I keep hearing about the natural state of being that we as humans have inside of us. It is our true nature and is filled with joy, peace, and stillness, but I can’t help but wonder that if this state is our true nature than why is it so hard to find? What has happened during the course of human evolution that has made almost every human being stray from their true nature and become the total opposite? Where did this desire to suffer come from? Why is it so much easier to find sadness then it is to find happiness?
I didn’t mean to jump in with so many questions. It’s just that in my life right now my strongest impulses and instincts are not actions which direct me towards peace and happiness and I know this, but these instincts seem so powerful that they are most times incredibly hard not to follow. Most days I have a strong desire to be a hermit and shut myself up in my room completely isolated from an existence which I can grasp solidly. Sitting in my room I view reality outside the borders, through the Internet and TV both of which not only give you just a glimmer of what’s real but distort it so that true perception can never be reached.
For most of this past weekend I was settled within an overall feeling of sadness. I know I’m going against everything I preach here but I felt sad because I’m sick of my situation in life, I don’t know where I’m going and I can’t help but wonder where I would have been. I don’t ever contemplate suicide nor will I ever do such an awful thing but I have to admit that when I think about if death were to take me what a peaceful feeling that would be. My spirit would rise back to the home from which it came and I would no longer have to experience the suffering and hardships that I go through. I would no longer have to fight to find a peaceful presence within but through death it would be found with natural ease. I’m not sure if these thoughts of death are unhealthy or just a sign of my mild depression as I look for some escape from the sadness, wondering how to make it go away.
My cycle of emotions continue to be never ending. My emotions are constantly on a roller coaster ride leaving me at peace during one moment and then angry and bitter the next. This roller coaster ride does not take place over several days but can have me on a wild ride within a two-hour period. The first half of this past Friday I remember feeling extremely at peace. I was not joyful or happy but I was content within whatever emotion I had. It was just there existing along with my spirit, my being. Suddenly it was gone and I was angry and confused. I tried to just let the feeling be there, be one with the cycle of emotions and not fight it but it was too strong. I found myself giving into mindless distractions so I could simply forget about the feeling and shove it inside of me.
The next day was rainy and dreary so that I didn’t even want to open my blinds. I knew I needed to break out from the safety of my home but it seemed my strongest desire was to shut the door to my room, turn up the heat and sit in front of my TV. I knew I needed to do something so I could feel like I accomplished something with my day so I got my dad to help me do some exercises on my bed. Meanwhile my brother-in-law called the house wondering if we wanted to go see the “Chronicles of Narnia” that night. I had been wanting to see the movie but the thought of leaving the house seemed like a monumental task. Even though my apparent desire seemed to be isolation I knew that this couldn’t be what my inner being truly wanted so I agreed to the adventure of going to the movies. I got back into my chair and then for reasons I won’t go into, the plan of going to the movies fell through. The cycle of emotions were at play once again and I suddenly felt a strong urge to leave the confines of my house.
I remembered that a “Sublime” cover band was playing that night, a show that had previously sparked my interest. I began to scan my brain over the list of my few local friends and I remembered my friend Rob who had just moved into the area and actually now lives a couple miles down the road. With a simple phone call I actually had plans on a Saturday night to go out and have fun like a 22-year-old should.
As I awaited the arrival of my friend Rob along with my friend Mary Catherine, I could feel myself dreading leaving the house. Excuses begin repeating in my head most of which involved the fact that I was cold and tired but then I realized that I’m always cold and tired. I began the self talk method in which I exuberantly told myself, “Tonight’s going to be great! I’m going to be warm, energetic and have an awesome time!” I’m finding that it works in many cases especially if you’re energizing yourself for something that you should already be excited about anyways.
We arrived at Amos’ at Southend to find a long line had stretched out alongside the building. As I rolled across the busy street to get in line I got the normal stares of curiosity and wonder. I sat in line with my two companions and to calm my nerves tapped into the state of being around me and the peaceful presence of the moment. I do this mostly by focusing on my breathing, being aware of all that is happening around me, and also being aware of the fact that each person in that moment has a spirit which is simply a different manifestation of the same spirit within myself. It can be a both peaceful and alarming feeling because suddenly you become the observer viewing the moment with a clarity that most don’t bother to notice. Most everyone around you is wrapped up in their own world, their own mind, while you yourself are aware of the fact that everything is interconnected and one in the same. I’m still not used to this awareness when I’m able to reach it and it sometimes leaves me feeling a bit isolated and alone, which is rather ironic because what I’m being aware of is the fact that there is no such thing as being alone.
Once inside we found a spot amidst the crowd where hopefully I would get a good view of the stage while seated in my high-rise power chair. A “Rage against the Machine” cover band was playing first which I was both excited and nervous about because there was a high potential for things getting a bit rough on the floor. “Rage against the Machine” is an awesome band which is known for the building up of potential energy in a song and then letting loose an explosion of that energy which leads to mosh pits spontaneously combusting like hand grenades. The band hit the stage with an impressive replication of the real thing hitting each sound to a T, including vocals, which is not easy. Some happy violence came about right in front of me several times but Rob was a good bodyguard.
The second band was just as good as the first except covering “Sublime” involves much more happiness rather than anger. The ultimate party band. The energy was magnificent as the whole place sang along and danced to the reggae, punk style music. As more and more alcohol was consumed, more and more people began stumbling around in my vicinity. Me sitting in a chair amongst the crowd gives the illusion to the untrained eye that there is an open area in front of me. This creates a high traffic area of people going back and forth from the bar. I need to create some sort of guard around my feet for concerts because people are constantly tripping over them. Most apologize and some don’t even notice. I’m always hoping that some cute girls will fall into my lap but no such luck. I should probably not use my seat elevator if I really want such an occurrence to happen.
For me to fully enjoy such an outing I must have the correct perception of the experience. It’s hard not to think about how I would be experiencing the moment if it were not for being confined to a wheelchair. I would have a good healthy buzz going, probably right next to the stage dancing my ass off and singing at the top of my lungs. To enjoy the moment as it exists however, I can not constantly think about how I would be having fun but must simply enjoy myself however I can. Dance however I can dance and sing however loud I can. I chose not to drink that night which ended up being a good decision. When I drink I seem to get very cold and tired. Also when I go out on such occasions, coming home always leaves me with a sting of bitterness and anger. The reality of my home life dissipates while I’m out and coming home is always a strong blow. By not drinking I think I stayed more connected to reality and had fun with an awareness of the life I live rather than having fun because I forgot about it. Not drinking also allowed me to not be worried about my bladder becoming too full.
I can confidently say I had a good time on Saturday night but I can also confidently say that I would have had a much better time if I were able-bodied. This of course is no reason to not push myself to go out and have fun as if this had never happened to me. While I was out jamming to the tunes I easily recognized the sadness I felt watching people knock back cold ones with no worries, dancing with the full rhythm of their bodies, and enjoying life with all its blessings. But even though I recognized the pain I also fully realized how much more fun I was having at that moment than if I had been sitting at home viewing reality from my bedroom. Because in that moment I was in the middle of it all, experiencing life firsthand and facing the task of finding the joy beneath my hardships. It’s not as easily accessible, but it’s there and it wants to be experienced even when my strong desires seem to want pain. I don’t know where exactly the desire to suffer comes from but I must continue to push past this faulty desire and look deeper than the surface and discover my true desires filled with joy and being.
Since my accident there has always been a presence of sadness in my life. I think it would be abnormal for there not to be. My sadness has always seemed to exist within a level of contentment for the most part. Before the accident I laughed a great deal more and the best days of my life seemed to be appearing over and over again, but in the background of those good times there was a lot of junk and baggage in my head. People always saw me as one of the happiest and most positive people around but on the inside I was attached to insignificant reasons of suffering. I brooded and dwelled over the most trivial circumstances and I would hate to admit openly the things I thought were so important. Despite my present sadness my mind is much clearer than it used to be and my attachment to form has diminished a great deal. I hardly ever find myself in tears because I don’t usually fight my sadness because I have really no objection to it existing. It has every right to exist. I do hope that one day the sadness disappears but for now I shall let it be. “There will be an answer, let it be, let it be. ”