Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.
Identify the problem, but give your power and energy to the solution.
Living a Reality of Solutions, Not Problems
To say it somewhat poetically, many a flower, big or small, sprouted out of a junkyard soil. And many a philosopher, poet, composer, artist -- well, a seeker -- got born out of a painfully uncomfortable, unfriendly ambient. Only to say it some day in a retrospect, together with a poet: "Blessed be that dark force which is giving us wings..."
I can relate to it quite well. But this story is not about the nature of that dark force, nor about the unfriendly ambient of that junkyard giving birth to a small but robust flower. Rather, it's about a personal quantum leap possible only in an absence of analyzing, and living in the reality of solution, rather than in a reality of problem.
I'll never know if I already had that predisposition in me, or it actually started with reading my first book in psychology at the age of ten. "Mental Hygiene" was its title, and it was recommended to me by an older friend, then a university student. I used to confide to him about "things" on our long walks to the river where we went to swim. I still remember how he would compare my thoughts about life to the philosophy of Jean Jacques Rousseau.
But back to that book. As I read it, and re-read those parts to which my life could relate, I suddenly felt a wave of enormous relief, recognizing actors in that drama as merely some suffering slaves of their nature.
In that revelation I was not a "target", more like a piece of the props on their stage, an inconvenience that they had to bump into now and then. It also became clear that I was on my own, on a path where that drama had no place, was useless as a building block for the long life ahead of me.
However, probably the most valuable gut realization I got was about all those resentments, which I would let be for as long as they wanted to hang around -- but wouldn't identify with them. I was O.K., there was nothing to "fix", and that catapulted me into the reality of solutions, away from a reality of problems.
Only decades later did I learn from quantum physics what I was applying intuitively at that young age -- that we collapse from field of infinite possibilities that to which we give our attention.
Then, absolutely thrilled by that truism at work, I titled my little essay of things "which I didn't want to forget" -- NOTHING HAS A SUCHNESS UNTILL WE GIVE IT ONE.
And I still live by that principle six decades later. I am still not "fixing things", just observing their wholeness -- and they stay whole. Like my health. Like my happiness. Like my peace of mind.
With that resolve to detach myself from knowledge about myself dictated by the emotional experience, I braved to visit city cemetery at midnight, to get rid of my long childhood phobia of dark.
Sitting on a bench in front of someone's grave, I was sweating bullets, but detaching myself from it -- knowing that it was only emotion that I was producing, not me. I was O.K., and being free from that fear, I could even embrace it.
All emotional experiences attached to those turbulent first ten years rapidly evaporated in that new realization that I didn't really "know" myself, with an incredibly light feeling of surrender to a creative curiosity about who I would unfold into.
Just because my path is different, doesn't mean I am lost.
Lesson From Climbing a Mountain at Night
When at the age of sixteen, on a hot summer night I got spurred from within to go and climb that one mile high mountain at the edge of my home town, I thought I was going nuts.
The more I observed that urge, the less I could see anything justifiable about it -- and yet, somehow unable to shake it off from my mind. Well, I had done many crazy, adventurous things before that, but there was always some emotional reward to it; whereas hiking for over two hours through the dense woods, with nothing attractive at the top, didn't offer any of that fun feeling.
It was not a concern of getting lost in the woods, I had taken that trail many times, and even night wouldn't pose a problem. But I was thinking about running into a more dangerous kind of a weirdo than I was up there in those woods.
And, as that concern was growing more and more persuasive, so was that knowing that I would end up doing it. That feeling of surrender to the "motions of it", while disregarding all "knowing" I got many times later -- including the time when I got the idea to emigrate, with all odds being against it. Again, emotions were not defining "me" -- I was O.K., dwelling in reality of solutions, not reality of problems.
I sneaked out careful not to wake mother up. On the way to the streetcar stop I kept analyzing what was going on, but my feet didn't seem to care. I can still clearly remember that spiteful feeling towards what was "appropriate" -- like staying in bed like all normal people did.
It was not a challenge to find out if I could make myself walk to the top of that mountain at night -- it was deeper than that. It was a cry for a freedom from everything instilled into me, a need to experience myself as doing something crazy-or-not, but because I chose to do it.
Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.
-- Eckhart Tolle
Freedom From Analyzing Past and Rehearsing Future
In some different contexts I mentioned a few times that shitload of books that I have read about human nature -- not to brag about it, no matter what the context happened to be. Likewise, I'd like to mention that none of those many books taught me anything -- they were intellectual gym triggering my own ideas about life.
And the least of anything did they teach me how to live. Someone said: "Knowledge is power", and it must have been someone who amassed a lot of it only deceiving themselves, and turning a blind eye on all futility of knowing about life.
Life is doing, nor knowing. After all, there must be a huge worldwide mass of highly educated individuals that are not enjoying life one bit -- not an enviable health and fitness, not great relationships, not really feeling accomplished and happy, just pushing a front of a dubious success.
Without spirituality there is no happiness, no peace of mind. And I don't mean "religious" spirituality, because there is no such thing. Religionists are drawing inspiration from outside, from others' systems of belief, others' ritualistic routines -- whereas a truly spiritual person is exploring his or her limits, evolving, becoming, sinking into their essence with help of meditation and self-discipline.
There is no analyzing, because analyzing just keeps us in the realm where something has to be fixed, so we stay glued to the problem while going smart about how to fix it. It's like walking backward in life, not seeing where we are going, just satisfied to see clearly where we are coming from.
In spirituality we don't analyze where we are coming from, and equally not being concerned where our path is leading us -- because freedom we enjoy means being also free from rehearsing for future.
I don't know how that future-me will think, how he will be internally and externally processing his life's situations. I can only do my best now, and let the future take care of itself.
That "letting go" business is a big one in my mental dynamics, which, in terms of quantum mechanics means that we accomplish more by doing less -- because by doing more we always do that useless excess which thwarts the manifestation of what we want.
You see what I mean? After placing our intent into the infinite field of possibilities, we've got to have faith that on quantum level it already exists for us -- there is no need to keep insisting, because that insisting means that we are struggling with the possibility that it won't come true. In other words, we are still coming from the position of the problem, not from the solution.
All that analyzing is a chicken-shit, as we are scared to plunge into the unknown, just regurgitating the familiar. When life sucks, or we at least think that we deserve a better intimate reality, more happiness out of life -- it's not a call to our left brain hemisphere to keep assessing, planning, and "giving it a try".
Analyzing life is turning in circles of our comfort zone which also allows some dreaming, but with all of its exit doors being tightly sealed.
Nothing in the universe can stop you from letting go and starting over.
Day One -- Instead of One Day
So life becomes one big new-year's-resolution, as we, smart asses, "know" all our weaknesses, our addictions, our problems that need to be fixed. Stuck in the spell of "knowing", with a spirit too paralized as to take that damn streetcar to those damn foothills of that damn mountain, and keep walking until the whole mass of the mountain is under our feet.
Just maneuvering between the obstacles, not surfing on the crest of them, we are very knowledgeable about w.t.f. is going on with us, with family, with country, and the world -- sheepishly smiling like some savvy "veterans of life" who got it all figured out.
Now, could we at least give it all a little glimpse of honesty, noticing how analyzing life is just making us chase our tails?
For, as soon as we find that courage to admit that we don't know shit about who we are, that's the promising moment in which we just might start taking a counsel of our spirit.
You see, the only reason why kids grow and learn so fast is because they haven't got a developed ability to analyze. They just leave behind what is not useful in their next stage.
Indeed, kids don't look back and feel embarrassed because not so long ago they were crapping into diapers -- they just take it as a natural next step to use toilet now. Unlike us grownups, who mentally stay locked in a past crappy relationship never bothering to just flush the toilet and go about moving on.
Now, not that we don't have any sense of what that moving on would involve. But that's what scares us. It's emotionally cheaper to just wallow than to pull ourselves by bootstraps and move our ass from the mess we have created for ourselves -- with no one's help either.
It's so much easier to curse the past, curse bad luck, curse all those in the past who "failed us". Feeling as a victim is the red carpet on which we proudly walk, showing off all bruises we received in so many battles.
Couldn't we just snap out of it, and plunge into that ever luring unknown of life -- not by emigrating, or climbing mountains at night, or visiting some cemeteries at midnight -- but just saying, and meaning it: "Day One" -- instead of -- One Day.
© 2020 Val Karas
Val Karas (author) from Canada on July 17, 2020:
Allen, my friend -- It's so promising that you remember what that "wide open door" felt like -- meaning that on some neglected layer you still keep it open for a future use.
There is a sign over it reading "Entrance" -- Not "Exit", meaning that when we get through it, it's not about "escaping" from something bad, but rushing towards something great.
Stay inspired by that "felt sense" of what used to be behind that door, my friend. There is always more to us than we think, and if my articles can't provide the key, maybe they can, at least, suggest how to pick the lock.
Allen Edwards from Iowa on July 17, 2020:
Oh My God(non-theistically speaking) Val..You set about..this time, to push, even "harder" against that door I have locked, and lost the key for. That door that I used to leave "wide open" and run through towards my next "great adventure"! A "Wild and Crazy" thrill seeker who found much glory and gratification from taking the plunge and finding ways to, even, sometimes recover from hitting my hard ass head atop those rocks of adversity.
Keep after me My Friend..I am starting to see some rather large cracks in the door frame!`~`