Supposed to make for better living
Are we better human beings?
We've got out wires all crossed
Our tubes are all tied
And I'm straining to remember
Just what it means to be alive
A life worth living
Now you can feel it in your chest
Buildin' like little birds
Just building up the nest
And you build it up strong
And you fill it up with love
And you pray for good rain
All from the lord above
- Jim James, "State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)"
* * *
There is this: the life you are living is entirely your own creation. If it is fucked it is because the wires are all crossed. You have chosen to let others' ways of being dictate how you will respond to the life in your hands. You are a stranger to yourself. Nothing makes sense. Everything you try, everything you hope will correct, amend, adjust and re-align your life comes to ash because you are still dialed into to living at the (nonexistent) mercy of circumstance. The corrective is not to appease, or acquiesce. The corrective is to reject the premise, quit the field of someone else's expectations and find out - for yourself - just what it means to be alive.
Your story isn't over yet. This fuckedness is not the last word. It changes when you change, when you have had enough of clinging to the idea that things will get better for you by buying in deeper and deeper to someone else's vision of what life, your life is for.
You are the only one with that answer. Start acting like it.
* * *
You know there is a life worth living. You know it. It is what haunts you, trails after you, makes you feel like shit every time you copped out, got drunk, stayed in bed, refused the call to get going. It was there when your employer upped his productivity demands and refused to compensate you for it. It was there when your husband/wife/lover treated you as an after thought and you jerry-rigged an excuse for their poor showing. It was there when you talked big, but delivered nothing. This sense that things could be better if only... If only, what? If you answer that question with anything other than, if only I'd had the balls to live by the light in my head, then you still don't get it.
The decisions others make about their lives can and will spill over into yours. Some of it is benign, some malignant. It is what society does - it imposes and defines and sets down rules. Right on. Have at it. I'm all for stopping at red lights. But right here is the crisis for each of us. Because we are swaddled in rules and defined by paths laid down over millennia, we matriculate through our lives without testing our own knowledge, or if we are aware of the life in our veins we hesitate to live by it because we don't know how to slip the bonds of expectation.
Here's the news: imagined as a zero sum game, then you will always falter, always be wrong to the light.
Life, your life, does not have to be lived as either a conformist or an outsider. It is simply to be lived by you, by what animates your higher self. And, motherfucker, you know this feeling, this call to your higher self. You feel it in your chest. It is love. It is strength. It is forgiveness. Mostly though, it is love, and if you pay attention to that love you'll always know what to do next (which is to love the life you have).
* * *
Nietzsche wrote about loving one's fate. This is a terrifying idea to most. If your life is filled with pain or sorrow or regret or physical malady how can you possibly love that fate?
There is a Buddhist teaching that says those who harm us are the cause of their own misery, that in striking out against us the damage they do to themselves is deeper, more intrinsic than what they lay on us.
Put the two together. At the core lies forgiveness. Is your life hard because your choices made it so? Then forgive yourself. Is your life hard because of injustice and violence? Forgive your oppressors by being free of hatred. The journey we are on is one whose center is unconditional love and acceptance of the life we've been given to live. The mystery of our days is that we wait so long to embrace it.
Love your life. It is what you are here for.
* * *
Boom, sweet babies. Boom.