Just be who you wanted to be when you grew up. It isn't that hard. Okay, it's horrendously hard, but on balance it is not harder than making your whole life about why you aren't the person you wanted to be and why you don't have the life you wanted to have. That, and believe me I speak from experience, is exhausting. Everyone I know who has had their soul sucked out had it happen as a result of a moment when they knew the right thing to do, and did the opposite. This is the same thing. They'll make a pile of excuses and every last one of them will be some desperate attempt not to do what they know in their bones needs to be done.
Anias Nin said that, in the end, the risk to remain tight in a bud is worse than the risk involved in just going ahead, opening up, and blooming. I see it every day in my garden. Yet, unlike us, the plants almost always, always, always choose to open the bud, to turn the blossom to seed, to be cracked open by cold, water, warmth.
Athenae's post reminds me a bit of this and this.
Everyone I know who has had their soul sucked out had it happen as a result of a moment when they knew the right thing to do, and did the opposite.Jung famously said that:
existential suffering is the result of our trying to avoid pain, by denial and repression. None of us wants pain. We naturally shun it. But doing so is like the spleen refusing to do its job. It leads to big trouble, dis-ease, and real problems. In the realm of the psyche, these are called “neuroses.” Jung identified the long-term habit of repression (our “stuffing” unpleasant feelings, facts, etc. within) as the cause of neuroses.
Because we all do this, we are all “neurotic” to one degree or another. This is “meaningless” suffering because it makes no sense, has no significance, and gives us no benefit. This form of suffering, in other words, is not a gift.
The form of suffering that is meaningful comes when we stop repressing and take up our moral task as humans to deal consciously with our pain. In this process, we take up the pain that is endemic to living and work with it, in the knowledge that pain has a purpose. It is a warning, with an intrinsic message. We need to listen to our inner voices to learn this message.
Meaningless pain is knowing what to do and doing the opposite; refusing to take up our moral task as humans to deal consciously with our pain. Being human is taking up the moral task (and, let's be honest, sometimes, it was a good thing for us, as children, to "stuff" it to be dealt with later, but, well, later is now) of dealing with "the pain," of dealing with what we know in our bones needs to be done.
I think what's stopping me is simple sloth. Habit. The ability to be always "too busy" at "just this moment." What's stopping you?
What's pushing me is my desire to be fully alive, my awareness of my Better Self, the notion that this was really all supposed to be fulfilling, and glorious, and fun. What's pushing you?