Experiences

Sometimes I get so frustrated.  I have a clear (very clear) notion of how things should be or the ending I would like and there is nothing (NOTHING) I can do to effect an acceptable outcome. I get so tense.  I do everything one could possibly expect--I think about alternatives and plan for them, I visualize me in a different situation, I seek wise counsel. And yet nothing changes.

Or, rather, nothing visible changes. I’ve learned over decades that what is visible truly is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg.  I’ve also learned that my concern needs to be with the ice beneath the surface. I can’t see it with my eyes but this huge mass is real and present in each second of my existence. What is hidden beneath the surface in fact makes life on the surface happen as it does.

We like to think that we are captains of our ships but we fool ourselves.  Our minds are not that grand or that powerful or that wise.  We want to believe they are, however, and that we can trust them.  Truthfully, we can trust our minds only with details, with strategies, and with problem solving. How to live a meaningful and rewarding life is completely beyond the purview of anything our little minds can imagine. Being the good servants that they are, our minds will attempt to fashion a meaningful life if we ask them to do so.  Meaning, however, is not a concept but an experience. Our minds don’t experience. They can’t. All they can do is solve problems and our lives are not problems to be solved but experiences to be had.

Experiences tend to be messy. How we muddle through the mess is how we grow and learn and develop as the unique humans we are.  Minds don’t have a category for “individual.” They operate in the realm of fair and unfair, acceptable or not. Creativity? Spontaneity? Joy? A mind doesn’t trade in those currencies. A mind can tell us how to be safe, how to do things the way everyone else does things, and how to think logically.

But that iceberg under the surface doesn’t require logic.  The iceberg represents consciousness, the tiniest detail of is-ness for each of us.  We know we’re not our thoughts or our actions or our words.  The being whom we most basically know as ourselves is far deeper. That being is experience--fluid, changing, evolving. Life is at our core--unpredictable, uncontrollable life. So we be and life lives through us and we feel. And who we are develops from our choices. 

We all learn eventually that having an experience inside, feeling a feeling, noticing a conflict, builds our life as a human. And we learn that we need not fear any feeling or eschew any experience. What’s to fear? It’s all me. So I keep breathing and keep feeling.  I don’t have to judge my experience.  I just have to open to experiencing myself in my life. And then I learn to allow and to trust Life inside and out. Only then do I experience peace

 

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