A Very Personal Day

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As I’m getting ready to welcome a new day, I have a vision of an untouched stretch of immaculate snowy terrain. All I have to do is gear up, start walking and enjoy whatever lies ahead.

But as I start moving, one of my feet sinks too deep and I lose balance. I fall, face flat, unable to breathe for a while. I compose myself and continue, but it’s not long before the snow starts melting before me and a totally different landscape appears. The ground is filled with large, chunky, rusty scraps of everything. Before long, what I thought would be a perfect day, becomes an obstacle race and I can barely catch my breath to get to the end.

For a moment, I stop and consider whether I should just turn back. After all, it’s all but fair that I should be misled to think it would be easy, that my day would just be a walk in a snowy fairyland. And who left all that crap there anyway? People should just clean up after themselves.

It doesn’t take me long to realise there’s no one else around. That junk that’s getting in my way all the time hasn’t been placed there by someone else. It’s a form of long-forgotten residue that has a particular signature – my own.

Very few things we encounter throughout a day that affect us deeply have to do with those around us. We walk our hero’s journey throughout an ordinary day in a uniquely envisioned space that we create and recreate within the boundaries of our own perception. When we encounter daily obstacles, instead of dreading the mishap, we can ask ourselves what have we to learn from the diversion.

We naturally tend to blame anyone but ourselves for everything that displeases or impacts us in an undesired way. With a small tweak in our perception, we can turn our point of awareness within ourselves, into the incredible inner landscape from which all outside reality is reflected. If we are able to learn how to navigate that personal maze and learn to understand ourselves deeply, our extrinsic environment will have no real power over us and will be much easier to cruise through.

Photo by Abigail Keenan

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4 thoughts on “A Very Personal Day

  1. You had this actual vision? How poetic! Lately, I’ve had several discussions with L about curbing the tendency to react to problems with the retort, “It’s not my fault!” I think disclaiming responsibility (even for our own lives) is a pattern that’s endemic here in SG… Fully agree that change/power starts from within–I only made that realisation about 5 years ago, around the time that Z was born!

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    • Yes, it’s something I think about often. That doesn’t mean I don’t react. Most of the time, I react and go all judgemental about whatever is happening. But once I catch myself, all the drama I’m invested in loses some of its grip.
      How did Z help you to have that realisation?

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      • Well… the year I had Z, I took a year off (freelance) work, so there was more space for me to make some changes to be closer to the ideal self that I’d had in mind. And it was in that year that I made time for learning and creativity; I didn’t wait around for anyone to join me or support me, and I didn’t let negativity (including my own) distract me. Actually, come to think of it, there was an external change too–we moved into our present apartment. Alf also switched jobs in that year… two freelancers in the family, not good for finances but it did wonders for our souls. It was probably inevitable that we would change, given all that!

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  2. The world doesn’t conspire against us, but it may feel like it is when we’re trapped in routine jobs and such. When we take charge of our own choices, we’re faced with assuming responsibility for those decisions without having anyone to blame. That’s a turning point when we learn about ourselves and grow. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

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