No Blame –

“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”
Elizabeth Gilbert,
Eat, Pray, Love
“All great and precious things are lonely.” ― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
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When I complain about being alone I have a person, an event, or self deprecating fault in mind as to the cause of this loneliness. I want to blame something. It’s because so and so left me, or my parents didn’t raise me right, or I’m so (insert self deprecating comment) that no one wants me. I’ve learned a lesson in the last few weeks as I ruminated over this and realized that there are times when it’s meant for me to be alone. There’s no one to blame, fate and divinity have ordained it. There is nothing I can do to stop it, it must be endured. I’ll be betrayed, forsaken, abandoned, used, lied about, or just plain left alone by all my friends and family. It’ll happen to me and you regardless of where we are or our social standing. Fighting against it by coercing companionship or drowning the feeling with substances or mindless activity only prolongs the agony, for unless I accept this solitary moment and let it work the work that needs to be done, I’m forestalling my personal growth, spiritually and inwardly, i.e. there are times when I need to be alone.
The flip side is -it hurts and it’s tough to persevere. I need swallow this bitter pill and go on to a more palatable existence but I’m not sure if I’m ready to accept my own advice as I struggle through the agony of each moment, plagued by tears and a deep ache in my stomach. It’s harder to live the truth than to know it.
First Published in Opinions Of Eye

One Thing, Everyday – Do something to help

“How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it.” 

I saw this picture, a boy collapsed on the road to a UN Food Camp, a vulture waiting for him to die, and I said to myself, “way the hell am I whining about anything?” Am I that frigging spoiled that I don’t recognize how good I have it? After a good self flagellation, I determined these goals in life: take the weight off of those who I’m around, bring a smile to a desperate soul, lift up a broken human being back onto the path of life, and give one hungry soul a bite to eat. Basically, look for the opportunity, everyday, to reach out of my comfort zone and help someone. What if I could do just one thing, everyday, to help someone out? Then my perspective would be changed, then I would stop complaining, then I would really be living.

The Flavor of Full – Too much is not enough

“We have a good life when we manage to live with both satisfied and unsatisfied needs, when we are not obsessed by what is beyond our reach.”– Kjell Magne Bondevik

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It’s not the experience of pain that brings hopelessness, it’s the inability of pleasure to bring satisfaction. What do I do when what is supposed to make me happy no longer does? How will I find the passion to live? What purpose will I serve? My desire for pleasure is like a fire. It’s never full, I keep feeding it and when that’s used up, it wants more. No matter how much I give it, it is never satisfied. Soon the glowing embers of want crave more fuel. It’s then that I must reset of my pleasure threshold. Food never tastes so good as when I eat after going hungry for awhile. There is a proverb that states, “A full soul hates honey, but to the hungry, even a bitter thing is sweet”. If I always do only what feels good, I soon burn out trying to stoke the boundless appetites of my pleasure fire. When my appetites are denied, I find that when I “eat” again it’s all the more satisfying because I’ve reset my pleasure threshold by abstinence. 

Also published in Broowaha

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