There must be many moments we re-live, whether due to failure to learn from experience or the bittersweet nostalgia of familiarity.  I raise this topic as it is one I notice within many people, including myself upon occasion (although I would also like to say a tad savvier now).  We come to a standstill in our lives at certain points, at any age and within any circumstance and due to varying reasons and the ever-slipping grasp of time, we decide to make changes, some drastic, some minimal.  This is a perfectly healthy flow for a human being to go through, many of us can even relate to such epiphanies when having locks of our own hair chopped away after a major life change.  It is called recalibration; we shake our own souls up by introducing different elements within our lives to erase more sour memories to be replaced with juicier ones.  There is an attraction with the new, with the untouched and whether it is the exhibition of a new installation we are viewing or a new group of friends that seems to connect on every level of our interests, we easily get swept up in the intoxicating headiness of its freshness.

So why do we end up anticipating the worst in these scenarios?  Why do we end up succumbing to the human weakness of speculative paranoia, sabotaging the great potential and good people we are in the midst of?  I sense we have a craving for melancholy, that the fight or flight abilities we naturally possess become engaged and we resign ourselves to misery rather than face the reality that we should just let whatever be, BE and that happiness is something we can and should possess.  Age is a key contributor to this negative input, as well as a lot of (un)sage advice from well-meaning folk.  The truth is, none of us have guarantees for anything, none of us can provide a bona fide affirmation that an action we take or a path we choose is the WRONG or RIGHT one.  And this is ultimately because we are selfish creatures by default, we assess situations from our sole perspectives and how the situation we are pondering over affects ‘our’ lives and perhaps the detrimental effects that could then result of a bad outcome.

Looking Down

Ultimately, we worry TOO much.  We have had this instilled in us since birth and this is not necessarily an unfortunate thing as it has ensured our survival, by contemplating prevention rather than reckless abandon at every opportunity.  We should thank Ma and Pa for something in this case, at least.  No, it is the unseen shackles that cover our hearts, minds and bodies, a means of unnecessary self-preservation that truly prevents us from truly immersing ourselves in each given moment.  It is a combination of many other aspects too I have now come to realise; culture, background, location, even status.  We resign ourselves to these principles because there is comfort in rules; they are constant, collectively recognised in some cases.  Change is something we fear, something we cannot control on occasion and ultimately do NOT know the finale to.  Alternative endings are frequently fretted over to any given action we might take, leaving large question marks over our minds at every junction.  We seek advice from libraries, other people’s experiences, media and wiser heads on shoulders.  But this can be a good thing too, this enriches us.  The power that comes with enlightenment is very rewarding so it is just a case of harnessing its potential than letting the dark shadow of hesitation prevent us from stepping forward.

So why are we rushing to the destination when we can simply enjoy the journey?  A common fond memory of mine is sitting in the back seat of my parent’s car as a child, much like the Robert Miles video aptly named ‘Children’ and just gazing out of the window for what sometimes must have been hours.  I absorbed every tree, every cloud and every physical presence I passed.  I invented stories in my mind on sight of couples walking hand in hand, of lone strangers wandering fields and perplexed faces at traffic lit pedestrian crossings.  The weather never affected me, it simply introduced different elements of colour to the glass screen I gazed out of, enjoying beads of rain trickle down to unify at varying speeds to interrupted light on grassy knolls from the sun that streamed through the passing clouds.  Beauty in nature at its finest and simplest.  And this was just whilst sitting in the back of a motor vehicle.  I remember similar  moments in the sea gazing back at land and the waves lapping along the coastline, leaning on windows in an airplane, giddy with the headiness of new land yet to be treaded upon.   A current favourite experience of mine is forming collective gangs of wheels on the road during my bicycle ride to work, seeming to emulate a temporary bond akin to an 80s coming of age movie.   Pleasurable moments of shared solace with the wind in your hair and the metal framed ‘horse’ at your reins.

Looking Up

Something instrumental in the pursuit of truly living though is when you have absolutely nothing to lose.  I no longer have the approval of parents to seek, I need no proof of self-worth and I seek no gain through competitive approach.  I care not what my neighbour does, as long as no unnecessary harm is inflicted upon another.  Past misdemeanours, as we all end up stockpiling eventually, should be left exactly there; in the past.  I am not obligated to attend family gatherings or major events due to huge variances in global location, essentially any reunion made is a holiday.  I simply observe and take comfort in the mass migration of scattered souls that orchestrate ritual unions, all in the sake of love.   It would be a travesty on my part if any of the experiences I have had could not be used for the benefit of educating and enlightening others.  Through personal experience of the utter depths of human grief and testimony that it IS possible to return from such an abyss requires daily motivation.  We create our environment to a large degree so by harbouring good vibes from potentially tragic occurrences, the strength shared and gained through and with others is phenomenal.  All of these colourful blotches in our lives are what shapes the walking masterpieces that sprinkle the world liberally; us.  So savour the moments you share with rare entities as what tomorrow brings can wait until then.

There are varying ways that we can regain this youthful sense of judgement, when time seemed so limitless, if we just relinquish ourselves to the fact that we cannot predict the future, we can only live as we do, day by day and in the best way possible.  Some territories rely on systematic plans to be in place through our lives, usually for the sake of career and/or family (I lose count of the eye rolls I make when asked where and what I will be doing in 5 years’ time).  I do not know what will happen tomorrow because I’m right here in today.  All I know is that if I wake up, it is a fine day already as I am able to open my eyes once more to this temporary abode called Earth.  You should not concern yourself with the stress of where and what you will be doing in years to come, it is disrespectful to the state of NOW.   So respect yourself and open up very simply to the possibilities of living tomorrow and enjoy the benefits when they come.  With true focus on what we are capable of, the opportunities of happiness and beauty in our lives are infinite. And for that, I am thankful.

Looking Around