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Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Undiscovered Country

As an amendment to this blog, I've noticed that in this "essay", I use the word God numerous times. Don't get scared. When I say God, I use it as a word that could easily mean "The Universe", "The Is", "The Force", "Qi", "Whatever Higher Power You May Believe In", "The Most High", etc. I'm Unitarian-Universalist, Agnostic by nature, and I would be saddened for anyone to come away from this blog feeling like I was preaching anything other than a philosophical motivation to better one's self on their own journeys, spiritual or otherwise...

There are a great many things in life in which we have complete and ultimate control. This is something I have yet to fully wrap my head around, as lately, I've been continuing to feel lost, not as generally lost as I have felt before, but a more specific, focused sort of lost, like I've been missing something very defined to everyone except myself perhaps.

The BattleWagon has been a divine gift to me in my search of self and soul. The decision to move into this van has been riddled with controversy and adversity among the people I meet, not so much the friends I have, as they have come to expect that this adventure is for me to have. The strangers I meet, however, have run the gamut of responses to the statement, "I live in my van." Some feel compelled to ask me if I need a place to stay, some food to eat, as if I am not making this choice out of a spiritual quest, as if I am doing this out of a necessity of an inability to manage finances or work or something. Some think it's great, and wonder why I don't travel more. Some say I must be saving a ton of money in rent. It's fasicnating to me how many different reactions I get.

Whenever this statement comes out of my mouth, I too, feel like I have a re-defined response to the project, the Chronicles. I feel like it's an evolving thing, like there are times when it's great and wonderful and fun and adventurous. I feel lately, though, like I have been not living up to my own full potential, like I have been running this gauntlet of self-torture and pressure, and the part I feel especially lost about is what, now, do I do with this? My mission statement was to stay in the van until I feel like I have found what I was looking for or decided that it was a lost cause. I obviously don't feel like it's a lost cause, nor have I found anything. If anything, it's opened me up to a plethora of questions I never would have thought to ask before.

Recently, I posted a blog about destiny, fate, and karma. I think there are a great many things in one's control, and I feel like our destiny is one of those things. We cannot control the things that happen in life. We can't control when a friend will betray us, when an earthquake will strike, when the guy that has too many beers drives his truck into our car. We can't control when our grandparents or our parents die. We can't control when our children die, and no matter how much we love them, fate's cruel, yet I MUST assume loving hand, will take them from us. That is the nature of fate. (Remember this... "nature of fate". I'll come back to it.)

What we CAN control is our reaction to these horrible things. We can control whether or not we decide to forgive the person that broke our heart. We can control how we will learn and rebuild after a horrible hurricane or a vicious wildfire. We can choose whether to use the lives that have come and gone before us as catalysts, as motivators, as inspiration to do wonderful things in our own lives with every ounce of our conviction and determination, because we can choose to believe that our hard work and perseverence will be rewarded in the end, simply with the gift of seeing those we have loved again.

The nature of fate is the assumption that nature and fate are intertwined. Nature is stronger than God, and fate is an implimentation of that nature. If we believe, as some do, that when bad things happen to us, it's God's will, then we will never be more than victims. We will never grow or learn. All we will do is pray and wish and hope that God will have mercy on us and not do any more bad, that we are obedient to God's will. I don't buy that for a second. I think that bad things are inevitable, and I think they're out of God's control, and I feel like God is the voice that says, "do you think this happened because of you? Do you really believe that you're so important that I'm going to destroy your villiage or kill your son or take your job from you as punishment?" I think God is more appropriately likely to continue, "I'm so sorry for the things, the people, the opportunities you have lost. I think you are capable of making a difference in these dark times." I think GOD believes in US, and I have to believe that God has given us the power to control our destiny.

This being said, we have ultimate control over a great many things. Those of us who are in situations where we feel like we deserve better, then I challenge us to do better and reap the benefits of that work. I can speak from experience when I say that I have had issues in my own life where I knew I could have actually worked hard for something and, for whatever reason, put it off or decided that it wasn't as important. Ultimately, these were things I felt defeated by, and I have no one to blame but myself. It takes a lot for me to realize that I don't have to be able to go back in time or have super powers to change these things. Every second that goes on is another opportunity for us to step up and do the right things. Every single second. At this very moment, there are things we can be doing to make a difference. Hell, writing this blog, at this moment, I have a handful of things that will probably keep me up all night in anxiety, thinking about how I can correct them and make some lives a little better.

I may sound like I suffer from having delusions of grandeur or something. Maybe I do. But, maybe, just maybe, I am right. Maybe I am lazy and I have the power to be everything I want to be and have the things I want to have. Maybe you can lose 20 pounds or graduate from college or start being a good friend or brother or parent. Maybe you can call a friend from almost a decade ago and tell them you're sorry, that you look at life differently now, and that it pains you to see how you've treated people. Maybe you can write up a bucket list and do the things you've dreamed of doing since childhood, whether that childhood was 8 years ago or 80 and whether your death is 6 weeks away or 60 years.

The beautiful thing about time is that it keeps going. For time, forgiveness is instant and humble. When you commit a wrong, as soon as you are finished with your trespass, as far as time is concerned, it's done and over with. It's you and those you've impacted who aren't as gracious. Compassion starts with you. Hard work starts with you. Determination and change. Destiny.

It is truly amazing how much we are in control of our own destiny. The future is our Undiscovered Country to explore and colonize and make our own. We have so many abilities and tools to use. What we do with them is completely up to us.

To be fair, I did see Star Trek three times already.
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