I am leaving Pahoa tomorrow afternoon. Above is an image taken of the sunset from the deck(lanai) of where I’m staying. One would think that living in this kind of paradise would make me feel contented. That I would be immersed in blissful feelings this past month. That has not been the case.
I’ve noticed how much of my day is spent wishing for a future that is a creation of my imagination. One that I’ve watered and nourished for decades. An existence where I’m joyful and satisfied with my life. Where I no longer suffer from a chronic illness. Where I am filled with energy and vitality.
It occurred to me last night that all of this yearning for an alternate reality has taken me away from what is real and solid. That it’s given me a lofty ideal that I constantly compare against my own daily life. It’s something that I yearn for continuously, wherever I am, whomever I’m with, whatever my circumstances.
It struck me that this fantasy has made the life that I live seem dull and lackluster, instead of lifting me up. Rather than giving me hope, it’s drained the beauty away from my present existence.
In investing so much into wishes for the future, I’ve almost forgotten to appreciate where I am now, and how much progress I’ve made in my life. There is always further to go, and a state of perfection I hold in my mind, that is unattainable.
I’m not saying that hope is a bad thing in itself. But in my case, so much energy has been expended in hopes for a better future that it’s unhealthy. All I have is now, right?
I’m not a Buddhist, but it’s interesting that the couple that own the home that I’m staying in, are. Carvings and statues of Buddha are everywhere here. It’s been impossible to avoid the knowledge that staying with myself and my current reality is where the greatest chance for happiness lies.
Being an imaginative person can be a gift. I’ve used my skills to create all sorts of weird and wonderful drawings, paintings, and sculpture.
I’ve also created a future reality that is crafted down to the last detail. It has been in the foreground of my life, for most of my life. I will be happy when…. I will send my book out to publishers when…. I will live my life when.
There’s been this overarching sense of waiting for life to begin, and for it to be the way I want it to be. I’m seeing how destructive this has been in my case. I’m not enlightened, or particularly spiritually aware, but I do have a pinch of self knowledge.
If I can wave these dreams away, or even feed them less frequently, I have a feeling that my current day to day life will come into focus more clearly. That I will get what I’ve wanted all along, by releasing my unattainable visions for the future.
It’s a new way of seeing things for me that is exciting. All I have is now. I’m not expecting that I’ll never wander off into imaginings of the future, but I’m hoping that I can bring myself back to wherever I happen to be more quickly. Yet another thing to learn, and to practice!
I can tell already that by letting go of those unrealistic dreams, I am more solid and grounded. It’s time to come home. And to realize, that truly, that’s all there is.