I have come to a shy realization that I am not the only one who’s searching for myself in this big wild world. You know? Sometimes it seems like I have it all figured out, sometimes I even forget that I am searching for anything in the first place; it suddenly all seems here, present. Everything flows, I am sure you’ve felt that at some point too. That mysterious “it” we are all wondering about falls into our laps, we are then able to touch it and hear it, to see it everywhere we look and life surprisingly becomes simple, as though it was all there all along for us to just grab, or see or whatever it is we must do to believe. And then, in a split second, it all dissipates again, as though it was never there tragically the loss is immense and our entire mindset weaponizes to begin that pursuit again.
It really is mind-boggling; because we all grew up hearing things like ” it comes when you least expect it to, or you will fall in love when you aren’t looking…” etc. So the vagueness of it all kind of bothers me, perhaps it even irks you too. I’m curious what about that is actually so annoying and tricky and unfair?
I remember once standing by the sticky doors of the N train in New York City, going home to my old squeaky apartment after a long day of NYU Masters’ classes. My head was filled with the words of international law professors and their jargon. Except until this day, I remember one thing; funnily enough not the laws, nor the jargon but the feelings. And if you’ve read me in the past years, you’d know how big on noticing feelings I am; almost to a fault! That day I felt like I had it figured out. Imagine looking out of those doors, catching a flash of the city drenched in another glorious sunset and knowing things are good. I’ll tell you, things made sense! I felt it, I had it. It was all there, all around, and I thought that nothing else would feel as rewarding, nor as good. Naturally, that changed, life changed, my days, my location, my feelings- everything became different. I spiraled, felt lost and confused and I wondered what in the world was happening? Had I lost “it” all? and to what?
You see? You have it and then you don’t. Better yet, you think you have it and then you think that you don’t. That “THINK” is the culprit. When we let ourselves rely on certain conditions outside of our control we might be setting ourselves up. The way we perceive our life becomes dangerous and fragile because it all happens through a lens framed by conditions that could simply change or disappear. Long story short, our errant thoughts and perceptions bite us in the ass eventually.
This is not to say doubt every good thing, au contraire. We must practice not searching for ourselves because that comes from a place of being lost. We can instead rely on who we are now and who we aim to become. This attitude is boundless and limitless because it allows us to be free. If I limit my pursuit to a very specific feeling or goal; I might end up on the wrong end; because things don’t always go as planned.
Now, watch me put away my preacher hat and replace it with the “doing it” sombrero for this! I am embracing the odds, welcoming the process and trying to care less about the end goal! you can hold your applause because it is insanely difficult for someone with anxiety (aka your writer). Obviously, many of us are in the same club where we perceive the world as dangerous, as uncertain and as filled with potholes. So we tiptoe and we plan and we perfect every move to fall gracefully and not perish. We try to avoid as much pain as possible. In our heads, all that pain, along with every possible catastrophe has made itself present; and so we propel ourselves into a pursuit of safety and a perfectly aligned life that has little confusion or surprise. The conditions become immense, but that my friend is why we must try to transform and change the story!
So I go back to my opening point. I’ve been searching since I started wondering since I started thinking and assessing life’s dangers. Yet, as I search I find myself and others in the weirdest places. I however also find things when I’m not searching. When I think that I have arrived, life doesn’t stop, and conditions keep on changing. So as every spiritual teaching says; just be, and let things happen all around. I halt the pursuit and look around because it was in NYC once that I found myself, it was in Bali later, but here I am in Beirut figuring it out all the same. So where am I really? was I even ever lost? and is it possible that when I stop searching I learn more than when I’m searching like a chicken with its head cut off? – sorry for the metaphor!
I will leave this with you for now. The mystery lives on and I tag along, and I hope that you do too because, well… life happens when you don’t think about it and you never know what you will find when you aren’t looking!