The Rules of the X Project
There are 20 total rules. You will quickly notice that every rule is numbered as the 1st rule. This is because if you give someone a list of rules they will view #1 as the most important and all the others just follow behind it. Most people will lose interest in them by 3 or 4. So every rule we have is the 1st rule because they are all equally important. If you are given a list of things to do to accomplish a goal and you skip even a single step the whole thing can fall apart. Same goes for our rules. They will be released one at a time, but you could read them all in an order and find that each one is just as important as the next.
The 1st Rule: Love yourself like your life depends on it.
There will be bad days. Sometimes you will feel miserable. You will feel like doing nothing except for staying in bed and watching the day fade into night and back to day again. You will want to do anything except for deal with what you have to face. You will battle with bad thoughts. You will get sick. You will get tired of the work. You will get tired of your job. You will get down on yourself. You will get stressed. You will face tragedy. You will lack self-confidence. You will have insecurities. You will want to hide your true self from the world. You will not want to be seen or judged. You might even end up hating yourself and hating who you let yourself become. It’s inevitable that you will eventually face heavy burdens and daunting or impossibly difficult tasks. You will gain weight. You will struggle to finish workouts or eat healthy. You wont lose weight as quickly as you would like and you wont make the gains fast enough either. You will doubt your abilities to accomplish goals. We will feel like no one will ever love us, and we will be alone forever. We will never meet someone who would make us feel like the sun was something they made for us in their tool shed. We will let our broken heart strings bleed out the blues so that we can feel nothing at all. We will feel pain that hurts way worse than any broken bone. We will feel darkness as if God himself has turned his back on us. Feelings of desperation and depression and total lose. Fearing we lack the strength to stand after the passing of our loved ones. The only way to overcome all of this is to love yourself as if your life depended on it because more often that we realize, it does depend on it.
Be calm. Breathe. Loosen that stranglehold you have on fear. Open each hand. Gently. Let go. Slowly exhale the discomfort you feel. Stand in confidence knowing that right now is only a moment, and by tomorrow it will have passed. Stay gracious. Welcome in each and every extended hand that is reaching to pull you back from the darkness you cannot escape. Know that every dark day is just a smoke screen trying to block us from our truth. The truth that always there is light. Even when we cannot see it from the outside, and emptiness encircles us, suffocating the waning bits of hope that held on so long, still there is light. Inside us burns a fire so bright it could illuminate an entire midnight sky and guide home all other struggling souls of the hour, if only we would let it.
Be honest. Despite every instinct you have to say “its okay, I’m alright”. Stand tall. Say how you feel without fear or guilt. No remorse, no complexity. Stay lucid in your explanation and sterling in your repose. When you think to yourself that no one in the world understands what you are going through, open up and accept that you are wrong. The long slow breathes of despair have at one time been felt by everyone. Know that pain is a part of our human condition and that alone makes us a legion. We are all the hungry underdogs, we are all the early risers, together we conquer the odds and together we press on. Together we remain stationed in the calm, standing at the ready for whenever we are called.
Life is going to come at you hard. Fully armed with hard times, an army of despair marching directly to your door. It will hunt you down and bite you hard and feast off of the grief that you bleed through your heart as you are torn by the hard choices and the great losses. Our voice is our weapon and our thoughts the ammunition. Be aware of all the times when you believed that all of life was too hard and that you’d never make it through, remembering all the times that you could have quit but instead you chose to continue. You are strong.
Be forgiving. Living with the burden of anger is not living. A focus on wrath will leave you absent of everything you need. Love and hate are both beasts and the one that grows will be the one that you feed. Be persistent. Be that flower growing through the cracks in the cement. Beautiful and strong and completely unaware that it should not be able to grow there. Remain resolute, unwavering. Declare what you accept as true in a way that envisions the resolve in which you accept it. Stand and fight for it. If you believe with absolute honesty that you are doing everything you possibly can, do more.
You will have bad days. Times in our lives have a way of weighing on you so heavily for so long that you scramble to do anything to find a way out. There will be times when the drought of hope seems unending. Too much time spent pretending that everything is all right when clearly it is not. Check your blind spots and you will see that love is still there.
Be patient. Every nightmare has a beginning but every bad day has its end. Ignore what others have called you, push past the pain that others have caused you.
We are calling out to you as family. Make us comprehend the urgency of your crisis. Silence left to is own devises breeds silence so speak and be heard. One word after the next. Express yourself and put your life into context.
If you find that no one is listening, be loud. Make noise. Stand in poise and be open. Hope in most situations is not enough. We all need someone to lean on. In the event that you have no one, look again. Everyone has been blessed with the ability to listen. The deaf will hear you with their eyes and the blind with their hands. Let your heart fill their minds and let them know all about it.
Admit to the bad days and impossible nights. Listen to the incites of those who have been there but have come back. They will tell you that you can stack misery and you can pack despair and you can even wear your sorrows. But come tomorrow we must all change our clothes.
Everyone knows pain. We were never meant to carry it forever. We were never meant to hold it so closely. Be certain in your belief the pain that belongs to now and will soon belong to then.
Maybe you have never been a part of a group or a clique. Maybe you were always picked last in gym class, or for anything. Maybe you never had black eyes and broken bones but the bleeding in side was severe. Still, you never told. Because how can you stand when everyone around you wants to bury you? You must have believed that they were wrong. They have to be wrong. Why else would you still be here?
We love to cheer on the underdog because we see ourselves in them. We stem from a root planted in the belief that we are not what we have been told.
If you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror. Look a little closer and stare a little longer.
Love Yourself. Who you are, here, now, today. Treat yourself with love. Love the choices you make. Love the thoughts you have. Love the experiences you share. With every bit of consciousness you have, love yourself.
Do not be afraid. Fighting fear doesn’t work, it only drags us in closer. Stay focused on what is real and what is true. When in darkness, do not fight, you cannot win. Look for the nearest switch, turn on that light and breathe it in.
You are not the sum of your past mistakes. You are not the choices that you’ve made. You are not the problems that you’ve created. You are not your body weight. You are not the clothes that you wear. You are not the car that you drive. You are not your job. You are not your fear. You are not your anxiety. You are not your stress. You are not your failures. You are not your letdowns. You are not your loneliness. You are not your inadequacies. You are not your thoughts. You are not your body.
You are more. You are more than any of that. You are more than can be put into words. You are powerful beyond measure. You are anything and everything you choose to be. You are special. You are strong. You are unique and no one in this world is better at being you than you. You were put on this earth to do something no one else can possibly do, and that is be you.
Memory, experience, feelings, emotions and thoughts are not set in stone. They are all fluid. Any neuroscientist will tell you that they can and will change. The more you remember something, or think something or feel something the more you reinforce the pathways connecting the neurons in our brains. The more you think of these things the stronger the connections become. Soon they become your auto pilot.
Our thinking isn’t thinking at all. We are replaying loops in our heads. Familiar loops and patterns of our memories. Of happiness and sadness, procrastination and desire, hopes, dreams and fears. Everything runs on loops. These loops are so automatic that most of us believe we have no choice but to feel how we feel. But that is far from the truth.
Have a thought once, it has no power. Repeat it again and again and again, and it will grow; and over time it will grow large enough to take complete control over you. Becoming an endless loop of the thought and emotion that you continue to feed.
Hate yourself, doubt yourself, reflect on all the times you were sad and depressed and those loops will consume you, trap you and kill you.
You have to love yourself. Tell yourself every second, of every single day “I love myself”. Repeat it over and over. Say it out loud. Say it to yourself in the mirror. Write it down. Write down every single moment in your life when you did something that made you happy. Write down every accomplishment, every moment you showed strength and perseverance. Close your eyes. See yourself, beautiful and strong and confident. Love yourself. Create a new loop. Love yourself. Over and over and over again, love yourself. Fear feeds the ego and love softens it. Be gentle with yourself and those you love. Be open and vulnerable. Eat, sleep and breathe love as if it were the only resource available to keep you alive.
“You are loved. You are capable. You are stronger than this.”
*All of this writing is taken in some way from:
Shane Koyczan and his To This Day Project
Love Yourself by Kamal Ravikant