Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Birthday Reflection

In my effort to be authentic to my true self, I am going to write about the emotional health domain today.  This is reflective of my personal process of introspection and intent to live a life of integrity and connect to my core self.

We live in extremely emotional times.  People rant and rave on Twitter, tell each other to “sit down and shut up” on television, steal the spotlight from our peers to rant and rave (yes, that’s a reference to Kanye West at this past weekend’s Grammy awards.  Can you tell I’ve been watching American TV?).  I am so disturbed by the roller coaster of emotions people experience on a daily basis, no wonder people spiral out of control so easily and quickly.  Myself included.  

Time and distance heals all wounds.  Or so I thought.

As an expat living overseas for the past four years, my life is in a continual state of change.  I am reminded every time I return to my hometown how stuck people are, on old grudges and old patterns.  This then drags me into their old grudges and old patterns.  How do you detach from family members who are supposed to be there for you, to support you with unconditional love?  Well I give as much positive energy as I can, and detach from the outcome.  But clearly I can’t give positive energy when I am overwhelmed by their negativity.  I know I say ugly things and do ugly things, but I am overwhelmed by frustration.  How many times is enough?  How many 14 hour plane rides must I endure before I realize that every outcome will be the same?  I may have changed, but the people I have left behind have not.

I have a sense of survivor’s guilt when I look at the burning building that is their life, and I only want to help them get out.  I only want them to see the world as I see it, an exciting place filled with so much opportunity.  I want them to get over old patterns and habits that hold them back.  I just want to spend time with my family, finally feel like they are proud of me, that they want me in their lives, that they’re curious about what I’ve been doing.  I have a selfish attachment to a need to feel loved and fulfilled.   I want them to see the honor I am bringing to the family name.  I want them to jump on the bed and yell out “I am happy!”.  “I LOVE LIFE”.  “I LOVE MY FAMILY”.  “I AM BLESSED”.

But they won’t, because they can’t.  Time and time again, they remind me that I am unlovable.  That no matter what I do with my life, no matter who I become, I will never be loved by them.

In Tibetan, the word “attachment” is translated as “do chag”, which literally means “sticky desire”.

They hold onto these old patterns and habits because they are attached to their misery.  They are afraid of the light of freedom from negative energy.  They are afraid to be happy.  They spend their days working a job they don’t like, dining al-desko at lunch, spending dinner in front of the TV, and go to sleep with dread, thinking of the next day.  They don’t realize the abundance in front of them; the clean air, blue skies, clean drinking water, modern electricity and plumbing, the ability to travel basically anywhere in the world with their American passports.  They don’t realize what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.  They live for their paycheck and buy junk that they think will bring them happiness.  They don’t use their money to learn, grow, evolve, and develop, to pursue knowledge for enjoyment, not only as a means to something greater.  They don’t use their skills, talent and abilities to connect with others and share the means to create abundance in their community.  Their work is not viewed as a valuable journey to life fulfillment; instead, it is merely a path to a payoff.  They are attached to feeling sorry for themselves, attached to disappointment, attached to suffering for the sake of suffering and attached to feeling stressed. They are afraid to separate themselves from their misery.  They hold on tight to dysfunction, jealousy, paranoia, and anger.  They are so attached to the lows of life (problems of health, wealth and reputation) that they are unaware of the highs of life, when they present themselves.  

Each of us are turning on the chaotic wheel of life.  One day we’re at the top of our game.  But from time to time, we find ourselves at the bottom.  Oftentimes these shifts are seemingly beyond our control.  Instead of conquering the chaos, we must see through it, and get beyond these snares, as it is critical to life satisfaction.  I hope they have the strength and courage to leap one day, and see that the net always appears.


For me, I can’t hold onto things that give me edges.  I want more light inside of me; light that other people can see too.  Dancing, teaching and traveling give me light.  


On Saturday, I will be turning 29 years old.  I will eat a big bowl of spaghetti, in the Chinese tradition, and hope that my life is long and delicious like the noodles.  I feel pretty confident I can make that happen because I’ve been leaping all my life, and I will continue doing so, as long as my legs let me.

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