7.12.10

Unexpected Words of Wisdom

The other day I sat down and wrote a poem about life and how it changes.  I was inspired, unexpectedly, by David when I was over for a visit.  We had a rather heated discussion about things and where our lives stand and I was very upset at the time.  David said something profound that made me think.  I was pressing him.  Asking him what was going to happen to us in the future, with our friendship, with our relationship, with life. He looked into my eyes and said "Michael, people change.  Life changes.  I cant tell you that.  I don't know.  I care about you but I cant promise that I will always be here."  At first I was very hurt.  I felt like he didn't care about me.  Why wouldn't he have given me a resounding, "yes, I will always be there." ?  I thought about it afterward for a very long time.  I felt insecure at first.  Like everything that we had shared with each other was an illusion. 

I thought about some of the Buddhist teachings that I have been reading about.  One main thought in Buddhism is that we are all part of life.  Ourselves, the earth, the trees, the ocean, the animals, the sofa in my living room, the food that I eat, everything is part of life, part of one ever changing, ever evolving, thing. Buddhism says that all things change.  I am sitting on my sofa writing this at this very moment.  This couch that I sit on is made of leather and wood which over time will start to break down and decay with age.  While I am writing this, my body is aging.  Cells are dying, dividing, renewing.  Wrinkles are forming ( no mean comments from some of you please, LOL).  The main point is that EVERYTHING changes.  Life is not static.  It is fluid and forever evolving and without change we would never grow as individuals.  Every experience in life happens for a reason. Sometimes you have to look at things in a different way.  Change is not always a bad thing, or a good thing.  Sometimes, it just happens and its a normal part of life.

In reality , David was being the smart one.  He was telling me that he would do his best to be here but life sometimes does what it wants with you. It made me realize that none of us can predict the future and that its ok to enjoy the moment and not stress so much about the future.  If things are meant to be then they will work out.  I sure plan on doing my best to make things work and that is all that I can do. 

Some of the meditation work that I have been doing focuses on being comfortable with how you feel.  We are so conditioned to react a certain way to a given situation.  Meditation makes you clear your mind and then gradually let feelings and emotions flutter by in your mind.  During the process you examine them for what they are.  Just thoughts.  They are there.  They take up space in  your head but it doesn't mean that you HAVE to react to them.  Sometimes you can just let them be.  Be aware that they are there, but not necessarily dwell on them or react to them.  It is ok to feel sad, or happy, or afraid, but you don't have to react in a way that lets them rule your life. You are what you think and if you let them rule your life then that is how your life will be.

I think back to two years ago when a very close friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I would have fallen apart had it been me and I can admit that I probably would have been very negative about it.  Laurie, on the other hand, was so positive about it.  She never missed work during chemo.  She even went kayaking and stayed active during the whole process. In fact, I called her the day of her surgery and I thought for sure that she would be in a ton of pain and a mess, but she answered the phone and told me that she was up eating a cheeseburger and felt fine!  We used to joke about her bald head and said that it was the good luck head and would rub lottery tickets on it for good luck.  We called it cancer luck. The whole process for her was terrifying and I know for a fact that sometimes it got her down but she always managed to pick herself up and keep moving forward.  I thought, wow, what a great thing! I was very proud of her and it turns out that she is fine.  It goes to show you that sometimes life is what YOU make it.  If you let it shove you down then you are only writing your own fate. Nothing is impossible if you try.

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