I’ve witnessed the smartest people make the dumbest decisions, the richest people live completely empty lives, and the most socially active people with the most ‘friends’ feel the loneliest. Why is this?
In my opinion, it’s never enough. People in general have an insatiable need to fill a hole within themselves that isn’t there. I see them do this with career, with children, with money, with hobbies, with shopping, with food, with sex, with sport, with beauty, with drink, with applause, with anything.
After having a child, they see it wasn’t enough. After creating the perfect home, they see that something is still missing. After developing a wonderful career, they see that it too needs to expand or be more. After being in an amazing & loving relationship, they haven’t yet experienced true fulfillment & contentment. No matter what one strives for, thinking that it will be ‘it’, the very thing they achieve or find that creates balance within themselves or within in their lives…. it will never be ‘it.’ That mad crazy dash to understand and fill the deep missing will continue to be a journey to nowhere. To now-here. It’s like the previous post I wrote about us being mules, chasing an imaginary carrot (written in May 2013): “When did money take the front seat and drive the destiny of our lives? Where is our sense of Self worth? Is it the ‘small self’ or ego that is always worried, always chasing the carrot, the one always looking for approval & comfort? If so, that isn’t the real you. The carrot journey never ends. Oh, yes it does — pardon me. It ends at death. When we realize what truly matters.”
The bases of all suffering, and all stupid moves by smart people, is confusion. We are literally confused. Someone wrote me a wise email recently, in the email they wrote: “Sometimes when we step back and look at things in a different perspective, we see and learn things that were there all the time, and we never even acknowledged them.” This was my reply to that email… But before you read it, please know it’s taken out of context. So it might be difficult to piece together, but I think you see where we were getting at in our conversation. “Either way, there will be a struggle and some challenges, and not everything will be perfect or easy. But hopefully, to see that home is where the heart is. And I mean that literally. It’s in him. He has to be content in his own skin, with his own spirit. The restless chasing of things is pulling him away from ‘home’. Everyone has this struggle, and sometimes it takes near death, the death of a loved one, or one’s own death to realize it.”
I often find solace in in quotes by Buckminster Fuller. One of his quotes that comes to mind is: “All of us are born a geniuses, but life itself seems to de-genius us.” And the other quote is: “Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable.”
In my opinion, life is best lived without meaning. To try to understand it all, or try to make a game out of it, it’s just fooling oneself. To try to think that something might be the answer, or something might makes us whole — sets us up for struggle and disappointment.
Recently I’ve been learning how to train my dogs. The books I’ve been reading are coming from the approach that; instead of training my dogs, I should be learning to understand them. In understanding my dogs better, I see that the real training needs to take place within myself. By training myself (looking at how I might be a source of dysfunctional energy, and making needed corrections), it allows me to successfully communicate with them, rehabilitate them, and live by example. This helps to create better habits for everyone, and it creates a balanced energy for our entire pack/family.
Cesar Millan (also known as The Dog Whisperer) says that animals typically respond in four ways: fight, flight, avoidance, surrender. And that a calm balanced dog is one that peacefully lives from a place of surrender. You want to help pets to move from the stages of fight, flight and avoidance, to get to the stage of surrender. When I read this concept, I immediately thought of humans. We spend our entire lives fighting, fleeing and avoiding. Our entire culture is made up of resisting and fighting with life. Fighting with reality, with each other, and fighting with ourselves. Most people are constantly looking for distractions, always needing to escape the moment. Not being able to be fully present, or still within themselves. Most people see surrender as defeat. They view it as giving up. But in my opinion, this is a misunderstanding of the word. [If you want to read my views and more information on what it means to surrender, you can find them via this link.]
When I picture someone wise, someone truly content, balanced and happy, they are peaceful, relaxed and calm. They watch, they observe and notice. Their level of awareness is high. So is their sense of compassion. Usually, we imagine this person to be old. To have lived through the race that we create out of life, and they have surrendered to it all having no meaning and no permanence. Their death is near, and they have a better sense of what truly matters. This can also be the case for many old animals. They have given up the fight. They enjoy simplicity, and what the current moment has to offer. If we apply this wisdom to our lives, imagine how much easier and more pleasurable our lives would be. And this can be attained. But in order for it to happen, we need to release the need to fight, flee or avoid what is currently happening. We have to have the courage to embrace all that is. Resting in the reality of the moment. Surrendering to the idea that we don’t have control over life, and we never did. But in relaxing into ourselves, and to whatever life brings — it empowers us. It makes us stronger, wiser and more equipped to handle anything that life brings. It makes life more enjoyable, more free.
It’s interesting how letting go; surrendering and fully embracing what one might view as incomplete or inadequate, might be the very action/non-action that makes us whole. And surrendering never means to not create, or to neglect, or disregard things that need assistance and attention. It only means a grater acceptance of the whole. To see that everything is what it is, and in that might be doing whatever work needs to be done. Not to make things perfect, or to ‘fix’ anything, but to surrender to the process. To allow life to live life, in us, through us, and around us. This is a humble approach. One that takes the power out of a story about a ‘me’ and give the power back to the grater whole. That greater whole is the higher Self. Where all of our spirits and mystery are connected and fully intact. Where we are invisible and untouchable. Where nothing could ever be missing or unfulfilled. Where no decisions need to be made and nothing needs to be done. Where the whole Universe is home, and there is no where to go. Where everything is perfect, just as it is.