SIMPLY BEING

Tag: life (page 1 of 7)

Brave/Lucky

I have often heard one of two things about myself. That I am brave, and that I am lucky.

Brave, because I have chosen to defy norms and conventions that society typically sets out for women. Lucky, because I have privilege to defy these norms.

(I think that “lucky” negates “brave,” no?)

The first one (“brave”) makes me feel rather sheepish because I don’t think of myself a brave person. A brave person, I think, is someone who is fully aware of obstacles, and is also fully aware of the fear and anxiety within. Yet they choose to do what they do, or what they cannot but do. I wonder if these brave individuals would ever call themselves “brave.” This willingness (or “I cannot but do this”) to face fear in a seemingly hopeless, choice-less manner is what I call “bravery.” You can ask: If there is no choice involved (“I cannot but do this”), why is this person brave? Exactly. They aren’t calling themselves brave; you are. They are simply doing their thing.

I don’t see myself as brave because I DO NOT see any obstacles, ergo, I feel no fear and/or anxiety. People say I am brave because I chose not to have children. (But I didn’t! I just didn’t choose to have children.) People call me brave for defying the societal notion of women as childbearing individuals. (But I didn’t defy anything! Not a single person tried enforcing any such conventions on me. Not my parents, or my parents-in-law, or any one else.) People call me brave for talking about my experiences with street harassment. (But I don’t feel harassed any more, and I have little to no trauma attached to those incidents any more.) People call me brave for speaking about the time I lost touch with myself, floundering in self-hate and misery for months. (But it’s precisely because I regained love and joy that I spoke about it.)

I remember reading about pioneer LGBTQ activists, and marveling at their courage and resilience. Then I wondered, is there even a choice? We do what we do because we are moved to do so in a way that is specific and unique to us. It isn’t a choice, it is utter choicelessness.

Often times I have felt so wedded (or welded) to the moment that I have felt choiceless too. I cannot but go forth in that direction… whether it leads me to my future husband, or a job that makes me feel utterly shitty about myself, or a relationship that is equal parts exciting and disempowering. We look at the outcome to decide: Was that a good/wise/smart move? Ahhh, we will never know. Or perhaps it simply doesn’t matter.

Larger Purpose

Yesterday I heard someone say on the radio: I realized that music had a larger purpose.

I went, huh? Why should music serve a larger purpose? Isn’t its very existence THE purpose? How can there be a purpose larger than itself?

The idea of a bigger purpose is so exhausting. I spent a good number of years brooding over my “larger purpose.” And I am none the wiser for all that mental activity. Does a tree think about its larger purpose? I doubt. (Oh, but you aren’t a tree, Ta-Da!) A tree is busy drinking in the light, sprouting forth into leaves and blossom, shedding extra baggage when it needs to, going to sleep. And to us humans, it seems that the tree serves its purpose because it generates oxygen, prevents soil erosion, provides habitats, etc. So, the tree really serves OUR purpose but I seriously doubt if it cares a damn about any of that.

But I am human, so I start to care. Do I have an impact on society? Am I making a difference? Do I have a legacy?

I don’t think I have much of an impact. (I am a loving daughter and sister and wife and friend, and that’s the extent of my impact.) I don’t think I am making a difference. And I don’t have a legacy to pass forward.

If I stopped to think of these questions, I’d have no time to live, end of story.

I am simply living, being, sprouting into leaves and blossom when the Sun rises, going to bed when the Moon appears, flowing into the world, retreating. And perhaps in this business of living, I might have a teeny-weeny impact on your life, on the planet. So be it, Tathaastu.

Life IS its very purpose, its sole raison d’être. A life of truth fulfills its so-called purpose.

I Want to Write

“I want to be a better writer.” “I want to write better.”

“I want to write more.”

“I want to write.”

In my case, it isn’t even a case of “I want to write” but more of “the writing is showing up.”

I realized a long time ago that mine was a case of doing itty-bitty writing on the side (in form of journalling, Morning Pages) as I waited for THE writing to show up. (I don’t want to be a snob at all; all writing is sincere for me.) However, “I want to be a better writer” and “I want to write better” both sound highly vague and undefined to me. “I want to write more” is a tangible wish because a writer (or me) experiences a certain coming-together, an experience of beauty/magic as they write… and they may want to experience that special feeling more often.

Now, “I want to write” is mostly guided by the love of/for writing. But then again, you wanting that special experience is only half of it. The Love has to show up too. So, even while I write on bits of paper, sheets and pages — morning, noon, night — it feels like I am waiting. Like a devoted partner in this unusual (or not) relationship, the one that waits and waits, ready to serve, and be served in return.

Corona Notes: Gratitude

I see a lot of messages asking us to be grateful in these Corona times. Let’s be grateful that we have a warm home, that our family is with us, that there is food in the fridge, that we are healthy, and so on.

Here is a question.

Are you thinking, “Thank you, God, for my family and health and food!,” or are you going, “Thank you, God, for having spared me the hardship others are going through.”

There is a real difference between the two.

If what we are grateful for is home/health/heating/food/fridge, we would feel the same way, pandemic situation or not. If a crisis (and another’s difficulty) is precipitating the gratefulness, then what we are experiencing is plain relief. Relief that we have been spared the difficult times. For now, at least. Who can say how things will be tomorrow, next week?

I think practising happiness may be a better idea than practising gratitude. I am happy that I have warm water; I am happy that I can breathe easily; I am happy that I can take a walk in the cool Spring air. Being happy is NOT being ungrateful. In fact, it may be a lot closer to what we actually feel than this idea of gratitude.