I was just in the "put-all-your-books-in-one-room" phase of the "KonMari-tidy-your-life" method, and came across a lovely old fabric-bound notebook/diary. It had only one entry on the first page, dated Thursday, January 13, 1983. That was 32 years ago,
and I was 20 years old at the time.
The entry was... "Life can be such a waste... and yet, at times I wonder why I waste so much of it."
That pretty much sums up my predominant view of my experience of life since I
was about 11 or 12 years old, and in some ways even earlier. I couldn't understand why I was the way I was, and those beliefs became my life.
And as you may have noticed, there was no winning on either side of that statement. On the one
side, my life was a waste. I was clearly dissatisfied with my personal experience of it and I couldn't make out what was the point of my particular existence. On the other side, even when I saw life as full of amazing things and possibility, I saw my personal
nature as not taking advantage of life as fully as I could or should. Somehow, I was broken.
Being only one single entry, and a particular doom and gloom one at that, I'm wondering what would have been the reaction if someone had read
my statement after picking up my notebook at the yard sale where it was headed. Would they have been curious if the owner committed suicide? I did actually consider that once, but fortunately not seriously enough to start thinking about how.
About 7 years after that entry, I began my journey through a compendium of self-help, trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Why did I rarely do any of the "shoulds" on my never-ending list, when clearly, I could. It was obvious that I had the capability,
and so there wasn't any single logical reason why I couldn't or wouldn't.
And then 2 years ago, after 23 years of searching for the answer, and finally resolving to just accept my inadequacies and give up on the search, I came across an
understanding that unexpectedly woke me up to the truth of my (and our) experience of life. I realized the source of all our suffering. I saw through the stories we all innocently make up and why we do so. I realized all the coping mechanisms we use to distract
our minds from our suffering thoughts. I realized clearly who we all are at our very core. I saw how we're all connected. I saw how we are all innocent and perfect, exactly as we are. I saw the true beauty and perfection in everything. And I realized the ultimate
truth that the basis of all humanity and all things, is complete unconditional love.
No need to look for anything when we are everything.
After a few short days of realization, I landed back on planet earth, so to
speak, but I haven't forgotten what was realized. And although I still frequently catch myself believing in my ridiculous habitual insecure thinking, and don't particularly like it or appreciate it, I no longer have to worry about how crappy I may feel about
what's going on in my head. Understanding and faith have filled in the gaping hole of a lifetime of lostness.
Along with my notebook was enclosed a bookmark with a tassel and a manufactured bite mark taken out of the side. Below the bite
mark was a cartoon drawing of a particularly full-looking Garfield the Cat, along with the statement, "The book's not bad, but the bookmark is delicious".
How apropos that a silly funny bookmark was the page marker in this not so funny
book, since the predominant experience that kept me popping out of my lifetime of insecure thinking, was that I continually seemed to find and create things that made me laugh.
I have no idea what's next on life's agenda, but it's certainly
lovely to discover that life is not a waste at all, and that there's no need to be concerned if I happen to be making up some story about how I'm currently wasting it.