Posted by: darien7743 | September 21, 2016

Perhaps

Perhaps……what an odd and awe filled word. It can alter our experiences with a hint of something else, something different, something better…….in a sound byte, a blip on a screen or a scent on the air. Perhaps…………perhaps.

It always spells change, somewhere past, present or future. It says to me “How can I alter, realign, remove, cause, affect”…………….something I don’t like, and morph this into something I want, need, wish or missed in my life. Perhaps.

I say this way too often of late. I have reached a time in my life of considering what could have, should have, might have………and won’t have. It says that I am not happy with what is. I am sad about this. Not just the wish or the dream, the situation or the lost possibility. I am sad with the desire for something different. My Taoist teacher has taught, ( or “Perhaps,” I have surmised from my lessons.) that being displeased with what is, is the beginning of misery. I’m not saying that current circumstances are always what we want, or that we should be happy and content with it all. We never will be. Life isn’t about making us “Happy.” Life is about our finding our “Happy, in contentment with “what is,” and recognizing that if I’m not happy with it today, well……..everything will change shortly. It always does…….. I’m saying that what is, is. And that “is,” isn’t there without a purpose. The “Perhaps,” is that “it,”  isn’t what I want.” It,” doesn’t make me happy. “It,” doesn’t bring me joy or satisfaction or even contentment……….so I think I have to change “it” to be happy or at peace. I have to change “it,” so that I can get on with a better tomorrow. AHHH……….”Perhaps?”

What happens? I focus all the moments of today on wishes for tomorrow or yesterday. Only tomorrow never comes and I can’t change yesterday. At midnight, it is always, Today.

There are many perhaps’sssss in life. They don’t change a thing. Acceptance changes everything. I didn’t say like. I said accept. Whatever is guarding, guiding and arranging the universe is far more intelligent than I. It offers me today, to make my life what I think it needs to be. It offers me today, an opportunity to learn whatever it is that I am here to learn. It offers me today, to be the me that I am in the moment. It offers me today, for today, and for today, only. It is today that I must live. When there is a, perhaps, that deals with the past, I have often been regretful. A perhaps, that deals with the future, then possibly, what I am or have done is being measured against some external scale and I am finding myself lacking in some area or aspect. Whether I am or not, once a “perhaps,” pops up, I feel less than secure about tomorrow’s outcome. Sometimes what I focus on is, or was, painful, disappointing or life altering. Lately, I have been looking at something very life altering. Something that I have tried to change since childhood. I can’t change it.

At a very young age, 9 years old, I made a choice. I was far too young to make it, but I did. I believed that if I stood between others and harm, all would be well in the end. It wasn’t.

Much later in life I learned that it would never be well. I fought that idea. I thought that perhaps, if those involved learned a bit of what I now knew, something would change. It didn’t. It won’t. And I have been cautioned against trying to give others the information that helped me change my life. It is unwanted. It would bring forth unwelcome memories. It would challenge their belief system and actions. It would cause them to question their behavior and they would find themselves uncomfortable. It would separate us even more. What a shame that we fear the very information that can set us free. I didn’t like hearing that. I was determined to be the exception to the rule. I’m glad I stopped in time.

Contemplating,”Perhaps,’ if I had, it had or they had,” won’t help me mend a situation that has caused me great sadness. But does that mean that I have to live today without happiness, without contentment, without self acceptance? My life is very different from the one planned and hoped for. I am not the person I was raised to be. Nope. I am not an over achiever. I am not established in a valued position in a competitive profession. Not I. That life was never the right fit for me. It was the expectation of others. I  am a creative, living a modest life. My life has value based on what I do and who I am, how I think, what I value and how I treat the world around me. Who and what I am this day…… That’s a choice that I make each and every day.

It is only when I venture into “Perhaps,” that I talk myself into thinking that if things were “other than,” life would be better. That is a trap. It’s a slide into darkness. An addiction to action that will only bring resentment and regret. It is none of my business what choices another makes. I make my own choices and choose my responses to the choices of others. That is always the truth. No matter what occurs in a life, any life. It is the choice of the individual that determines their response to any event.

If something “is,” other than what I feel is beneficial, either I choose to accept and move forward or I lose myself and wallow in disappointment, grief or possible misery. The latter won’t serve me or anyone else well. It is my responsibility to decide how I want to see my life. I win, when I see that, “this is what is,” and chose to move forward. I may have to do it with regret, grief or loneliness. I may rejoice in friendship, love or my concept of a successful result, accomplishment or achievement.  But , what is……..is. My choice? Perhaps not. That doesn’t mean it isn’t the correct or most beneficial outcome and I just can’t see it. Think about kids and dessert vs. Brussels sprouts. Every adult has the same issue……..well, perhaps not with Brussel Sprouts.

Is there ever a positive approach with “Perhaps?” Of course. The action of, “Perhaps,” in the moment, might suggest a change of thinking or acting that positively impacts life. Perhaps, if I sit down and write something out, I will see another possibility for action that will be beneficial. Perhaps if I reach out to understand rather than to stagnate in my current situation, I may find a solution. Perhaps, if I forgive another, I may release my own anger, frustration, disappointment or resentment. I may also feel better about myself for forgiving instead of seething or stewing about something long past. Or perhaps, I would find myself able to look forward to a different, adventurous tomorrow, today.

All lives are lives worth living. Each day we all have the opportunity to contribute something good, simply by being alive. And each day, by virtue of being alive as an individual, we impact everyone in the world around us. We are also impacted by everything in the world around us and far, far into the outer reaches. We impact the organic and the inorganic life around us. And it impacts us. It is not a coincidence that all great philosophy contains the elements of the unknown. Each day is an unknown. The encounters that occur, the timing, the choices, are all unknowns. That is why we contemplate, “Perhaps.” We would like a modicum of predictability; a map of safety and security tucked under our arm. Have we considered that perhaps, all life might be an engaging adventure? All life……..every life.

Recognizing that, “Perhaps,” if we stay with life as it is today, we will find a simple contentment with what ours contains, as it is, today. Perhaps we will find that it fills us with quite enough for our “happy,” to be present. We might find our “happy,” in a night sky filled with stars, or a sandwich and a conversation with a homeless person on a park bench. Helping someone see that they are not invisible is of great value in the world. Perhaps you will find some satisfaction fostering an animal for PAWS or mucking out stalls for a rescue service like Pasados Safe Haven in Washington state. This week I learned of an organization that decided to sponsor young people who were aging out of the Foster Care system. They help them with their first apartment and all that goes along with it, including friendship. What a lonely and frightening experience it must be for an 18 year old with no place to turn. What a gift to the community of man to help them see that they are valued. I have benefitted a lot from such experiences. I have learned to appreciate how much life has truly given me. The gifts I have received from service are of more value to me than I could ever imagine. It has often turned out that I was the one being aided by the “Needy.” So, perhaps, I was the one who was actually, “needy.” Such gifts of service have offered a new perspective and a sense of awe. Excitement is missing in a life focused on self, alone.

Perhaps we can see that we all do have skills that are of value to the world each and every day. And perhaps we will also note that many of these most valuable skills are innate. They are ours to nurture and to offer simply because we are. Not because we were trained in any capacity.

The Buddhists teach that pain is inevitable. I think we can all agree on that……But they also teach that suffering because of that pain……is optional. Perhaps the disappointment of a planned life contributes far more to our suffering than acceptance of what is. Because in the end, what is, is all we have. And our lives, correctly viewed, as is, might not be such a disappointment after all. Sometimes being disillusioned is also being set free to discover what may bring us the joy and satisfaction that makes our life an exceptionally pleasing one. Daring to be ourselves is the greatest adventure life has to offer. There is no, “Perhaps,” about that, at all.

For tonight, that is enough……….”Perhaps.”

 

 

 

 

 

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