Not sure how to describe an illness where the main symptom is a dissatisfaction with yourself so intense that it makes you feel ill and puts you slightly out of time with the Universe. Life continues to swirl around you with the same vibrancy and colors it always had, but instead of a warm and satisfying red, or an enjoyable rich blue with a calming coolness, everything is pasted over with a light pastel yellow that, like a sticky film, clings over everything you happen to glance upon.

There is something about my life that feels a bit unsatisfying, perhaps tinged with the portent of doom or trouble ahead, or an anxiety about the course of the future that will not lay flat, and I cannot shake it. I want to. People who I am close to say that is nothing more than common anxiety, or perhaps it is yet another flare up of a lifelong battle with the inane minor demons of depression, but no. It somehow seems more than that. More frightening.

I have been imploring the benevolent forces in the Universe to guide me to a transformative path, a path where I find the calming centers inside myself, the ones I have been seeking and fix my feet firm upon it to walk straight ahead into both joy and sorrow with an equanimity that has still somehow remained elusive. There is an honorable and dignified course of life that feel remains out of my grasp.

Part of the problem, I suspect, is that I am always seeking the difficulties in life rather than allow myself to be human, to love myself with an impartiality that can acknowledge my failures without berating me for them. Love, not the weird definitions of it that exist in my current culture, seems to be the only proper way to motivate myself to good course in life. Too much sorrow leads to either despondency, or a defeated resignation that permits failures as just another one of life's "horrible" inevitabilities. I need to be able to feel the sorrows, to forgive myself for the pain they cause, and trust that I can endure without succumbing to the worst of them. If I can somehow cultivate the habit of joy, then I will be fortified against the onslaught of sorrows.

Habit, now there is an interesting word. Since the mundane chores and duties of life must be dispatched along with the goal of self-improvement, the best way to handle them is develop good habits. I've wasted too much time thinking that overcoming pain or sorrow or improving myself was an intellectual exercise of the mind more than a life practice that requires regularity in its execution. One of the lessons of the world is, obviously, this: if one wishes to become good at something, one has to practice. Personal transformation of one's inner life can, it seems to me, be encouraged through good habits which help you practice being a decent, good person on a regular basis. As such, the first habit that I need to develop is "discipline." Discipline, as a virtue, is, it appears to me, nothing more than an expression of "Faithfulness." You must be faithful to yourself, your obligations, your spirit, and the larger world around you. Motivation follows practice. Heat produces motion, stillness freezes us in place. This is one of my first tasks in the process of transforming my life: encouraging and practicing the habits of a good character, to becoming a devoted person, morally upright, and always prepared to do the right thing no matter how hard it might first appear to do so.

07 April 2012
Comments: Post a Comment