I was just texting someone who has money, time, a good relationship, the wiggle room to reinvent herself after a solid career who’s selling her million dollar home so that her husband can take his dream job in Washington DC where they’re flying to this weekend to shop for a new house they can definitely afford, and as I’m juggling exhaustion, debt, no free time, driving a filthy car into a day of overwork, she tells me she’s feeling overloaded.

And whenever people complain to me I never think it’s not valid. I never think that what they’re saying is just them inventing their own purposely-pitiful story arc; I believe that they believe they’re overloaded. I understand that they are kind and compassionate and are complaining to the overwhelmed pet sitter with no retirement plan because just like the rest of us they have to live in the midst of the collective mental health crises known as “Earth,” reacting with personal angst to the unrealized truth that the American dream (e.g.) doesn’t work since we dedicate our entire lives to programming what to do but not how to be and do it so hard our lives aren’t even lived.

But then again and also: fuck, man. Stop weaponizing your own thoughts and wake up.

If you are not happy, if you are not living in a zone of gratitude, if you are not accessing humility to the point where you can bow down to your pain and thank it for making you a better person, then simply sit in the quiet of unknowing and don’t validate your unhappiness with speech justifying it.

The key to peace is to love yourself within the larger whole of loving all. Darkness shows us how to live. Pain shows us where to nurture. We are all in this together. You are not better, nor am I. To be inside a life that feels like it’s happening to you is to not even be able to see yourself, and if you can’t see your self, then just quiet the sound for a bit because all you’re doing is adding to your confusion.

Instead, sit with the power of yourself to be of service to your world, sort through your stuff under the silence of sunrises and sunsets, and live into the possibility that every other thing in this world has it harder than you do.

Then breathe and be grateful for air.