Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Guided by a Pinlight

When I was younger, I felt like I could see forever into the future. I always knew what my next step should be. Somewhere in my twenties, that all-knowing lantern which had shed light into eternity dimmed to something less powerful than what I now have hooked to my keychain. Eventually, I began to feel like I was groping my way through a cave with a pinlight. I barely have enough insight to make my next step, let alone try to predict what I should do farther down the road.

At first, I saw the disappearance of my certainty as a sign of doom. I felt lost and confused. After a while, I began to think of it as a novelty - allowing me to make decisions spontaneously, based on where I am rather than where I thought I should be. This became an important element in letting fate shape my future. Recently, I said to my mom something like: "The thing about planning everything, is that everything goes as planned. When you leave something up to chance, you get serindipity." I've started to believe that if you want to have lucky breaks, you need to be able to see outside of your best-laid plans and allow something to go wrong...or atleast differently than expected.

Unfettered fate is a beautiful and wonderful thing, bringing you moments and opportunities that you may have passed up if you had kept it in your own hands. Left to the universe's devices, I feel like I'm being guided into my proper place, instead of feeling like a square peg in the round hole that I had previously selected for myself.

If you still have your lantern, by all means, use it! If, however, your path is no longer illuminated (or perhaps never was) don't be discouraged. Just shine your pinlight beneath your chin. You may not know where you're going, but you'll look scary as hell to anyone trying to stand in your way!

1 comment:

Retro Rambler said...

“Impermanence becomes vivid in the present moment; so do compassion and wonder and courage. And so does fear. In fact, anyone who stands on the edge of the unknown, fully in the present without reference point, experiences groundlessness. That’s when our understanding goes deeper, when we find that the present moment a pretty vulnerable place and this can be completely unnerving and completely tender at the same time.

It is not a terrible thing that we feel fear when faced with the unknown. It is part of being alive, something we all share. We react against the possibility of loneliness, of death, of not hanging anything to hold onto. Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.

If we commit ourselves to staying right where we are, then our experience becomes vivid. Things become clear when there is nowhere to escape.”

-Pema Chodron; “When Things Fall Apart”