I think about the meaning of life regularly. The “why” of existence – my own and in general terms – has always been a puzzle.
Why people? Why life? Why headcheese?
The largeness of the questions provokes my retreat, often in unhealthy ways. It gets scary out in the dark reaches.
I avoided dealing with the existential conundrums for years with my eating disorder: I hid behind superficial niceties that drove me insane. They also my fears of scarcity.
Scarcity says there’s not enough. There’s not enough of whatever it is that you need, not enough love or life to go around, so you’d better earn your air. Scarcity says life is a battle: wrest your share from the masses. Scarcity says only the best can win.
One of the many purposes of therapy is to shine a light on that lie.
There’s enough. It’s like love. The important things we need from this existence are infinite and limitless. Even the things we perceive as boundaries are constructs. Life is more fluid and flexible than we allow it to be. We’re quite Victorian with the human existence, when you get right down to it. We’ve got the whole thing in stays.
Conclusions are one of the things I like about driving. Driving gives me time to both chase thoughts and solve problems, all while harmonizing with the hits of the day. It’s funny that they worry about cell phones when so many of us drive with only half an eye on the ball.
Anyhow, as I was saying there’s enough and we don’t have to earn our air.
My recent rejection of the “bend-over and take it while seething internally” philosophy let me stand my ground at the vaccine clinic without breaking into a flop sweat. I don’t have to cave because they want me to and I don’t owe them an apology because they made assumptions. Enforcing my boundaries will not lead to my being ostracized by the tribe.
This doesn’t mean I’m now a rude harpy (though that holds some appeal). It does mean that I’m standing for my vaccination and I’m not feeling sorry for the now-abashed volunteer who aggressively tried to get me to sit BEFORE checking to see if my cane was for more than just show.
My firm “no” unaccompanied by an explanation strangers aren’t entitled to felt amazing. And it worked. And, I wasn’t afraid. There’s enough. Social ostracism is not the fate that now awaits. Once upon a time (and in days to come again, I’m sure), things felt different.
I think I’m going to take my fierce and fully vaccinated show on the road. Or at least test it out in the grocery store. That’s often where my action plans often go to die.
Perhaps shopping carts do something to the spine?
photo credit: Reuters