Doubt is perceived as negativity ( as in “I doubt myself”), as the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word. In neutral context, when someone says “I have a doubt”, or “I doubt it”, we think “we are not out of the woods with this one”. Either he does not trust himself, or others. This explains why doubt always sounded negative to me. As if society does not want us to doubt about anything.
I have doubted myself, on an ad-hoc basis. To this day, good sense tells me to trust my gut feelings, but sometimes, doubt tells me another. This is not a healthy relationship between doubt and myself. Doubt is intrusive and wrecks havoc in my “supposed to be serene” emotional space.
I want doubt to become a reliable friend, pointing to the most appropriate, greatest direction. Doubt seen as a hint, an arrow pointing to a rock that needs to be turned. Doubt always brought me to the past, to memories better forgotten, forever present in my psyche. Doubt noises polluted me with undesirable thoughts.
I am now creating a new path with doubt, giving it a new definition. Choosing to use doubt as a tool, I now develop my own ways of letting reality sink in, by giving it a positive spin. I am grateful for all of my emotions, including doubt, as it is through experiencing them fully that I am being informed about who I am, my needs, and how to better align with my dreams and values. Doubt as checkpoint, a moment of truth captured and dealt with. Doubt as arrow pointing to the best adjustments and choices, hence becoming who I really am. I now adopt doubt as the proverbial arrow, a companion on the greatest journey and destination.
Impermanence, is it what rainbows teach us? How many minutes last the life of a single rainbow?
Rainbows remind me of the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy has everything inside her to walk the golden path. What meditation made me realize, is that whatever rainbows mean to us, whether love, money, travels, comforts, even the alleviation of suffering, everything you could think of or experience is not of great importance. In the end, it is not what we do, successes and failures that matter. It is the meaning we give to life experiences and choices. The same quality and amount of love (if such a thing could ever be quantified) can be the outcome of both extreme difficult experiences and happy and opulent ones. For me, this is the ultimate reality of the Instant.
I appreciate rainbows for their colors, surprising appearances along our paths, like messages from the universe saying: “Don’t forget, you only have now. Look at me, otherwise, I’ll be gone, or you’ll be gone.” It is interesting how impermanence has such a profound effect on our days. Rainbows do not exist after all. Only our perceptions and interpretation of them exist, like everything else in this world.
Take my own identity and personae. For example, how many micro-connectors exist on a computer motherboard? Each connection is important to make the thing work, but does not exist by itself. What a great metaphor for me as an individual. This is what we have not yet understood about death. We must play out our own lives the best we can, while being part of a whole. Immortal and essential even though infinitesimal for the universe to work well. Once dead, the energy of my body will transform. All other interpretation seems a poisoned gift from my ego.
Thank you Rainbows. I bow.
I started to write Letters of Gratitude to the invitation of Rob Martin and Jack Pollock, who founded the Letters of Gratitude website, http://www.thelettersofgratitude.com/, and wrote the book http://www.amazon.com/The-Letters-Gratitude-Rob-Martin/dp/1478101172/ref=tmm_pap_title_0. They suggested a full list of words on which to reflect and write, and discover for ourselves what the word meant to us, and how each of us could develop gratitude for the manifestation of this word in our lives. This is a simplification of the beautiful work Rob and Jack did.
I have committed to write a Letter of Gratitude for each word included in Rob and Jack’s list. That was about a year ago. I completely messed up the process for myself by extending the practice for over a year instead of the suggested 30 days. I still enjoyed the depth to which the “digging deeper” brought me. Then, I got stuck with the word Secrets.
Secrets and Authenticity are the two ends of a spectrum. Developing gratitude for how the concept of Secrets in my life has materialized seems an impossible task. I simply do not have secrets. Authenticity has been the strongest blessing and the most damaging curse of my life.
I suspect, without any proof and many hints, that my mother has kept key facts of her life and experience under wraps. I suffered for it (think “unexpressed traumatic frustration”). The impacts on my life have been notwithstanding very real. These hidden facts, if they exist, are her secrets, not mine. Throughout my life, I have been a seeker of authenticity, in others and in myself. I have refused to play the games people play in society and in friendships, because it goes directly against my grain.
Like Buddhists say, we should be grateful for all that life made us up to this day. In that sense, I am grateful for people in my life from which I sensed they had secrets, or did not act authentically.
Acrylics, archival ink, Sakura Glaze pens, Sakura Micron pens, word stamps, Bic Mark It permanent markers.
Graphite pencil, Sharpie aqua marker, acrylics, Martha Stewart markers, black gel pen, Inktense watercolor pencils, gesso, gouache, collage, sakura micron pen.
From the Lifebook 2013 Project.
The Sandwich: invented by John Montague, Earl of Sandwich