Thursday, October 27, 2011

Love in perseverance, is it enough?

Sometimes in life, we realize that we haven't recognize something that could have saved us a lot of grief, if only we had realized it sooner. Hindsight is foresight, they say. But it does us little good once that prescient moment has passed and the thing has actually happened.

You wonder sometimes, why didn't I realize I should have stopped the car sooner, or seen that my spouse was cheating on me, or pulled the ripcord sooner? Or, whatever.

In realizing something like that, it may have been something that you have always known, or should have known. The Buddha said that we know everything, already, that it's just a matter of paying attention, of remembering it.

I'm not really sure how much I believe that. It's an interesting way to think, being, "out of the box" and all.
But for some things it really does feel like that is true. Yet sometimes we just have to be at the right point in our life to "see" these things.

However, if we don't tune our abilities we will usually see these things too late, because we're simply not tuned into seeing whatever it is. With life overwhelming us all the time we don't always have the time or the energy, or the "calm mind", to see just what we need to be seeing... at that time.

Have you ever met someone in a place completely out of context for where you know them from, and didn't recognize them? There are degrees of that.

You see someone across the street, or across a room, and feel you know them, they seem familiar, but you cannot remember where you know them from. Or someone walks up to you and says, "Hi! How are you?" All the while you are smiling and struggling very hard to remember before you have to say, "HEY, just who the Hell ARE you?" Knowing full well you will most likely be embarrassed because you'll find out that it's your sister's friend, or you son's friend's mom, or someone you never see except when you are around that sister, or at school when you pick up your kids.

I was out and about once and I saw a man that I kept wondering, "Who is he?" I saw him for an extended time but he never saw me. I might have been on the ferry which is a thirty-five minute ride. It wasn't until hours later when I was on the way home and something jogged my memory that I finally realized, I finally keyed into the right area of my brain, that it was my Doctor. Then I felt really foolish.

But it was someone I don't see very often, whom I hadn't seen in a while, and never had seen outside of his office. So dumb though. Why didn't my brain work right? I simply wasn't tuned to that channel, that, "Doctor" channel, in order to click into the surrounding queues that would trigger my memory and draw me into that area of my brain so that I could put his face to name to context. Seeing him with his family further threw me off because I kept trying to remember who he was by using the people he was surrounded with, to help me remember and of course, I never would because I had never met his family.

Other times I've seen people like that, and for whatever reason, realized right away who they were. But not every time. Not unless I had enough queues to access that appropriate part of my mind. Someone said that our minds are not file cabinets. They are more like hard drives. You have to access bits and pieces of memories from here and there and they are stored not by content or context, but by shadings of memory structures, a far more complicated and sophisticated form of storage and retrieval. A File Allocation Table (FAT) built with images rather than words and numbers. And we all have heard that a picture is worth a thousand words and if that's the case, it's a wonder we can retrieve anything in quick time.

Growing up I had always felt that I had a table of contents in my mind that was built more to disallow me to access my memories; that table was in fractures, putting it in computer terminology. It had to be fragmented and needing frequent defragmentation. But I never had the software for that and so it only grew and grew, worse and worse, and how I can ever access anything now is quite beyond me.

However, I can also access memories and data in ways many other people cannot. Sometimes, people find that amazing. But when you realize that I need the normal way to access things most of the time throughout the day, it's really more irritating than rewarding. There are those times that it is rewarding, to be sure, because it allows me to create in unique ways, to write in interesting ways, to see the world in a different way. Great for an artist, not so great when working for a company that just wants results now.

If I could communicate in writing throughout my daily interactions with people and the world, I'd probably excel further than I do now. But I can't do that. I have to be in real time. I don't have the time to write and rewrite and then respond. So, I'm just normal most the time. Okay, my sister might argue against that being the case, but then she is far more functional in social situations than I am. Then again, Flight Attendants are trained to be that way, even under great duress.

Funny thing about that is I used to do very well at jobs like that too. Perhaps our childhood had something to do with that?

I'm pretty sure it did. We were raised in a certain environment, got used to it, got good at dealing with situations many people had difficulty dealing with, and now, here we are. Stressful situations, thinking quick on your feet situations, aren't that hard for us to deal with. Mostly now I'm out of practice with that because my job is more solitary, requiring much thought and written analysis. But once I'm around people regularly I can get quite good at moving smoothly through quick social environments or difficult situations.

Which is why we practice how to handle being in those situation, in however you choose to deal with it: meditation, exercise, whatever calms you and allows you to turn to inner realizations. We are Human after all, something we should be thankful for on a daily basis, and yet, something that we also have to work against, or at least are at odds with through much of our lives. I'm just saying it that way to be clear in as few words as possible; we don't really work against ourselves, ever. That would be "wrong mind", we work with ourselves to guide, educate (or "remember"), and coach ourselves as much as possible; moving in the right directions for the right things.

And yes, one has to define "right", but that is for each to define for themself.

Writing is hard, but not that hard. Writing in a sustained and ongoing fashion is harder, and when you don't get immediate payback and you have to keep going, it gets harder and harder until at times you want to give up. But those are two different things, writing, and persevering. The process of writing a novel or screenplay is very much like that. You work hard, maybe for years, and hopefully, one day, you sell something; maybe that leads to a career. Maybe not.

Go ahead, if you want. You will have to think, though, "is what I want in the short term to give up, or in the long term?" Those who fail, give up; those who succeed, which we hear time and time again from successful people in interviews, had continued on no matter what.

You will have to love it, though. Because when rational thought stops maintaining you, then you need something "beyond" to carry you through the rough times. Like loving something. But, then at times, you will have to go even beyond that.

There are times when love simply isn't enough (I heard my ex say that once, yeah, she's my ex now). At those times you need to look at the long and short of it. Accept that you want the long term goal and so, sustain and continue to the conclusion.

It's coasting in a kind of neutral state, but keep working hard and you will feel the love once again. That's really being on the edge and that is when most people will quit. From there only the exceptional will continue on to finally in the end, achieve. During that time, you have to remember this is a marathon and not a sprint. I think that most people who give up are trying for the sprint. Full power, sustained will ruin just about anything. Know when to rest, when to push, it's a complicated thing to do and not easy in any way whatsoever.

You first have to have the goal though, the goal of trying to feel that love for what you do, and as much as possible. Because, and it's the same in relationships, that's when you lose it or forget about it, that it is really all over. Most things take a lot more time to achieve than you expect, and so people give up too soon.

So, hang in there. Hang tough, as they say. But don't give up. Never give up. And if you do give up, be sure it is the right thing to do, and do it at the right time. Because frequently I have heard people say that they kept going and discovered that if they had given up, they would never have know that their goal was only just around the next bend.