Have a regimen and a routine, a thing you do that always works, so that you can always do it when people fail you. It’s something different for everybody. If you don’t have anything that always works, find something and perfect it — a certain drink that never fails, a song that gives you goose bumps, a certain walk on a certain path that always elevates your spirits, a meditation that always calms you, a food you always like to eat.
You need somebody you can always call, too, but people will change and even if they stay the same they die, and then they’re gone. You can’t depend on them. You need more lasting bulwarks. You will find a favorite meeting you always like to go to and then everyone will buy houses and move away. You will find a friend who promises you things and doesn’t come through. So a practice that always works must be solitary or of the earth or of the mind; people will change and let you down. You need something older than people.
So live near a river or a mountain or a stream. Live near something you can walk to where you go, Ah.
I also love this response, as it is what I am working towards now:
Imagine for a moment that there are no suitable sexual or romantic partners for you at all in the world. You will never have sex or romance again, at all, ever, no matter what you do or how hard you try.
So what do you do now? What do you do with your time? What do you do for a social life? Within these parameters, what will make you happiest?
You don’t have to answer right away. Think about it, sleep on it, meditate, reflect. Then whenever you arrive at the answer, start living your life that way, and make your ability to live your life that way sacred and untouchable.
If you find someone who might make a suitable romantic or sexual partner, let him in if he fits in with your new sacred and untouchable life plan. If he doesn’t fit, he won’t make you happy.
I love the “Thought Experiment” comment too! I guess because, deep down, it’s what I’m doing, and it feels so absofuckinglutely liberating! It would have to be a truly amazing guy who could meet me where I’m at… but now that I’m no longer looking for someone to be the father of my children, what’s the rush? I’ve lived through childlessness and loneliness and I’m out the other side. The road is open and my baggage is light. I don’t even need society to notice that they’ve written me off anymore – My invisibility is a magic power and there are no maps where I’m going.
Now, that’s what I call “a sacred and untouchable life plan”. Woo hoo! But still, I do LOVE the idea of a list of things that always work to keep in my purse. Because there will be bumps ahead, always are. And becoming a mother wouldn’t have fixed that either. It’s called life.
I find invisibility can be liberating too.
I’ve decided that any life plan that leaves me with the hope that I’ll eventually be rescued from it by “meeting someone” is no longer acceptable to me.
And if I ever do meet someone, hopefully I’ll be in a much happier place in life and less invested in what happens.
I think there is a lot to be said for giving up a stake in the system, which has people seeking security, status and respectability. Let go of the markers of “success” can open you to other possibilities and a life of greater creativity and happiness. I have done TM for about 20 years and love it. It has helped me a lot.
I agree with you that your need things that are with you always. TM has been a good choice for me. I do not have a lot of other special things. Meditation has caused me to value silence, which often feels sacred to me.
I have the sense of growing sacredness as I let go more and more and like that. I am sure more will be revealed to me as I let go more.
Thanks for the interested thoughts.
Good find, ranty! I especially like the thought experiment. I really think we’re seeing some pretty big changes taking place. If people can learn to make the most of their single lives free from stigma and misdirection then society is really going to benefit.