“My true self is perfect wholeness”. This was the centering thought in today’s meditation with Deepak Chopra. It’s all part of my quest for purpose. To find my self, my space, and according to the tenets of Mussar, fill it, “no more than my place, no less than my space”. Whew. Sounds like I’ve bitten off quite the chunk, no? In historical fashion, my first inclination is to say, “F*#% this s@#*”, and spit the damn wad out. But, curiously, I’m sort of enjoying the process. It’s illuminating to finally accept that whining about the present, crying about the past and fearing the future, and doing it in such spectacularly public a fashion is pretty much overflowing my space and possibly holding everyone around me’s space hostage as well. All cause I don’t feel equipped to fill my space in the first place. I know, I’m starting to sound a little Dr. Seuss-y. I cannot, will not find my place, I cannot, will not fill my space. But seriously, folks, y’all know I’m going through some stuff here as the world opens up. Blah, blah, Blah. Who isn’t? The trick is to balance the inner and outer me. The soul and the self. The true self, which is, just by being, already perfect, and the self I have created, which is, let’s face it, a mess. This is, obviously, a long process. I, of course want results yesterday. “Come on, true, perfect self… I know you’re in there, come on out!” Meanwhile my true self is telling me to F*#% off and leave a family-sized bag of m&m’s before I go. *Sigh*. Obviously this is gonna take a while, but what’s the hurry? Isn’t the journey as much of the fun as the destination? Truly, whoever said that? They are full of it. Sometimes the journey is just trudging up a mountain in the desert in high heels. Yesterday, I placed my usual online order for this particular ice cream I like. But, instead of ordering 4 pints, I ordered 4 cases. Didn’t even notice until after I submitted the order. And because the order gets fulfilled like, the second they get it, there is a good chance that I’ll be getting 32 pints of ice cream. Imma have to buy a meat locker. So, yeah, sometimes the journey is frustrating and lonely, and scary. But it’s also hilarious. And sweet. And fun. And enlightening. And if you’re really lucky, you have all sorts of amazing family and friends right next to you, complaining about blisters on their feet and the desert heat. Ok, True self. Be that way. But I’ll be back. No m&m’s. But I will have ice cream.
As the lockdown winds down and life begins to open up, I, like many others, am facing a crisis of faith. As horrible as this pandemic has been, it has been a period of calm for me. I answered to no one but myself. I needed to be nowhere and I created for only me. I didn’t stress about what I was missing, because we were all missing…something. And now? As we begin to remove our masks, I am suddenly afraid. What happens next? What do I do? Where do I go? I can’t live on the dole forever. I need a job. Don’t I? Can I keep living in this cocoon of calm and creativity, this bubble of peace, hiding behind a literal mask? Can I turn a quirk of fate into a life that resonates with joy? All of these questions have me a little stuck, loathe to leave behind the comfort of this quarantine life, but knowing I can’t stay. We all talk about the new normal. What is that supposed to look like for someone like me? Do I retire? Do I look for a new job? Do I sit around and hope my old job still exists? Or do I do neither of those and figure out what the life I really want to live for the next chapter looks like? Maybe it’s not just fear I’m feeling. Maybe it’s excitement, anticipation. Maybe it’s ok to be afraid, not for what we’ve missed, but about what’s to come.