I think there is a truth about what Allan Watts mentioned in his talks and lectures regarding trying anything. I believe most of us listen to what’s in our heads rather than what is coming from our hearts. And there’s always a conflict between the two. Our head is saying one thing and our hearts are saying something different. And we get stuck because we don’t know which one is more beneficial. Because face it anything we want to do has to benefit us in someway, right?
I see the answer in two ways. One, if it is to benefit us we should be able to gain a higher understanding of something. To grow, to prosper in a sense. Two, anything we do should benefit someone, it doesn’t necessarily have to be our own self. And in these cases, we feel “let down” when we feel it didn’t work. Well, it didn’t work because of our perspective on the outcome. There was a desired effect that we secretly attached to wanting to try something in the first place. Desires are like expectations that can crush us and leave us hanging there with exposed flesh after a battle. And it is a battle. It’s a battle between the head and the heart that we have long fought so valiantly.
So how do we get over this? Well, we can let go of the expectations and the desires of an outcome. And then maybe we can take a long hard look at ourselves in the mirror and ask, “who are you?” We can spend some time with that and we should. The better we know who we are the better we get at achieving what makes us truly happy. The kind of true happiness that springs us out of bed in the morning with thanks rather than dread. The kind that realizes us that every moment we have been given from morning until night has been cherished in a new and exciting way. Because maybe we took a new route to work, maybe we opened a door for a stranger, or we unselfishly helped someone homeless with a hot fresh cup of coffee just because it was in our hands unopened. These are things we cannot plan. We just do them.
We don’t know where the things we do will take us and for some people that can be scary. Because we are so used of knowing routines, patterns, schedules, formats and formalities that we can freeze without them. If we can’t see an outcome we can become horrified and we take another route or we avoid a situation all together. We know how to do that. We are comfortable with that. It all becomes something of a rehearsed life that we do perpetually regardless if we think of it or not.
I thought about it. When I first heard the words from Allan Watts that we should “not try to do anything.” I had to sit with it. I had to ponder it. And then I had to practice it. So little by little, as time went on, I began living it. I think what made it an easier transition for me was that I was already a spontaneous person. I could walk in or out of a door at any second. But where my trouble lie was that I maintained an outcome for why I was walking out a door. So you automatically knew that I expected an outcome or a desire by doing so. And many a time I found myself disappointed. But I’m one of those people who after so much disappointments, I keep going. I may take a different approach to things but I don’t entirely give up. Which is probably why I’m still married after twenty-seven years.
So by knowing who we are as individuals we don’t ever have to plan how to make our life work, it just does. Because that energy that we emit into our Universe keeps giving back all that we need. Of course, there are things we do need to plan for in our life, clothes to wear, gatherings to attend, meetings to be part of, weddings, birthdays and all that stuff. But in that as well, I don’t think we should put all our eggs in one basket. What I mean is, having a desired outcome for these things. That’s where we should not get wrapped in because that’s a speeding train with no brakes. There are things in our life that do not work out. And you know, I used to be a person who hated when this would happen to me. I cursed it and cried over it as a young person. But today, I see it for what it is- it’s just something (whatever that may be) that I am not ready for right now. And the second thing I’ve learned on my journey is that we can never, ever kid ourselves. We can never lie to our own self because that’s another wild train ride we can be on.
So learn all you can about who you are, be honest and embrace everything that comes at you from your own self. It’s the truth. There is nothing that is ugly in life, life is beautiful. It’s a gift. Change your perspective and you can change your life.