posted: Feb. 14, 2023.
Charles Joseph Popov, curious, resilient, content, skeptical, hopeful, strong, flawed and inchoate. I strive to be honest, genuine, truthful, compassionate, creative, thoughtful, intelligent, kind, and integrative. I am moving towards my values of radical honesty, truth, genuineness, transparency, integrity, family connection, wealth, integrity, health, , ingenuity, creativity, compassion, and learning. I deal with internal problems internally, and external problems externally. I am being deliberate about being self-aware of both private and public matters, because I believe “to be able to foresee and control one’s behavior, naturally implies an increased ability to achieve things desirable to oneself.”
Like the Phoenix, I rise from the ashes of life’s conflagration in resilience. However, I want to move beyond resilience to antifragility. I have hard won wisdom, and like Odysseus of old, I have been through a lot of shit on my way back to Ithaca. I can never reach perfection, but only completion. I strive for completeness and wholeheartedness. Something not complete can never be perfect. I first must be complete. It takes a horrific fall to know where one stands. Instead of using an eliminative agenda for short term reprieve, I move towards my values. Instead of fearfully receding into obscurity, I choose to incorporate my failures as snapshots of my historical album, creating a productive picture for myself and others. Admittedly flawed, I have won and lost, succeeded and failed, gained and regressed, been noticed and notorious, and have lived to fight another day. It is exactly this story that I have to offer to others to help them in their life’s journey. I believe there is still time for personal growth, redemption, forgiveness, recalibration, reinvention, and success. As “success is not final, and failure is not fatal”, past successes and failures only serve me to make the most of the present and be hopeful for the future. I believe “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” I say to myself, “you are valuable, important, have a worthwhile view, you can make a difference, and you have a story that others need to hear.”
I avoid extreme anxiety by practicing self-care, self-compassion, and self-soothing. I am introspective and allow individuation to occur, moving away from projection of a persona and integrating the shadow. I am opening to the unconscious through meditation and dreamwork. I pause in distress, and ask myself which value is attached to it, because trust me, there is a value attached. Therefore, instead of instinctively reacting to it, I intuitively question it. I control my use of media and technology by divorcing myself from it throughout the day and not viewing it past 6 or 7pm as I prepare to rest. I need 7.5 to 8 hours of recuperative sleep in order for my neurotransmitter levels to provide optimal functioning. I believe that substances of any kind do not serve me well, and so I refrain from use. I sit with clean discomfort rather than dirty discomfort. I measure my health scientifically, as I do believe our bodies speak to us.
Concerning financial matters, I act wisely, and therefore, I am able to give to others, travel, invest, and experience tranquility. I pay additionally on principal for the home and any consumer debt, I save, and approach life with general frugality. I utilize the 50/30/20 principle for budgeting.
I am spiritual, developing inner strengths which are based on my values, through reading spiritual works, attending AA, and experiencing nature. I hypothesize that there is a God, and that by aligning myself to that Power, things begin to fall into place. I am a free spirit, and primarily this means that I am anti-dogmatic and skeptic of science, religion, and philosophy. I am detached from conventional norms, not in rebellion of society but in questioning societal mores and standards. I choose to have a cheerful temperament and to pursue my own spiritual goals. I appreciate the ascetic and mystic. I’m attempting to rid myself of illusion, and not in a resentful way, I want to hold religious and scientific opinion accountable. I am not going to reject everything, but I want to figure things out for myself. I want to pursue the truth at all costs. I am entirely aware of my own susceptibility to illusion, delusion, and closed mindedness, and can distance myself from my own beliefs. Furthermore, I will question my own beliefs, as well as examine others’ prejudices, motives, and values. I will remain open to a large variety of ideas and try to remain less susceptible to bias and double standards. Few are made for independence, which is a privilege of the strong. My journey may seem strange to others, and I may risk being misunderstood and isolated. As all persons have the spark of the Divine, I believe they are intrinsically good; and furthermore, the world is a fascinating, mystical, and wonderful place worth exploring and experiencing. Reciprocal respect is most important in all relationships, and therefore, I listen to others attentively.
“To be inspired (pneuma=breathe) is to get unstuck from the cocoon (networks of thinking and language) that was me. The spirit wants to fly, not die.” Popov
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Chandler
“Preoccupation is the enemy of achievement.” Chandler
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” Einstein
“We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps toward liberation and strength. Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turns out to be the firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives can be built.” AA
“Humiliation is the surest path to humility.” Father Martin
“Pain is the most powerful aid to mnemonics.” Nietzsche
“To doubt everything or to believe everything are two convenient solutions: both dispense of necessary reflection.”
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal.” Churchill
“The entire task of philosophy is melete thanatos (mindfulness of death” Plato
“Your conscience is always telling you what you shouldn’t be doing.” Socrates
“We are the stories we continually tell ourselves.”
“A person who is aware of himself by the questions he is asked is in a better position to predict and control his behavior.” Skinner
“A small bird will drop dead frozen from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself. I never saw a wild thing, sorry for itself.” DH Lawrence
“This above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not be false to any man.” Shakespeare
“What you resist, persists.”
Pain is the teacher that commands the attention of every student. A lesson learned from suffering is not easily forgotten.”
“Own your own shit.”
“This is our predicament: Over and over again we lose sight of what is important and what is not.” Epictetus
“So, I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul
“Your vision will become more clear only when you look into your own heart. He who looks outside dreams, he who looks inside, awakes.”
“We are authors of our own lives. We write our own endings.”
“Character is the willingness to accept the responsibility for one’s own life. It is a source from which self-respect springs.” Joan Didion
“If you think that you have full reign over things that naturally are beyond your control, or if you attempt to adopt the affairs of others as your own, your purpose will be thwarted and you will be thwarted, and you will become frustrated, anxious, and a fault finding person,” Epictetus
“I believe that half the problems in life come from people being afraid to go straight at things.” Locke
“Do a thing, and you shall have power.” Emmerson