When you are 17 years old, you know everything. By the time that you turn 53 years old, you don’t know shit. Which is funny for a guy like me who has spent so much time studying shit, talking about shit, and analyzing it that to now to reach this point of not knowing shit, well, surprise!

There is some kind of illusion that life is supposed to be good, peaceful and happy. And maybe it is, for you.

For a lot of us, though, the reality is that life is full of disfunctional relationships, heartbreak, anger, hate, war, theft and deceit.

Traveling as I do among various people who want to be more “spiritual” and more “enlightened”, some of us seekers are often the most reality denying, disconnected from their true feelings, and unable to follow their own intuition folks on the planet. There is something called a spiritual by-pass wherein things like meditation, yoga, organic food, gratitude and facebook posts about how beautiful life is, could be tools of the trade to numb myself out and be totally disconnected from my own true reality. Like when we were kids going to bed in the dark, if we cover up our ears, squeeze our eyes shut and chant over and over again “there are no monsters, there are no monsters”, then the law of attraction will surely make those monsters disappear.

More and more, I am coming to be about “what is”. There is something about riding the horse in the direction that it is already going. I am learning to live life in the direction that it is already flowing.

To the extent that I can, I call bullshit on my relationships that are full of it. When I can, I dive deeply into the painful feelings deep within me that have yet to be healed. I try to not talk about how grateful I am, unless in that moment I am actually connected to my own gratitude.

The best I can, when I can, I open up my own eyes and take a look at what is actually going on around me and what I am actually feeling deep inside of myself.

Sure, truth is a very subjective topic. But deflecting, numbing out, or straight on lying about what I feel and what I see is a habit that more and more I am wanting to let go of.

One of my teachers recently said that this is a planet of pain and destruction. According to the popular woo-woo of our day, that is a very non-spiritual perspective to have. Probably I need more chanting, candles, and kale salad.

But actually, the idea that this is a planet of pain and destruction is really the most enlightened, empowering thing that I have heard in a very long time. It is an attempt to embrace what is. It is an attempt to get real.

Funny thing is that, when I deeply embrace what is, all of a sudden I find myself in an extremely peaceful place. Coming to peace with what is can even lead me to a place of joy.

Happiness is overrated. Like they say “this too shall pass.” But coming to peace with what is, now there is a worthy objective.

I don’t know the why or the what’s the point to any of it. Over time, that question gets more elusive. But, over time, I get less likely to gloss over it with some happy-go-lucky shiny veneer bullshit.

If the purpose of life were, say, to return back to peace, what better place to do it than on the planet of pain and destruction?