Wednesday, September 25, 2013

buying bewilderment

Oh my gosh - life!

When did you get so overwhelming, confusing...random?? Where was I when the memo was sent out which read "Prepare yourself. Life is a series of things to be relinquished. Always. Things such as youth, health, childhood pets, daydreams and possible dreams, adult pets, people, infatuations, relationships, romances, flawless skin, friendships, honeymoons, and in the end - life itself'."

Why didn't they teach this shit in school? It would have been nice to get a flipping heads up!
Although sometimes amid the facebook pics of sparkly happy people drinking mai-tai's at parties, I wonder if it's just me. And maybe the other small band of unfortunates like me who for whatever reason, usually unfortunate reasons, are just way more clued into these things than others.

Or maybe I can just chalk a lot of this bewildered feeling up to being back in a big, crowded city after 2 months of travelling through beautiful, un-crowded, natural places. As I made my way through Toronto's Union Station as I have done countless times in my life the sense of frantic, tense energy hit me like never before.

Life tip no# 1: Never underestimate the psychological effect of the surrounding environment on the human. In a word - Yowsers.

But I know there is much more going on with me than just this. I'm just not sure exactly what it is or when it started to happen. All I do know is that it has a lot to do with being somewhat displaced - ie - this all pervasive issue of "belonging". I have no idea what 'belonging' looks like for me right now...or even what I want it to look like. There is no intuition on the matter. I feel like a blank slate, which is a really weird feeling although you would think I'd be used to it by now. I know from life experience that belonging is a very deep human issue that all people struggle with in one way or another. I guess I'm just noticing it in myself more at the forefront than usual.

Life tip no#2: Ultimately you are alone. Sorry.

In addition to the "belonging issue" I also get the sense that I am in a very specific phase of transitioning (Just want to clarify here that I'm not becoming a man, but I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about it once or twice!). I have realized over the past year going through the amount of life changes and strangeness that I have causes massive shifts in mind/body/spirit which carry with them massive implications. I find my life priorities quietly shifting, significant relationships changing, the dreams I have for myself morphing, and definitions of myself becoming way less solid than they were previously. Again, this is a very blank, and frankly, uncomfortable feeling.

And here is why: I want ground under my feet. I want answers. I want some safety - financial and in every other respect. I want assurance that, from here on out, life will treat me kindly and bring me some measure of personal fulfillment. I want to be looked on well by others. I want to be seen as successful and smart in some way. I want someone to tell me exactly what to do in order to secure happiness, and I'd prefer they be in 8 steps or less. I want to lose 10 pounds. I want to make sure that I will never ever lose what I perceive that I have gained. I want stability. I want someone to whisper confidently in my ear that I will never ever die.

So herein lies my bewilderment...the truth is that now I actually don't give as much of a shit as I used to about all of the above. Because as hard as it is sometimes for me to accept, I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that these are fruitless human efforts which cause more suffering than anything else. Much more. This is a conundrum for me as I live  in a world so very bent on the acquisition of things both psychological and material that are meant to bring peace but which only bring further torment. I've experienced this torment. And so have you. It's a kind of sick cycle.

Life tip #3: If this cycle causes revulsion in you then try to become really comfortable with being uncomfortable. I can't stress "really" enough.

So I guess that's what I'm doing right now, stumblingly. Trying to be comfortable with the extremely uncomfortable, groundless place I find myself in. Because the longer I'm here, and as much pain as it sometimes causes me, I often get the distinct feeling that this is a very exposed and therefore truthful honest place to be. It's the most honest place to be. Nowhere to hide. No false securities to cling to. Openness to whatever comes. Curiosity about what will emerge. And some days are easier than others. Some days feel like being in a vice grip - between a longing for some kind of predictable life just for something to hold onto, and the desire for true freedom. The free fall.

So there's enough psycho babble for one day. I think I will go now and eat an ice-cream sandwich.


"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." -Rumi

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