Something to contemplate in these Coronavirus-constrained times.
You are not here to make other people happy.
You are not here to interpret and live out other peoples’ expectations.
You are not here to live other peoples’ stories.
You are here to be you.
You are here to live your own truth.
And only you need know what that is.
Indeed, only you can know what that is.
And while it may seem impossible for you to live your truth, for fear of letting others down,
should you choose to go that route and focus your full attention upon it, you may well find that it comes to pass in a surprisingly elegant way for everyone concerned.
In Taoist philosophy, this approach combines what is called wu wei, or “effortless
achievement” and yi or “intention”. It involves merely making an intention, letting that intention be known and absorbed by your deepest self, regardless of whether it makes perfect sense to your rational mind or not, and then letting go and allowing life to unravel that way of its own accord. This it will do if you let it and often the results can be breathtaking.
Talking of which, your breath is the most direct handle you have on your existential and
In formal practice, simply by observing it, you slow down the raging thoughts in your forebrain.
By allowing it to be smooth and silken, you allow your thoughts and feelings to be smooth and silken too. By permitting it to deepen, you deepen your moment-by-moment experience.
This balancing of what you receive from the world, in all respects, with the amount you give it is of course, only an option, but isn’t having options an important measure of the extent to which we are truly living?
So stop holding your breath immediately, as that just jams up the flow of life in all respects
and start allowing it to move freely, silently, deeply, evenly, smoothly and silkenly in and out of your lungs, from now on.
Or don’t – it’s entirely up to you. If you enjoy unnecessary stress and strain and it helps make
you feel more alive in some way, continue to inhibit and hold your breath.
As I said at the top, you’re not here to make others happy. However, by making yourself
happy, you will tend to instigate a set of conditions, whereby everyone in your orbit feels
happier too. Genuine happiness breeds genuine happiness, in other words.
Try telling yourself, ‘I am here to live my own life-story and I’m choosing to live it, love and
ride it for all it’s worth now, come what may,’ and carry on as you were.