You have your eyes on something. Something that is currently out of reach. It either take work, time, or money to get it. Time passes, you do the work, you get the money, you buy it… and then something totally unexpected happens: you don’t want it. You don’t want to use it…
Another version of the same thing, just in a different arena: you want a person to love you. You long for it. You court them. You buy them gifts, or do nice things to them. Then, when they say they love you and want you… the bottom falls out. You suddenly don’t want it.
But why would such a horrible thing be a daily occurrence?
I has happened to me recently. I wanted to buy a program that I really liked. I could see myself using it. I could see myself making money with it. Finally after about six weeks of waiting to get it, working extra to be able to pay for it… I didn’t want it. And I still don’t…
I looked into this today… looked under the hood, climb high enough on the vertical to see past present and future in one glance, tuned into the emotions that play out the drama… and I think I got it.
Having something out there, like a goal, like something to go for, something to live fore, is a strategy we use to avoid being in the present moment, and taking a real good look at our lives and at ourselves.
Why do we avoid it? Because it’s not pretty.
You have this imaginary persona, valuable, needed, important, someone who matters… or your version of that.
But the truth is that you don’t matter, and I include myself in this: I don’t matter.
I stayed alive and motivated for decades, telling myself that if I didn’t do what I was doing, then no one would do it. Then I got sick. And the world didn’t stop. The people who benefited from my work didn’t collapse, didn’t do anything: they found someone who filled the gap.
And that is true for all of us: we are not that important. And we are not that good, not that smart, not any of the things we fancy ourselves to be.
I picked up a Syracuse University newspaper today. There was a big picture on the front page with four people on it… and I could see from their body language, from their facial expression, that they feel they are very important, what they do is very important, they are better than the crowds, they serve, blah blah blah.
I get lots of comments that I don’t publish. People send me information, advice, that tells me: they fancy themselves really smart, and really knowledgeable… they are helping me out. Fixing my problems. They are important.
I delete their comments. I used to reply, give them a little sobering piece of my mind, but I don’t think that makes a difference. Now I just remove them from my mailing list.
After all, if they are so much better than me, if they feel above me, then I probably won’t benefit from them getting my emails, coming to my site. I hit the unsubscribe button… without any regret.
Now, how does this connect to the phenomenon mentioned in the beginning?
I noticed, on myself, that when I get hooked on some future, then I refuse to really work on it… lest I lose the only thing that is good in my life: hope.
I don’t live on the horizontal, goal and result oriented plane any more, but it take work, every day, to extract myself from it: the advertisements, the new products, the projects I work on get me hooked, time and time again.
Fixing, creating, getting rid of, making it, getting it… these are all verbs that belie that you are looking at some future as the good place, and the present moment as lacking, wrong, not the right place… “Once I get X, I’ll be happy, I’ll be accomplished, I’ll be fulfilled, I’ll be pretty, I’ll be well…” feel free to add your own way of making the present moment wrong.
When I manage to extricate myself, I can work, I can write, I can experiment, I can enjoy what I do… and when I enjoy what I do, I also enjoy my life.
In my one-year long financial cycle I am in the phase when I am supposed to be hooked, get careless, and go under. I have done it every year since I can remember… Weird, eh?
It looks very similar to alcoholism, drug addiction… anything that you think you have beaten, but you can’t beat it… it is always there, just below the surface, trying to run the show.
The best thing that can ever happen to me is to let go of, allow hope to drop. Hope is like hashish… like opium, like heroin, not that I have tried any of it… but I have connected to people who were under the influence… a total escape, a total absence from reality.