After several things-that-worked-really-well-in-class-last-year posts, I’m finally in the mood for some quiet contemplation.
Last year was not a particularly exceptional year. Lots of things happened; some of them might be labelled as successes, others seemed to be failures. However, I can’t think of any major disasters or noteworthy achievements on my part, at least in the usual sense of the words.
Still, deep inside, I feel something truly significant happened, even though not in the ‘world of forms’. By the world of forms I mean all the things that happen around us, things that happen to us, things we see and the thoughts that usually come to us.
Towards the end of 2015, I came closer to a truth that transformed my life dramatically. The message that caused the change is nothing new under the sun, though; I’m sure you have come across the words a million times in your life – in many versions and under various circumstances. I had, too. And I had thought I understand so I hadn’t paid too much attention really. Until I suddenly saw where the words point to. Until the truth hit the very core of my heart ….. until it finally reached my soul.
Because the now is the only thing you have and by refusing it for whatever reason you only make yourself suffer. Because, in effect, the past and the future don’t exist – they are just mental forms in your heads, which often turn your life into hell.
Although this sudden realization changed the way I treat each and every moment of my life, my past self still tends to creep in. It tries to convince me that it feels good to be better than others. It urges me to cry over the spilled milk. It encourages me to regret the things I did or didn’t do. It invites me to judge people, myself included. And I sometimes join in and play the game, but I do so less often and less enthusiastically.
The change that occurred may not be visible to the outer world yet. Maybe the closest ones have sensed a minor shift, but otherwise, things appear to be the same. But it’s fascinating to observe that as my perspective is changing, things around me have started to ‘change’ too. My students suddenly seem better-behaved and more motivated. My eldest son, who is a bit of a troublemaker, doesn’t get on my nerves so much anymore. I’m coming across people who are on the same wavelength and those who aren’t are now completely out of sight. I’m bumping into books, movies, articles and posts in which people share insights which resonate with me like they have never before.
This makes me believe that I’m on the right track. The only thing I need to do now is to stay in touch with that place where black is as good as white, where cold is as good as warm, and where grief is as good as joy.
The place which is the only source of creativity and true happiness in life …