The past few days have been the first few days in which I have really sat with myself. Having been on the move for the past six months, I have finally found myself in a situation where I am still. I have a home, which I share with five other lovely folks. It is often very busy, and despite having been ‘home’ for a few weeks now, it was only recently that I was home alone for a day. I had been craving alone time, but when I finally found myself with space, I felt thoroughly confused.
I sat with the confusion. I did distract myself a little with the internet which of course, confused me more. So many things had taken place between when I was in my optimum state of existence – a state underpinned by love and gratitude – to the state in which I have been existing for the past few weeks. In my time away, I had been exploring new ways of thinking, creating and changing and growing at a substantial rate, my mind shifting this way and that. Upon returning, I dived deep into activism-based activities, community orientated projects and filling much of my time with social activities with old friends. This weekend, turning down the opportunity to head away to a festival, I decided to sit still with myself.
Upon doing so, I realized that a few things have happened since I returned to my home environment. I returned determined to be governed by things that I love, and hoped that by doing things that I love, I would live in somewhat of a love bubble. Marrying my desire to do this, however, seems to conflict with my desire to create positive change in the world. Whilst it is all well and good saying that by being the change we want to see in the world, we create it, following this logic I often find myself wondering who exactly will benefit from this change. Is it simply the already privileged that will benefit from this way of living – myself, and those who I seem to mostly associate with?
In short, with the exception of maintaining a solid movement practice, I forgot about love. Momentarily. What happened, I suspect, is that I fell back into old habit energies on account of my memory association to this space that I call home. Additionally, there are the pressures of family and friends and society to do various things (e.g. get a job) – but ultimately, these pressures would be completely redundant if it weren’t for my reaction to it – and the subsequent growth of doubt in my mind. By sitting with myself, and sitting with the uncomfortable feeling that seemed to accompany such solitude, I have come to realize some things.
I have come to realize that it is necessary to sit still, to peel back the layers. How I respond to this world is my responsibility; I have power within me to change, to grow, to create, to be how I’d like to be in my perspectives and beliefs. I have come to realize that I have some unhealthy habits – a few of them. These are improving with time, and with moments like these, in which I give myself space, they improve more. Rather than focusing on what exactly these are, I would like to focus on what they might be replaced by.
In short, I intend to replace them with a curiosity about the world. A curiosity in moments that seem mundane, in moments that I might rush through – like catching the bus. A curiosity for the world that I am firmly planted within, and a true exploration of such a curiosity. Confusion needn’t be scary if it is observed and watched with inquisition.
Love. I want to replace the doubt with love; I want to replace the self-criticism with love. I want to replace the external analysis with an analysis grounded in love. Love and gratitude and love and gratitude and love. There is a reason that these words pop up so much in various religions, and have been co-opted by various marketing campaigns in the face of the self-help revolution. They work. Love and gratitude as a starting place, allows for us to see through the lens of love. I will focus on these three things: curiosity, love and gratitude, and return to myself in a few days time. Lets see if anything substantial changes.