Hard-hat meditations

After a couple hours in viparita karani (legs up the wall) in a hard hat, this is what came out.

Maybe it has to hurt so I get to learn. Kinesthetically, of course. Maybe I’m just always going to learn the hard way. Maybe it’s not so bad. Though I do need a helmet for my heart if this is how it’s going to be. I’m trying to find a reason for why things are the way they are, and why they happen the way they do. So far all I’ve come up with are empty theories that do little more than help pass the time and drive me crazy. These include things along the lines of “maybe I’m still not ready,” countered with my head thinking “but I feel ready. Don’t I?” “I need to learn patience/a lesson/to be alone/to stick up for myself/what I want/who I am/some other topic covered by the millions of self-help books on the shelves.” What if, maybe, just maybe, it just is. What if there is no greater purpose. What if there is no grand lesson to learn. What if it’s not a test or a trial run. What if things just are as they are due to the culmination of events that just were as they were leading up to all this. But I don’t like that theory. It feels too empty. Industrial, almost. I like to believe that the Universe has a plan, or some kind of idea about where all this is going, or happening for, or something. I like to believe the Universe is watching and listening. Taking careful note of our own free will and circumstance, adjusting and adapting as necessary to keep things moving at least somewhat to plan. I like to believe that coincidences might be coincidences, but they are happening for a reason. Believing all this gives me a little glimmer of hope that we’re here, doing what we’re doing, for a reason. That my life and all the hurdles, pot holes, and easily sprinted straight ways have some kind of maybe even just slightly greater purpose. I have absolutely no idea what that purpose is, but I do believe that if we listen real close and ask real nice (and clearly), we can have a say in what is happening. It’s not just about asking for what you want, though that is a big part, but about being mindful of what effect that will have and why you want it. As they say, “be careful what you wish for.”

I’ve spent virtually the last year figuring out what it is I want – from how I take my coffee (black, I think) to where I want to live, what I want to do, and who I want to be. Strangely enough. at least for now, I think I have most of it figured out at least within a narrow margin. The one thing left, though, that I feel most lost on is relationships. As soon as I think I’m ready for one, I second guess myself. I know I’m tired of being alone, but I’m not sure where to go from there. I don’t want to be with someone just for the sake of not being alone, that doesn’t seem right or fair to any party involved. The one person who I have considered being a … potential? is already claimed and passes for a better Houdini than the man himself. Yet I can’t seem to let it go. Part of me really feels there could be something there, and this isn’t the first time I’ve had to wait and work to get what I wanted. That maybe it could be worth it. The other part of me is ready to throw in the towel, tired of getting my hopes smashed, thinking it’d just make more sense to move on.

In thinking about it, I’ve never been one for taking the easy way out. Most drive an automatic, I like a stick. Most prefer to go down stairs on their feet, I prefer head first. I sit on the floor in front of the couch, and I lift heavy because it’s hard. I picked the hard classes in school because I knew I could ace them, and because I’d be bored with anything less. In the same vein, I pick the boys who routinely and almost systematically present a challenge. Because I think I’d be bored with anything less. But here’s the question: is this smart?

Should I just accept that this is what I do because it’s what I’ve always done? Isn’t thatsamskara in it’s truest form? What if I’ve been so focused on finding and maintaining a challenge, I’ve been missing something that’s been right in front of me this whole tie. What if I’m doing it because it’s safer, because it leaves me in control with a valid-anytime-fool-proof backup if I ever decide to back out. What if I’m now only doing it for the thrill of succeeding and “beating” the challenge? What if I’m doing it because it’s the only thing I confidently know I know how to do. What if I’m scared of failing, or screwing up, or getting hurt, or somehow not being perfect at it and other people finding out. What if I just don’t know how not to be the exception to the rule, the one who doesn’t count. Is this the cycle I want to be stuck in forever? What happens when I decide I want to settle down? Am I ever really going to want to settle down? What does that mean, anyways? But I digress.

What if I let go of the urge to somehow manipulate the outcomes by changing my immediate actions. Maybe I can try simply being, taking things as they come and responding to them as best I can in the moment. Considering the outcomes of my actions, but not intending for anything beyond what the realistic effect of those actions really is. What if I take away the urge to control every aspect of my life and leave it up to the universe, focusing instead on making the best possible decision I can at the time. The, oh the infamous ‘they’, say we should live and let live. Maybe I can do just that, letting myself actually live rather than plan to live. So far, I’ve only had these fleeting moments of being able to do this. Moments where I set aside the drive to plan my conversations and listen instead. Moments where I acted on what I was feeling right then and there instead of on what I wanted to be feeling or saying. I’m not saying I want to act without thinking, but I want to act without an agenda. It’s absurd to get frustrated that the people in my real life aren’t playing according to the script I’ve written in my head. Yet this is what I seem to keep doing, never really learning my lesson, or at least not hard enough to stop me from repeating the pattern. But I think I can learn it. Even it it takes me to… eventually. I think I can keep trying at it until it becomes a little more natural, or until writing these scripts becomes a little more unnatural. Maybe I should write these plays out instead, putting those creative guns to work on something other than tormenting and exhausting my psyche. Or maybe I just need to move on.

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