Saturday, April 26, 2008

There is so much that happens in any given week to any given person. We are always moving, constanly coming and going. Moving towards something, or away from another thing, always in motion. The only still moment is the present moment, which is so fleeting most of us are unaware of its passage. And the constant movement, the constant unfolding of reality, is happening simultaneously in an infinite number of ways.

There are micro movements, what we as individuals do each day. There are macro movements, which are happening constantly, despite us, most days, being completely unaware of and unconcious to their occurence. The earth spins at thousands of miles per hour as it flies through time and space, rotating around the sun, our life giver, itself a massive, molten object moving on the most grand of scales. Oceans shift, storms rage and the earth quakes as the peoples of the world attempt to react to and live happy healthy lives in face of these constant global changes.

There are political systems, economic systems, natural systems, even energetic systems of which we are only barely aware. And all these systems, constantly changing as they are, all weigh heavy on our personal selves in ways we often don't recognize.

To quote Donald Rumsfeld, "There are known knowns, the things we know we know; there are known unknowns, the things we know we don't know; and there are unknown unknowns, the things we don't know we don't know." It's this third group that is the scariest and probably much larger than any of us are aware...it boggles the mind to think about everything occuring that influences our lives but of which we are completely unaware.

So, we wake up each morning, from eight hours of sleep - which itself is out of control unawareness - and expect ourselves to effectively manage our lives in this incredibly complex world. Heck, it's a wonder we actually make it out of bed to face whatever unknowns life ends up throwing our way!

On top of what the world throws our way, we have to manage our own, complex selves. It's no easy task. We have physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and relational systems, each in constant flux and each influencing all the others. Each system has its own set of subsystems which are unconsciously running their own sets of programs and commands, reacting to and influencing the other aspects of ourselves.

Sometimes, all systems are go and we move through the world as integrated whole selves, with each system aligned and supporting the other systems to propel us forward towards becoming healthier and more effective.

Much more often, we have control of only two or three of our systems and, like wack-a-mole, as soon as we have one aspect of life managed and under control, a problem pops up in another area. We are then forced to turn our attention to managing this new issue, trying to get this other aspect of ourselves under control and in alignment.

If we are lucky, or really good at this game of life, we can manage this new area without another area suffering. But most people don't have an infinite amount of energy and resources and, inevitably, as one area elicits more attention, another falters. As we move towards one thing, we move away from some other.

We humans are gifted, however, with an amazing capacity to be moving in many directions at once. If we can bring consciousness and awareness to all the various aspects of our lives, and that is a big if, then maybe, we can exercise some level of choice in deciding which direction we move, what we move towards and what we move from.

But how do we decide? How do we know which way to go? It seems so much of what haunts us is questioning which way is the "right" way to move or wondering if some decision we have already made was the "best" one. Deciding in which direction to move elicits hundreds of opinions, from ourselves and others, on what is right or wrong. We each have our own indicators, we each come to a different conclusion and, it seems, none of us are ever quite sure we did the "right" thing.

So, we do what humans have done since the beginning, we try our best. Through trial and error we learn what works for us or what doesn't. We figure out what brings us happiness, if that's what we desire. Generally, we learn how to move ourselves towards what we want; if, that is, we decide to go anywhere at all, plenty of us decide to just stay put. Either way, it is up to each of us to figure it out and we each do our best to do our best.

Sometimes, we do well, we find what we are looking for, happiness, love, peace, health, fame fortune, whatever it is. Maybe, if we are lucky, we even make it to the pinnacle of some life achievement. Just as often though, we screw up, we get things wrong. Sometimes, we make such a mess of our lives, either just one aspect of it, or the whole damn thing, that we just don't know what to do.

With so much going on - on one hand a huge expanse of external forces influencing us, and on the other hand the complexity of trying to manage the multitude of personal systems within - is it any wonder we screw up sometimes? In fact, don't you think we expect a lot from ourselves? Even more, isn't amazing what we do accomplish? It should be, we have all done so much, accomplished so many wonderful, amazing things! Each and everyone of us have already achieved so much. Heck, like I said above, with so much going on, just getting out of bed is an accomplishment to celebrate!

The best part is though, this is a team sport. We are surrounded by an almost infinite host of others just like us, yet so uniquely themselves, who are all going through pretty much the same things we are.

All the highs, all the lows, we all stuggle to get through the day, to navigate the wild river of this world while trying to find some peace within. Together, we walk through this life, together, we celebrate our successes and we mourn our failures. Together, we try our best.

It's an amazing experience, this being human. Beautiful, complex, tragic, scary, there is so much to living. It is a wonderful, hard road to walk. It does give me some comfort to know I don't have to go it alone. Comfort for right now anyway. Tomorrow, who knows, things could seem a whole lot different.

In fact, if I have learned anything, I am pretty confident tomorrow will be, in some degree, different then was today. It will bring a whole new set of challenges, new successes, and this I guarentee, fresh failures. So, until the sun greets us tomorrow, and we face whatever life brings us, walk on my friends, walk on, and know we are all in this together.

1 comment:

  1. Very kind words you've gathered here. All though extremely technical at times I think you might find some of the ideas of "Relational Systems" we're exploring at www.ahainstitute.com interesting. Keep spreading the love!

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