I don’t really want to be domesticated. I don’t want everything to be all written out, every major life decision already taken, just executing a plan. A lot of times, I think of either a committed relationship, marriage, having a child, or finding a job I can tolerate as “the end” of exploration and being interesting. I don’t usually realize I think about things this way, but recently as the time when I planned to have it “all figured out” is coming soon, I have some faith I actually will get some of those “most wanted” items on my list, and I realized that I do actually have a personality of my own now, I really don’t want to stop living into the questions. Or rather, I don’t want a life with no mystery, romance, grandeur, or romance. Struggling I might be, but I am an epic quest- where will I be when it ends? Does another quest start? Or, being as I’ll be turning 25 and my brain will theoretically be more or less set, do I start maturing then slowly dying-stagnating?
Somehow I think those fears are unfounded, but I feel like that has something to do with why I resist doing my accounting homework so much. I don’t want a neat journal entry for everything I do- I like the scrawl of an artist and all the scribble scrabble I may not be doing if not for the storm in my soul.
Yesterday, I stumbled upon the poetry of Rumi. Which suggested that maybe I would still have a song to sing and a saga to live even if I had peace in myself. Maybe I would have an even truer verse to contribute.
I’ve mistaken pain for my use for far too long, and felt that loneliness was the key to freedom. I think that’s a bit childish of me, and I could be much more playful and childlike if I just accepted the gifts life gives me. Maybe I can gain the world and keep my soul, finish business school, see the world, get a job- and still be myself.
Because I have a self now, and I don’t want to let her go. They say identity is formed in struggle, especially as you have to create some of it and not just discover or hint at it like one of Plato’s forms. I don’t think your personality is your own until you discover it, and you need to love yourself in order to see. Believing in yourself is seeing.
And somehow, knowing that you are a real person, a work of art, capable of struggle and doubt and joy, you might begin to know peace. Or so I hope. And maybe the rest of the battles won’t smear you with your own blood and guts so much, since your hearts blood is now mingled with the immortal. Maybe you figure out what to strive for, and it just doesn’t cut you to pieces the same way trying to fight reality and control the mystery will.
So don’t worry. Love and let yourself be loved- you won’t dissolve into the either of other people’s wants and cares, I promise. And live, and work, and know there’s a part of you that goes beyond whatever you are doing in the moment. You are not simply a worker, or a husband, or a friend. You are you, and a liver. You can be all those things without losing the essential of yourself, and capable of being without relation, no matter that no man is an island, because you’ve found the place beyond the storm in your soul.
Today I realized that someone loves me, and all that kindness and light flowing out of him was meant for me. He’s not ready to marry me, and is not about to cross an ocean, but without a cage, without a plan, he simply freely loves me, without expectations. I have tried to burden him with expectations, and mistaken the absence of trying to control fate as a lack of force, a lack of love. I was wrong. He loves me.
I too can love this way, especially myself. I don’t need to compulsively plan to own my life. I don’t need to be able to explain it in order to feel I’m on the right track. My heart doesn’t always need to justify itself. I can continue to love the world, and yet love myself and other individuals too. I can know the mystery of the whole though I love the precious little that’s been revealed to me, as all I really need to know for the moment.
Not tamed, not tied, not with lack of force, not lacking will, but at peace- with myself, my surroundings, everything in my life. Though I will try to change it, and continue to strive. Realizing that peace comes from within, and I don’t need to frantically keep changing my world to try to find the combination of circumstances that will suit me. Life will always be about dynamic equilibrium- but I am balance.
And so it is that I can write poetry and essays instead of accounting, for the moment, but I won’t lose the verse when I go look at what’s in the ledger. I can love, without a plan to share my life. I can stop seeking, and actually find, without losing the curiousity of the seeker and the sense of mission of the quest.
So dear friends, I leave you now to go eat some Life cereal. In the game of Life (by Milton Bradley if I’m not mistaken) there are choices and then there’s chance. The magic mix or balance between them that led you to this point is irrelevant. All that matters is that you enjoy today, whatever that means, whatever you are called to do.
The chains of your expectations need not bind you. Take off the rope you’ve used to make yourself like a cow. You are not a beast, you are a spirit. you can stay human and animal and rock and vegetable and a little part of God too. You don’t need to renounce the quest to find peace in the mission.
Maybe peace is more wild than any of those things, the peace of love:
It bears all things, believes in all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. St Paul
Love was the answer to all of your questions. Your soul was thirsty for communion with God. And now that you’ve found yourself, found Him(Her) in you, the story is so far from ending. The action is anything but over. bu rejoice, for you’ve finally found your freedom. The battle in your soul is over, and you will bring peace instead of violence to all that surrounds you. There is no such thing as freedom without uncertainty, and no possibility of knowing mystery without love. So live, and love, and let the journey go on, though you’ve finally found the stillness. And finally, no ties bind you.
Love and namaste,