I will celebrate my 56th birthday on Friday, October 2. Actually, I approach that day, not so much with a sense of celebration, but with a pensiveness, a deep seeded reflection on what I want to do with my life from here on out. My father never saw his 56th birthday. I recently passed him in time in the world and I pledged that from that moment on out I would be striding through my days for the both of us. And so, I am contemplating changes. Disengaging from some things in my life, re-engaging with others, and starting some new journeys.
I’d like to find my sister Rebecca and see how she is doing. Our life paths were torn apart when our mother placed me in reform school only weeks after our father died. I was 15, Rebecca was 10. We reconnected briefly around the time of our mother’s 1992 suicide. I would like to see how she is doing. She is my sister and no matter what has happened, I love her very much.
I also plan on disengaging from anyone and anything that fuels their end of our connection in life with the hollow sounds of lip service. I have no time for that. Neither do they, but it is not my journey’s mandate to make them see that, nor could I if I tried.
As I contemplate and experience the fear that comes with making major changes, I go back to something Buddha taught. That so much of human suffering is rooted in our connection to material things, rooted in what we are taught to experience as status symbols, real measures of our worth: the cars we drive, our job titles, being a board member of this or that organization, and so forth. When it all comes down to it, none of these things truly fulfills us, or makes us happy. Moreover, if we rely on any of them to give our lives buoyancy, we are, in truth, sunk. We have yanked the rug of human experience right out from under ourselves with a social slight of hand.
I want to live my life with all my heart and soul. Love those close to me with all I am and help as many people as I can discover that none of life’s wounds or traumas have reduced their value and worth. One of the things I love about the workshops I facilitate is every extraordinary person that is in them knows life happens to us whether we like it or not. They know it is how we manage it, the relationship we have with it that matters. No job title or status symbol ever protected anyone from real life.