It’s been hard to put thoughts together for any kind of prose for the last few months, aside from a little bit of journaling several times per week. I’ve felt disillusioned, sad, and angry at what I perceive as a lack of individual critical thinking, compassion, and common sense on the part of so many who reside in this country. I’ve allowed these emotions to hinder my creativity and overall motivation when it comes to having anything worthwhile to say.
But nothing cures the ostensible “writer’s block” like writing itself, so here I am.
As I sit on an airplane bound for NYC, this is my undergirding belief: Nothing is permanent in this world. If your favorite sports team wins the title, they have to defend their crown the following year and the odds are that something else will claim the prize. The candidate or party you favor wins the election and it seems that history is moving in the right direction, but then they lose a few years down the road…and it feels like the country is going backwards. Your awesome job will eventually no longer be yours or even exist any longer. And everyone you love, even if you don’t break up, get divorced, or otherwise become estranged, eventually dies…including you.
Given such impermanence, is any emotion worth it? Love hate, fear, disappointment, despair, anxiety, and so forth? What’s the point in investing yourself with any passion or conviction, only to see that every fair-tale ending will unravel sooner or later?
Despite all my rage, I think emotions are still worth the journey and that I’m more than just a “rat in a cage.”
Here’s why. There is something permanent above and beyond this world, and that is a person’s divine energy; his or her spiritual “being-ness.” This isn’t always comforting in the moment, especially in the face of overwhelming disappointment or despair, but it remains true. It is the practicing of awareness–of emotions, of bodily sensations, of noticing what’s happening in front of us–that leads to deeper ownership of this permanent, enduring identity. And that in itself provides key internal joy that is far more powerful than the negative emotions we’re bound to experience.
The key is the word “practice.” This is the daily discipline to keep building spiritual “muscle memory” through behaviors such as meditation, mantras, yoga, journaling, contemplation, and so forth, amid all of the distractions that would hinder us from doing so.
I’m writing this first and foremost to myself before anyone else. I am pissed. I want to lash out and tear down. And I recognize how poisonous and dead-ended these desires are to anyone. I don’t want to be a prisoner to them.
What I want is to meaningfully contribute, while growing in mindfulness and my awareness of the divine, and to fully love others around me while doing so.
Some days I’ll probably suck at this. But I’m going to keep practicing.