective anxiety. Be brave. Be who you think you are. Be care-free. Be funny. Be smart. Be confident. But never be your ‘best’ because it’s a losing proposition.

“The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.”
― Alan Watts

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