“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way… As a man is, so he sees.” ― William Blake
Have you ever felt stuck in life, looking for ANYTHING MEANINGFUL to help you out because you are convinced deep down that there is much to life than merely existing?
If you have, then this is definitely for you.
Here is what I think:
Unheard melodies, each and every one of us has an unheard melody inherently instilled, and we can’t hear it more often because there is too much noise. The world is crazy, life is busy, living is complicated, and we try so hard to keep ourselves sane. So, we tend to lose touch with ourselves considering the fact that we are trapped in the locked attic of our minds thinking that somehow – someday we will be saved from this madness, yet this is all one part of the whole journey through life. I’d like to call it “The Human Odyssey” since we all encounter many uphill battles, many obstacles which will be there to either guide us or stop us.
On the bright side, however, there is a way to get unstuck – to unchain ourselves from the insanity of this world and take control of our lives back regardless of anything or anyone that might come our way.
The question is HOW?
Here is it: It is by finding ourselves in the pile of chaos of everyday life that we become the Masters of our fate and of our experiences.
And in losing ourselves comes the hope of finding our true authentic selves
Consequently, the ultimate question then arises, How in the world can we LOSE ourselves to FIND our true authentic selves?
Losing ourselves in something SIGNIFICANTLY interesting with the sole purpose to reconnect with the self and engage in a dialogue with the most fascinating unpredictable parts of who we are can be as much as an Odyssey filled with adventures and challenges, that it becomes a waking dream; a dream which will definitely lead us on a quest for self-discovery where insights start to emerge and feelings begin to erupt.
Hence, it’s a wonderful subject of inquiry I think for at least some of us who want to cherish that moment of letting go to eventually and hopefully find our own true authentic core.
Having said this, once we set out on the journey to delve into the depths of what makes us most alive, it is hugely important to bear in mind that everything we attempt to do is not for entertainment purposes only. It is all about figuring ourselves out and what makes us tick as human beings.
Apparently, finding ourselves may sound like a self-centered pursuit especially in a society where we are constantly valued based on whether we are living life according to its expected metrics of how we should live it, but it is actually an unselfish process that drives us to dig deep and travel into the hidden realms of who we are as individuals with dreams, visions, aspirations and goals. I believe it was Howard Thurman who once said:
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
So the question I want us to ask ourselves is , “what makes us come alive?” After all, what is life if not a waking dream lived in reality where we become truly alive and not merely existing or sleepwalking?
Have you ever had one of those moments when time slows down, everything happens in slow motion and there is absolute joy and incomparable delight in what you are doing? If you had gone through such an incredible moment, then let me tell you this, that is You dreaming with YOUR EYES OPEN.
And here is my challenge to you:
Wouldn’t be nice instead of being terrorized by your problems, daily life routines and what’s expected of you, you were fully absorbed in your curiosities, your passion, and what you are doing/feeling in this brief and transient spell of existence?
Wouldn’t be nice to look for experiences to fill you , to envelop you with intense emotions of joy, peace and revelation?
We all remember the intensity of experiencing something for the first time — being on a train, a plane or a ship, or reading that inspiring book, watching your favorite movie that shakes you to the core, listening to a magnificent piece of music which gives you the goosebumps, travelling to mind-blowing spaces and places, or simply stare at your own reflection in your partner’s iris and together become Gods; Gods in a world where Time stands still living life outside of despair and death for a moment — co-existing with one another inside of eternity.
It’s here where you find your body and mind arrested and your whole being steered towards astonishment, amazement and appreciation.
It’s here where the physical boundaries between You “the Self” and The Other “object, place, person…” fade away. You are no longer separated from the other entity. You are the other entity. YOU are no longer YOU; YOU are the other person’s mind and heart in the Garden of Eden , YOU are the Van Gogh’s painting, YOU are the Mozart’s Requiem, YOU are the Beethoven’s Melody of Tears. YOU are that scene in your favorite movie. YOU are as big as the Eiffel Tower. YOU are the quote in that magnificent book. You are Prague, and my God, its beauty sings to you. YOU are no longer YOU; YOU are ,once and for all, the answer to every problem in the world. YOU are the antidote of sickness and chaos. You simply become a wonderful piece of poetry in a more colorful reality. This sense of separateness between you and the other vanishes because of your willingness to transcend the human condition.
We experience what Albert Camus described as “Life lived to the point of tears.”
We love THOSE moments because they arrest us, they freeze time, force us to marvel. We become contemplative animals with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
The whole journey hopefully turns us into people unrecognizable to ourselves — Who am I? — if we are only committed enough to our pursuit. To quote Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr: “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” Interestingly, the more we expose ourselves to new experiences and new challenges, the less predictable our lives become because we enter into a modality of constant growth and self-realization. Somehow we transform into a NEW and UPGRADED version of ourselves.
I’ve always wondered why people visit exotic places, travel the world and pay a lot of money for art and everything else. But here is the gist of it all, what These people are really paying money for is an altered state of bliss. They want to their senses to be shocked and astonished; they are hungry for inspiration.
That’s why we feel awakened — inspired when we come across something like that. And we say: “I’m all over the moooooooooooooooon; I love this moment so much and I just can’t get more of it”. All of a sudden, everything is resplendent. Everything is beautiful. I’m certain you’ve had such an experience during the course of your life where you hold on so tightly to that powerful captivating allure of something in which you’re utterly engrossed. One of the lines by William Blake that I don’t seem to forget goes like this:
To see the world in a grain of sand,
And the heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
Maybe this is what it truly means to be happy; to be in alignment with what brings us joy and fulfillment in life. As Mahatma Gandhi had said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Besides, the path to happiness exceedingly depends on our personal definition of it and what it means to us. For some, family is the most important piece that leads to a more joyful and fulfilling life. For others, it can be getting their dream job, earning more money, marrying that ideal partner in mind. There are people as well who believe in the notion that happiness is as simple as appreciating the seemingly little things in life that we repeatedly take for granted, and just be grateful for what we have instead of what we don’t have, since the grass is always greener on the other side. Hence, it all depends on how we perceive happiness, wealth and success. What works for me doesn’t necessarily work for you. it is a matter of perspective.
Above all, happiness at its essence is a by-product of seeking the things that makes us significantly whole. It is not something to be chased or run after; it is something that already exists inside us.
In other words, we should pay more attention to whatever fills us with a sense of purpose and signification. And it all starts with rediscovering and reconnecting with the self. The process can become a kind of resurrection; In order to find ourselves in the midst of confusion, worries and anxieties, in a way we have to die first to be reborn again with a new lease of life.
Thus, it’s my belief that if we lose ourselves by immersing ourselves in a work of art, a spiritual endeavor, an intimate meaningful relationship, a scientific problem, or simply an object of beauty, we will ultimately find ourselves by tapping into the inner authentic parts of ourselves and set ourselves up on a path to inter-personal transformation. We can also lose ourselves in helping people who desperately need a hand. Mahatma Gandhi made a great point when he said: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Somehow along the way such an experience becomes an act of contemplation or better a form of prayer. That’s where we live in the present moment. That’s when the anxiety about the future and the melancholy for the past get banished by the ever-present rapture of the Now and we are finally free. W.B Yeats used to say:
“The world is full of magic things patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
And Maaan, isn’t that the search for the magnificent?
A t the end of minutes, hours or days through that journey — being invested in experiencing, travelling, dreaming — we feel we’ve been returned to ourselves. We become normal again. Reality becomes less compelling and more predictable. And Merrily, merrily, merrily, isn’t Life but a Dream? That is the bummer of life I guess; space, time, things and people are always in constant change. Nothing stays the same but change itself. Kids grow up. Friends move away. Our loved ones pass on from this life.
Despite the impermanence of life, we have at our disposal a finite ability to go back to that altered state of consciousness by shifting our focus to that essential matter at hand — be in the present and appreciate the most important things in our lives before it’s too late. In this way, we can enter a world where the laws of physics don’t seem to apply, and we get a free ride to the magical, the mystical, and the metaphysical. All we have to do is choose a path of interest. In fact, There’s no straight-forward approach, which fits everybody, but if you have something that you love doing, keep challenging yourself with it. Approach everything with more curiosity and positivity.
People on the other side will be waiting for you to hear your story. The story of a life lived to the point of tears. Or as Maya Angelou put it: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Therefore, it is our duty — your duty to live in congruent with who you are, acknowledge what makes you different, and then enrich people’s lives with YOUR STORY.
Originally published at medium.com