Good, Better, Best, Never let it rest!

dsc_5995GOOD, BETTER, BEST … NEVER LET IT REST!

I’ve moved from a crazy culture that seems always to be in an urgent hurry, to one that isn’t.  And I’m loving it.  I tried the good, better … but was never the ‘best’ – of course!  So like a dog chasing its tail, I never got to where I (thought I) wanted to be.  I didn’t get that prized tenure, I was judged ‘not good enough’ for every job I applied for.  I saw the people that got that prize, and it didn’t look like much fun.  Because there is always another hurdle before you get to the next prize.  And another after that.

I don’t know a lot about Buddhist culture but it seems to me that in comparison to the one I’ve left, where you must achieve NOW! or at least in this life time – after all, it’s the only one we’ve got, there is a different way.  If I don’t get it right in this lifetime, I’ve got another chance.  Another lifetime.  I will try, but I won’t have lost anything by not reaching that prize.  Because I can try again in the next life time.  And the next.  And the next…

I interpret this to be equivalent to making the most out of what we have – now.  To see merit from good actions, leading a good life, rather than simply to judge and be judged on ‘success’ or ‘failure’.

Slow down.  Live a good life.  Be kind.  Be generous.  Do the best you can. And forgive yourself.

Intellectualising the Visceral?

People keep asking me … are you nervous?  are you excited?  how are you feeling about …?

Abel c1984
Self-portrait c.1984

I’ve never been able to answer such questions because when I’ve made a decision, that is what I’m doing, where I’m going, but I have NO IDEA how I’m feeling, what will eventuate, what might go right/wrong, what might be/not be… The future is as always, a huge unknown – just as it was back when I took this photo so many lifetimes ago.  Always in the process of becoming – destination/s unknown.

As I’ve said, I’m taking myself with me – so all my insecurities, all my fears, all my anxieties.  All my values, experiences, good/bad/indifferent; my achievements and failures; my strengths and my weaknesses.  Most of all, my passion to experience, to live, and to feel through it all.

I love the word ‘visceral‘ – but when I looked up definitions, they didn’t work for me and how I understand it.  Binaries – so apparently visceral is separate from reason, logic, intellect?  That it is about ’emotions’, which can also be defined as something unworthy, unimportant, insignificant, not to be trusted, feminine, weak…  The questions I began this post with, are they related to my ‘visceral’ (gut?) feelings, or to my rational thought processes?  Can we rid ourselves of nerves/anxiety/fear through intellectualising or ‘ordering’ our responses to stimuli?  And ultimately, should we be avoiding situations in which we feel discomfort?

I’m seeking out – pursuing? – discomfort because for me, it is a place in which I learn the most.  I’m not avoiding it, but I’m not asking for it either – I just don’t want to be so afraid of experiencing it that I live the rest of my days ‘playing it safe’.  I also want to share it – not for sympathy but to share my understandings and experiences for those who chose to live vicariously (I have problems with the way that word is defined as well!)

Does that help to answer the questions I started with?