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I wrote a post on forgiveness a few weeks back.  After it was published I shared it via social media.  Like always I received a few comments, one which caught my eye and heart.  Below is a copy of the inspiring conversation I had with Jarrod.

J:  Pretty amazing dude.  I too hope one day soon I can put down all the hurt and the pain and the anger I’ve been carrying around and just be free.

B:  Thanks Jarrod … I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what’s stopping you?

J:  I don’t know man I honestly don’t.  Maybe this screwed up belief deep down that I don’t deserve happiness.  That I deserve to suffer.  I’m leaving to backpack around Central America in a couple months.  It’ll be my first big trip and first time travelling alone.  I know that will help for sure. 🙂

B:  So my next question for you Jarrod is how do you define happiness?  BTW … I’m very comfortable chatting like this publicly.  If you aren’t and you’d like to chat further, please reply to me via messenger.  That said, I do believe that conversations like this one are important, maybe more important to share!  Being vulnerable with others, can surprisingly bring you closer to yourself and the truth.  It also has the ability to give others permission to open up and share, especially if they have similar feelings or outlooks. 🙂

J:  For sure man. I’m all for being open.  It’s cathartic to share my pain and be honest with myself.  As well as stop caring if others may judge.  Along with the hope that, like you said, others will be inspired to share or feel comfort in knowing they aren’t alone.  I define happiness as peace within myself and the world around me.  Being able to accept and love myself for who I am.  Having confidence in myself.  Having trust in myself.  And in the universe and what will come my way.  Self love I suppose.  And being able to live without fear.  Or without fear that debilitates, sabotages, and destroys me.

B:  AMAZING!!!  Sounds like you are working through some self love practises Jarrod!!  The best investment one can ever make, In my opinion anyway, is an investment into knowing oneself better.  For me, that looked like traveling the world for two years.  Though uncomfortable most of the time, as change is, it was the best decision I’ve ever made!  I honestly think we are shaped by all the uncomfortable moments, not necessarily the “happy” ones.  I’m excited for you!!  Sounds like you too have made a choice to explore yourself and this beautiful blue planet.  Stay out as long as you can Jarrod!!!  When things get uncomfortable … and they will get uncomfortable … stay with it, keep breathing and know that everything passes! 🙂  Rereading your message Jarrod, I wanted to touch on fear.   How do you define fear and what happens to you when fear takes over?  I won’t offer my definition yet, but when fear arrives in me I often find myself turning into a scared 8 year old boy who sometimes throws a tantrum … That is unless of course we are referring to the physiological condition of fear.  In which case, I let go of all the fluids in my body and start running for my life. lol!

J:   Thank you Ben!!!  I really appreciate the encouragement.  Yes as scary as it is, I am making that next step.  I am prepared for it to be challenging and uncomfortable, but know it will challenge me and make me a stronger better person.  To get out of that comfort zone.  I’m really glad you were able to find that experience, and for such an extended period of time thats amazing!  If you dont mind me asking, how did you afford to travel that long, or did you work and volunteer in between to make money last longer?

B:  That’s Awesome Jarrod!  Yes, traveling has served me well.  With regards to my trip, I have always been good at saving money, a value my parents taught me when I was young.  I had money saved up and though I never imagined that I would spend what I did, I had the money to do it.  All that said, I was also traveling on my own and would stay in hostels and cheaper accommodations.  I eventually would camp on the beach woods etc and my accommodation would be free.  I kept challenging myself and my comfort zone to stay in places that scared me!

J:  Hahaha.  I don’t know what my definition would be.  I guess what has existed in me throughout my entire life and what I have experienced is being inhibited.  Afraid of taking risks/chances for fear of being judged, feeling stupid, or making a mistake (heaven forbid haha).  I just realized now that maybe that comes from a need, a feeling that I need to be and appear perfect … But what happens to me when I experience fear is a shut down and a complete inner terror and panic.  You probably wouldnt notice it most of the time if you were with me, but it’s this intense feeling of impending doom inside.  Of hopelessness.  Like I’m not going to be able to handle whats coming my way.  It’s pretty overwhelming.  I do breathing and meditation and biofeedback to try to combat it, but I’ve recognized the tool that will help the most is believe in oneself and being kind.  But with the shutdown usually comes a shutdown of feeling any positive emotions, a numbness, a withdrawal from friends and family, and from doing much of anything that would be good for me.

B:  It sounds like you are exactly where you need to be and making the choices to help you understand yourself better.  I’m excited for you Jarrod!!   Your definition sounds a lot like the physiological effects of fear.  This is great because you can use your breath to help calm the body, the mind and the nervous system down.  When I find myself feeling as you described, I tell myself, that there is in fact, no Saber Tooth Tiger in front of me.  That causes me to laugh and relax.  I too have had my times of withdrawal.  In the past few years I have learned the benefits of community!  Sharing with my community gets me to be honest with myself and in turn honest with those around me.  I like to think that when we choose to hide we are no longer being of service to ourself and those around us.  If we challenge ourselves to stay open and share what’s really happening for us, then we give permission for others to do the same.  Others will ultimately get to know us better and the heavier feelings lesson as we recognize that others have also felt what we feel and been exactly where we are.  Remembering that we are never going through something that no one has ever gone through.  At this stage of the game, I believe we are all walking in the shadow of giants.  Someone has already gone through it and others will follow in your footsteps.  We are all more connected than our minds want us to think.  I believe it’s referred to as the human condition.  When you share a truth you essentially put yourself back in a position of serving others.  And that, my friend, is a magical aspect of life!

J:  Well you’re a very good man and I appreciate it.   As well as the questions you challenged me with to help me get clarity in my life

As always I want to hear from you.  You are apart of the community and like I mentioned in the conversation with Jarrod, it’s through sharing with our community when we can really take leaps and bounds forward in life.  Let me know what you think about our conversation in the comments below.

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About

I’m an outdoorsy kinda guy! Love over packing my golden backpack full of just incase “Boy Scout” things, hopping on my steed and riding wherever my impulses guide me. Some days I end up a few blocks from home, while others I end up further than I ever imagined. Behind all of it, a desire to see, hear, taste, smell and touch this planet. It’s such a vibrant beautiful place that my desire to witness and experience everything and anything that comes across my path, is painfully addicting. My name is Ben and I’m an addict! Im a junkie for exploring life and all its offerings!

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