Contemplating human nature
Ah! Human life... It's a wild ride!
When we enter this world,
we are innocent and unknowing of the many challenges that await and how times flies.
We each are given a precious human life and it is a gift.
And some may disagree as others might even think it's a poisonous gift.
Accepting what is
We all search for happiness; we quest for the good things in life,
and we do our best to avoid suffering. When it hurts, we resist.
Not willing to accept what is, we try to change it,
to control things so that we don't have to feel suffering.
Unfortunately, we still do.
Whether we agree or not, bad and good coexist and we feel joy and also pain.
It is our perception of it all that makes the difference.
Life can seem so cruel and it blinds us to the truth, that what is, just is.
Life is impermanence
Inevitably, life will throw at us many obstacles, tests, challenges.
I think that the tarot card "Wheel of Fortune" reflects well this impermanence.
Life is in perpetual movement, whether fast or slow, the wheel turns.
Upon reaching the top, the only way left to go is down.
Upon reaching the bottom, the only way to go is back up.
If we understand impermanence, we know that movement is necessary.
In an eternal search for justification,
we invent contraptions and formulas to make sense of it all.
We need answers and as if it was linked to our survival, we instinctively want to know why.
Life is chaos
When you're certain about something, when you expect something to happen,
when you think you know for sure the outcome... chaos can happen.
Expectations are a sure fire way to suffering if they're not met.
By accepting chaos, life's unexpected events are just that, unexpected events.
It's not so much about what happens but more what will I do with it.
It's not personal
Human beings, as well meaning and virtuous as they may be,
are in the "me me me" mindset. Why did this or that happen to me?
Why do others have the good things but not me?
Why do they have success, love, talent but not me... Look at me! I need attention!
I should be praised, recognised for who I am. I shouldn't have to suffer like this,
have this life, this bad luck, hard times, feeling persecuted.
After all, I'm a good person, I treat others well,
naturally I'm worth more than what life offers me. I deserve better. What does it mean? Why? Why me?... Well why not?...
Being human is a contradiction - balance is hard to achieve
We are capable of such greatness, wisdom, loyalty, courage, honour, generosity.
We can be beacons of light, creators of beauty, helpers, and protectors.
We can express all the highest and noblest of virtues and qualities.
We are also capable of the worst, our twisted minds creating violence unto others physically and verbally, enslaving, humiliating, stepping on others to reach the top.
We are so good at hate, jealousy, treachery, opportunism, manipulation, greed, hypocrisy.
We are both creators and destroyers.
Our lives are coloured in many shades of grey, but inside we possess both the best and the worst of human qualities. Balance is acquired by our motivations and the choices we make.
Understanding common ground
We are alive. We may think we are special and that we are not like the others.
However, we must learn to see that we are all in the same boat; we may feel it's not possible to love and accept everyone. It is essential that we at least admit and understand our common humanity: that we all have basic goodness and that we can at least try to have compassion for those who share our fate and who are also suffering,
and just as much as we are, if not more.
Apart from being alive, all humans have another commonality.
We're not perfect; no one is nor will ever be.
It would be ridiculous to believe that in this short life we were given,
we could ever achieve total perfection;
never, impossible, dream on, sad but true.
It can be hard to accept our situation: we are alive, life is impermanent,
suffering is inevitable, we are always in perpetual movement amidst the chaos,
we are not perfect and we don't have so many answers.
We are flawed but we are valuable, precious, important, admirable,
talented beautiful imperfect people.
Why not accept what is and let doubts, uncertainty, the fear of not knowing,
melt way and lighten our steps?
Life is hard for all of us and in many different ways.
But then, there are the good moments, the joy, the love,
and the fact that we have only one life. Many, when faced with tragedy and death,
are brought to take some distance and rethink their lives.
Why haven't I done this before?
Because I had not fully realised the importance of my life, how short it is,
and how fast it passes. All the words of wisdom we've ever read come to make more sense when faced with the truth.
We cannot avoid, be blind, put any of it off for later.
This is it! This present moment, I am alive, one life, others too.
We can't change the tides and it's not personal.
I have value! No one can change how I feel, nor can give me an easy answer to my life.
I am alone, yet we are all alone and together at the same time.
Such is life, isn't it interesting?