Solving the Puzzle

Posted: October 6, 2014 in a lonely journey, September 28
Tags: , , ,


A year has passed. At this point, I should be adopting this phrase as my standard opening for every Unmaskd post. Years after its beginning, the Unmaskd adventure continues to surprise me by taking unexpected turns and leading me to places I hadn’t expected to go when I started it. A once-a-year blog is one of them. This time I’m going to skip the long talk about traditions. It’s all here, in my posts. 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010… Now it’s time for the 2014 one.

It’s hard to squeeze everything I have learned and realized over the last year into a short post, so I’ll focus on the highlights. The biggest one is this: the problem has been solved. I mean it. All these questions I’ve been pondering about on this blog… How can I start living my life without regrets? Why do I procrastinate? How do I take control of my life? What is awakening and is it possible? The life looked like a pile of jigsaw puzzle pieces, some shining, some dark, some hazy, but all clearly meant to fit together and all hopelessly disjointed.

And accompanying that puzzle there was a feeling — not even a feeling — a strong conviction that I had for years. A conviction that there was another, better way to live. Not in terms of being more accomplished, or being “better” as defined by external moral principles, but simply a better way to experience every moment. A different state of consciousness, perception and self-awareness. A state, where every moment is meaningful and every action is purposeful. And comparing to that state, a regular day-to-day existence seemed like walking through a thick fog, pierced by very rare rays of bright light. It was not about reaching any sort of religious epiphany or finding nirvana — in fact, that alert, active state seemed like something directly opposite to it. It seemed so luring, yet unreal and thus unachievable.

Well, the pieces of puzzle are no longer disjointed. The irritating, nagging questions are gone, replaced by crisp and clear answers. And the puzzle, while incomplete, has taken shape.

Here are some pieces:

The goal is to live every moment of my life. To be in that alert state of consciousness that makes the usual state of mind seem like a fog. That state is the goal.

Accomplishments are means to that end. Increasingly challenging and fulfilling, they are necessary to achieve the goal.

Self-respect is my evaluation of my commitment to the goal, as expressed through my thoughts and actions. It can be only earned and it cannot be faked.

Willpower is a byproduct of my commitment to the goal. Contrary to the common interpretation, it’s not the ability to make myself do things. All attempts to exercise willpower just for the sake of “being in control” are pointless, painful, often unsuccessful and always frustrating.

Procrastination is an act of intentionally dumbing myself down to avoid making a choice or committing to my decision. It’s an act of giving in to fear. It’s a true act of cowardice. Willpower and procrastination are two sides of the same coin, with self-respect being the coin’s value.

There are more pieces — some already in the puzzle, some waiting to be picked up, explored and placed in the right spot. But the puzzle is solved — and it was worth every minute, day and year spent on solving it.

  1. dancergypsy says:

    Congratulations, sir, for coming this far in solving the mystery. You are much different, I can tell by what you have written. I think you have a sense of peace that you didn’t have in years before now. That is beautiful. I hope it stays with you for always, as you collect more discoveries.

    I will keep these golden points in mind as I continue to understand my own life. I’m definitely still discovering. I’m not sure where I am, since my puzzle is different than I thought it would be right now. Goodness knows, I wonder if I have all the pieces right–where I’m going–after times when I was so darn certain! I am certain I agree with you, however. 🙂

    I’m curious to see what it will look like in a year, because now your tradition has become mine.


  2. Youknow says:

    Well, it all *sounds* nice.
    But I guess my question is, why not just actually commit to the goal and do the stuff instead of writing about thinking about maybe doing it?!
    I’m not gonna procrastinate on this, but first, let me write about it.
    Seems weird to me. But hey.
    It’s kinda like the idea of a promise ring, isn’t it? Like, man she really wants a ring..but this should shut her up for long enough for me to get what I want. Or a matching tattoo or something. Or sharing a goldfish or plant, maybe.


    • dancergypsy says:

      YouKnow, it sounds to me like you think you know, but the funny thing is you don’t. Although, I have to hand it to you, for bringing such a valuable point to light: it is like a promise ring.

      The beauty of a ring with a promise is meant to symbolize the value of commitment before it has fully come to fruition. That kind of commitment into the future requires special devotion. All of that is a rare thing. It is believing in the value of something before you can afford to share it completely. It’s desiring something you believe in, with all your heart, despite future success. Or whether or not the puzzle is ever finished.

      To look into the value of one’s life and resolve a kind of promise to live it in the way Unmaskd has chosen is honorable. He has devoted himself to living in a way set upon actually understanding Life. As a result, it demonstrates his own self-worth. He believes he is worthy of his own devotion. It can be easily said he puts more thought into living than most, by the years he has committed to solving the puzzle.

      You know, it would do you well to consider your own worth in such a way? Are you worth a promise? Do you think you know the meaning of life? If so, do you live every day and moment with actions that demonstrate your value?

      After all, committing to your life is the only thing you really ever have worth living for every day. A promise like his is worth more than diamonds in every ring.


  3. ime7 says:

    Such a great response dancergypsy and I love your username, though that is off topic. I wish you every success in solving your life puzzle. Figuring out what you don’t want and what doesn’t work for you is, in my opinion, half the battle in finding the best configuration that works for you individually. We all have our trails and tribulations along the way and if the process seems obvious or trivial and you have found another way that fits best, then good for you! Fortunately we are not all the same and who would want a ‘one fit for all’ puzzle anyway, hardly makes it seem worth the effort. I wish you all every success, whether you think you need it or not.


    • ime7 says:

      *trials* hate auto-correct with a passion!


    • dancergypsy says:

      Indeed, ime7, finding the best configuration isn’t always plain as day, especially when you’re me! 🙂 But, that’s half the adventure! Life would be boring if we were given a manual on all the secret codes ever to exist. I couldn’t live being like everyone else. Not having the knowledge I need from the start really makes the discovery so much more exciting, even when you uncover the things you don’t enjoy. There are trials, like when you discover all the incorrect pieces. Some people give up at that point, but that is where the discoveries just begin. You cannot find the correct pieces, always, when you don’t know the incorrect ones. Not only that, but *why* they are incorrect.

      I agree, we are not meant to have a “one-size-fits-all”. There are few things that fit everyone and those are extremely basic fundamentals (though highly important). We all need good food and water, but the recipe for such needn’t be the same in every case. Water doesn’t need to come from the exact same well. All that matters is it’s pure water. And, that pure water comes from somewhere, a larger source. It channels itself over the entire globe, allowing diversity to exist. It’s when water and food becomes contaminated that things begin to die.

      I warmly accept your gift of successful wishes. Part of the success is found in owning a promise to never give up. I don’t want to know all the answers in the world, just my own.

      Thank you for complimenting my name. I have no idea what your name stands for, but I think it hardly matters, since I hate autocorrect with a passion, too. 🙂


      • ime7 says:

        It’s just the sequence of letters that form my name 🙂 I think sometimes we will the pieces to fit so badly that they eventually mould themselves into place. But then it rains and cracks start to develop. What was once deemed warm and dry becomes sodden and brittle. Then you realise it was just a mirage. The ultimate fantasy with miss-matched components that could have fit, but you had changed the configuration without consciously realising and now you have to start over. But life is too short to just accept mediocrity as it’s the path well trodden. Sometimes it’s worth pulling out the parker and rain boots to trudge through because if you don’t who would you see when you looked in the mirror. Just be yourself, you’re the only one who can and if that means starting over again, so be it.


      • dancergypsy says:

        This is an interesting point, ime7: >> “The ultimate fantasy with miss-matched components that could have fit, but you had changed the configuration without consciously realising and now you have to start over.”

        I would have to say, my ultimate fantasy isn’t mismatched components, of course. There very concept of “match” is in itself an illusion, because we always ultimately decide what fits. Properly speaking, the only thing that will ever fit me is my own DNA. It just so happens I have unusual DNA that doesn’t fit in with society very well. It’s practically impossible for me to accept anything outside what I was born with, and still live–rejecting forgein DNA. If that makes sense, metaphorically speaking. Yet, the challenge is finding placement for myself that doesn’t manipulate my integrity into being inauthentic. I do try things for the sake of trial. I can do many things, but nothing that appears to actually match indefinitely. I am changing constantly, while remaining the same. To change and stand still, is to be whole. It isn’t practical to always be myself. However, that is the very reason I’m left with circumstances as they are currently. (Vague, I realize.) I’m not always practical.

        True. >> “But life is too short to just accept mediocrity as it’s the path well trodden.”

        That is also why I continue to as I do. I don’t believe I will ever find a “right place” for all my pieces. They are just there, a part of me. Some pieces that I discover I throw out, when they are not mine to keep. Other pieces are collected from things I admire, and they stay while they suit my growing process.

        This is what I live to be. >> “Just be yourself, you’re the only one who can and if that means starting over again, so be it.”

        Although, I don’t really ever start over. I just keep moving.

        I think my puzzle is a puzzle within a puzzle, if there ever were one. It’s like the universe; it appears to be chaos, but there is real order involved. I know when I do one thing it will result in another. I know that if I want to have something I create that result. It’s not about being “in control” necessarily. It’s understanding your power, or how things work. I don’t believe in the idea of “if it’s meant to be it will happen, someday.” I believe even our tiniest thoughts push forward and create for us our reality. When things don’t work as they supposedly should, I usually evaluate and discover I never thought they really would, or I lost interest. In moments when I consider I had the right piece to the puzzle and don’t, it’s usually only part of the bigger piece. In which case, it’s mostly that I get tired and just want to take a break. There’s just not much rest in this business, especially when you have a lot left to discover.


      • ime7 says:

        When I write characters in my stories I create several parallel universes for them. Each with an aspect of something that could fit their puzzle. Then I play it out. What I inevitable find is where their desire involves another it’s impossible to predict, but fun in trying. As of today I would say half of my puzzle is perfect, I couldn’t want for anything better. The other half is blah. Pieces missing, some I’m fighting for, but ever elusive and some yet to be discovered. Will be interesting to see where it’s out next year. If Unmaskd returns next year I hope you come back to update. I think the whole if it’s meant to be thing is just our way of explaining off a bad configuration, but I’m often cynical these days. Take care and best wishes for the next year.


      • dancergypsy says:

        I see… Puzzles involving other people are in an entirely separate category, in my mind. I don’t count on solving them. Relationships are so conditioned to be a certain way, these days, that I wonder if I’ll ever be suitable for someone. But, I don’t spend much time there wondering about it much. I think for something meaningful to flourish you have to know what you want, and most people don’t know. Then if they do, the other person involved doesn’t. That’s why I just figure that sort of puzzle is not for me to spend much time on. Not until someone demonstrates to me they have even HALF my endurance or guts. The worst thing is being teamed up with a whimp who gives up just when they break a sweat. Then all the work lands on me. And generally speaking, I invest more in *everything* I do, down to writing this simple post, than most people. I invest a lot in ways people dont even notice. Why invest in people who don’t notice, and if they do- don’t invest, too? So many people spend every day wondering about relationships and their lives revolve around them. Then when they are alone they can’t stand themselves. I don’t believe in the idea that some people “require” friends or social activities in order to be happy. I think if you can’t be happy alone, possibly forever, you never will be.

        That probably sounds cynical.

        I don’t have time to waste on cheap fantasies or even mediocre ones. Most my time is spent on my life. You get used to it after a while.

        I found this to be a treat– to have shared this conversation. I don’t get to discuss these kinds of things with people often. Usually, my conversations are one-sided. Hah.

        There’s a lot to work on in the next year! We’ll see what happens. Best of luck to you, too.


      • ime7 says:

        I know exactly what you mean. Thankfully my other half missing is just about me, finding answers, making connections, but on a internal level if that makes any sense. I have seen it many times, people desiring another to the extent that they lose themselves trying to fit into their ideal configuration. It shouldn’t be that hard and if it is I would say barking up the wrong tree, but that’s just me. Of course some things are worth the extra effort, but if it makes you miserable in the process, not so much. I have had a lot of loss in my life and whilst one half of my puzzle is my epitome of perfect, the other is re-grouping, healing and just generally figuring out countless things, but that’s okay and I have many ideas I want to come to fruition. It’s an exciting, challenging time. One thing I know without a shadow of a doubt, I won’t give up and neither will you. Though I hardly know you I get the strongest sense you’re a fighter and we will get there.


      • ime7 says:

        I inadvertently posted, I have really enjoyed talking to you. The whole talking to yourself part. Not in the literal sense, but in the sense of speaking with someone on a similar journey, or someone who cares enough to want to understand their path, the working components, taking it to the next level etc. As you said, few invest the time. If Unmaskd doesn’t mind us writing all over his post 😉 do keep in touch, it has been refreshing talking to someone on their life discovery.


      • dancergypsy says:

        I can empathize with this>> “I have had a lot of loss in my life and whilst one half of my puzzle is my epitome of perfect, the other is re-grouping, healing and just generally figuring out countless things, but that’s okay…”

        In my experience, it has been vital to not look at losses as defeat. It is an opportunity to see yourself in a way few have bravery to see themselves. Part of healing is recognizing the pain, recognizing the brokenness you may feel as a result.

        Pain frightens most people. But, if you can learn to override pain by allowing your strength to take the lead, you will find yourself encouraged.

        Our pain does define us. I used to think not. Pain and loss is inevitable. You can make the choice (a defining moment) as to *how* it will define you. Own your pain and loss. Don’t reject it, but also don’t advertise it as your glory or defeat. Let it be, just as the color of your eyes, because you really cannot change it either way.

        Suffering arrives when you wish for different, and that difference is impossible. The only possibility is to understand more, learn, and move forward. Or… Suffer by accepting defeat.

        By not accepting defeat it doesn’t mean you return to fight the old battle, in effort to somehow win. To not accept defeat means to heal.

        Healing is the most important tool in any case of loss. How much you invest in healing your wounds will determine your greater outcome.

        You must ask yourself, do you really want to heal? In many cases, people come to favor their wounds so much that they use them as a crutch and never continue to grow. They are stunted. They are commonplace and win attention by their pitifulness. As if being a victim should gain admiration.

        Let whatever losses you face fuel the belief that you will never surrender to that as your final outcome. It’s not a limit. By doing so, you will be the closest you’ll ever get to where you wanted to go. (I personally, don’t believe my destination will be final until I die.)

        For me, I am always where I wanted to go, even when I turn up in places unexpected, or it appears to be a dead-end. It is precisely those places that seem dead-ends or unexpected, that new adventures can begin. It’s also those places of darkness that requires new light. The great search comes to a new phase.

        When you feel lost, you really aren’t. You’re just creating new intelligence to figure out the next part of the puzzle.

        And, Unmaskd has yet to prevent me (or others) from expressing thoughts here for a few years now, so I don’t see there being an objection in the future. Though, I don’t intend to make this about me; it’s about what makes us all tick, as he says. 🙂

        Take care.


  4. ime7 says:

    I just love and live everyday to the full, I have so much happiness I never thought I would have, I’m one lucky girl. Always mindful though that everyone has their own unique way of dealing with things so remembering not to judge is paramount. Unmaskd appears to be in a good place, I do hope so, I have very much enjoyed his journey too and wish you all the best.


    • dancergypsy says:

      ime7, I’m glad to hear you have found your happiness. Whatever you have left to discover in your puzzle, I’m sure you can find and put in the proper place. It is a beautiful thing to make personal choices to live one’s life. It is especially beautiful to make choices *mindfully*. We are unique, and shouldn’t be required to follow a “one-size-fits-all”. But also, it is paramount to judge, because if you don’t you won’t likely understand what you believe in contrast to other beliefs. You wrote >>”Always mindful though that everyone has their own unique way of dealing with things so remembering not to judge is paramount.”
      I don’t agree, but this also doesn’t mean I hate you. I think too often, we consider our beliefs to be a threat to others, when we have every right to decide what we believe.
      A good judge doesn’t judge for lack of reason, but *because* of good reason. It’s a way of assessing life. It’s okay to not like everything under the sun. It’s different to intentionally harm others wrecklessly, due to judgements, or impose your beliefs on them.

      People want acceptance but not everything people *do* is to be acceptable.

      For example, say I grew up very hurt and neglected, became angry with my suffering, then decided to take a gun and shoot innocent people at my school because it’s I how choose to deal with my pain- this would be a unique way of dealing with things wouldn’t it? According to your statement, it would then be paramount to not judge, even this situation. In turn, it is justifying those actions.

      The reality is, we all judge. It’s just a matter of whether not people know our judgements, or agree. Some are taught to suppress their judgements in order to keep peace.

      This is a very interesting line of thought.

      Anyhow, best of luck to you. I’ve said it more than once but keep returning to acknowledge your comments. I really must go this time, but want to say: have courage to face your fears, and to truly heal- however long it takes. Before you know, you’ll have your other half (which isn’t another person) figured out! 🙂

      Who knows, maybe you can share what *you* discover?


  5. *There are more pieces — some already in the puzzle, some waiting to be picked up, explored and placed in the right spot. * >>>> Yessssss

    *But the puzzle is solved* >>>> Time will Tell #aTale


  6. Apparently you can reach me here!! I just realized (after liking one of you tales on WordPress) that I still have a very active gmail account (I thought I canceled it).. Ok. As you were.. see you when you get back x


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