We all begin within our selves and somehow along the way we become lost within the mess of living. Some of us never find our way back home, but wander amidst the tangle of experiences and knowledge, which they try to call self. I pity them because I find myself peer. It is here that life is formed. In the twitching and flopping of existence that we experience life in its darkest and liveliest. Or so it seems. As we throw ourselves against the wall of failure over and over again wondering why we are not making progress, all we have to do is stop, wipe the blood off our face and turn around. I find that when I sit down with the six-year-old Judah and ask him what he thinks, it’s truer to self than any other approach that I could muster. Strange, it seems, but I’ve met many people in my life who are glorified for their childish nature in their mature years. Why is it that when a person has not reached the prime age of wisdom (culturally around 45) the child is supposed to be lost? Society seems to push for their youth to cast aside the passionate little hearts they are born with, only to replace it with a tin heart of scars paradigms, and expectations. I pity this temptation. For I have fallen sway of its cold metal grasp. We all have many battles and we need an inhuman amount of strength to conquer them. Where do we get this is a question I’ve been asking myself for fifteen years now. I was constantly told to rely in God or to fight and the strength will come. Both these ideas are good but inherently wrong. They both lead to answers for some, but not by the nature of the action alone. We do not get our strength from simply doing it and we do not get strength from prayer or from God slapping it into our clammy palms. We get our strength from within. The perspective is wrong, not the action. By doing these methods we come to realize our potential and grow confident in our ability to achieve our goals. The practice allows us to see that we can accomplish the difficulty. Prayer gives us the confidence that God will take care of it, which is wrong. God does not take care of our problems. God allows us, and imports upon us the abilities to accomplish the difficulties before us in the best way possible. This does not mean I’ll be able to buy that new laptop someday if I make enough money. It means God will make sure I will always be able to accomplish what I need to by means of a laptop. He will give me the strength to overcome the difficulties set before me. So God gives us the ability. I ask, so what? What is the ability going to do for me if I can’t realize/use that ability? Well, it’s worthless. That is where the child comes in. The abilities of confidence are only found through self-actualization. If you don’t understand yourself, then you will never know what you can accomplish. This self-discovery can be achieved through many methods, but the problem comes in that, even though you will never change from that little six-year-old you were born into, the elements fixed upon that child which defines it is ever-changing. Thus, the process of self-understanding must, absolutely must be continual. I cannot stress this more. I’ve known way too many people who have lost their grip on who they are. They have left life take over and forgotten that child. You might ask if the defining elements of the child are always changing how can you truly understand and realize that part of you in the fullest. I believe that is the beauty of it. I think you can understand your true nature completely, but it has to be a daily process. Wake up and ask yourself, how are you, what was your night like, have you learned anything, what do you think of it, that was funny wasn’t? You must always self-explore. We in America constantly talk about exploring, but what happened to the greatest discovery, self. This is where the richest and darkest treasure can be found. I don’t know about you, but I’m terrified of who I am, but I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. I love the beauty and the dark all alike. I am as God created me. I’m able to accomplish the most terrifying horrors and the most stunning acts of love. I do not shy from the fact that my ancestors of enslaved, killed, raped, tortured, punished, condemned, among many more atrocities. That is within me and that is what makes me want to speak. I can do these terrors and much more, just like you. So here I am trying to discover that self, which didn’t want to hurt, who was empathetic, but not understanding of it. Empathy must be taught, but the emotion is innate. Human children are some of the meanest self-centered creatures on this planet and I was one of them, but the ability to empathize was given to all of creation. Thus, a struggle when looking back on the self is taking the child and putting it into the light of what has been learned or unlearned purposefully (racism for example). For me, the best method to self-actualization is to continually lay myself out there. It hurts, damn it hurts, but it’s worth it. It is too easy for me to fall behind the shell of wonderful safe apathy. If I don’t feel then I don’t hurt. I won’t even start about what may be lost by closing the doors. For that should be obvious and if it isn’t I pity you, even though sometimes I like to let myself ‘forget’ the consequences of such a direction in life. I just ask myself daily, why am I here, and I find myself at the keyboard once more.