"Good" cannot be the number one life's measure.
"Good", can never be number one life’s measures. What’s your number one life’s measure?
Alive, open, honest, true, real, raw these have been my measures for life, my choices, my work, my relationships.
Sometimes even against myself, my deeply learned tendencies to play it safe, to stay out of trouble, to be recognised and admired, even against my need of being loved and accepted... I look back and I know I’ve always looked to feel alive, to feel real, whole, open, honest!
There are consequences, of course, it’s life, for every action there’s a reaction. So I got in trouble in the nuns’ school, I called nun Mary of God a cow when I felt it to be true (only because at 6 that was the highest insult I knew). I was smacked with a large wooden ruler 15 times on my hands for it but I didn’t deny it, run away from it or apology when asked to. Why should I? It was what I felt, real, alive.
At 8 When I refused to go to church, I thought my extreme religious mom would abandon me because of it, but it felt real and true. When I fell in love, when I broke up. When I joined a spiritual community, and when I left it, it was all guided by what was alive for me each time.
Choosing my first degree, the second, and the third, each choice, the same reason, I wanted to feel part of the real world. When I fell in love with now my husband, decided to abandon my plans to follow him, leave my family and friends, move in with him and live in sin (as I was told) how I did it, it was mine, honest of what was for me.
Each job, each volunteer work, workshop, training, talk or show, it is as if I measure it against this inner meter. Do I doubt myself? Absolutely! Do I ignore my inner meter? Yes, I still try to every now and then...
Age, gender, ethnicity, class, sexual preferences, looks, education, don’t enter as a factor in who I play with. I often hear I hangout with a lot of weird people. What is being shared, what I feel in the interaction that matters most. Feeling alive is most important to me. I hate feeling bad like everyone else, but I am practicing to not run away from it. I’ve also come to realize that many of the greatest gifts from life come from the embracing of the so called bad feelings.
Is it risky? Yes! Is it uncertain? Hell yes! Can it be painful? Yes, but isn’t pain inevitable? Is it uncomfortable? Sometimes, other times it feels so real that you get to be reminded what it is to be home.
You see, I believe, alive is what We are. Anything that deviates us from it, is felt as an attack to our existence. When we try to play roles, to be one of the socially expected roles, the good one, the well behaved, the kind one, the one that helps, the expert, the wise, this, that, and the other, no matter if it is true too, good or bad, if we are playing a role, trying to fit into a mould, a prescribed, pre-scripted anything, we feel reduced, less than real, we feel that we have to hide something, another part of us, also alive, real, also here.
Of course in society we eventually learn to behave (sometimes and sort of), we know how to wear a mask too. But the important thing is to not lose track of our inner compass, our sense of what’s guiding us, of what is whole and real now. How can real and alive be pinned to a role? How can it be constant? It can’t! And that’s life!