Writing My Struggle
I never really consider writing my struggle.
I usually spend my day trying to come up with a juicy morsel for my lovely readers–that’s you–to sink their teeth/dentures into.
Something insightful and humorous that will leave a positive mark on your day. And, if I catch the word train… upon your life, as well.
But let’s switch approaches today, shall we?
They say that writers don’t write because they like to, but rather because they have to.
Writing is the act of getting what’s inside of you that needs to come out… out. Not just needs to come out, but is begging to come out.
And in the process, understanding it–and by extension yourself–better.
It’s–literally–what keeps us sane (metaphorically speaking, of course).
So what am I struggling with?
I’m struggling with what to do with my time on this planet.
I’m struggling with the riddle of life.
(Oh, and it is a riddle.)
I’ve successfully avoided the “traps” of marriage and children–at least, so far–and that has given me ample time to sit and think.
Take right now.
The night before last, I went to bed around 3am or later, and I got up around 8:30am to go to the Agape Center here in L.A. with my buddy, Mike, for a Sunday morning service.
So, one might think that I would have been exhausted last night around midnight… or 1am or 2am or… but no. It’s 6:30am and I have yet to sleep.
I tried watching The Lord of the Rings for the 11,000th time to put me to sleep. And it almost worked. But it’s hot here in LA in the summertime, and we don’t have A.C. where I live.
There’s this moment when I’m really tired, and I close my laptop, and I have to be very careful to just place it on the ground next to me, within about 10 seconds, or risk waking myself back up.
But if I make too much of a movement, it’s over.
That’s what happened last night. But instead of just lying around for hours, I got up, packed a bag with my laptop and some books and an old journal and headed to my new favorite coffeeshop in Santa Monica.
I guess I’m in an existential struggle. I’ve been reading Gurdjieff, whom I’ve grown to love. I think I’m caught somewhere in between investing in my “self”/ego/I and…
surrendering to the All-that-Is.
Whatever that means.
I do think it’s a natural stage of our development. When we finally start approaching the end of the “me project,” before we can really devote ourselves to being in service of the whole, there’s going to be a very uncomfortable dissolution process.
It’s kind of like how a seed that you put in the ground first must decompose before a plant begins to grow.
Although I wouldn’t call what I’m going through a “religious experience,” per say, it definitely shares a major theme: “rebirth.”
I think it’s harder if you’re not religious because you a) don’t have the support of a big community; b) don’t have a structure in place (e.g., religious dogma) to help make sense of what you’re experiencing.
And, I’ll go even further and say that the religious structure actually prevents you from having a true experience of surrender to the All-that-Is. You’re just replacing one structure for another.
Yes, it feels like a surrender, I am sure, but it’s not messy like a true surrender. I’m talking about when you get hit by a 10 foot wave while body surfing and getting tossed underwater like a pin doll, and you go ’round and around without knowing which way is up and which way is down.
That shit is crazy.
Yes, I’m being tough on religion right now. And, no, I’m not saying there’s no merit to giving over your life to “God” in a religious sense. I’m just saying it’s an imitation of the real thing.
The real thing is scary af.
And not just for a few minutes. It can be scary for a long while.
So, that’s where I am.
Not ready to let go completely, and yet… completely dissatisfied with a life focused on me.
It’s tough being “in the middle.”
It’s a real bitch, actually.
And, yet… when I can stay up all night and watch the bright yellow ball of life rise up from behind the Santa Monica Mountains as I wait for my new favorite coffeeshop to open up…
it’s more than a bitch; it’s more than a struggle.
It’s my struggle.
And it’s beautiful.