What’s the difference between us? : Us and Them : Back to the Future

Last week I had a lengthy email from special friend in Canberra. Let me quote her, I think you’ll find it interesting…….

“I have friends who don’t ask a lot of life. These friends are pretty well all couples and have been married 35 years or round about’s.
“I think of one couple.
“I asked her once what she wanted to do now they are retired.  She said ‘spend more time with the grandkids, husband is keen to travel outback with the new 4-wheel drive, so I guess that is what we will do’.
“Now if that was me, I would have been up in arms insisting that we compromise and do stuff that I want too.
“However, the other week, they were happy, laughing and joking and holding hands and planning the next trip away and working out how much they can save on our dinner because they have a voucher!
“They are my age, grey, wrinkly, a bit fat, a bit bald, financially free if they are careful, don’t expect anything more of life than the next trip and the day to day stuff.”
She continues……
“I have other friend, and a relative when he was alive, all long time married, don’t have fancy ideas about the spiritual life and what can be achieved, go to work each day and plan their retirement, have money in the bank, trips overseas, grandkids, happy family gatherings and so on and so on.
“Look at me I leave my husband because it just doesn’t meet my needs.  He finds new love new life and new happiness within weeks.
“Then I have myself, you Andrew, and the others like us, who are forever questioning themselves and their life and their place in the universe, trying to push their own boundaries, wanting to achieve that big grand dream and want to understand themselves and their relationship with it all.
“But we don’t have proper jobs, don’t have any money, don’t have much of a future unless we make some money, and are forever restless inside about there has to be more..
“There has to be more we have to learn and more we have to give and explore and understand.
And it Continues….
“What is wrong with me and perhaps us that we are like this and what did my other friends do right?
“Why do I want to be better than I am and understand my relationship to the world more and to know who I really am?
“Why can’t I just be satisfied with what I have?
“It really puzzles me because we make life so hard for ourselves and we are never really settled.
“It also makes me feel very sad.
“Oh well maybe I need to wait to ask the big guy when l die.  I have a few questions for him/ her/ it….  Cheerio.”
I hope you made it this far. It’s an interesting email isn’t it.

Back to the Future

This morning, in my meditation, I had a ‘back to the future’ moment. It was an image of myself in Canberra and it was about 1999. Unbeknown to me, my huge ‘journey’ was about to begin. Back then, my life in Canberra was stable and for the most part happy. My wife and I got on okay, I drank alcohol (often to excess), I occasionally smoked cannabis, had good friends, ate the wrong foods, watched my daughters grow, rode my motor bike too fast (and paid the price in fines), worked fairly hard, travelled overseas every year or so………

You get the picture.

My life now is so different, I don’t know what’s happening from one day to the next, I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t eat much red meat, never take drugs, do my martial arts, work on myself every day. It’s such a changed life because I see and help people through their life events every day. The question is, would I trade this life in? Never. Do I worry about things? Sure, I don’t know where next week’s rent is coming from, I have no assets but I have the love of of people around me including my daughters and the most wonderful array of friends anyone could ever ask for.
Yes, it’s a hard life. But so fulfilling on a daily basis.

Here’s my reply to my friend. (And I’ve edited it a little)

“Some of us live different lives, we question, we don’t conform and we live outside the square. I could have been the public servant who never asked a question, retired when I was 54/11, played golf, and never did anything. That’s actually super easy and it would have driven me nuts. I could say the same for you. You could have swallowed all your husband’s s*hit and be the dutiful wife. You chose not to, you chose to be different, to stand outside the clan and look back inside to all the other clans. They may look peaceful and ‘nice’ but they are not.

Secret Lives of Us and Them

“I’d be very interested to hear what your friends are saying to themselves secretly. I know they are in their own turmoil, but they hide it. Everyone’s does. I often look at my friends, very special friends in Canberra. I love them and their children, they are lovely people. They are happy, they don’t ask for a lot and yes they travel overseas every year or so. But I have a friend who is about to retire soon and he hasn’t a clue, as things stand at the moment he’ll be bored sh*itless.
To continue….
“So don’t be fooled by outside appearances. I suspect all those people within themselves are looking at you with envy your strength and what you’ve done. You need to listen to their conversations and ask yourself “Are they at peace within themselves?”. What do they talk about. We (you and I) talk about ourselves in very deep ways, we discover things about ourselves through our quest for knowledge. Those couples don’t. They think they know it all. Everyone has a dark spot and theirs is as big as mine or yours. They choose to ignore it.

It Takes Guts

“Most of those people don’t have the guts to do what your have done. Deep down those other women who run subservient to their husbands are running scared. They are to scared to leave, to frightened to stay. They do nothing, it’s a facade. And just think who will die first, who will get sick and most importantly, if there is a death, how is the other one going to cope?”

The Conclusion. The Answer

So, where are you in all this! Have my friend and I sparked anger or sorrow? Do you identify yourself as one of the people my friend talks about? If you are, are you deliriously happy and at peace with the world?

Our Type of People

Or are you ‘our’ type of people who question where they are, their spirituality, their emotions and their life. Are you a person who can sit, like I am now writing this, and gaze at the trees and abundance. Do you have gratitude for what you have, however simple, and have unquestionable love for everything and everyone around you.
As you sit with this gratitude, do you find yourself alternating between places of wonder and love for all around you. Are you on the roller-coaster suffering ride that makes us human. Do you find yourself wondering “Why” to all sorts of questions, and find yourself dropping into the drama-glue of negative emotions?

Welcome to our world.

This is a world of unpredictability, of not knowing where this week’s rent is going to come from. It’s a world of love, abundance and standing naked to what the universe throws at us.

Have an outstanding day

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