Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Journey is the Means and the Ends

Feel fulfilled.  Feel fulfilled. Feel fulfilled.  Say that five times fast.  That's what we all need.  But what do we really need in order to feel fulfilled? If we could be transported to a universe, some alternate dimension that was perfect, completely and utterly, would we feel fulfilled? How would it be?

I can tell you, it would be Stepford. It would be boring.  Our lives would have no meaning.  There must be a balance, a little struggle, a little learning curve that we can push ourselves up in order to progress things along whatever shape path we travel.  The journey is the means and the ends.  The means is the ends.  That's all.  So the mistakes, yes, they suck big hairy ones, but they are just another way we learn.  We fail so we can avoid the mistake a second time, do things better, be what we want to be. The reason is the ends, and the ends is the means. Yes, A = B = C.

So let's say you want to be a certain person, a neo-Mother Teresa.  On your way there, you slip up and sleep with the most amazing man, thereby losing your way (according to you, but that's a whole other issue).  Does it matter? Yes and no.  You keep on working at being the best neo-saint you can despite your past mistake.  Now you know what to do when you encounter a similar situation.  You can plan for the contingency, so you can be better, stronger, smarter.

Everyone trips up.  Everyone struggles.  Maybe everyone has the occasional dark thought when they step into a plane, car, bus, or pick up their razor in the shower.  It doesn't matter.  What matters is what you do next.  One of the things I always tell my art students is the difference between a great artist and an average one is that a great artist still makes mistakes, but they can make them beautiful by what they paint after. 

So let's say you want to change the world, one blade of grass at a time.  It's a great idea, and more people need to do it.  You have had a bagillion doors open to you, but you hesitate, and so you lose the opportunities to change the world.  Don't grieve over closed doors.  Those are gone.  But if you open yourself to the new potential options, don't be afraid to just take them.  It is hard at first, to change the way you are into how you were.  It's difficult to push up that learning curve, but it is fulfilling.  And once you've mastered one difficult thing, it's a lot easier to move onto others.  Pretty soon, the world is your changed oyster.  That's all there is to it.  If you want it bad enough, you will make it happen, whether your fortune cookie tells you so or not.  That's for real. 

Still, sometimes I have to just keep saying it to myself, to remind me. Feel fulfilled.  Feel fulfilled. Feel fulfilled... I know I'll get there some time soon.  It's a lost feeling, but it's slowly coming back.  Along with the "clackety-clacketys." Thank God.  It does work, if you fake it, you will make it.  Sometimes that's all you need to do.  It's part of the journey.  Just typing that made my stomach unclench and my shoulders relax away from my ears.  I'm even sporting a Mona Lisa smile.  We're totally going to be okay.  I trust the journey.

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