Where’s the enlightenment from the trip?

July 23, 2009 at 4:59 pm Leave a comment

So I wrote all the details of the trip, but what happened on that mystical, emotional, invisible level? I will share a few journal entries from the past week…

For whatever reason, I have been content to spend much of my life pining for unattainable men or relationships. Every so often I would tell myself: “Focus on me. Forget about life revolving around a man!” But then I would get caught up in these murky romantic feelings and was lost to reason.

However, something is changing inside me. I am tired of yearning for the unattainable. Strangely enough, now I am willing to let go and focus on my life. That is a necessary step towards sanity, and is accompanied by a tinge of relief. I am free now, and out there in the world. Everything is open to me.

This is another little step along the way — embracing my independence and the fact that I am alone. There is an urge to connect and not face being alone — hence the attempts to numb out with alcohol and cigarettes, but that is not a long-term solution. (Yeah, I’ve been smoking again!!!)

Let it go. Drop it off. Clean up. When I go home, I want to get rid of old stuff. Do a spring cleaning — within and without. Make a true new start, without excess baggage and burdens from the past.

And now some quotes from “Demian” — which I read on the train to Prague.

“I wanted only to try to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?”

“Just then I found a strange refuge — “by chance” as they say — though I believe there is no such thing. If you need something desperately and find it, this is not an accident; your own cravings and compulsion lead you to it.”

“An enlightened man had but one duty — to seek the way to himself, to reach inner certainty, to grope his way forward, no matter where it led.”

“One never reaches home… But where paths that have affinity for each other intersect, the whole world looks like home, for a time.”

“…so utterly faithful to the active seed which Nature planted in him, that in living out its growth he could be surprised by nothing unknown to come.”

Feel a wonderful sense of calm. I’m tired of falling in love and feeling like a burden or grateful for bits of attention. I’m ready for the next step, whatever it is. Meanwhile, I didn’t check the exchangte rate and have absolutely no idea what things cost! (Hence, the taxi later that evening that cost three times the normal price!)

Tonight something else clicked for me — I tend to take on the role of hesitant pursuer — doubting from the start that someone could be interested. It’s a form of control — rather than simply expressing interest and letting things take their course, I have a tendency to want to know from the start if it’s love. Let go. Let it be. Even here. I can trust that things will work out as they are meant to be. Rather than obsessing about someone, just be easy — and express interest when it’s there. That’s perfectly okay. It seems so obvious, but for me it’s a revelation. I guess that fear of rejection was still there. But I don’t need to see it that way at all — nor do I need to think so much. Just be honest, open, that’s enough.

I feel a lightness of heart coming over me. With this lightness of heart, I am delighted. Happy to come alone back to my hotel room. That all-pervading loneliness is lifting. I’m not alone anymore! I can’t explain it, but I feel it — the high of being alive and living my life.

The next morning…
Humbly content, rather than living in constant torment. Suffering is a given in life, pain inevitable, yet it must not shadow every step, color every thought or consideration.

In humble contentment I move forward — content and at peace with myself, yet without self-satisfied inertia. A frame of mind of alertness, awakeness, in motion, taking the suffering in stride — as a simple element, one of several in life, not to be overvalued.

Enthusiasm makes itself noticeable. I want to bring joy and life into my voice and music. Often when I played my sad songs, I wanted people to marvel at all I’d been through — and at the fact that I am still alive. Today I feel relieved of that need — don’t need to prove my worth, nor to justify my actions. I simply am. And that is good so.

Remember the vision from “Demian” — the bird coming out of the egg. You must destroy a world to move on to the next. I let go of my safe, predictable world — even though that was a mere apparition. Of course, it was very convincing, but it wasn’t real. Now I have a new home, a new environment. It is no more or less real than the previous one, but it is in harmony with my soul. That is the difference. Upon that path I choose to remain — wherever it leads me. The steps along the way are just that — stations. There is no permanence, and I can live with that. The time to live is truly now.

This morning, I had an inkling of how quickly even Prague could become familiar and fathomable if I spent enough time there. Another possibility — one in many.

Those are various ramblings from the trip…what has stayed is the calm. I stopped smoking, cut out the glass or two of wine in the evening, and feel better able to deal with the empty space. On the train I wondered why I was struggling to stop smoking again. (I quit for 5 years, then for “fun” started again last year — “just a few” — and kept at it until now.) I know it doesn’t do me good, yet I kept buying “one more pack”. It reminded me of the willingness and surrender necessary to stop any destructive behavior — including the bulimia some 20 years ago.

There is often a single experience or two that hold the key and give me that kick. This time was: After the garden party (and several cigarettes and a few glasses of wine), it was just me and the hosts left over. We sat together and I decided to play them my new song. My voice was scratchy and I missed several notes. THAT bothered me. The next day at the train station I smoked the last cigarette and looked at the pack: The smoke contains formaldehyde! Isn’t that what they use to preserve dead animals and things? Well, that’s disgusting enough — so I stopped. And each day I remind myself how good it feels to breathe — a little deeper each day. And my voice is less scratchy — a little less each day. It’s only the 4th day, and with my history I know better than to shout out from the rooftops: “This is it!” But for now, it’s pretty good. Today. One day at a time.

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Entry filed under: journey of life, Vacation adventures. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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