The work is ours to do alone. Sitting. Listening. Looking. Seeing. Hearing. Feeling. Trusting. Risking. Doing. Being. Becoming. We grow up on our own. Against our will. Because it is called for. And is the best of all our available options. All that we have been told about how things are is not how things are. This is how things are: There is the way things are, and there is what we can do about it, and that's that. And that is how things are. Part of what we can do about it is squaring ourselves up with the difference between how things are and how we wish they were, or how we want them to be. Coming to terms with how things are is being okay with things not being okay. And letting things be because they are. Within any context and all circumstances, there is what we can do and what we cannot do. Refusing to let what we cannot do keep us from fully exploring what we can do is the creative response to our situation, no matter what it is. Always the strategy is: Ask all of the questions that beg to be asked! Say all of the things that cry out to be said! Listen to everything! See what we look at! Feel what we are feeling! Know what we know! Bear the pain and keep on going!
Martha Graham's dance, "Lamentation," says what words cannot (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgf3xgbKYko), and in reflecting on her performance, she said about it and all of her performances, "The is always one person to whom you speak in the audience. One." That took me straight to the one disciple of the Buddha who "heard" his Flower Sermon. Mahākāśyapa is in every audience, as male or female. Do not think, "No one hears" (Or cares).
Believe in what you are doing and do it! If you are going to believe in anything, let it be what you are doing! Why would we do anything we don't believe in? Yet, how many of us are doing things we don't believe in? Going through the motions. Paying the bills. So we can go through the motions. Wait!!! Time Out!!! It's one thing to go through the motions to pay the bills-- but we can't pay the bills to go through the motions! We have to pay the bills to do what we believe in doing! Are we doing anything we believe in? Anywhere in our life? If no, that's a problem. How can we live without believing in what we are doing? Without believing in the life we are living? We can't just go through the motions! Our heart has to be in something we are doing, else our life is a sham, a lie, an empty balloon on a stick and we are dead people walking around blank-eyed and soulless. Sound like anybody you know? The cure is to get our life back by finding something we believe in and doing it while we pay the bills any way we can. Where do we start finding something we can believe in? What was the last thing you believed in? What happened to that? What are some things you think you might be able to believe in? If you were going to believe in something, what would it be? What would it take to be able to do it? If you can't do it, start dreaming about doing it. Imagine doing it. Watch videos about doing it. Pretend to be able to do it. Start collecting items that are related to it. Read about it. Write about it. Build a fantasy life around it. Believe in your fantasies! If you can't go to the moon, make a life around studying everything about going to the moon! Work something you believe in into your life! Without something to believe in, we are just marking time until we die. We may as well be in prison. Do not die before you are dead! Promise me you won't!
This is my credo, my statement of faith in what I am about: "I do not know what the hell I'm doing, and I am going to do it to my dying breath!" Two things flow from this. The first is the old saw/observation that people spend their entire lives climbing the ladder of success only to discover at the end that it was leaning against the wrong wall. I have every confidence that my ladder is leaning against the right wall. The second thing is my essential belief in the importance of muddling around in the middle, holding all of the extremes, all of the opposites, all of the contradictions, all of the polarities all of the variant points of view in view and bearing the agony/anguish of that tension, waiting for the mud to settle and the water to clear to see what happens. I'm not here to make anything happen, but to assist the happening of whatever needs to happen. If you bear the tension long enough, something shifts, the mud settles, the water clears. The worst thing is to push for a solution that solves nothing and only temporarily eases the tension of mutually exclusive opposites. No pushing! No forcing! Wait to see what needs to happen, and assist its happening by calling attention to it and maintaining the tension of irreconcilable polarities! Give equal voice-- equal attention-- to all concerns. Do not dismiss, discount, disregard, deny, ignore anyone's rights, and bring the weight of realization-- of clarity-- to bear on the issues at hand. The issue of abortion, for instance, would take on an completely new shift if all of those clamoring for an end to abortion suddenly became pregnant. That is making the heart of the matter painfully apparent. When all of our polarities become painfully apparent, attitudes, viewpoints, and perspectives shift, and things change. Muddle around in the middle long enough to be clear about what's what, and things change. Of their own accord. There is nothing like clarity for illumining the way.