One of my best friends and I meet every week and have wonderful conversation. We talk about our disgust with belief, and why those who are hell-bent on Orthodoxy, often fail at Orthopraxi, a living theology, or believing in the right way. We talk about our lives, what’s going on, what we are feeling. We talk about anxiety, both the appreciation and hatred for it. More than anything, we talk about space. Not the galactic sense, although I wish I could be Harland Williams in the Disney Classic Rocketman, but, entering into the space of out existence.
I’ve had a few girlfriends in my life, I’ve given money to causes and the poor, I belong to a religion that claims that love is the center of its existence…. So that would make me a loving person?
I’m a stellar guy. I’ve lost over 200 lbs over the past few years. I’m self-aware of my feelings. So that would make me self-controlled wouldn’t it?
I listen to Explosions in the Sky and Regina Spektor. I quote mystics and Gandhi. I do yoga and am a gentle person. So that would make me peace driven wouldn’t it?
I am not much of a perfectionist. I am typically good at accepting others and where they are at. I try to not let my ambitions get the best of me. So I wouldn’t be anxious, would I?
The truth is, I am not a very loving person. I often look out for myself. I deal with things that fulfill me. Maybe, I smoke one too many cigars. I check out while listening to others. When I was young, I though I was a loving person. By definition, God is love, and, God is infinite and my mind can only understand finite things. Even if I could love to my greatest imagination, it would not scratch the surface of true love, and, I don’t live out my greatest imagination.
When I am stressed, I tend to eat too much or not at all. I tend to smoke a lot of cigars, work out excessively or not at all and check out from others. I lose control of my emotions and my actions.
Sometimes, in my life, I enter a subversive, low-level rage place. When I enter, painful thoughts that remind me of painful things, or, people abuse my kindness because I am an extremely passive and gentle person. This causes me to lose my peace and sense of well-being.
I can be an extremely anxious person. I struggle with anxiety. When I feel imperfect, or, other people cause me to feel imperfect, I can enter into anxiety and feel shame.
The truth I am learning, is that by rejecting the space that we feel we have to live up to, we are able to enter a new expanded space, and, enter into suspended space, a place of conversion. By rejecting the notion of me being a loving person, I therefore, allow more space to become a more loving person. By allowing myself to feel out of control, I can surrender my need for it, and, paradoxically gain it back. By dealing with the chaos and acknowledging it, I therefore surrender myself to a place where peace is done unto me. By allowing myself to suffer from anxiety, I therefore alleviate it, and, deal with the shame that causes it.
Space is a beautiful thing, but, if we don’t allow ourselves to have it, what can we be saved from? If we have filled the space, we have reached our greatest potential for human existence. By entering into true humility, an honest place, we have a greater capacity to grow and develop into the people we desire to be.