Monday, 1 September 2008

Bubbles and earth

I was going to write today about our eventful camping trip over the long weekend (torrential downpour while I tried to set up an 8 man tent on my own while my mom tried to soothe Colin and Caleb in a car packed to the brim with camping gear) but I have had my personal bubble burst just now. That bubble in which I live, where I control everything and life is just as it should be. My comfort zone, my status quo, my walking-through-life-blind state of living.

Why is it that we accept so many things without truly considering them first? "This is the way life is lived" they tell us. "These are the things you should do. This is what you should think of these things. Be joyful at this, be horrified at this. Vote yes, protest, complain at the dinner table but do nothing about it. Life is a pleasure cruise. Watch representations of other people's lives on tv, and find yourself wishing for that unattainable dream. Buy, spend, buy, spend. You deserve to have it. You need it. You want it. Buy it. This is the system. This is the way it's always been. This is the way it has evolved. This is the best it has ever been." A small dissenting thought creeps into a corner, and I feel fired by it. Then I feel inadequate, confused, overwhelmed, tiny. I feel the social pressure. I question myself and retreat. I worry about what people think of me. I long ago lost the freedom and abandonment of childhood. "What might they think?" Who is "they"? Family, friends, neighbours, strangers. As I grow I lose a bit of the worry. I realize it doesn't matter what other people think. Let them laugh, stare, wonder, deride, scorn. Sometimes I can let it slide, sometimes I can't.

Every step forward is followed by a hundred steps back.

But then I realize that every step forward is huge, immeasurably large. Every step back is tiny, immeasurably small. In fact, no amount of steps backward will ever erase the distance I covered in one step forward. I am changed. I am evolving.

There are others out there struggling with my struggles. I imagine looking down on us; we are all these little hands poking through the earth where all of humanity has been buried. I know there is something better up there. Once in a while I peek my head through and take in deep gulps of fresh air. I sink back into the ground. I pull myself back out and see others laughing and dancing and rejoicing at their newfound freedom. There are many of us who are just poking through, constantly struggling to get back up. There are many, many more who are happy to live in the darkness and warmth of the enveloping earth.

Laws, rules, regulations, guidelines. I have been taught unquestioning obedience. I am realizing that I need to fast unlearn all that I have been taught. I am experiencing a new form of learning and teaching. I am no longer performing to please, or learning to get an 'A'. There is something so much larger than that going on, and it is this I am striving for.

Thank you to those of you who remind me to get up out of my rut and breathe! My ideas need to be mine and mine alone. But opposition of ideas is not something to avoid. They need to be discussed and met head on! Only opposition can help us grow. I have heard this all my life, but the meaning of it is new again.

Push me. Let me push you. Let's discuss. Let's disagree. Let's express new ideas. Let's banish fear. Let's not judge. Let's learn. Let's grow.

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