It’s hard to fight the impulse that something is wrong—with the day, a situation, me. Life. And that better is just around the bend.
And, while I’m all about goals and lists and discipline, I am coming to an understanding of just how toxic this can be—this conditional acceptance of things. Because it sort of stops us from…being.
As Maria Popova explains in a recent edition of “The Marginalian”, The wanting starts out innocently…we are awaiting the big break, the great love, the day we finally find ourselves—awaiting something or someone to deliver us from the tedium of life-as-it-is into some other and more dazzling realm of life-as-it-could-be.
And whether we sit and wait for that glorious Shangri-la to drop from the heavens or embark upon a succession of perfectionist endeavors to arrive at the dazzling realm of life-as-it-could-be we are failing to be. Now.
Which is all there really is…
But now is messy. And complicated. And confusing. And I’ll be honest—very often the last place I want to be! But, as Mary Oliver reminds us, I know, you never intended to be in this world. But you’re in it all the same. So why not get started immediately. I mean belonging to it.”
Belonging to all of it. To the birds chirping and planes flying overhead. To the angry lady at the grocery store who yells at you because she asked if you wanted plastic bags and you thought she asked how you were going to pay. And the hummus-seller-man who chatted with you for 10 minutes, about how to store hummus, why he opened his hummus restaurant and how he lost 50 pounds just from eating hummus. Belonging to the loneliness. And new friendships. To the confusion, the doubt. And humility, kindness, gentleness.
To missing my daughters, on the other side of the Atlantic, and the gift, which I had this morning, of listening to my son play The Heart Asks Pleasure First on his guitar, while I made him scrambled eggs.
So maybe, the pleasure is in being present and belonging in the whole catastrophe that is life.