Monday, June 29, 2009

Hurray for Ambiguity

Dear Lucy,
I just sat down after putting a load of clothes in the wash to read my latest issue of Tricycle magazine (a Buddhist mag).
A question was submitted: What does being Buddhist mean to you regarding the economic meltdown?
One man answered:
"I lost my job to this crisis, and with that job I lost a large part of what had
been my identity for 15 years. It took a global crisis for me to realize
that I lack the answer to that most basic of questions: who am I? By
deepening my Buddhist practice amidst the meltdown, I'm appreciating the
unlimited ambiguity of my life and the possibilities that melting down--in every
sense--can bring."

A large part of my own identity for the past 16 years was tied into my marriage to Anne and now I am left lacking the answer to that basic question of who I am.
The hardest part though, is accepting (let alone appreciating) the "unlimited ambiguity" of my own life right now or that there are possibilities that my own personal melt-down can bring about.
I don't like ambiguity. I like to have SOME kind of plan, some sense of being grounded and having a direction to go in.
I often get angry with myself when I realize that I have one foot on the dock and one in the boat. But right now I feel like although I am in the boat, and I have shoved off from the dock, I am paddling in circles on the lake!
And the worst part is that the folks I left on the dock are still on the dock watching me paddle and asking, "So, where are you gonna go next?"
I am left having to come to an acceptance of the complete ambiguity of my life. That it's OK not to know where I am going next. That this is part of the process. That, sooner or later, I will paddle to shore and have my feet on tera firma again.


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