The most important life hacks of all

You can spend a lifetime, adjusting to new people, places and situations. Or you can get comfortable with yourself. This is no small task. It’s how most adults are after two margaritas but you can be that naturally/sober. You can have and show your substance without using substances.

“It takes great courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E.E. Cummings

You can spend your life in safety (and count your blessings if this comes easily to you). Or you can choose growth and shun complacency. All that this requires is that you get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Your comfort zone is not where magic happens nor where miracles occur.

You can be a consummate New Yorker. Embrace cynicism and the half-assed defense of being jaded. Or you can approach the world with a sense of awe and childlike curiosity. That the latter is far more fun should be obvious but we live in a world that confuses childlike with childish.

“When they tell you to grow up, they mean to stop growing.” – Tom Robbins

Do the two quotes above seem to contradict? You can grow up without being a grown up. “Grown ups” are boring people who take themselves very seriously. Better to judge as children do: Are you kind? Do you share? Are you fun? Can you be fully in this moment without your fears of what tomorrow holds?

You are free to follow a preexisting ideology, religion, or believe that the system actually works. Or you can respect each person’s faith and choose what works for you. You can consider that if “God” is infinite as all organized religions dictate, then all explanations, experiences, and ways of celebrating “God” are valid.

You can have the courage to be spiritual, to seek connection and eclectically embrace what works for you and what doesn’t. You can embrace chance encounters and not shy away when things get weird. You can notice when coincidences are a little too coincidental and choose to believe that this is the sign you’ve been waiting for.

You can consider that what you’re “supposed to do” was and always will be someone else’s idea of how your life should be. You can allow yourself to know what you truly want and pursue it – not irresponsibly but not timidly either. You can allow yourself a fresh start whenever you care to.

You can choose transformation and a better life. You can do things simply because you damned well want to. You do not have to explain your passions, your choices, or your preferences. No good person requires a rationale for them and the sick and selfish will never accept them anyway.

You are free to choose freedom. You are free to take the blue pill or the red. You can utilize critical thinking skills or not you can choose not to examine things at all.

You are free to live in fear and believe that there is every reason to do so (you’re not wrong). Or you are free to love unabashedly, hug everyone in your path, and choose joy in spite of everything. You are free to seek out kindred spirits, to let your freak flag fly, and if anyone should ask why you are as you are, you are free to leave them with Lady Gaga’s sentiment, “I was born this way” or KISS’s clarification, “This is the life we choose.”

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.