Change, Impermanence – How We Discard Futility

I had a conversation with my mom today. The way things are turning out, it is looking as if we won’t know until we reach the border whether or not I will be able to cross. There is a part of me that is really fucking pissed off about that. I mean really, I feel like there should be someone I could call or something I can do to at least get a solid for-sure answer, even if the answer is “no way”. I’d rather know right now that I can’t cross the border than find out when I’m sitting there in Blaine, Washington (where the border crossing we typical use is located).

But using the part of my brain that is beginning to remember some of the things I’ve learned over the years, I realize that the more angry, the more frustrated, the more I fight, the less I achieve. When the world is a certain way, I can use my spiritual energy to extend myself, and try to promote positive outcome. But there is no certainty in this life. There is a chance I could die tomorrow, or I could live till I am in my doddering second infancy.

Either way, no outcome is certain. But one thing is absolutely certain: when you fight to control things that are not within your influence, you will surely fail.

That’s another AA platitude that I can get on board with. I have spent years of my life trying to change everything around me to fit the way I thought things were supposed to be. I wanted everything in a neat little box of academia, I wanted a simple nuclear family around me, I wanted a steady job, a steady girlfriend, a simple but comfortable place to live…and I wanted financial stability.

And yet by trying to force those things to happen too early in my 20’s, and because of my own aversion to pain, I ended up with the direct opposite of everything I described above. Currently nothing in my life fits into a simple box. I live with part of my extended family, and that situation will soon be changing as well. I have no job currently but to focus on my wellness. I’m not dating, and that’s a good thing. My living situation is comfortable, but only because of the support of my family. And of course, I haven’t hardly a cent to my name. In fact I don’t even have a bank account and had to go with my aunt to the bank yesterday to negotiate some checks that had been written to me.

The harder I try and force my will on the universe, the harder it seems to push back.

I am a firm believer in the truth of Karma. And I believe that much of the chaos of the past few years of my life was a direct result of the chaos I created in the lives of others. Even now, the uncertainty I am facing is a product of my own choices, of the energy I have released into the universe returning to revisit me.

The Bible says clearly, “you reap what you sow”.

A simpler colloquial expression in our culture says simply, “what goes around comes around”.

That might feel uncomfortable. It might make you think of all the shit you’ve done that you wish you hadn’t. If the reverse of the “golden rule” (what you do unto others will be done unto you) is true, that could seem pretty damn heavy right?

If every single indiscretion, angry word, snub, or even a missed opportunity for kindness is going to come back to haunt us….holy crap….that’s kind of a scary thought.

But think about the other side of things. Think about everything in your life that you have done that has made a positive impact. Even something as simple as telling your grocery store clerk to “have a nice day” and actually meaning it. What about the time you rescued an animal in distress? How about the time your friend called you in crisis and you talked him through it?

So yeah, the Karmic Wind blows in both directions folks. As Jesus said, “the things you do to even the least of these (my people), you do to me”.

My dad works at the Union Gospel Mission in downtown Portland. He spends quite a bit of his time working with what our society considers the “lowest of the low”. These are men and women with stories that make my journey sound like a walk in the park. Many of them have no family, no support, no place to live, no way to earn income and yet are trying to support a drug habit while living on the streets.

And yet there seems to be no place for them.

Sometimes I wonder about how “great” America is if we let so many of these people (many of whom are intelligent and talented) slip through the cracks.

On a national level, I think our Karma is about to come back to bite us hard.

But what I really wanted to speak of today was the idea of impermanence and uncertainty.

We never really know what will happen, and when we spend our lives trying to direct, control, facilitate and force the universe to do our will, we will be consistently disappointed.

I am finding that the most beneficial option for me is to simply be here, now. To allow my energy to flow out into the universe. And to allow my cells to vibrate with the energy that I wish to receive. I know for certain that what I put out into the universe will return to me in equal measure.

I never know how it will look, but I know it works because I feel it.

Life changes. We never know where it is going. We think we can control it and fit it into our idea of acceptable events. But it defies us. We don’t know the master plan. There is a universal source of energy, call it God if you like, but it is only he that holds that plan. We are destined to make our differences on a small scale, and occasionally, if the plan permits, on a larger one.

So although I don’t know what will happen at the Canadian border in a couple weeks, I know that from now till then, I will continue to focus my energy on promoting a positive outcome, with the knowledge that despite that, things may not go my way.

Preparation then, is important, but despair is useless.

Everything is impermanent. What we feel passes in an instant, and we are suddenly someone else, something else, somewhere else.

I am blessed to be reminded of this today.

Peace to you,

-Nathan

One response to “Change, Impermanence – How We Discard Futility

  1. Pingback: Reminders | The Wellness Quest

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