I have pointed out one very simple fact in almost all of my books. It is that we have for generations been led to believe that we really are not responsible for our actions. We have been taught that someone else will take care of it for us. This ruinous attitude is apparent in every facet of our life. From the water we drink, which is largely poisoned, to the food we eat, which is made of ingredients we cannot pronounce, along with the energy to light our homes, cook our food and provide warmth. In times of distress we are told our government will be there to help or that somehow the church will make sure our afterlife is far better than this, go ahead and suffer through it. We have been trained like so many other domesticated mammals. That training is thoroughly entrenched in our minds. So it is no wonder that our being would create some aspect of itself to defend a concept of individuality and freedom from the consistent bombardment of societal conditioning. Our egos could very well be considered a self defense mechanism, but it is really more akin to a cancer of the mind. But we are now in Asatru and our faith encourages us to begin accepting responsibility for our actions. In order for us to do that; we’ve got to figure out just who we are. This may at times run counter to what our ego has been protecting us from for such a long time and there is legitimate fear that if we get rid of its now over protective characteristics we might be lost. There is a fear that we might not be worth anything anymore. Think of every role you might have adopted in any given social situation to gain for yourself acceptance in the crowd. Think of how uncomfortable it is to just be you. No long story, no grand adventure, just a person who is fully aware and present in the moment. Give it a try sometime. Make the attempt to resist one upping the person doing all of talking. Be polite or kind, listen intently without trying to figure out how best to be better than the person with whom you are communicating. Offer them some support, pay a compliment, do your absolute best to make sure this person remains in their mind more important than you. Give it a try and see a happens. I can tell you that person will remember you, not as someone they might have cause to resentment as a threat to their ego; more likely they will recall a genuine person full of life and enthusiasm. This is but one small way we can address a very large stumbling block in this minute. Indeed it is the only time in which we may address it. We stop playing the game, we step aside from the courteous dance of character assassination and we start working our rules instead of someone else’s. Every truly successful person has developed the ability to do this instinctively. You can too.
It is a much harder task that it appears to be. There are times when it will seem as if you need the strength of Thor to battle against these thoughts which will do their best to keep you tied up somewhere else. Maybe that’s a small part of what he is, a champion to encourage and strengthen us when our own thoughts seem to drown out the voice of reason. A protector when a fear of the unkown and the future seeks to overwhelm us into inaction and paralysis. And a source of courage when we dare begin being honest with ourselves that these ego driven thoughts are not our future. Now let’s get back to building that future you’ve dreamt of. It appears to me we have a deity more than capable of reinforcing our strength of will. Maybe focusing on the now and taking things one step at a time is how Baldur and Nanna made it through Helhiem to return as King in a future he had dared to envision for himself. Obviously that’s all UPG but at some point in trying to get a handle on our own thinking and living in the now; our faith is a foundation of the positive thinking necessary to reinforce the dreams we wish to achieve. If the very first thing which comes to your mind is that this is impossible, unless you can change that mode of thinking, it always will be.
Some few people will contend that this is just much like wishful thinking. But it is not. In fact this type of positive focus with regards to handling whatever may be in front of you at the moment is at the crux of our ability to successfully demonstrate the capabilities of men and women who are prime examples of the power of our faith. You see; we are the ones who are responsible for whether or not we win or lose. It doesn’t matter if it is at work, at home or at large in society.
The vast majority of people will automatically call out to some deity to help them handle a situation which may be happening around them at the moment. We learned it as babies and most of us have never realized we need to unlearn it in order to move forward. People will spend a lot of time complaining about their jobs, they will spend precious moments in any given day thinking about how best to destroy some individual or group who has committed some slight to their ego or percieved injustice. It needs to be fed and reassured like some kind of big baby. And it is a waste of your energy. It takes us out of this moment and fills our head with ideas of how satisfied we will be when so and so has this happen to him. At this point most people are beginning to see just how quickly the ego reacts to protect itself. And it always does so by taking us out of this moment. So we must focus. Sure; we can’t do it all of the time and there are healthy expressions of remembering a loved one or a happy time together in the past or of the promise of a bright future. But chances are if you are reading this book it is possible; that like myself; you never learned how to do this. There is an astounding and very empowering realization when you are working your hardest and hating what you are doing to accept the fact that your best thinking put you in this spot and the most precious resource you have, your mind, has been squandered on resentments. The acceptance of that fact and the undertaking of assuming responsibility for it allows you to do just one thing. Get yourself in this moment, focus on the task at hand and do the very best you are capable of. You should have it written down somewhere, you ought to be in this moment, my friend; you are at the starting line. The results will be almost miraculous and certainly evidence of our ability to create the world we wish to live in. Working our hardest on something we hate will motivate most people to start looking for something better. We may well find that we are in possession of some skill or talent which will allow us to handle the onerous burden of living in this society. All of those times people have said to us “do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” might come to mind. In a unique twist of mental gymnastics the poignant memories of all the things we could have or should have done will come to mind and for just a moment we will be faced with the temptation to become depressed or angry. By this point you should be able to recognize this and you will also find that you have the power to stop it. Use what you have written down, picture it in your mind, feel the success of it and refuse to be drawn down a path other people think is all you deserve. You will also begin to recognize that since you have been doing your best with whatever task is at hand, you’ve begun to realize just how much you can do and those tasks which seemed like they might be just a little too hard; well, maybe they aren’t. Now it’s time to give it a shot. The future is yours and you can do it starting right here and now.
These can be exciting ideas; in some cases there will be so much going on that it will seem to be overwhelming and your emotions might sound like the tabernacle choir going off in your head. Our number one and easiest to implement defense mechanism is to become angry. After all it is the most accepted form of therapy society throws at us. We see it in the movies and on TV. It has been portrayed as a powerful source of energy and the key to getting things done. It’s also very painful. Our bodies do not know that the things which we are thinking about are not happening. They flood the system with all manner of chemicals which we as animals need to survive in this world. Fight or flight. I have used it all of my life, even though I could barely contain my contempt for men overcome with this type of emotional display. Though we ought to expect it as par for the course in a society whose primary image of masculinity is named after a female bovine and an immature male. At any rate I finally figured out this attitude was hampering any prospects of growth I might wish to enjoy in my newfound faith. It was also a powerful distraction which kept my mind from focusing on those goals I wished to achieve. Whenever I come across some group of individuals railing against something I’ve written or said and it has motivated them to such an extent that they are compelled to brazenly display a magnificent ego, it doesn’t bother me at all. Because I know one thing they don’t; the very first person who is affected by my reaction to any of it, is me. more of myself than that these days. I believe that the casing which holds the energy to animate my mortal shell is worth taking care of far more than that. All of the negative energy I would wish upon these people has nowhere to go. It stays right there with me. It doesn’t mean I don’t have them, it just means I’ve figured out how to put them in perspective. But how do I use living in this minute to defend against my own powerful urges. By stopping, take a deep breath, calmly look around and searching for that one thing we need to see. At some point we should probably realize that no one really cares how mad we are. While it might be a shock to the ego of some people; it’s the kind of shocking truth which will allow you to calm down and take a look around. It is with this mindset which will allow you to see just what exactly it is you are supposed to be learning in this environment. Maybe the successful implementation of the aforementioned thought process is all; maybe you are going to see how you keep getting yourself into these types of situations. Maybe you are going to realize that you are worth far more than the accumulated BS you see going on around you and be done with it. There is the chance you will become aware of your own shortcomings with regards to who you think you are. This is one of those moments where you begin to realize you are creating your own future. When you finally realize that all of the drama going on around you is your fault it becomes a powerful tool to remind you it is time to quit masquerading as the persona your ego wishes to project. The success of everything you wish to become depends upon it.
We have a limited time in this realm to work with. That thought can lead us to hurriedly rush out try to play catch up or it may fill us with remorse at all of the time we have wasted. Both propositions are aspects of an ego which are still somewhat out of control. In reality all of those things and the path upon which you find yourself now is a part of your growth. Do you see how tricky it can be? This is the reason for a faith we may use on a daily basis. Say what you will about the Nine Noble Virtues; I can think of very few instances in life where the solid application of them will not help make things better.
When we talk about making every minute count, I am not trying to tell you to spend all of your hours in a powerful display of making up for lost time. I’m suggesting that we have the ability to put our ego in check and all of those thoughts which take us out of this moment and truly be here. To be fully present when you are talking with a person, not just formulating a response. I’m suggesting that when are dealing with the task at hand consider what it is about the task which you hate so much. Why would you allow yourself to be in such a situation if you truly valued who you are? What thinking process drove you to make these sacrifices which you no longer truly enjoy but somehow you’ve been compelled to endure by societal conditioning in all of its various forms? It is very hard to make that first step from now when you are still fuming about something last week which has in no way changed the quality of the energy of your being. Let it go. It’s not doing anything but taking from you the opportunity to make those changes which will prevent us from ending up in the same situation again. Try to live in every moment paying close attention to everything which is occurring around you. It is akin to opening your eyes. If you are able, after some meditative practice, see if you can reach out and understand that the tree or the blade of grass grows in very similar manner as you do but it does not encounter a fraction of the resistance you have heaped upon yourself. It only knows to grow. We do too, but we have been tricked into believing something else is far more important by believing in the shortcuts unaware that we have within us already the very power of creation to develop our own future. All it requires is be right here in the best minutes of our lives.