I can’t live that way

I was at work the other day and I heard a song that I’ve heard a million times, but for some reason, THIS time I actually heard the lyrics. How often is it that we hear things that we’ve heard time and again, yet we have know idea what it says or means? I can sing almost every song on a particular station, but ask me to recall the actual words, forget it. But I digress.


The part of the song that struck a chord in me is as follows:

“I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way”

I know that this sentiment goes back to my previous post the other day, but I feel like I understood those words for the very first time when I was singing along while working away. I have to say it was one of those “ah ha!” kind of moments that people are so frequently talking about, as if a light bulb just switched on. I say this because I’ve always considered myself non-traditional. For many years, that was one of the ways I described myself to other people, as if it were my own personal adjective. However, the rest of the song is equally profound when I really listened to it.

This is the chorus:

“Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inner visions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins”

If this isn’t a true example of living in the moment and experiencing awareness in this and every moment, I don’t know what is. The implications are vast and far reaching, but the meaning is so very simple. You have to live your life, on your terms, NOW.

I often feel guilty. I’m not sure why I’m riddled with this feeling even if it’s completely misplaced, but I do. I feel guilty for close to everything. I take blame for things I’ve got nothing to do with on a fairly regular basis and it’s maddening, I assure you. But part of my project is to rid myself of these feelings of guilt that are not mine for the taking, but that’s later. Anyway, I mention this because I feel guilty for wanting to live my life my way. I give good “face” and act like it doesn’t bother me, that I’m not an incredibly sensitive person when it comes to how others view me and that I’m just this person who doesn’t care one bit about “conforming”. I wish that I WAS the person, but things effect me very profoundly most of the time. I give off the vibe like it doesn’t bother me in hopes that someday, things like that won’t bother me. Which brings me to the core of my revelation: I am myself. Nobody else on this Earth, in this or any other Universe has the same thoughts, feelings, experiences or any other thing as me, in this combination. I’m 100% unique, except for some DNA coding, but that’s a bit too technical for this post… I am me. What a striking concept to figure out at almost 31 years old. I knew all of these things and many more for my whole life, but when I was the weird kid, the tall kid, the awkward kid; I was trying to conform. But once I embraced the idea that I’m ME, I felt more comfortable in my own skin.

I still struggle with being myself all the time, mainly because I’ve got intense pressures from outside sources to be something less than me, but my overriding principle for the start of my happiness quest is first and foremost to be AUTHENTIC. I cannot find true, lasting happiness if I’m not ME first. I’ll be chasing nothing more than a pipe dream if I cannot first accept myself, exactly as I am. And that’s also a core principle for Jodo Shinshu. The Buddha’s teachings are for everyone, just as they are. I finally understand that with stark clarity. Wow.


~ by wendemachete on January 12, 2012.

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