TL;DR: A lesson learned in the value of appreciating the routine.
Originally Written: 26-Dec-2020
Word Count: 1463
Read Time: 5 minutes
As I surreptitiously poured what was probably my eightieth bath during what was turning out to be a long and frustratingly hot summer, I realized something. This was not the last time I would be in this predicament.
For you see.
What happens to be a routine matter has suddenly turned into a far more serious endeavor.
For the ill-informed. A hemorrhoid is a swollen vein in your lower rectum.
It's a literal pain in your ass.
Sometimes hemorrhoids can get worse and in some cases can take weeks to heal.
I was one such lucky candidate this time.
But, as I sat to take this bath on a feverishly hot day, I couldn't help but realize I would always have to be taking care of the owner of this ass.
Context: I am a gay man. Like you needed to know at this point.
What the gay community is effective at purporting is the everlasting happiness that comes with being sexually desirable, infinitely young, and passionately beautiful.
What is the after effect on this man? One where the front-end is bemused in the mirror more than a typical mug ought to be and a body and mind are left to the wayside to get what we all want so badly: connection.
And so, I sat. Tending to the body that was mine and mine alone. The body that had gotten me through so much. The body that powered me with each breath to this very moment, and even one further after that.
Gratitude was what I felt. For I realized something huge about my routine.
My routine had become one of improving oneself to be good enough to tackle problems I no longer have to face. My life had become one of orienting all waking attention to being validated for how I felt over acting on such feelings in order to overcome them. I was forever purporting the same traumas associated with not feeling good enough for what I felt I deserved, which was a life where I could achieve stillness of the mind.
But in attempting to refine my routine and perfect it into one where minimal energy was needed in order to ensure adequate survival, I had stumbled upon something.
I was depressed. Fuck!
How did I know? Because I was trying to do the minimum in order to quiet the noise I felt in my head. I wasn't striving toward a positive place of feeling and was instead languishing in the mess I created.
Why was I depressed?
Well. I had started writing a book more than a year and a half ago and I was still stumbling my way through writing it. I felt I needed to write more and more, rather than taking a look at what I had already created for myself and appreciating the picture that was forming.
What does this have to do with my hemorrhoid? My routine.
I learned that so long as my routine was the way it was. Unless I shifted things dramatically, and in a way that was sustainable, I would continue to experience this pain in my ass.
I also learned, life is a mess. Life is supposed to be messy. The messes we create for ourselves are what teach us how to prevent them in the future.
Mess is all we make. But if we improve the process through which we make our messes, we improve our abilities to clean up our own shit...so to speak.
What I guess I'm saying is that your routine is indicative of your priorities. If you do the bare minimum, you are your last priority. If you do the most, you are your only priority.
When your routine is one enabling your most obsessive tendencies to run free, life is an open field for the ego to wander and get lost in its many rabbit holes.
When your routine is one designed around improving one's routine, what you get to walk in life becomes more clear and narrow.
It's not the straight and narrow, it's clarity to oneself.
This feels restrictive to the ego, which feels the impact of having less choices today to work with in the face of having to spend less time self-actualizing on one's intentions and more time enabling them to happen in the first place.
But anticipation is perhaps the greatest of dopamine switches. For the longer you wait to experience the joys and pleasures you seek in life, the more you will appreciate and enjoy them for what they bring you; satisfaction with the things you love and do.
With clarity in mind and the path to walk more clear, life becomes scary. What if I fail? What if I am not good enough?
Fuck. Again with the not good enough?
Yes. Again. For this was the reason that led you astray in the first place.
Fears of being inadequate cause us to quit before we even start on an idea.
For the anxious mind, this leads to losing out on many opportunities an otherwise uninhibited, more expressed individual would get to experience.
Not just in the moment, no, but in the moments thereafter created, sown, planted, and grown.
It's not just dinner plans you missed out on because you were afraid you'd have nothing to say, it's the interactions you missed with those you would have encountered. It's the plans built upon plans thereafter to expand and grow the relationships you have. It's the seeds from the flowers that have sprouted that lead to a new generation of foliage to appreciate and admire in life.
It's not just your bedroom not being clean. It's your bedroom not being clean and organized.
It's not just your bedroom being clean and organized. It's your bedroom being cozy and inviting.
It's not just your bedroom being cozy and inviting. It's having it in a state where you'd be happy to have someone over.
What you end up missing out on are the moments of context that grant meaning and purpose to your actions. These seeds are what keep the gardens in our minds fresh, colorful, and radiant as we look outside the homes of our minds and see what is our perspective on life.
When you don't tend to life, life will tend to you. Meaning you may end up with a pain in your ass putting you literally on your ass in a bathtub multiple times a day just to drill the point into you. The every day matters more than any one day.
I will repeat that. The every day matters more than any one day in particular. Ever.
Your routine isn't just your routine. It's your daily investment into yourself with the budget life has allotted you with.
Your routine isn't just your routine. It's a reflection of years of active choices made to adapt, refine, and attune one's practices throughout the day into a literal art.
Art? Yes art. For if your routine is beautifully executed, life is beautiful.
Creating chaos and making a mess is the point. Life happens and messes will be created as you work to clean up other messes. That shouldn't prevent you from starting. If anything, it ought to compel you into action.
The way you leave your mark on this world is by affecting the changes taking place around you in order to generate the changes you want within you.
Expecting change to come from within is like expecting a seed to grow without water. Or soil. Or nutrients. And light. And tending, pruning, and sometimes other care.
If our minds are the gardens and our thoughts the seeds. Throwing more seeds into the ground won't do shit if the earth hasn't been tilled, weeded, and inundated a bit to make it more fertile for the kinds of beautiful thoughts we want to have.
They say you should buy premium versions of the kinds of products you use most. Get a nice bed since you spend a third of your life on it. Get a nice toothbrush because your teeth are with you for life. But if you invest your money into nice things so you can use them to compensate for shitty habits, you still get shitty results.
If you make it your routine to routinely improve your routine, you will routinely experience results you want to see for yourself.
Motivation has nothing to do with results, but doing something does.
Results create lessons that help you course correct along the way as you fine tune your habits, such that they continue to produce the results you want.
Back on point, if you are a gay man and ever want to bottom, be ready to take a sitz bath from time-to-time.
Lean forward on the toilet during a bowel movement.
Don't strain. Never.
Drink water. Always.