Archive for February, 2009

This past weekend I had a strong feeling expressed as this thought: I don’t want to live, yet I don’t want to die. I wasn’t sure what it meant at first and worried that it might be a sign of a dangerous depression or something. But I think what it means is this:

I don’t want to live the life I’ve been living.

It makes me think of reincarnation. Now I think reincarnation is a silly idea in any literal sense, but I love it as a metaphor. We die and are reborn in each moment. What do we learn from moment to moment, and do we repeat our mistakes or do we grow from our “past lives”?

I’ve learned that I’ve tended to see life as being outside of me, either out in the world or out in the future. I need to bring it in closer.

Case in point: Clients and friends tell me often how I’ve changed their life for the better. That used to be very meaningful to me. I felt good about making a positive contribution in the world. I even used contribution as a big part of my business vision and life mission.

Recently, though, my thought upon receiving someone’s gratitude for the difference I’ve made in their life is, “So what?” What good does that do me? It doesn’t put money in my pocket, it doesn’t get me a girlfriend, etc., etc. This may sound mercenary, selfish, and shallow, but I think there’s a breakthrough in there if we look closer.

Let’s say I water a flower and it blooms. I can take credit for my contribution and say, “Look at what I did,” and feel good about it and build up my ego from it. Or I can say, “So what? What good does that blooming flower do for me?” In the context of a flower (instead of a friend or client) both of those options seem silly. And, more importantly, it opens me to a third possibility:

I can simply enjoy the experience of witnessing a flower bloom.

The experience is what’s important because that’s what life is, an experience. When I say “bring life in closer” what I mean is focus more on my experience right now, in every now.

In this context, contributing is not what I give to someone; contributing is an experience I have.

When I said I don’t want to live, I was saying I want to stop pretending at living, I want to stop going through the motions of living without actually experiencing life. And when I said I don’t want to die, I was saying that I don’t want to continue the slow death that’s been my life.

I want to experience more life in my life.


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Life has felt very weird recently. I alternate between two extremes: On the one side I’m totally fed up with the so-called safety of mediocrity and ready to jump off the cliff into greatness, and on the other side I regress back into old insecurities and fears that I haven’t felt in years.

I’m hyper aware of the slow death that is the life I’ve been living. It feels as if I’m just running out the clock, and I don’t want to live like that anymore. I want to take more risks. But it’s almost like I can’t find the cliff to jump off of.

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I’ve given this question of trust some space for over a week without any new insights other than this:

I don’t think the snake in the visualization was about trust. I think it represents an unconscious fear that if I do meet a wonderful woman there will be some “insurmountable issue” that makes it impossible for us to be together.

My past two relationships have ended because of just such an issue. Perhaps this is a common reason for relationships to end (or else they wouldn’t have ended), but clearly I have some approach avoidance because of it. It’s preventing me from even seeing the possibility of a romantic relationship, let alone pursuing one.

It feels good to at least know that obstacle is there.

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