Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What can't you live without?

At one point a friend asked the question "What can't you live without?"... basically... and my answer to her was nothing. I have nothing in my life that I couldn't give up in a heartbeat and still live my life pretty much as it is.

She then asked me the followup question, "Why?"

Why don't I have anything in my life that I'm so passionate about that I couldn't live without it. Until now I still haven't answered her question because I didn't know the answer.

At first I thought it was because I just didn't. My entire life I've never had a favorite band or teacher or food. Maybe I wasn't one of those people, people who have favorites. And then I thought about a pillow I left at my Aunt Suzi's when I was a kid. I cried because I thought I wouldn't get it back.

So, that's not the answer.

Then I thought of the answer every counselor has ever suggested to me, that I wasn't "allowed" to have favorites, so I didn't. Not that there isn't at least some truth to this, but it didn't _feel_ true... so I kept digging.

This is the answer that feels like *Truth*.

I don't have that thing because ever since I was a small child, the things that have mattered most to me have been taken from me. Ripped from me in a million ways that always left me with an aching pain... a hole in my soul.

After a time I learned that this was the way of the World. It isn't something particular to me or my situation. The World is impermanent. People die or leave, houses burn, favorite dolls fall apart in the wash.

I have been teaching myself to accept this as normal and natural, and to not let it tear me apart when I lose the thing I cherished. I have learned to not hold on to the people and things in my life. I have learned to always be ready to let them go.

This doesn't mean that I don't feel pain when I lose these things, it just means that I know I can live without everything in my life.

My life will go on with or without everything else.

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