Epiphanies come and go, and for me, this journey is riddled with mini- and big realizations, many of them things and words I hear but only begin to feel once confronted with myself and the world at large. Perhaps the biggest and most revelatory of these words of wisdom are as follows, tangibles I grasp in the muck of India and see applied from Rishikesh to Arequipa.
To begin, what if, simply put, there are no conclusions to things, no nice and neat bow to wrap around a problem, a tribulation, a headache? What if hard stops simply don’t exist, and that in their stead, we have only fluidity, one consideration flowing into the next?
If there are no conclusions, no end points, then tension is a constant. By this, I mean that tender spots I think I leave behind in Colorado actually pester me along this entire journey and welcome me back home full-force, because, see #1, they cease to desist. For me, this means that I will always live in tensions, tandems like wanting to root yet be nomadic and wanting to be close to loves in the USA and in Europe my constant opposites, and for the rest of my life, I will be closer to one extreme but further from the other. Back to lesson #1, there is no ready conclusion and only one life to live, so, therefore, the act of living happens in that uncomfortable tension.
Which, leads me to the head honcho: life is muddy, and as such, what I write today will morph and manifest into new words of wisdom, new epiphanies come a decade, a year, hell, maybe even tomorrow. And, that’s okay.
In the West, we are experts in compartamentalization and reduction, preferring to parse out life’s clutter into neat boxes around which we think we can wrap our heads, but this is a fallacy: Just because we call it contained and paint a white picket fence around it doesn’t mean it is controlled or eradicated, holism and the butterfly effect much truer takes on life’s interconnect web of influence than our monitored and regulated parameters. Life is not a binary system of discrete opposites, and on the contrary, frequently, opposites are often expressions of the same coin, one only possible through the other.
This points to perhaps one of the bigger denials we face in the West–the idea of the creator-destroyer or of the shadow side of life. We tend to only acknowledge powers of creation and of light, for we bestow them with positive aspects, casting their opposites as negative. In doing so, we only ever give voice to a half, the other left to fester, and until we feel the weight that being a creator also means yielding the power to destroy–like the Phoenix rising out of ashes–and that to have light, you must have darkness, we send half our psyches to nether regions of distorted thought and angst.
I, for instance, realize that I am both the abandoner and the abandoned, and for a long time, it doesn’t sit well with me.
Going back to holism, we all belong to this universe and this planet, all expressions of life, the primordial One if you understand yourself to be an outlet for the same force that animates everything around us. As such, there is both permanence and impermanence; we are all made of stardust. So, let feelings and emotions flow through, play the observer and see them react within you, and understand yourself as an energetic being.
Because, I learn, we actually engage energetically with the world around us, and like The Celestine Prophecy predicts, until you learn your own–or your family’s or your parent’s–cycles of drama and the narrative of excuses we tell ourselves and repeat to ward of actually dealing with our fundamentals, we enter a vicious wheel of repeating the same turmoil, often retreating from fear instead of diving head on to discover that no, you do not dissolve, you remain intact, and that for me, I enter this journey scared to hurt and suffer the pain of separation, but, miraculously, what I feel does not crush me to oblivion.
Living energetically, then, means getting to really listen to people, moving beyond the words they use and the posturing they do to try to really hear what they say–the message, what they mean to communicate–thereby working from a place of curiosity, compassion and growth. To see people beyond their exterior shells is to honor in them the same universal light that glows in you, and in doing so, realizing that they are often mere reflections of you, the problems you project onto them actually questions for you to tackle.
So, the attachment issues, I find, are not his but mine, for we are, in the end, only responsible for ourselves and our emotions, the best we can do for our entourage is to present ourselves honestly and intact.
Because, I find, relationships are dynamic spaces for learning, expansion, exploration, physicality, and that, in the end, our lives on the physical plane are for relating, human interaction tantamount to eclipsing life lessons, empathy one of the greatest skills to foster and feed.
And that, at the end of the day, attitude and outlook are critical, positivity and openness a sphere of influence that has the potential of uplifting and empowering all those it touches, negativity sure to send you on a one-way ticket to depression and loneliness. Attitude, it seems, holds more clout and life-changing potential than things made of sticks and stones.
All of this points to culmination–the essential, the essence of beings and life courses, and that once we let go of the clutter and noise and distractions, it’s all quite simple, really, for we die the same way we come in, alone and naked, unaccompanied by the mounds of accumulated ego and things, and that we have precious little time to waste in wanton and misdirected priorities and status symbols, so we might as well choose to dare to live from awareness, honesty, integrity and passion in as many moments as possible.
Because, to quote the Beatles, all you need is love.