I’ve had so many thoughts, so many things come up today that have made me think… “I want to write about that”. And now they’re all gone, except the one about the horse, and zoo animals.
We were driving & saw a horse being pulled in a trailer behind a large truck. I could only see the back of the horse.. I couldn’t see his eyes. I imagine if I had seen his eyes, though, I’d have seen sadness. Maybe despair. Defeat. Resignation.
It’s possible that I’m projecting.
But it did make me think of zoo animals.. and of how so many of the creatures kept in zoos are not healthy. They’re not happy. And why should they be? They’re trapped. Living out the length, but not the depth, of their lives in ways they were never meant for. They were meant for freedom and fullness and the richness & depth of life in the wild.
Instead, their inherent wildness has been buried, and they must rely upon their keepers to care for and feed them. There’s nothing for it. Their lives are empty. Hollow. Short. Sad. Devoid of color.
But, you may think, they’re safe in the zoo! Out in the wild, it’s a constant fight for safety… for food.. for resources. And that’s true… but maybe what we, as the human captives that we are, have forgotten is that those things are life. Real life.
Maybe we’ve forgotten the paradox that we’re always safe… that nothing can harm The Truth of Who We Are; and that nothing is safe. Not that government job with its steady paycheck every two weeks. Not that big house behind the big gates. Not that giant gas-guzzling SUV. Not that insurance policy or that retirement fund.
That expensive coffee in your hand.. the one that feels like it says something about who you are as a person? It doesn’t… or not the thing you think it does, anyway.
The shoes with the right label on them… the ones that feel like they’ll protect you from judgement-filled, viper-tongued people spitting their poison in your direction? They won’t block the poison from sinking into your skin. Only the shield of your own deep and abiding self-confidence & understanding of Self can protect you, until you realize that you don’t need protection at all.
That big-screen TV. That crazy expensive laptop. All the tech and gadgets and toys you’ve collected over the years? They won’t keep you from experiencing hardship and pain and loss. Nothing can stop that, because that’s part of what life here & now is made of. And as much as that sucks in the moment, it’s also just part of a full experience.
Much like animals in the wild, having the full experience.
So many of us are missing part of the experience in an attempt to stay safe, and I guess I’m wondering… is it actually worth the trade?
It feels like I should leave you with something helpful here. Something to take away. Something to do. And actually, I will.
I would urge you (I used to say that I would invite you, but we’re well beyond that now, don’t you think? These times are urgent, and so I would urge you) to stop pretending to listen to what your soul is calling for. To stop waiting for “someday when…” to make that move. To really be with the steps that your heart cries for in the moments when it’s all too quiet to block out the sound, and maybe even take the first step.
Not later. Now. Because truly… now is all that is.