Archives for posts with tag: do you

Or, you know, “make a joyful noise”, or… whatever. Some days feel made for joy. 🙂  Enjoy them when they turn up. 🙂

Seriously, wrap yourself in joy once in a while. Totally okay. Don’t let the world bring you down every time. Rapture? Real. Joy? Legit. Delight? There’s a ton of it to experience. When it over takes you? Savor the experience. Let your face hurt from smiling. Go ahead and cry happy. 🙂

Feeling happy? That’s more than okay – it’s also quite fleeting, sometimes. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Enjoy you. ❤

I spent some minutes marveling as my brain lied to me about the lovely dawn beyond the window, hinted at through closed blinds. Looks like it’s going to be a warm, late spring day… but… it’s the Winter Solstice, so… no. I sit, drink coffee, and contemplate how easily I am fooled by a trick of light – and lighting. I recently changed the bulb out there on the stoop, and the light is a different color. I even know this. I am aware of it… and yet… it definitely looks like a pearly dawn, of the sort that precedes, perhaps, a slightly humid, warm-ish sort of clear day… maybe on the coast somewhere, or in the desert. I can see that. I can know it is not a real thing, and only a trick my brain and senses are playing on me.

I open the blinds, after a time, to see what is really beyond the window, in the way of morning light. Only the chill steely blue-gray of winter dawn, well before sunrise. Through open blinds, the porch light is just a porch light, perhaps a somewhat peculiar choice of bulb, but certainly nothing any stranger than that. What special tools these brain things are. lol 😀

A lot of our experience is like that; built on assumptions, sensations, perceptions, corrected through fact-checking, “double-checking” experiences, verifying what isn’t clear, and allowing ourselves to adapt to what we have learned, to hold a more accurate picture of the world in our mind’s eye. Not everyone is good at it. Yep, one more thing that takes some practice. 😀

When was the last time you over-reacted to something? Wouldn’t it be fantastic to just… not? To see things accurately, hear what is being shared with you with a clear understanding, to respond to the world – and your relationships – always in a wholly appropriate way? It’s definitely a goal, for me. I work at it every day. Every day, I see some tiny improvements. Every day I see room for more improvements. Every day I practice. That first reaction to an experience is nearly always driven by “unseen forces”; implicit values, assumptions, disappointed expectations, misunderstandings, miscommunications, unexpressed needs, unstated boundaries, physical comfort (or lack of it), emotional state of being in the moment, the fucking weather… the list is pretty long. I continue to practice being accepting of my first reaction to things, but not allowing that reaction to lead my decision-making, or ideally even also preventing it from coloring whatever the fuck is going to come pouring forth from my face holes as a stream-of-consciousness rant of some sort. I definitely also really have to work at this; however much I’d like it to feel (and become) quite natural, I very much have to practice… very much. lol So human.

That fancy brain is just trying to help; it’s so much faster to put reactions on our internal “automation” – that’s what makes them “reactions” rather than responses (measured, well-considered, thoughtful, appropriate). It’s sort of a bother that our reactions are not all that helpful, and are often just entirely incorrect – they are definitely faster than our ability to reason clearly.  Emotions generally get to the party ahead of our ability to reason clearly. It would be more efficient to fall back on our reactions in the moment, but honestly, they are often only useful in emergency situations – the rest of the time it is definitely worth slowing the fuck down and giving every-damned-thing a second thought.

…On second thought…

(You knew that was coming, right?)

…We’re also not actually very astute about what, specifically, in this modern century of humanity, actually amounts to an “emergency”. We get seriously jacked up about the dumbest shit. TV shows. Petty resentments. Who ate the last treat. Territorial disputes. Money. In a world literally covered in resources, more than adequate for everyone, we’re all very busy fighting over crumbs while a handful of dragons sit on hoarded wealth… and we distract ourselves from all manner of things that really matter a great deal – by reacting to shit that does not. (So human) We seem, often, largely incapable of honest collaboration and community, prone to viewing all of life’s challenges as tiny zero sum adventures in greed, “being right”, or “winning”.

What matters most? (The question does not go away, simply because answering it is uncomfortable.)

Today is the Solstice. The longest night. A celebration (for me) of contemplation, of wonder, of silence in our own personal darkness – and of waking up to the light.

A wintry sunrise is imminent. The dawn is a bleak pale gray with a hint of blue. The traffic on the road outside reminds me that I am not having to join them on the race to beat the clock to the office this morning. I take my time with my coffee, considering my experience and my plan for the day, thinking ahead to sharing the holiday with my Traveling Partner.

It’s been a peculiar year, and much has changed. I’ve made some interesting new friends. Broadened my social network both geographically, and in the variety of new human beings in my experience. I’ve ended some relationships – including one that reasonably ought not have been given another chance at all – and moved on with my life. There’s been some turmoil, some drama, and some major headaches (both literal and figurative). The world has strained with the pain of watching civilization heave, and perhaps fall… no way to know, quite yet. This moment? Right now? I’m okay. There aren’t a lot of extras. It won’t be a lavish holiday. I have what I need, though, and that’s enough. 🙂

I welcome the Solstice this year, as a season of change, and of reflection, and a time of vision. It’s definitely time to begin again.

 

I am munching a healthy, nutritionally dense, calorie appropriate meal. Later, I’ll meditate, exercise, have a shower, and wind down for the evening. When I finally call it a night, the dishes will be done, counters clean, and there will be a general sense of tidiness, completion, and contentment. Is it “the right way”? I suggest it isn’t about that; it’s what meets my own needs. Your needs may differ. Do I live this way out of privilege? Wealth? Nope. It’s not that, either; I have lived this way without means, making do with nothing besides effort, will, and a sense of self. (It’s easier, as is everything else, when we have means, there’s no question about that, in my mind.) I’ve also lived quite differently.

…I’m not a kid anymore, and I’ve had time to explore what works for me, and figure out what “my way” may actually be. That matters, too… it has taken time to get here…

…I’m glad I had that time; there is further to go.

Tonight my Traveling Partner is far away, enjoying a very different evening, in the company of another person. I’m cool with that – even encouraging. It’s not reasonable, I think, to expect to be all things to even just one other person. I’m glad he has friends (and yes, even lovers), and a life beyond our relationship; this is what works for us. Our way. It fits. It is comfortable. The suffocating cling wrap of true monogamy doesn’t fit our natures, so it is not what we choose for ourselves. Is it “the right way”? You already know the answer; it isn’t about that. It is what meets our needs, and the needs of our loves. Your needs may differ. We treat each other well, and with great consideration, and this, too, is very much part of our way of living and loving. It works for us.

I’m not going to seek to persuade you that my life is “right” for you. I am not you. You’ve got to walk your own path. Discover your own values. Embrace your own journey. Chart your own course. Make your own choices. Walk your own hard mile. Sort yourself out. Find your own way. I’m not blazing a trail through a wilderness here; I’m living my life. I am neither prophet nor teacher. I’m one human being, with a lifetime of my own challenges, sort of “thinking out loud” while I work through them. Maybe you find that helpful, or entertaining, maybe you don’t. It is what it is.

I’m here. So are you. It’s enough. 🙂

I don’t need to be “right” on any of this. I’m just finding my own way in the darkness, and hoping for the best, each day counting on myself to be able to get some little detail a little more well handled than I did the day before, to maybe live with greater skill, and greater love, and maybe, just maybe… a small amount of wisdom gained over time.

…I’m glad I’ve had some time for that, too.

You know what I don’t have time for? I don’t have time for hate. Do I hate people who don’t live “my way”? Of course not; they are walking their own path, having their own experience, and quite likely also, generally, do whatever they individually think is “best”. We may differ on our approach, our choices, and our values. We may experience very different outcomes… but I, for one, do not have time to hate. Do you?

Do you, really?

I finish my dinner, and think about the future. I think about all the many beautiful dreams of beautiful futures that have, over time, come and gone, rather like soap bubbles. Fragile. Colorful. Delightful. Unable to endure life’s breezes and thorns long enough to ever be anything more than beautiful dreams, already gone, so many already forgotten. There are others. There likely will be other dreams of beautiful futures for however long a future seems to be ahead of me at all, down to the last day of consciousness, and living. That, too, is what it is. I am very human.

This moment isn’t as poignant as it may sound, reading it off a page. There’s still time to begin again. I finish dinner, and start on the dishes. 🙂