Friday, March 30, 2012

Heel to Toe, Heel to Toe

Quote of the Day
Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of it's sorrows, 
it only empties today of it's strength.
~Charles Spurgeon~

Current Local Weather: 
60 MPH winds followed by
120 BPM pulse ripping my veins apart.

Currently on my iPod: 
"Human Nature"
Vijay Iyer

Dear Friends, Family and my Family of Friends, 

If you had a choice in the life you were granted, do you think you would have chosen the one you're currently living? What if there had been someone standing over you, like a detective or IRS agent, waiting for a flinch or extra out-of-character blink as you stood over bodies, surveying them for potential good or bad traits...would you have wanted them for who they look like instead of who they were or are or will be? Would you still have thought to pick yourself? 


Do you even know yourself well enough to know which body would have best represented you? Would your instincts, as a human, have kicked in? 

I don't think they would have. I don't even know if the saying, Trust Your Instincts, is enough to go off of in any situation. Sure, sure, I understand the fight or flight syndrome thingamajig, but it doesn't mean it's always right unless Steve Carell is coming after you with a trident in a backlot of a news station...

Seriously though, do you think you would have really wanted to be anyone other than yourself? I hear all the time...if only I were this person...or that person…honestly, I hear it all the time from my own mouth, subconscious and whatnot. Especially when I've been very sick, I think…if only I could be someone…anyone other than me, stuck in my body, dying on the inside to have someone on the outside listen. 

Inevitably, after I say it, I regret it. 

It's at this stage, that I feel we're all going wrong. There's this want of something that isn't real or true or even anywhere near half-true and I feel, more now than ever, that this is devouring our drive to be better people. If we're always focused on being someone we're not, we'll never be who the world needs us to be. 

Besides, there's no way to know what it's like to be anyone else. Walking a mile in someone else' shoes is quite literally, impossible. 

We all know how to walk. We all know what walking looks and feels like. Heel toe, heel, toe. We all know that there are some people who can't walk but know how to get around. But this doesn't mean that we all walk the same. This only means that we have a common denominator. It's like we're all versions of the same equation that eventually come to the same conclusion. Yet there's no easy way to figure out what that conclusion is or will be. It's just best if we keep our own shoes on and respect the fact that not everyone wears Nikes or Clarks or Jimmy Choo. Some of us are barefoot. Some of us don't mind the calluses and think they add character. Some of us wear the same shoes year after year regardless of what's in or out of style.  

So who is it that chooses dystopia when we're all taught that utopia is just a first kiss/new car and/or undergrad degree away…? Evil Dictators? Hardly. I think they start out the same way we all do. Wishing for a better world…however warped their world is, a better world, nonetheless. 

Dystopia isn't an advantage unless you look at it as something that can afford you considerable perspective. Same can be said for Utopia. If you were that other person living a life unlike the only one you know, what would be the thing that makes you happy? Would the life you live now seem despotic? Or would it be great? 

Would the happiness that stems off of your new life cause bloating of the ego? Would it simplify your life? Choices wouldn't have to be made. It would be so perfect that no other life would ever be good enough. However, when pressure begins within, the repercussions are often deadly. Egos get bruised, expectations are lost and the drive to be anyone at all, has landed you in a foreign land without a map, a friend or even vegetation to feed off of. 

I wish I had a different kind of different life. One in which the poor in spirit are treated just as well as those that are poor in the wallet. There's charities for those that are homeless. There's government institutions that will pay for you to get a better life if this is the situation you're in. But if all you want is to be someone you're not, you've got to find your own way either forward or back to where you started. 

Anne Lamott, during a reading in Denver at the LoDo Tattered Cover store this past week, said that the biggest fight she's ever been through was that of learning how to fall in love with herself. How everything she had done before this love affair had been accomplished through the pain of being everything but true to her soul. How hard is it to see the lesson in this? 

Learning these lessons aren't easy. I can't even say that I'm 100% there but I do know, in my heart, that I'm working on it day and night. It won't be long until this project is due and the next one begins. Being good to yourself is of the essence. Letting anyone down for any reason, just isn't ok by social standards. So why does letting yourself down seem like an acceptable practice of the human race. 

I hope you'll all fall back in love with your lives. Moving on and up and lending a hand to those that have yet to learn to walk, run or jump over to their purpose... 

Yours in Love, Lessons yet to be Learned and Listening to Reason, 



Charles Bynum said...

To my way of thinking, the problem exists in the fact that we cannot even begin to define what this thing we think of as the self actually is. As far as learning to love one’s self is concerned, we are all far too enamored with ourselves as it is. My experience has been that the love of others frees one from the bondage of self. Most of us live an absolute slave to the wants, needs and desires of this self. And yet, what is this “self” really? If every memory of your life suddenly left you, would you still be this thing you think of as you? Or would you become a new “self” with new ideas and new experiences completely unfettered by the memories that now limit who you think yourself to be? Perhaps this self is the illusion, and love of this self is the disease.

Angela Giles Klocke said...

Ah, I relate to this, but then, most of us probably do. I think I am finally in a good place with who I am, though. But sure, I'd trade off some of the health issues...

Art Rosch said...

I always feel that choosing to be another person would turn out to be a dreadful mistake. I would have been lured by the butterscotch topping of success/recognition/work that I don't have. I can't even find my own obscurity! I pine for an audience.
But my suspicions cannot be allayed.
I am in precisely the life that I must live, however grotesque or painful. I may not know the reasons for having wound up in such a pickle but it's my pickle, it's nice and dill, and I must eat it. Squelch the envy, little man, the lives that people are living don't always add up to their appearance of success or splendor. No butterscotch toppings today. I must live the live I've been given and accept it with some modicum of grace.