For most of my life I’ve been living as a survivor, trying to take care of myself, heal myself and seeking to get what I could from life. Only over the last few years have I come into a place where I want to serve others. It started with me becoming more and more attracted the people I saw (or thought I saw) doing beautiful things for others and then gradually I wanted to create that beauty myself. Vipassana has been a big part of helping me feel stable enough to believe I can.
I used to either, hide when I felt depressed, or voraciously throw myself at life because it seemed to be the only way to get what I felt I desperately needed. It was not so much fearlessness, but more that fear seemed like a small price to pay to fulfill my insatiable curiosity, lust for excitement, and those numerous desires and cravings that inevitably kept me suffering. I would bear the pain of rejection, ostracization, and anxiety, to do something I’ve never done before, for a chance at getting something I wanted. I loved this message:
It has always felt tremendously wonderful to give to someone I loved, whom I understood, and wanted the best for; though sometimes, I had given to the public with a sneaky plan I wasn’t quite conscious of. I thought I was giving, but deeper down I was giving in order to receive. What was the result of all this? More often than not I got bumped and bruised, felt dry, empty, and taken advantage of; this is not to say that I didn’t find many treasures along the way, but I would say there was a bit more disappointment.
Vipassana made it easy to detach from so much over the last year, and to make tons of healthy choices; though to others, it may appear as though I’m hiding. There is more I would like to add to my life, but there is very little I actually feel I need. So far I’ve been quietly renovating my life to make it more authentic, by backing away from the full-time commercial arts lifestyle, breaking free from the pointless mortgage I carried, and breaking-up with a community that didn’t fit with my values. Taking baby steps back into school, to better prepare myself for work that is challenging, meaningful, and can truly benefit people’s lives…I hope! I was too self-absorbed, and emotionally unstable to seriously consider a “helping” profession when I was young, but now it is the only trajectory that feels right to me. Is there a new way to adventure, to go with my new direction? No longer am I a bull driven by impulse to go charging about in the china shop. If I decide to engage myself more socially, how shall I go about it now? Perhaps writing on this blog is a step in my new direction.