Tonight I was on one of my usual walks. I was headed out to grab my dinner and I started praying as I often do. These walks seem to parallel excursions into the very fabric of my being. Sometimes I feel like Jesus, a perfect duality etched into a human’s body. The difference being, I obviously don’t have that whole 100% divinity thing working for me.
Tonight I started to pray and almost unconsciously started to talk about this gross obsession I’ve had with money since a young age. I imagined that all my happiness was to be maximized and realized via the vehicle of finance. I have always been content, not happy, with my environment. However, I have always loved myself immeasurably. I have enjoyed every moment of being Bryce, primarily because I’ve developed myself into my own personal hero. Infallible in my own eyes, invulnerable to any darts or arrows from any enemy.
When I got to LA I realized my family was poor. Gone were the days full of thousands of dollars of Fall school shopping and heavy gift laden Christmases. Arrived were the days of “I don’t know we’re going to eat baby” and washing our overused clothes in the sink with dish soap. We were evicted for the first time when I was 13 and again when I was 16. That’s where my strife with God began on a subconscious level, but I’ve already talked about that before.
I remember hearing in my teens how “sharp” and “dignified” I was as a young man. My parents continuously reminding me and edifying me by telling me I’d grow up to be successful. For years I equated that success to physical riches. Money. Money had been the root of all our struggles, therefore, I chose to create realities in which I was phenomenally wealthy. As I entered into college, I shifted slightly. I was now at the place to make my dreams a reality. I chose a career path which would catapult me into a salary at the tune of $500,000 dollars a year. I chose to live in a beautiful oceanfront community. Drive the most foolish, outlandish vehicles. Have the most stunningly beautiful arm candy of a wife.
Be perfect via the vehicle of finance.
Tonight as I walked, I had to continuously ask myself why though? I’m on this seemingly never ending path of honesty, so why not be honest with myself about what this whole fantasy world was about?
I don’t remember where my mind was at 18. I was at enmity with everything damn near and that which I wasn’t actively repelling, I was ravenously apathetic towards. The strange part was, as keenly aloof as I was at that time, I still was respected by my peers, feared by my predecessors, and influential in many facets. Even without money and status, I was someone of interest. What I lacked at the time was the pressing motivation to capitalize on my charisma. I was negative, realistic from a perspective of pauper, and ready for the riches and strangely enough — respect — it would bring me.
I was steeped in LA culture. At a school where you rubbed shoulders with Hollywood hopefuls, children of athletes and producers, and other offspring of that exclusive ilk. Women wanted the guy who at 18 had the shorefront condo and the BMW. The guy with the tattoos and the arms like contorted boulders. Girls said they wanted guys like me, level headed, wise in his young age, honest, and concerned. When things fell apart I hardened my heart and prayed for the days where I could buy the environment that everyone coveted. Where I could control the status of my life.
The thing is, I equated vast amounts of money to instantaneous change. Since I have always been consumed mind, body, and soul with being perfect, I just knew that money was the missing piece to my infallibility. How delightfully pretentious. How hopelessly shortsighted.
Tonight with every step I felt a keen sense of liberation. Because with every step I realized that I don’t need money like I thought I did. Of course financial security is one of the most important things as a man. You must be able to care for your family. But instead of looking to these series of financially freeing circumstances as this illustrious key to untold happiness and peace, I’m realizing that everyday I’m working at my passion I begin to create ripples of happiness at the quantum level. To the point where my every molecule is happy, money or sans money. Passion brings you wealth. That’s what I’m in this race for.
Wealth goes so far beyond “money” its not even funny. Wisdom is a part of wealth. Love is a part of wealth. A deeper understanding is a part of wealth. These are things worth investing your thoughts into, not the acquisition and accumulation of fiscal trinkets.
I first learned in my Self Discovery series that I substituted women’s beauty for God’s beauty. That beauty validated me, well my idea of wealth in my future did the same. It made me satiable in front of girl’s parents. Made them want to show me off. Take pride in me. Keep them around me. This idea of money formed an effective forcefield around my imminent future and within its naïve cocoon I was safe from any harm.
But it was just as usurping and toxic as my obsession with beauty. It caused me to become selfish and double minded, shallow, and carnal. Tonight was the first step to a freedom so full that I can’t imagine the blessings I’ll receive in my future now.
“Remove from your waist belts,
All the weapons of your insecurity.
For in this New Place,
Ye shall receive a New Face,
New Heart, Cleansed Spirit,
Rejuvenated from the cavity of the darkness you carry from youth.
Be free Child.