Thursday, May 12, 2016

Trying Too Hard

It has come to my attention recently that I have been trying way too hard. Since as far back as I can remember I have always been acutely aware of many of the parts of me that were broken and needed to be fixed. Believing I could find the answers if I worked hard I searched and tried whatever seemed to be the most expedient means of repair. Healing and growth isn't something you can rush though and if you do, you end up with less than stellar results. As the saying goes "Rome wasn't built in a day", so our lives aren't fixed overnight. Even the idea of being "fixed" is a fallacy. When you focus on working towards a "better state" you begin to live in the future sliding the weight of value from now to something non-existent as of yet. A lack of contentment with what is now, creates a void the future promises to fill. Then there is the other extreme of trying to cram everything into the present because the future isn't guaranteed which is the existential equivalent of gluttony. 

Contentment doesn't equal complacency. Contentment is surrender to what is at the moment dancing your moves to the music of the scene. If you are in the wrong place you will know it and move on.  We are all characters in a drama with our backstory written for us. The problem is that we take that backstory as something that defines us when the truth is that it doesn't define, only reveal who we are.  

When actors are preparing for a role they try to find what motivates their character. What is the subtext that every bit of the life on paper filters through? Being conscious of the thoughts that go through your head is a fantastic way to delve into that subtext and find what motivates you, what you believe about yourself. Living in the now frees you from fighting, instead making way to live naturally from your heart. That's where I've been fucking up. Or maybe not. Maybe that's just part of the journey to humble me. 

I've been trying too hard to figure out what my heart is saying so I can science the shit out of it and know I'm doing the right thing. You can't dance when you are simultaneously analyzing your previous movement and freaking out about what you're going to do next. It involves commitment to the present moment like racing a car at 200MPh. 

A few weeks back I was about to find myself in a social situation that seemed like it would be uncomfortable. It hit me - I don't need to feel bad for who I am nor do I need to compartmentalize it. Each moment in life presents the question "how will you respond?" When we realize our power to choose to stand or run from what we feel uncomfortable with, is the moment you understand that the back story doesn't matter - it's each moment by moment choice that reveals you. 

Mothers Day was last weekend and I debated whether to send something to my mother for a few days. That may seem harsh but we have had a tenuous relationship, one that has made the road I've traveled rather difficult. I wouldn't be here without a mother so at least I could honor that. In a flash I had a mental picture of me riding a donkey, a real ornery pain-in-the-ass donkey from the hospital to where I am in life now. Some people believe that we choose the life we will be born into but I don't know how much stock I put in that. Karma seems more accurate to me. All of life is a mathematical journey; our choices either weave towards balance or imbalance. When you hold no attachments (including to your own survival) it is possible to be authentic all the time.

Indulging the idea of reincarnation for a minute, maybe I had an easy journey in a previous life on a donkey that was kind and tame but I thought it was my own will and effort that had this effect and became prideful. Who knows, but from my experience, every bit of life is a donkey taking you somewhere, offering a lesson - this is the situation, how will you react? 

The universe speaks to you all the time if you listen. Unfortunately I've been listening in bursts and then running with the notes instead of realizing that the class never ends.

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