Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Sysiphus had it easy

I don't know what direction this post is going to go in, so be warned.

Right now I feel completely bogged down by my life. I feel like I'm stuck in some sort of warp where I have been repeating the same thoughts, the same angst, the same fears, the same behaviours, the same anxieties, the same worries, the same dread, the same boredom, the same frustrations, the same dissatisfactions, the same--well, everything--for the last five years or so.

I know this is the case because I've had a glance through my old journals going back to 2004. (I did this to have a look at my food and exercise programme, for some ideas of how to get myself back on track with at least that aspect of my life.) I noticed that I keep believing, thinking, fearing and doing the same things over and over. I keep setting the same goals for myself and then not working toward them. I keep wondering if my inaction means I don't really want those goals. I keep worrying that my life is slipping by day by day and I'm still not sure what it is that I even want out of it. I feel like Sysiphus, sort of. He was condemned to push a boulder to the top of a hill, only to have it roll back down again, forcing him to start over from the beginning. And he knew he was destined to repeat this for eternity. --But I don't even get to the top of the hill. I'm Sysiphus standing at the foot of the hill staring at the rock. I think about reaching out to start pushing it, and my hands start to reach out, then they just drop helplessly back down to my sides. I can't get them to raise up again. I don't even get to start pushing. I seem to be condemned to just stand there, thinking I need or ought to make a start at getting that rock to the top of the hill, but I can't do it. My limbs are jittery with potential energy. My throat fills with a nauseous ache. But I just can't do it. (I am sick and about to pop out in a sweat just describing this stress).

I feel overwhelmed by my own uselessness.

What are some of these things that I've wanted for so long but haven't been able to do?

I want a meaningful meditation practice. I'd like to actually go to a Buddhist centre and see what it's like. I've talked to myself about this for years. What do I do? I write goals, I buy beads, I find out about events in the area. Then I go for 6 months without sitting down to meditate, I don't go to the events. I feel guilty for spending the money.

I want to learn to be happy with my work or find a new job. I'm not sure which. I want to not feel like I should be doing something else, something more. What do I do? I print applications for jobs, then I don't fill them in, or fill them in and don't send them off.

I want to have some emotional intelligence for a change, not be so reactionary to things. I want to be at peace in my spirit, and have it show. I want some serenity. I want a new way of coping in place of the volatile reactions and private meltdowns. What do I do? I fly off the handle and make remarks or show attitude instead of keeping quiet.

I want to stop fighting and arguing with the reality of the present moment. What do I do? I keep talking to myself about how unjust and unfair everything is, I keep talking out loud about how wrong everything is.

I want some assurance about my future in my old age. I want someone to help come up with some sort of retirement plan that will help me not be so afraid of the future. What do I do? I make contributions to my ISA but don't know what to do beyond that. I think about getting a financial advisor but I am afraid of taking their advice, so I don't even call one.

I want a house that I can afford, so I'll have a place to live when I'm old. What do I do? I keep finding reasons why 'Now is not a good time' to buy a house. I keep telling myself that I can't afford a house that I'd want to live in, or that the two of us are too ignorant to do the maintenance on a house.

I want to be of help to my son, but nothing I do seems to help. Everything seems to come back at me, and my version of helping him is to try to impose what I think is the right thing onto him, because I don't know what else to do for him but that. And that is not working and never has worked.

I just keep struggling and fighting against everything. I keep fighting. I keep fighting, fighting, fighting. I keep shouting, 'No! I don't want it to be the way it is, because I don't like it! I want it to be the way I want it to be! I will shout and fight and worry and cry and wrestle with it and will it to become what I want it to be! Aaaaaaaaa!!!!' Somewhere inside my spirit, this is what's going on.

Maybe I don't start pushing that rock because I don't want to push the rock. I want to resent the rock out of existence, so I can float effortlessly to the top of the hill and have a golden sunbeam slant down upon me through the parting clouds.

Or maybe there's not a rock there at all, or a hill. Why does there have to be a rock or a hill? Why can't there be a golden bed for me to snuggle into? Why do I envision my life as a futile uphill struggle, anyway? What kind of messed up place is that to start from? And anyway, is there even a start? No, I don't think there is.

I wish I could just let go of all this and just be. I don't need a new life, I need a new way to be me.

No, that's not it exactly.

I keep coming back to the same answer. I have to live in and accept the reality of the present moment. Why can't I manage to do it, for one single second? Even when I'm thinking and writing about doing it, I'm not doing it.

All I know is, I'm exhausted from all this.


Anna Down Under said...

Darlin' if you find the answer, let me know, OK? You're far from alone.

stickbooth said...

"mushin no mushin"- I hope I spelled that right,its Japanese.Do you remember the scene in The Last Samurai (if you even saw it), when the lead character stuggles with Kendo until his host tells him, " to much mind". Mushin no mushin or mind no mind.