Pretty Cheerful

Some personal thoughts on universal themes

Some Recent Thoughts

Today I enjoyed an afternoon of effortless peacefulness.  I guess peacefulness is, in its nature, an effortless feeling.  (My writing about peace is infused with ideas and terms from all of my many Buddhist books that I delve into haphazardly each week.)  I sat at a table outside in the shade of a Starbucks.  The day was warm and sunny with a slight breeze.  The clouds floated by in the sky grandly.  Being outside is quite nourishing.

I am creating this new blog in order to cultivate a sunny disposition.  I tend to be moody and emotional on my first blog, Musings and Contemplations.  Sometimes it is just the right moment for a clean slate.  Although, the randomness of my collected thoughts will probably remain the same.

This weekend I was thinking about relationships, both personal and broad.  In society we are interconnected by the ways we contribute to our world each day.  I will never be able to meet all 6 billion plus people that are currently inhabiting the planet, but I can respect them and have compassion for them from afar.

With personal relationships, we share our lives with those closest to us.  There is respect and love and concrete ways that we show each other how we care.  It has been a challenge for me to appreciate fully my small place in the grand scheme of things.  The key to my life currently is enjoying a caring marriage.  Ultimately, my husband and I share our lives, and he is the only person who will know who I am completely, every day and every hour spent together.  With that foundation of one person who knows who I am, I can put the demands of my ego to rest in daily life.

I visited my family this past weekend, which is somewhat rare these days.  It was a pleasant visit, but disconcerting at the same time because these are the people who have seen me at my worst.  Driving back, I struggled with my feelings.  I had to come to terms with accepting my past loss of dignity.  In the past I would have been completely overwhelmed by stressful emotions.  On the drive home, I was actually able to accept things about my life that have previously seemed unacceptable.

My perspective on life has typically not been very accurate in the past.  In my mind, I have been staggering around in life as if intoxicated by something unseen but potent.  Very recently I have finally been able to gain some maturity.  My life is balancing out in a calm and reassuring way.

As Conor Oberst would say, “I’ve been staring out a periscope from my deep opium den.” (To misquote a song from his Cassidega album.)  I’ve had my perception of life colored by my troubled emotions.  With the help of Buddhist ideas and some good sense, perhaps I will be able to keep walking slowly in a positive direction.

I write in a really personal way.  Besides being a recovering ego-maniac, I hope there is something slightly universal about my ponderings.  I think human beings are pretty isolated from each other, each of us housed in our own brain.  But it is somehow reassuring to know that there are themes to the human condition.  Each person faces her own pattern of challenges and struggles, but we can respect  that our 6 billion far off friends are struggling through something maybe similar, maybe not so similar.  Growing up, I felt like just an observer of life.  But the past ten years I’ve been thrown in the stormy ocean of life just like anyone else.  After recently giving up my constant complaining, I can now say I am really enjoying the swim.

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