Saturday, June 26, 2010

On Kyle McLaughlin. And maybe wisdom.

On the mirror in my bathroom, I have three pieces of, shall we say, "advice" written in sparkly silver lipstick. They are:
1. You are what you repeatedly do
2. Gratitude
and 3., which was added today--"Fear is the mind killer."

I chose this strategic placement because when I emerge from the shower so fresh and so clean clean, I want these mantras to be among the first things I think about. That and because the bathroom mirror was easy to reach.

So let's start with my thought of the day--"Fear is the mind killer."
For those of you fortunate enough to have heard Kyle McLaughlin whisper these words of wisdom in the original (and classic) "Dune," the magnitude of this statement may have already made it into the lexicon of your life. If so, count yourself most blessed. But for those of you not fortunate enough to have a father who subjected--nay enlightened --you with such cinematic achievements as the original "Dune," consider this your immersion into higher truth.

"Fear is the mind killer."

Or, put another, more familiar way, "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?"

In evaluating my life, I recognize that so many of my choices (and so many of my messes) have been the direct result of either proactively or reactively attempting to avoid those things I most fear--failure, ruin, abandonment, illness, balloons. And while I may have saved myself some pain along the way, all of my bravest attempts at avoiding these things I fear have done nothing to prevent the inevitable result that I have none-the-less experienced my fair share of every single thing that I fear.

Have I failed? Yes.
Have I been ruined? Yes, if only for the short term.
Have I suffered abandonment? Yes.
Illness? Yes.
Balloons? Sadly, even as recently as last night.

But I am still here. Still here and, all things considered, doing relatively okay.

So why do I continue to be so deathly afraid of these things? And why do I let these fears not only paralyze me from moving forward, but also draw to me those very things which I seek to avoid?

As I was told this morning, perhaps the answer lies in an absence of faith.

It was shared with me that to put these fears aside, I must live in the moment with a faith that things will continue to be well. With a faith that I am "in good hands." With the assurance that God is, in fact, not only in control, but that He also operates under the AllState Insurance slogan.

And this is a difficult concept for me. Difficult because a) I tend to believe that people make their own Fate, for better or for worse (and that Fate is made up of choices and if you make the wrong choices then you end up with a shitty life and blah blah blah blah blah panic attack) and b) because every time I start to get comfortable, I feel like I get the rug snatched from underneath me.

a) + b) = Erin becomes a shadow boxer, punching away at echoes and murmurs of anything that could possibly become a potential threat. And Erin as a shadow boxer = Erin as an ineffectual human being. For those of you who are good at algebra, you simplify this equation by eliminating the common element of each side. Thus, you eliminate "Erin" and you have the truth: shadow boxer = ineffectual human being.

And that, folks, ain't what I want to be.
In fact, my fear of being an ineffectual human being trumps many of my other fears. Which I guess means I have some choices to make. Specifically, maybe I need to tackle some of those decisions that, to this point, I have been afraid to make. After all, "fear is the mind killer."


I need to go take a shower now. And, for the moment, at least part of me is thankful to know that my advice will be there to welcome me when I get out. And the fact that said advice comes to me in the hushed whispers of Lyle McLaughlin? Well, that's just an added bonus.

I guess you could say that for the moment, life is good.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you are doing well, best of luck to you in grad school. Dune is awesome!