Hello again. Still super connected?! I thought so. It's funny. When you take the time to stop and think about your life, you might not like what realisations occur.
What if, for example, answers to the questions 'what do I want?' 'what makes me happy?' 'what is my life's purpose?' remain unknown?
What if, when you clear out all the dead wood, all you're left with is space?
Having never been able to follow an organised religion - seeing them ultimately as man-made and riddled with inconsistencies, with some pretty significant teachings perhaps even originating from simple corruptions in the text - I have never understood why swathes of intelligent human beings choose to follow one. (Though, I'm very much a believer in 'each to their own'.)
Now, I think I understand.
Finding that you have no aim can be scary. People have a need to devote themselves to something; their work, a cause, their children. They are horrified by the notion that they might not be able to pinpoint what they contributed to the world as and when the time comes and they're lying on their deathbed.
But if you work to live rather than the other way around, and you believe that children are a result of true love and not a right by virtue of being human, then you might find yourself a little aimless. You might. And a by-product of that could be that you feel a little lost.
No problem! One of our many religions can give you direction. Would you like a copy of the New Testament, The Torah, or can I interest you in an elephant-headed deity?
Perhaps your aim becomes the after life. Or maybe the peace one can find in religion comes from simply having a focal point for your devotion.
Lately, I've been able to appreciate the mindful pleasure that comes with what is called in the Yoga tradition, Bhakti Yoga. And when I was visiting St. Albans recently, on walkabout, it's the same sort of peace that I imagine the gentleman I encountered polishing the brasses in St. Peter's might feel. We want to love, and it makes us feel good to express it. It's what makes us human.
When making a journey, whether to a new meeting place in a different part of town or more generally in life, we also want to feel like we're going roughly in the right direction. We derive comfort from having a goal and working towards it.
But perhaps we don't all need a purpose after all. It may make us feel safer, sure - but rather than freaking out if we don't have a goal in mind, maybe we consider that the aim is purely the act of navigation. It's possible that all we're meant to do is live. Breath comes in, breath goes out. We move, we breathe, we simply are.
Can't we find peace and safety in that?
Photo credit to the super talented and rather wonderful Jarrod Castaing, my cousin's husband.