Sunday, November 29, 2009

A few weeks ago, the strangest thing happened to me: I was happy. For a mere few days I felt complete solitude, bliss and peace with myself. This had nothing to do with anything that was happening in my life, or not happening in my life. I could have been alone on a deserted island, and I would have felt this same way.

For a mere few days, I felt like for the first time, I could relax. I normally live a life of complete anxiety, sadness and regret. Every day is a struggle, just to get out of bed and brush my teeth. The sadness overtakes the moment I wake, and I put on my usual facade, and smile through the day. But it's always an empty smile, for I'm not every truly happy. If things could be different, I'm telling you, I wish they were, but here I am in this world, struggling through like anyone else.

For mere days, I was relieved of these feelings I've lived with my entire life, these feelings of anxiety and depression and fear. I read a book that spoke to me. I read a book that I had read 12 years before without understanding it then. But during these recent days, I re-read this book, and I got it. I was able to put in practice all the teachings I read about in this book. For these days, I was entirely relieved.

I was at peace with myself. All I had to do was realize 4 simple truths: be impeccable with my word, don't take anything personally, don't make assumptions and always do my best. I was liberated. The bubble that had burst after reading Daniel Quinn so many years ago, was rebuilt in an instant. When I rode the bus every morning, I no longer looked at all the grim faces around me, and hated each and every one of their stinking smirks. Rather, I couldn't stop smiling for the thought that I was master of this simple knowledge, that we all should be master of. We are all in this world together. Strangers began talking to me in random places, something that normally never happened because of the wall I kept up around myself.

When I waited in a bar, alone, for a friend to arrive, I was overcome with love for the world, and all the strangers around me. The view out the window, out onto Ossington, became like a romantic movie, and I smiled whole heartedly at all the strangers around me. I was in love with the life which beat around me, at peace for the first time in my life.

The pinnacle culmination of these feelings was in this very moment. Dancing alone in my kitchen listening to a favourite song. This is a real, honest to god smile on my face:

But then why: the next day I woke up feeling like I'd regressed a little bit back into my ordinary ways. I tried desperately to hold on to the bliss I had been feeling...desperately. But it was futile. The bliss disappeared as quickly as it had arrived. I was left depressed once again. Scrambling, I didn't know what to do. In an attempt to regain it all back, I just ended up pushing it farther away again, until all the bliss slipped through my fingers, and out of reach.

Some days I can muster up a little bit of that bliss, but it isn't strong enough to keep me going for more then a few seconds. I can only take it day by day now, and step by step, and I ask myself: was it truly better to have felt bliss for a few days, and then lost it or to have never felt it at all? The answer is yes. Yes it was better to have had bliss for moments, and felt it fully before it fell out of my hands, out of my heart.

"They look like big, strong hands, don't they?" But even the strongest of us cannot always hold on to love and bliss for long. But if we can hold onto it long enough to realize it, then it is truly a gift.

Now, blissless, I only try day by day to bring some goodness to a stranger's day. Even though I am so painfully shy, shier now then I've ever been I believe, if I can smile and ask someone if they are ok, I've done something worthwhile, and taken a step closer to that bliss once again.

The other day, taking the subway home in rush hour, I ended up sitting beside a woman who had clearly taken too many drugs, drank too much alcohol or perhaps sedated herself. Everyone was staring at her, gaping, standing as far away from her as possible. So instead of shying away when she flopped over onto me, I simply put my hand on her arm and asked her if she was ok. She said yes, and said I was a sweetheart for asking.

She continued to mumble things to me, most of which I didn't understand, but I chose to smile and listen to her, as others looked on in horror. I asked her where she was going, and when I understood that she had missed her stop, I pointed her in the right direction. She thanked me again as everyone else looked at me like I had lost my mind for talking to this other human being who was perhaps down in out, but in need of a little help.

Now, I'm just taking things day by day. Trying to enjoy the sunshine and the songs of the birds.

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