THE MAN WHO INSPIRED THE BOOK
“Timely, entertaining, thoughtful and very practical. Your book validates what I already think and feel. I know these things, and now I’ve got a demarcation. It’s liberation.
I know already that I shouldn’t Give A Fuck. However, I am programmed to Give A Fuck. However, I read your book. And it’s like, now that’s the demarcation. It’s like, everything I knew and was nebulously thinking about and believed in, you have substantiated. And now, when I am confronted with a situation and have to make a decision about Giving A Fuck or Not Giving a Fuck, I have reference.
You’re on the same page as, say, am I a Christian? No. Do I ask myself when confronted with a dilemma, what would Jesus do, and base my decision on that? Yes. It usually works out. The same thing with your book. It’s like, wait a minute. Is this something I should Give A Fuck about? Wait a minute. No. No, it’s not something I should Give A Fuck about. I love describing your book to people. I’m like, he wrote this book called How To Not Give A Fuck In Ten Easy Steps, it’s all about Giving A Fuck.
You have so many Fucks to Give. Where are you going to place them? Green Bay versus Pittsburgh? God is gonna be like, I have 50,000 Green Bay fans praying to me, and 50,000 Pittsburgh fans praying to me. God is like, what the fuck am I gonna do? God said, I Don’t Give A Fuck. God figured out How To Not Give A Fuck, and that’s before he read your book.”
SETTING YOURSELF FREE
Upon examination, it turns out that most of the things we concern ourselves with, care deeply about, worry about, desire and even obsess over and worship, are not of much value. We expend vast amounts of energy and attention unnecessarily.
These things often serve to distract us from the Presence of Being, and from the true nature of who we are, as Beings. We define ourselves by our work, wealth, possessions, pastimes, beliefs, social status, relationships, etc. Yet how often do we take the time to be still, to be silent, to turn within, and get to know who we really are, once we set aside our distractions and outer definitions?
So much of what we Give a Fuck about is non-essential. We distract ourselves from what truly matters. These things may provide the fleeting satisfaction of the sense pleasures, an avoidance of facing unsatisfactory experiences, a perpetual distraction from inner knowing – an impediment to inner peace.
Most of what we waste our time Giving a Fuck about has only this value towards the conscious evolution of our souls: In that dissatisfaction may continuously arise from outward grasping, we may eventually find ourselves exhausted from holding on to how we want the world to be, and from resisting how the world is. Then we may seek peace.
When you learn to cultivate Non-Attachment, a.k.a. “Not Giving a Fuck”, it will set you free. Free from suffering. Free to be who you are. Free to reside in the present moment. Free to love all beings.
Now, I am not suggesting that you stop caring about everything. To the contrary, I encourage you to care deeply about yourself and Other People. I urge you to contribute to society, rather than detract from it. Care about your health, the environment, your community, etc. The idea here is to exercise discernment. Give your mind and body quiet time and stillness. Meditate. This can begin to allow you access to the wisdom of knowing what is worth caring about, and what is not. And when you stop to think about it, as it turns out, most things in life are simply not worth Giving a Fuck about.
A launch pad directly into the heart of the time-honored practice of Not Giving a Fuck is to do the exact opposite. Give as many Fucks as possible about everything in your life, especially those things that you cannot change or control. If you think this is counter-intuitive – to Give as many Fucks as possible in order to stop Giving any Fucks at all – then shut your intuition-hole and listen up:
Have you ever noticed how it feels inside of you when you are bothered, frustrated or upset by someone or something? It could be that you resist a situation in your life, or a way the world is. It could be that you want things to be different than they are. You are worrying about things that are out of your control.
Any time you are frustrated, angry, or resentful at the world being the way it is, or not being the way you want it to be, you are Giving a Fuck unwisely. Keep Giving a Fuck, and notice how you feel.
Are you are willing to cultivate your capacity for Awareness, so that you can notice when these states arise within you, and consciously choose the wiser path?
You may wish to deepen your awareness as a regular practice, so that you can begin to soften your insistence on the world being how you want it to be, and resistance to its not conforming to your requirements. This is a proven path to peace.
In Getting Started, we become aware of our grasping – our desires and aversions. In order to cultivate your capacity to Not Give a Fuck, practice the opposite, noticing how unsettled you feel. Unless you are actively doing something to change a situation, then Giving a Fuck about anything that is other than you wish it to be is wasted energy, and counterproductive to your happiness. Eventually, you may decide to change your response to the world, accept things as they are, and find peace.
LETTING GO – RESENTMENT AND FORGIVENESS
Often, energy chords, or Sticky Energy, are imposed on another person when we want their attention or approval. It can also occur when we do not like a person, and judge them negatively.
It is said that resentment is like drinking poison, and expecting the other person to die. Resentment stems from an insistence that a person be other than they are. For instance, I have found myself unconsciously resenting a person like this: “I feel hurt by your behavior. You should not behave in such a manner as to hurt me, therefore I resent you”. Resentment embodies the unwise Giving of Fucks. It fills you with negative feelings, without changing anything.
Instead, it is possible to allow people to be who they are. Accept what is, if you wish to find peace, rather than suffer. Resentment is a form of Grasping. The cure for Resentment – Forgiveness – is a form of Letting Go.
Forgiveness is the antidote to resentment, and a keystone in Mastering How To Not Give a Fuck. No matter what terrible thing someone has done to you, it is up to you to heal the pain, and deal with it. They did the best they could have done at the time, given who they were, what inner resources were available to them, and the pain in their hearts. And it is up to you find peace and happiness for yourself in this lifetime, in spite of the way others have treated you.
A powerful practice in the process of setting yourself free is to make a list of all those whom you resent. Name everyone who you do not allow to be themselves, because you find it offensive or hurtful. Go back in time, through your life. Think of everyone throughout the years and decades towards whom you still feel animosity. When I did this for myself, the list was over 50 people!
Then, one by one, think about each of these people. Understand that they could have done no better, given their state of being at the time, and their lack of Awareness and Compassion. Have empathy for their pain and suffering.
You can even go so far as to actively wish them well. The Buddhists call this Metta. The Christians call this Prayer. For each person who you resent, hold them in your mind and in your heart. Say to yourself out loud: “May you be safe and secure. May you be healthy and strong. Pay you be happy and peaceful. May you live with grace and ease.” Muster within yourself as much sincerity as possible while you say this. Visualize them living your prayer. Realize the ultimate oneness of all beings, and the primacy of compassion. Let Go of resentment. Practice Forgiveness. And then notice how you feel. Are you lighter? Are you more peaceful? Are you more free?
This is what it means to Not Give a Fuck.
IS THERE ANYTHING TO GIVE A FUCK ABOUT?
What IS worth Giving A Fuck about?
Cultivating Awareness, to See What Is, including the causal effect of grasping on suffering, and the value of Acceptance and Letting Go. Cultivating Compassion, recognizing the interconnectedness of all life, enjoying the human connection and intimacy that we, as humans, need in order to be happy. Being a nice person. Loving Other People. Loving yourself. Taking care of your survival needs for food, shelter and community. Then, accept your own impermanence, and figure out what is truly important to you between now and the time you die. Get on with that. Live that. Be that. Do that.
Stop Giving a Fuck about everything else.