Fire is an emblematic representation of life itself. It is an ever changing mixture of creation and destruction. It can provide comfort while instilling fear. It can rage uncontrolled, or be used with precise finesse. What fire is will be determined by how we choose to use it. And so with life …
I have not written anything in weeks. For that matter, I have really done nothing creative at all in weeks. No that is not quite it either. I have not LIVED at all in weeks.
I am (have been but no more?) simply existing.
The only activity that I have participated in with any regularity is questioning myself. I have been hitting myself relentlessly with ALL the hard questions: Who am I? What am I? WHY am I?
When and where were the only questions that required no thought.
To say I have been despondent would make despondent a cheerful child. Dark thoughts have been my primary companions, the kind of dark thoughts that have medical and law enforcement professionals worried. Not that these thoughts meant anything. They were simply me fighting off a spiritual infection. Healing means accepting that often things will get worse before they get better. So what has changed? Am I all cupcakes and roses now? ⇐ Me being creative The simple answer is my attitude. The stew that I have been cooking still has all the same ingredients … I am just determined to make it taste good now.
“Tell me what has been troubling you!” no one with any sense will be saying right now. Fortunately No One (with or without sense) is exactly who I actually EXPECT to read this, so I will a tell on. Enter a LIST:
- LIFE HAS NO MEANING … this is not a cry of despair (anymore) but rather an epiphany. We all want everything to make some sort of sense, and use every trick in the book to make that happen. And when we fail miserably (if we in fact fail miserably) we are … well … miserable. My simple yet profound realization (one I keep having and then forgetting), is the ONLY meaning to our lives is that which we CREATE FOR OURSELVES. I’ll blame the weather for my forgetting this simple truth yet again.
- THE ‘BAD’ GUY ALWAYS WINS … I am a firm believer in compassion. The one problem with being a compassionate soul is we actually have lines we won’t cross. Unfortunately, this means that anyone who has no such restriction will inevitably use us as floor mats. We can express ideas such as “Good will always win in the end” and such, but the demonstrable reality is, frankly, quite the opposite. Just look at the state of human society. This is not me saying we might as well give up on compassion and embrace the dark side. Just a recognition that until ALL of humanity embraces compassion things will not readily change.
- EXPECTATIONS … I keep getting trapped by what is ‘supposed’ to happen, which is a concept that does not have any basis in reality (see my first list item) other than in the mind. The worse expectations that I keep failing to meet are those expectations that I expect others expect of me. Ironically, those are the only expectations that anyone can truly have (other than our own expectations of ourselves, which are heavily influenced by those expectations that we expect others expect of us). Thus meeting these self-created yet ultimately meaningless expectations can be a rather difficult task. Worse is getting caught up in the supposed failure of meeting said mystical creatures. The answer is to just remove the expectations from the picture. Then there is no failure to fret about.
My list is rather short, but it really covers the gist of my interior battle. I could break it out into a huge ‘ailment’ list, but No One would be even less likely to read THAT and such a list would really serve no purpose. Simply put, darkness comes and goes … even the happiest of people will occasional be visited by shadows. We can either choose to let the darkness take over, or we can find that inner spark that resides within each of us and do what is necessary to build a fire. Fuel the spark; fan the flame, and before you know it the darkness is pushed back by a roaring bonfire.
Often the hard part is CHOOSING to build the fire in the first place.