“What one does is what counts. Not what one had the intention of doing.” Pablo Picasso
In a world where we have so many options, so many choices, many of us find ourselves not choosing at all. Ironic, isn’t it?
Often, we have the intention of doing something important, but it is perhaps too much for us to think that we could actually get it done. So we end up choosing, and thus living, by default. But is this a wise choice? In the modern era, choice can be mind boggling at times. Just go to the toothpaste isle in any supermarket or drug store and there are so many different types to choose from, it can cripple an uncertain mind. I know it has mine.
Yet as we sit in our western world of abundance, where it seems we can easily become overwhelmed by choice, if you had to choose, what is the one thing you would do today if you knew you could complete it, or fulfill it, or have it?
I have lots on my wish list to choose from, of course, but first, I have wonder if my choice would be different at 8 am, versus 11 pm? Something about the 11th hour that always gets the jets going, the adrenaline. But what if it’s not the 11th hour? What to do?
Ok, if I had to choose, I would get a big metaphorical fan and blow away the cloudy mists of uncertainty. I would choose to clear my head and see things for what they are, how they are. I would choose to see clearly. Period. And that would probably take care of a lot.
Imagine, for a moment, being able to see clearly. See it all. Our life purpose. Our technical abilities, as well as our ability to learn and grow. If the veil was lifted, what would it do to us? Would it ruin everything? Would it take the wind out of our sails, or fill them? I think it would fill them, even if we discovered we were on an ocean of a different type. If the ground underneath us was not what we thought. That, too, would be a lot. It would strip me of my false perspective. It would make me raw, open and stunningly vulnerable. Perhaps. Right?
The one thing I have come to understand in life is that none of us, not a single person, really knows why we are here. We can think we know. History is spotted with murderous sorts of people who kill others because they feel they know absolutely, regardless of how delusional the belief. Some of us spend years searching for others who know, only to find their human foibles ultimately send us into a spiral of despair. Or we lock ourselves in with an organization that says it knows, only to have that organization embattled in true scandal.
This is because in our efforts to seek the truth, we put our eggs into the wrong basket. Knowing the secret to life’s deepest mysteries - it’s the proverbial elusive golden egg. I was fortunate enough to have a mother who, when faced with any one of a series of life’s many dilemmas, often quoted Kierkegaard who said “Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.”
I had a student ask recently about whether I knew of a special “light”, a real, physical light, that when it shines upon a person, it awakens them. He showed me a picture of it on his phone. I guess searching for the light would then become like an easter egg hunt. But alas, in this scenario, we reduce our awakening to a sort of game show simplicity, a reality show of sorts. That’s not for me. I call it spiritual bypass syndrome, which I have addressed in a past essay. Better to get raw and real, to find this light, our source of awareness and knowing, from deep within our lived experiences.
So okay, getting back to choosing one thing. Yes, if I had to choose, the one thing I would do today is clear away the clouds of uncertainty and not knowing. If we were to be certain about life, it’s purpose, it would be a game changer. It may, indeed, ruin this game of life. Yet, simultaneously, it may also allow for a heaven on Earth. Just knowing why were are here. It would build a fire in our hearts, and we would no longer sit back in a comfortably numb stupor, like a deer before headlights, wondering what on Earth we are doing here on Earth.
Ok, now it’s your turn. If you had to choose, what is the one thing you would do today if you knew you could complete it, or fulfill it, or have it, etc?