Thursday, April 7, 2011
Carpe Diem! Seize the day! We have all heard this saying. The longer version goes like this: "Seize the day, putting as little trust as possible in the future...", this taken from a Latin poem by Horace. The thought is, none of us knows the future, we should spend less time living our life in the future and spend more time living our life in the NOW.
Sounds so exhilarating, so freeing, sounds like the way we all should be living our lives, doesn’t it? Well, I have problems in this area. You see, I have a part of me who is very fun loving and very spontaneous, who has no problems seizing the moment or the day, EVER. And then I have a part of me who is very practical, who thinks and rethinks every freaking thing that’s in front of me. And my problem is that my spontaneous part has gotten me into a lot of trouble through the years, because she doesn’t have any memory of the trouble she gets me into. She was actually designed that way inside my head. Live life, don’t remember the bad stuff.
Ironically, my practical side didn’t used to remember the bad stuff either, but she was designed, inside my head, to be practical, to weigh everything out, to stay ahead of the trouble, to see it coming. But to live like this is paralyzing. Because let’s face it, you can talk yourself out of everything if you ONLY see all the possible problems that could take place. I started thinking about how out of balance I am in all of this. I don’t really have a part of me who is balanced, a part of me who can assess things as to their risks, but still end up taking at least SOME of those risks for the sake of just living life without being afraid of every freaking thing in front of me.
I've been going round and round in my thoughts for a few days over all of this because of a religious tract a friend of mine found in a rest stop. The tract was from one of those cultish groups who claim that Jesus is coming back on 5/21/11, just a few weeks away. I used to believe in that stuff, although I knew better than to believe anyone who actually predicted the day! But I grew up being preached this stuff every Sunday and there was always this fear in me that there was really no time for me to actually get out there and live my life. So I never took any kind of risks, because Jesus was coming. That would be the part of me that is practical, by the way. My other part never remembered this little bit of information from one week to the next, so she didn’t ever hold back. But really, she was totally a moment to moment kind of part, so the risks were of those kinds, never risks that actually led to much of anything but a party.
If I thought that I only had about 6 weeks left on this planet, how would I choose to live my life for the next 6 weeks? The old me, the old practical and religiously fearful part would have found a nice safe place to hunker down wearing sackcloth and ashes and prayed for 6 weeks, hoping not to be left behind. But that part of me doesn’t really believe that stuff anymore. Every other part of me would be out there trying to make the most of the time I had left. And that would mainly be about making sure that the people I love know that I love them and spending every waking minute I had living and loving. And at this stage, even my practical part would be on board with this. Life is short, 6 weeks to be exact, I’m going to forget about anything practical and seize the day and live life and love.
So, why can’t I somehow cross the great divide and live my life AS IF life is short, there are no guarantees about tomorrow, seize the day? Why can’t I get myself to this place where I am willing to take risks and live my life? It’s what I want to do. It really is what I want to do. I have lived in chains for 48 years, I want to be free to live my life. What is stopping me? Fear. But fear of what? What is this fear that is so deep in me and so powerful that I can’t seem to shake it and where did it come from? And how do I get free of it? I WANT TO BE FREE OF IT AND TAKE RISKS, WHERE LIFE IS LIVED.
Maybe I should just do it? Push past the fear and seize the day, where my life is waiting for me in the NOW.