I like to say as often as I can that there are many ways to live a life. It reminds me to humbly accept that people who are not me have equally as good lives for themselves. I may sometimes say my saying in a slightly exasperated way, as a Southern Person may “bless your heart” in a way that is not altogether kind. But I abide by it. It is a truism to me. Maybe if everyone lived as I do, the world would indeed be a better place, but I accept that we will just never know.
Many of the people of the world lead a Spiritual Life alongside their physical dealings and doings. They follow the instructions as best they can of a religion or at the very least, rest assured that there is more to us than meat and bones and confused sizzling brain tissue. I guess I believe that, too. If I am being honest, it really is not something that matters to me. But it does make me an expert in spirituality, so I am going to keep writing this article!
I would say that for the most part I am self-governed by plain rational thought and healthy skepticism. I choose whether to do things or not because I can understand that my decisions have consequences, and I can generally guess what those consequences might be. I don’t seek out esoteric solutions, and I don’t pray for guidance. I guide MYSELF. Also, select night dreams and fortune cookies. Those guide me, too.
I seek to add wisdom to my mind. My spirit is strengthened by things I read in non-fiction — mostly biographies and books of quotations. I take in the gentle words of Mr Rogers, Carl Sagan, Aldous Huxley, and others, and I really think over what they mean to me. Then, I try to make them a part of my identity. I live by the rules I have made myself, based on the ideas of others that I happen to like, too. But also, I have been known to change the course of my day because at lunch time, my fortune cookie suggested it.
Is there a part of me that enjoys the idea of fate and destiny? Evidently. Sure, I believe that existence is mostly just a lot of flailing and trying to do your best, that the only Meaning of Life that can be is whatever you, yourself, decide. But I also believe in following your dreams, so if I wake up from a dream and remember that I was wearing real clothes that I actually own, I wear them that day. Was I eating in the dream? I’ll have the same food that day. “Live the dream,” I say to myself as I look in the mirror and wonder if I am dreaming still.
There is no luck, I seem to believe. There are only things that happen that happen to shape you in some form or another. There is willpower. There are whims. Both of those things can take you a long, long way down whatever path you want to go, however long you feel like being on it. You can’t bribe saints to help you out, not even Groucho Marx. Using witchcraft and magic to influence preferred outcomes yields questionable results at best. Wishing and hoping is as useful (and the same as) praying. None of those does a thing! However, I absolutely put effort into arranging my home decor according to the basic tenets of Feng Shui in order to hedge my bets.
People imagine that they see all kinds of signs and symbols in their lives. Life is a metaphor, they explain to all who will listen. They notice ordinary things and convince themselves that they are messages from the Great Beyond. Omens and portents loom every which way to many people. Not for me. Although, I generally believe that sensations of déjà vu are there to let me know that my life is going exactly according to plan. Who wrote the plan? I don’t know, but it was probably me.
I don’t believe nor disbelieve in a so-called Higher Power than myself. It is not something I have ever been interested in at all. I live my life just fine without the protection of a deity of any sort. Protection from what? I don’t think there is any bad energy out there wishing it could assail me. If so: get better hobbies, bad energy. Anyway, I have all the protection I need from these powerful talismans right here.