Shanghaied by Life

I don’t know if you ever feel like this, but there are times I have the bizarre sensation of being here…but not really. It’s like I have been kidnapped by life, that all the options which are possibly available to one human being have been funneled down, leaving me with just a few.

I laugh at the fate which has brought me here. The choices and options which have become limits and directions. It is like I am observing my life from outside myself.  The me which hides deep inside this body and is shrouded by a personality which I did not choose, rolls her eyes sometimes at the blatant irony of life and at other times in utter frustration at life’s thwarting efforts…such as the constant interruptions of children…the reactions of friends and family…the allocations of money and opportunity.

I mean of course there are some things that we choose, but there is so much more that we do not. Consider; I did not choose my place of birth, my ancestors, my parents, my family, my body type, my children, my in-laws, my health predispositions, my personality, my neighbours, my natural talents, in many ways I did not choose my friends or even spouse as, in a sense, I selected these based on who was around me at the time, which was the most attractive option here, having chosen out of a limited bunch it is then my choice to build the relationship…or not. Of course I have choices; over my eating, my spending, which talents I choose to build on, choosing things like compassion, understanding, gentleness, discretion, love etc. etc.

When the tickets were going for auction did I choose this place and time myself for my arrival on this planet, or was it chosen for me?

There’s an acknowledgement in this that I am beyond this time and space, as I believe we all are. When I think about it that is the only thing that makes sense. We laugh at life as if it is one of the biggest jokes that we a) have the jiggly bodies we have, b) live where we live, c) struggle financially the way we do or d) do whatever it is that we do.  It is all an acknowledgement that our value resides in a place beyond the circumstances, the physical limitations and the restrictions of personality which our existence here has thrust upon us.

When I see people taking life too seriously, when I myself take life too seriously, when people quite freely judge other people without any sense of their true worth, taking into account only the fragments that they themselves can see, well, it’s all a bit superficial, it fails to see the other person as more than what is seen.

The truth is that I don’t understand myself a lot of the time – let alone others – and I often wish so much that I had other dispositions, but what more can I do but laugh at this great joke which is life. Laugh and make the best of it, as we all must do, whether we are the poorest of the poor or the richest of the rich, the best, the greatest, the sickest, the healthiest, the most talented. All we can do is make the best of it and together make the most of this wild and messy life.


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