Still here on the Florida Gulf coast … where are you?
I may have mentioned the military concept of burning the boats once you cross a river because you fight harder when there is no retreat. I guess bridges fall into that same idea. Once you cross a bridge, burn it. There is a Zen saying that if you meet the Buddha on the road – kill him.
We tend to spend a lot to time thinking and rethinking the past. There is a whole idea that we go through life trying to finish unfinished business from our past or find some closure to it. That usually just means we want everything in our past to end the way we want it to. And it just doesn’t. What’s more, no matter what we do, we cannot change what has already happened. We cannot un-break an egg or un-ring a bell. Many people fall in deep depressions and feel helpless and hopeless to change the past. The reason they feel helpless and hopeless is because they actually are. It’s impossible to change the past. It’s only possible to reflect on it, learn from it, and let it go.
I talk to a lot of people with or about Hepatitis C. When they first find out I have it or they have it, they usually ask about the past and how did I/they get it. Many have no idea. I mean, we can connect the dots and discover that its more likely than not that we go it a certain way at a certain time, but we don’t know. I do know/accept that no one gets it on purpose. Many of us from the baby-boom and Vietnam-era didn’t even know about it, neither did modern medicine. It was a surprise to all of us. So whether it was self-inflicted, other-inflict, or just some accident that no one remembers, we have it. Let get into what we can do about it now. Let’s burn that self-judgment/pity bridge and accept the realities of what is. I have a blood virus and it’s kicking my ass (but not my liver, which is functioning within normal range thank you). Welcome to my daily life. I cannot un-cross that bridge, but I can educate myself so I don’t cross it again.
I heard that life has pain, but suffering is optional because suffering is the refusal to accept what is. Many people apparently prefer to live in fantasy land rather than the realities of their lives. Yet, the fantasy is what perpetuates the reality because we never face and fix what is. Once we accept where we are, we can move on.
Why fight what we cannot win? I know there is a lot of clamor and glamour in thinking that we are fighting the good fight by refusing the accept reality. But a wise fighter would never fight a fight they could not win. Wise fighters do not go on suicide missions. They find another attack plan/strategy that can win and follow through on it. Seeing how much pain you can withstand is not fighting, it’s adolescent egotism, ignorance, and arrogance. I fight this battle everyday. I don’t want the disease or the symptoms, or I don’t want them to show, but they do (if you know what to look for). Most people don’t know and don’t care so I don’t bother.
Now realize, there is no bridge and no boat. Both are only cognitive constructs in our minds. They are figments of our imagination. Every see the movie “Inception”? Yea – it’s like that. We believe in fantasyland more than reality. We believe in yesterdayland more than today or tomorrowland. But we don’t have to be. If I made it up, I can change it. If I cannot change something, I can change how I see and respond to it.
It was interesting this morning that as I drove to Aikido, I thought I bet there was no class. And sure enough, there was a sign on the door saying class was canceled. (Guess I need to give my contact information to somebody.) What was interesting was the truck didn’t even pause, just passed by, turned around, and drove home. No relief and no disappointment. The bridge/boat was not there this morning. People continue to work on our house as one day at a time we get closer to being temporarily finished before something else need our attention. The students in the on-line classes continue to try to get it (cross the bridge to new insight/understanding, or they stay on their side of what they know, of they are somewhere in the middle) or not. Fatigue, soreness, headaches, and cautious optimism continue. Another day forward.
Love and pride, strength and honor …