Thursday, September 13, 2012

I’m not given to hope, not at the moment anyway.

Barry the hypnotherapist says that “hope” and “can’t” are two of the four worst words in the English language. I can’t remember the other two but I suspect that they’re “gratitude” and “shouldn’t”.

There are people in this world who have given up all hope that their lives will ever change. They just get on with it, day after day. If something were to come along and make things different they probably wouldn’t notice so sure are they of the status quo they’re in. Except, maybe they will notice the nervous feeling in their stomachs, the feeling you get when you’re about to experience something new and unknown.

There are times when it seems that the whole world is in a state of fear, when fear is something you live with day in, day out. When people fear they do different things. They fight. They run. They destroy the thing they fear. They put a lot of distance between it and them. It’s when the fear is within them that they can’t fight it, run from it, destroy it or put a lot of distance between it and them. It’s when they are forced to face it. It’s when they lose hope.

I have that nervous feeling in my stomach.

I keep looking for answers.

“Don’t stare at the sun or you’ll go blind”, is what your mother used to tell you when you were little but sometimes you just want to know something so badly that you’ll take the risk of losing your sight just to get a little glimpse of what it may really be all about.

When you’re little, all you want is for the stories your parents read to you to be true. You wish you could crawl into the worlds in the books and live there. Deep down you know that it can’t ever happen. It’s the knowing that the magic isn’t quite there even if you’d really like it to be. You know instinctively that it’s not what life is about. The truth is you feel safe there with your parents and that you really wouldn’t want things to be any other way.

When you’re little you like to think that you know everything but the last thing you really want to do is to know it all. What you really want is for grown-ups to make the world a safe place where dreams can come true and promises are never broken. When you’re little it doesn’t seem like too much to ask for.

Before you were born you spent nine months in your mother’s belly and not once did you doubt that things weren’t going to turn out the way they should. You didn’t worry about if your ears where going to be finished in time, if your hands where going to develop properly or if you were going to be beautiful enough. You didn’t even wonder what kind of person you should or shouldn’t be. You just trusted the process and you had no need to intervene or act. There, in the safety of your mother’s belly, all was well and everything was going according to plan even if you never spent any time at all worrying or thinking about there being a plan. You felt no need to control. You spent all your time just being.

There are things in life that don’t make any sense and they can never make any sense, and if you are anywhere near smart you know that but you also know that your job is not to give up. Your job is to keep trying to make sense out of the things that don’t make sense, to keep trying to understand things that can never be understood.

People will always find different names for their answers but the questions will always be the same.

If you have suffered pain you come to understand it, you know its nature. You almost become friends with it. You’ll come to know intimately how it feels and what it does to you. More importantly you’ll know what it looks like and you’ll recognize it when it’s in other people. People who have no empathy for others have not felt pain. They are blind to it. It’s easy to envy them. They go through life completely unaware of what it feels like when pain tears through your being and leaves you in pieces, and how fear inevitably follows. Those people are of little service to those who are in pain. They’re only able to serve themselves. Their existence must be a lonely one. Perhaps they’re not so enviable after all.

Why do people so desperately want to think we’re not alone, that there are beings from other worlds or dimensions watching us, that there is a God? Why is it more comforting to think we’re being watched than to know that no one is watching us at all? And why really, should that make us any less alone? In the end, if there are others out there, something else out there, wouldn’t we be, all of us, still alone together?

Why is it easier to pray for help and guidance from someone or something when you don’t even have solid proof it does exist than it is to ask another human being for the same? Why is it easier to thank God than your fellow human beings for the blessings in your life?

People believe what they want to believe. They find meaning where they can and they cling to it. In the end it really doesn’t matter what’s the truth and what’s not. What matters is that people believe. When people stop believing all is lost.

The sky just goes on and on, and we play all our games beneath it. It’s of no consequence to the sky.

Everything has a beginning and an ending. That is the unmistakable truth of it all.

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