Sometimes, I prefer to be lost in my own thoughts over participating in socializing. Even in social situations where people are having conversations, often, my own thoughts are more appealing to me than the conversations going on around me. In my own head, I can be anywhere; I can control my internal environment. I can look out a window and look at anything at all and resurrect a feeling from my childhood – a joy, a simplicity of being, a small taste of recovered innocence – a purity of spirit and feeling. This is how I cope in a world that seems to be getting progressively more negative. I go inside myself and recover myself – my childhood self. I do this more as I get older than I ever did in my twenties or thirties.
Music can take me there, but so can mere force of thought. And the more I do it, the easier it is to go there, and the quicker I can go there, as well. Peace of heart is important. However, I think that I am more in myself than I am in the world. However, it is useful to me to go there, more than just for good feelings. While in this state of being – this state of feeling – I can become introspective and examine my thoughts and beliefs in a positive way. Perhaps this ability to access my inner tranquility and then examine my beliefs is also why I’m becoming less and less afraid of death. I’ve probed and explored my understanding of the concept, and I know it is only a doorway to another existence, and I will still be myself on the other side. With the passing of my dog, death has been much on my mind lately, and I’ve been surprised to find that the concept of death holds little fear for me. Once, it was a thought that had much fearful power over me, but not anymore. There are far worse things, such as suffering, than death.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have an inclination to bring death upon myself, but fear of it no longer has the power it once did over me. But then, perhaps I’m deluding myself. Perhaps when faced with it, I might be truly afraid. I acknowledge that such might be the case. The power of the mind is twofold – the power to change your views, but also the power to deceive yourself while believing you’re changing your views. The mind can be tricky, and sometimes it’s difficult to tell which you are doing until you come up against something that tests your resolve. I have a surgery coming up, which may be a good test to run against my recent conclusions. When I think of the surgery, I do feel some fear, but I don’t think it’s fear of death; rather, of being cut, of being in pain.
I’m trying to extend my peace of heart over this coming event. I’m not there yet. I’m still working on it. I have till December. Willpower, or the power of thought, is a force and has strength. I know this, it is simply a matter of applying it. (I say “simply” when in reality, willpower is far from simple in execution) I’m stubborn. I can do this. And on the day of my surgery, I will try to access the memory of good feeling that I indulge in frequently these days. It may be difficult, if I have anxiety. This “memory of good feeling” is my Zen, and anxiety destroys it. So, the aim is to keep calm and go to that place when the time comes. To be in peaceful tranquility when I go under the anesthesia is a goal I’m holding onto right now..
Artwork by Lorraine Hall