For the first time ever, I’ve been living on my own and learning some less than glamorous life lessons. No school or parent truly has the power to prepare you for the life you experience. You simply have to witness it, experience and then receive it all while trusting that everything is indeed working out. But don’t use that (everything is working out) affirmation as an entitled excuse to get lazy and not fix what needs to be fixed. Ignorance isn’t always bliss. Pushing the plate of responsibility onto your parents, society, or even your inner child is just fear and ego dressing up blame to mask shame. There’s nothing desirable about faking your life, get real.

There’s nothing desirable about faking your life, get real.

Sleeping on an air mattress for the past year was my once bright idea for a temporary cheap solution to avoid more debt and live frugally. But this decision has cost me something more valuable – relationships. My red and gray Coleman mattress I got at Target now has a bear-size air bubble in it. Every day I wake up alone on the other side of a suede covered mountain wondering when will this plastic volcano explode. When will I ever have sex again? When will I be happy? When will this happen? When will that happen? And my soul takes over making the answer so simple a caveman can understand –¬†when I want to.

In my meditations, I’ve gathered messages of what my mattress represents and my grandfather’s words come back to me. You make your bed, so you have to sleep in it. And so I’m learning that we all make decisions and take actions that we have to accept as our responsibility. It’s not our parents’ fault or the lack of jobs or the people that read or don’t read your blog. It’s your destiny and it’s your duty to live the life you desire. And drop the whole woe is me, I’m a damsel in distress act. It’s not attractive. Nor pretty. And my current bed situation tells me that what I truly want, is a loveless, sexless, isolated, woe is me life to prove to my entitled millennial ego and the rest of the world that fear wins.

And I fucking refuse to let the darkness win.

I didn’t just go through all that turmoil and ridiculousness to end up in the same pot of despair. I didn’t just hop in a car with a friend and completely relocate with only the clothes on my back just to grovel in greed. I don’t just practice my spirituality to numb my struggle or pain. I came to this planet to win. And I know that conquering¬†shame and fear leads to success. I owe it to myself because I came this far. Yeah some people left, unsubscribed, stopped caring, and I cut them loose before letting them step into my apartment. It only means that I take full responsibility for the words I say and the company I choose to keep or not.

I’m fully aware that people assume my life is set. You wrote a book, Bernard, you must be so proud. You have all these Instagram followers you must have a lot of people getting readings. You have an awesome color therapy brand I want to be you. You have your own apartment, so lucky. What these oblivious bystanders don’t see behind all the glitz and glam is a burning frustration. Those illusions aren’t my reality. I’m not Oprah just because my face is on my book cover. I’m not a privileged white boy with an entourage of rich friends. ¬†I’m challenged every day to wake up and look in the mirror taking an unapologetic merciless inventory of my current reality. Because I’ve been conditioned to astringently judge and over analyze every aspect of my life because of movies, advertising, schooling, parents and other expectations picked up along the way.

I could focus on all the beastly conditions of my existence. I’m single. I only sold 16 books. My body mass index drastically took a nosedive. My website committed suicide and I lost money. Or I could turn it around thanks to having a powerful devotion to the Divine to help me see that my self-sabotage has no value. It weighs nothing. Shaming myself and the world leads to false success. No one is to blame for the actions taken or rejected.

So, I’m looking at my mattress and what it’s taught me about living independently over the year.

Compassion is comfort without a cost.

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