Since when was pretty pictures on Facebook relevant to your health, job, family or anything else?
But you can control it, right? You don’t spend so much time on social media that it matters, right?
10 minutes a day makes for 3650 minutes per year makes for 60 hours per year.
That’s not so much time to look at pretty pictures.
Only 10 minutes more to read about some idiot who is a disgrace to the office he currently occupies and what he will do next.
Will people thank you at your funeral for having spent 120 hours per year for that? Almost a month full time work per year.
As if you volunteered for summer camp to help the disabled. Oh, wait that’s only 1 week per year. Or …
Will people thank you? Your family? Your son or daughter? Voters in the United States?
I know what they will say at my funeral if I continue like this.
With being able ‘to control it’ …
I know what they’ll say. Or rather: What they will not say because I didn’t do much about it.
I know what they’ll not say. And I don’t want to hear it.
I do wish I could just run from it all, but I suppose that is the most natural feeling in the world.
But feeling peace starts with me doing something, no matter the approach I take to the act of creating peace.
And when did anyone ever feel more at peace by the act of running away?
An old friend, whom I had thought lost, said to me today that having children makes you both invincible and incredibly vulnerable at the same time.
No more needs to be said.
I don’t believe I can get a guarantee that everything will ‘go well’.
But that’s not what I’m looking for.
I guess I’m looking for the feeling of energy and courage that I have sometimes gotten in difficult situations, and feeling that it came from somewhere … ‘beyond me’.
When I asked for it. Or just when I needed it.
That at least I can have faith in.
It’s like the breathing exercises my girlfriend has learnt to better manage the pain.
They can’t stop it, but they can make pain easier. If you open yourself to the possibility that it can happen.
That you can do it. That there is help.
Anything but curling up in a ball and pretending to be all alone when the sh… hits the fan.
Curling up, like a fetal position …
But while that version of the fetal position signals fear, there is also another version.
That of birth.
We spend more time liking people on Facebook nowadays, or trying to get liked, then going out and talking to real people.
Or just sitting still and listening to our hearts, what we truly want – who can help us – where we should truly go …
They key is to acknowledge that you need to take time to focus on what you wish and want for, even if you don’t believe you can get it – or that it is very far away.
Do that consistently – telling yourself: ‘I know it is not true now, but it is a good day dream. It’s a fantasy. I am allowed that!’
What will happen?
it’s not just that my friend helps with a trivial thing, like moving a table, although it costs him on a busy schedule. He would have done that anyway, on most days.
But he helps *and* knows.
Knows me. Knows children.
Knows changes. Knows time.
And I know that he knows and cares.
That moment today with him then … would not have been possible 25 years ago … because some moments need to mature.
To grow old in the right way. For the right purpose.
Like something you drink that warms you for a long time after.
That’s worth it. Worth our age.
Then it struck me, after having asked my higher angels for a bit of aid, that I felt incredibly … grateful for all my stuff, all the beautiful important useful things I have with or without histories.
Even the shampoo in the bathroom …
Or an old DVD I have to get rid off anyway to create shelfspace for babystuff …
I. Felt. Grateful. For my stuff. All of it.
No matter how messy it was.
No matter that other people have more stuff and many other people have a lot less. I didn’t compare at all, up or down.
I. Just. Felt. Deeply. Grateful.
For my stuff.
That was also not the worst of feelings.
In fact it was very beautiful, even if it was gossamer.
A friend of mine said it exactly like that today:
“Chris, I believe children are helping us to look at the world with wonder again.”
There are many ways of giving.
Perhaps we can measure our feeling of being blessed in direct relation to how aware – and how appreciative – we are of each.
So if creating order on the outside doesn’t work to that end, something is wrong. Stop.
And start again with the inside, with the feelings. With changing those.
Like when I lay down on my bed and tried to just relax instead of stressing about dust on shelves, always falling. And other silliness.
Start inside with making peace when that’s the best, direct route to peace – inside.
I guess that’s what I did today, in my own halting way.
I could try to say to myself every morning I get up:
“What shall I do on this day in my life-journey?” (Or just: “On this day of the journey?”)
By doing so I train myself to see my life as a journey.
And for me a journey has always been something positive.
It has a goal. A meaning. Even if a lot of terrible stuff happens along the way and you get stuck for 3 days in an airport somewhere
There’s a scale on which I believe you have to go back and forth all life. If somebody behaves in a way that is unacceptable to you, and you don’t have to please them because you fear them, should you then try to understand and please them because you have a moral obligation? Because their behaviour, like anger, is a veiled disguise for a positive intent, like wanting to be respected?
Or should you demand that people also live up to a minimum standard to gain that respect. A standard of behaviour you set.
The answer, as with everything else in life, is blowing in the wind and will differ from time to time.
It is not always right to try to respect people no matter how outrageously you think they behave. It is not always right to not care about them.
The the question in politics, and in life.
What you could do when feeling overwhelmed is to re-tell this personal story as if it was … a journey-story. It begins not with a first step, though – but with a map. Our hero(es) are set out to go – like the Fellowship of the Ring – into the big confusing world. They need a map and they need to take time to make that map. So do you. But they (you) also know that once they have a map – even if it’s just a simple one – the journey has already become a bit easier.