Pretty Cheerful

Some personal thoughts on universal themes

Archive for Life Struggles

Nature Time

Yesterday I awoke to gray skies.  Days of sunshine had given in to a few days of clouds and misty rain.  A light mist of rain that feels cool and refreshing against my face.

I haven’t been feeling quite myself recently.  A lack of confidence has unfortunately given me a surreal feeling of emptiness in my own skin.  My transition to independence has been rocky.

Mid-morning yesterday I had an epiphany.  As part of my epiphany I realized my own sense of strength and stark yet mighty independence.  I discovered in my own way what absolute freedom means to me, and how no one can give you that sense of freedom, you must claim it for yourself.  As part of my epiphany also I realized that I am a spiritual atheist.  I believe that the universe is an amazing and wonderous place, but I do not believe in any overseeing divine authority.  I think we are on our own to sort things out.

Two nights ago I tossed and turned because of bizarre lucid dreams in which I was flying around the room in a disturbing way.  In one scene of my dreams, a man whispered in my ear, “you are on the wheel of desire.”  To me this had a Buddhist, samsara idea to it, as in, you must stop blindly following your mindless conditioning.

After my midmorning epiphany, I knew I must spend time outside, in nature and in the fresh air.  I drove to a beautiful lake near where I live.

As I walked along the path by the lake, I saw many different types of birds going about their business.  It was inspiring to see so many majestic birds.  There were many geese and even a few baby goosies.  There were small birds flying around the trees and bushes.  One dark-feathered bird collected bunches of small twigs from the ground in front of me where I sat on a bench.

As I walked back to leave, I heard a single splash of water.  I turned to see a large gray heron lifting up out of the water and flying off.

Each bird and each tree I saw, as well as the tiny ripples of waves over the surface of the lake, painted a picture of serene nature.  I felt welcomed as just another part of nature, because the birds paid me little attention.  Every detail of nature that I observed seemed like a precious gift.

Maybe that is why we often assume there must be a god, because so much of life seems like a precious gift, so we assume there must be a Giver.

So, perhaps I remain skeptical and open-minded at the same time.  Perhaps my sense of divinity is so complex and nuanced that it could never be defined or categorized.

Sometimes I wonder how well we ever communicate with each other.  Everything we say is a translation of our actual experience.  Even though we share some types of experiences, we are each on a unique path in life.  Anything communicated must be interpreted through the lens of past experience and current attempt at understanding.

I will continue to stumble forward through my days.  I am curious what each day will bring, what insights and observations will reveal new ideas and wisdom.  I marvel at the simplicity and complexity of life, the light easiness of life and the heavy burdens or challenges that still appear.

I sit in my comfy chair reading spirituality books and pondering life’s mysteries.  I attempt to establish a work ethic that will make a few tangible creations out of my days.

My great challenge in life stays stagnant in the past.  When I review my own history, I cannot make sense of the perils I faced in my own brain.  The curious yearning I have as I live is not easily satisfied, and it has led me through dangerous, stormy waters.  Testing the boundaries of the mind and of my own understanding of reality has come with a steep price.

Some days I feel energetic and so I feel as though I am capable of facing life’s challenges.  Other times I feel morose and unable to cope.  Perhaps if I remember the simple beauties of nature, I will be better off overall.

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Fear versus Bravery

About two years ago I made a major decision based on following the urges of fear.  Ever since then, I have spent as much time as possible avoiding and resisting.  I have been afraid of working hard and afraid really of trying anything.  I have been a virtual shut-in, not really wanting to leave the safety of my house that much.

People are really brave, and it is time for me to join the ranks of all of these wonderful, brave people who do what they have to do each day.  Laziness has gotten the best of me for two years, but it is time to fight the laziness and just be bold and brave each day.  This means working hard and working directly toward my goals. Read the rest of this entry »

Reflections on Reading about Others’ Painful Experiences

Yesterday evening, I read through my new Oprah magazine. I read Oprah’s interview with Tyler Perry, and hearing about his childhood experiences broke my heart. Oprah is an amazing person and seems to be a wonderful empathic listener and friend. I have incredible admiration for Tyler Perry and his amazing success story.

It is sad to read about others’ painful life experiences. It makes me want to help children who currently need help. At the same time, I feel helpless because my small efforts would not change the entire world. However, it is inspiring to know that many adults are able to eventually create the lives they really want, overcoming their painful childhoods. Read the rest of this entry »