Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Mirage of my Image

What is the image I have of myself? That I'm shy, I mind my own business, I'm short, I don't like to talk much, I'm guilt-ridden, weak, I'm skinny, crooked, I have a scowly face, I react too quickly, I argue too much, sometimes pretty, sometimes awkward, stuck in a well paid job, I have dreams but I don't know how to achieve them.

Just reading about my image makes me feel it's true, but when I think deeper, I realize that I have to tell myself that it's just an illusion - a perception that my mind built up about me based on the outside body and thoughts. But if I disregard the thoughts, the body and the mind, then - who am I? My heart beats fast just thinking this. I am empty. I am thoughtless, mindless, bodyless - I'm nothingness. And that's enough. Why does this make me cry? Are these tears of relief, that I don't have to strive so hard to prove my worth? Are they tears of gratitude, that I can now put down the burden of my image? Who knew these thinner-than-air thoughts could be so heavy? That thoughts have a form more rigid than a solid object? Are they tears of acceptance, that I am enough?

My mind feels threatened when someone (or even myself) sees me differently than my image of myself. I actually don't even know how others see me. Even if they do tell me, or hint to me, what they think of me, I don't think I listen to them, take it in or change my opinion. I either promptly forget or totally disregard what they said, or try to fix their image of me. That's how strong and rigid my mind is of my image. Even though the image is imperfect, I still stick to it rather than change it. How sad is that?

So rather than try to fix my image (because it can never be made perfect), I think it's best that I try to de-solidify it, thaw it, melt it, make it thinner, lighter, more transparent. The only way this seems possible is to be constantly watching my mind, and not let it buy into, and hang onto, the solid particles of my thoughts so tightly; but to recognize and dwell instead on the spaces between them.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Take Tells a Tale

You can do a lot of things alone, but it takes two to tango.

A trail of broken hearts, hanging by a slender cord

Blue and Green; Nothing in Between

From a purple heart blooms a soul so pure

Too fat... too thin... you just can't win!

Humpty, Dumpty sat on a wall so tall

What's up yo!?
The sky's aglow!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Need New Glasses!

No, not literally. I need glasses for my mind - those that can make me focus on the right things: goodness, kindness, and humility; and blur out the surrounding chaos.

It's one of those days. Middle of the week. Pressure building before the big release. Things flying out at me from everywhere. People being snappy, short, show-offish, bossy - all of them out to prove something, prove they're better than others. But that's my one finger pointing. When I look at the other three fingers pointing at myself, I realize that's exactly what I'm doing - trying to prove my worth, that I'm better, that I can handle the pressure. But in reality, I'm buckling - I want to get out of this job and live a saner life. I'm snapping - all I see is sloppiness, people passing the buck and I get irritated. But when I look at my own work, that's what I'm doing too, for lack of time, just like everyone else.

At the beginning of the week, and the beginning of each day, I start off with good intentions, in my heart and mind, but in real world situations, I lose my heart, forget my mind - so totally that I don't even realize it until after the day is done and I'm looking back at the day to figure out why I'm feeling uneasy. This uneasiness, the slight restlessness, the feeling of being off-centered, is what brings me back to the bigger perspective. I have to switch out my zoom-in lenses to my zoom-out lenses. I need to remind myself that this day-to-day grittiness is what helps the grinder to polish the sharp edges smoother. And as I'm finding out, I have a lot of rough edges!

It's not pleasant being in the polishing tumbler for so long at a time, but that's how life chooses to teach to the not-so-fast learners like me. I'm slow - I don't seem to have the thirst or the enthusiasm of a fresh new student. I seem to go through my life like an old retiree trying to learn a new job - groaning, moaning and complaining. How I wish I could think of a way to lighten up while I'm in a heavy situation. How I wish I could remember to muster up energy and enthusiasm when I'm thrown into a new scene. How I wish I could remind myself at critical times to zoom out and get the big picture. The bigger perspective of how little, how insignificant I am when I look at myself, say from another galaxy. How insignificant is my life and what I do. It's actually a comforting feeling realizing that - knowing that this antsy world around me is just a little short-sighted right now. Life goes on the way life always goes on, whether I zoom in or zoom out. It's my perspective that needs to be adjusted as needed.

My perspective right now is that of gratitude - that the day is done, and I'm in bed, a full night's sleep ahead of me; I'm grateful that this day too did pass, and so will everyday, and every rough edge that I encounter. And if I learn something at the end of the day, then I'm thankful for my lessons, and my teacher, my life. Until then, I'll keep praying for those fancy zoom-out glasses.