Tuesday, September 17, 2013

On freedom from yearnings

On Day Five of August Moon, Meredith wrote: Have you developed new yearnings so far this year? Let go of old ones?

Do you know what? I realized something the other day and it socked me one in the solar plexus. And that is: for the first time ever (possibly in my life), I am not working on myself.

I’m no longer reading self-help books avidly. I’m actually no longer buying books or art or anything compulsively any more. I’m no longer enrolling in e-courses based on the premise that my life will change or improve. I’m no longer fixated on stuff I don’t like about myself and how I wish I could change it. I’m no longer reading other people’s blogs and thinking, “Why am I not doing that? I am so dumb/useless by comparison!” and “Maybe if I buy or do or make or have that, just like her, I will be just like her!”. I’m no longer glued to my twitter or instagram feeds for Fear Of Missing Out.

To be honest, I don’t really yearn for anything any more.

If you’d told me that a year ago, the first thing I would have done (after I’d stopped disbelieving you) would be to panic. Then wonder: “But isn’t that bland, boring, uninspired, unambitious?”

From where I sit now, I know the answer to that latter question to be a resounding and joyful NO!

For the first time in my life, I feel spacious and satisfied. I am genuinely happy for my creative kindreds and, while I don’t feel as compelled to purchase their products, I’ll support them when and how I can. And when I do, it'll be with a sense of awe and gratitude, not desperation to be liked or in the hope that some of "what they have" will rub off on me.

I can see that there's room for all of us and that other people's successes to not foreshadow or detract from mine.

I can see my path so clearly now. I see that it’s mine and no-one else’s. I see that it is simply an extension of where I am now. My future isn’t any different. I am who I am now and I will always be me. And that is totally and absolutely enough.

There’s still work to be done. And some of it will be really hard. But it’s my work and, really, it’s just the stuff of life. I’m ready for it. And I’m glad to be doing it. As I said yesterday, it’s mainly icing on the cake as far as therapy and self-actualisation goes.

And of course, there will always be a better writer, a more prolific tweeter, a better photographer, a prettier face, a more beautiful body, a more comprehensively-stamped passport, a fuller bank balance. Bully for them.

And sure, I’d love to learn guitar, learn a language, join a gospel choir, see more of the world, slim down to a size ten, wear simply splendid shoes, find the perfect shade of lipstick, become the person who juices daily. But, you know what? These will probably all happen in good time. And if they don’t, I doubt I’ll have many regrets.

As it says on the grave of the brilliant writer Nikos Kazantzakis: I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.

August Moon: it's never too late to dive in!