A Force of Nature

April 6, 2012 § 4 Comments

Almost all of us feel a gap between the life we would aspire to live and the reality of our lives.  Sometimes we define that gap in material terms- I have too little money, I should have been the CEO, and so on.  Sometimes we define the gap in terms of personal qualities- I do not work hard enough, I am too often weak and afraid.  We often ascribe our difficulties to external contexts and actors- the economy is in meltdown, my boss rewards suck-ups and not the real producers, and on and on.  In one way or another, for one reason or another, the life we experience seems to fall short of our imaginings and our ambitions.

Everything about this way of thinking and feeling is wrong.    Our life is not a product of anything and certainly not determined by our context or the actions of others.  There is no gap between the life we dream of and the life that we live.  There can be no such gap because there is no other life than the one we live.  Dreams and imaginings about alternative lives are simply fantasies.  We cannot possibly know what any other path would look like.  We should let go the very aspirations that we create and then hold up to judge ourselves.

We should seek instead to live a life that is ours.  We should experience that life in the only way that life can be experienced, that is, moment to moment.  We should not look back, nor look forward.  When we live this way, there can be no gap between our imagined life and our life as lived.

Such a life is not easy or assured.  In fact, it is achieved only by a ceaseless struggle, moment to moment.  But it is a life free of despair and regret.  And if you live in this way, as much as you can, you become the most powerful person you can be.  You become like the storm that is coming ashore, even as I write these words in a small coffee shop on the Florida coast.  Natural and strong, moving across the water, overcoming or swirling around the objects in its way, and passing on.   A force of nature.

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