If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far, it’s that I never stop learning and probably never will, and if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that all of that learning is impermanent and that I know nothing.
Absof***inglutely nothing…at least not in the long term.
I know things as I feel or experience them, I know what is real or right to me in the moment, but I can’t tell you with 100% certainty that those things are facts or just the way things are for eternity. The only guarantee that I do seem to have is that what I think is fact here and now will more than likely change over time, so there really is something to the theory that the only constant is change.
‘The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing’ Socrates.
You can show me some data, or some impressive scientific research, you can sit the world’s top scientist in front of me to quote what is or isn’t and I will tell you that next year, said scientist may have found some new evidence that last year’s findings weren’t quite right, and the year after that a newspaper or a TV channel might announce something else about it. So put away your so-called ‘facts’ because it’s all relative. That is what I see as one of the big problems creating human suffering…the need to have everything fixed, right or constant. Be it fighting age, implementing systems or rules. The fear underlying it all is another story.
As long as we are living, breathing and evolving, so is everything.
I turn 35 this year, that’s half-way to 40. It’s also half-way to 30, but it’s a fact that I am going to turn 40 and definitely not 30 again. Why is it a fact? Because we decided so, we being our fellow ancient man who created the concept of time and all the rules that come with it. Before that who knows what I could have been half-way to? We could have reversed the concept and decided that youth is age, ha, imagine that! So I agree there are some things that we’ve ensured will become inevitable facts for us based on what we have dictated, but that does not tamper with the constant of change even to any anal retentive person in denial of it.
Some have looked at me in shock, stating that I don’t seem like an almost 35-year-old…now, what does a 35-year-old seem like? Married? Kids? A big house and a dog? More homely, housewifely, successful, older looking, more mature? Should I throw away my sparkly trainers and my pink zebra face jumper? Is all of that the definition of how I should be behaving?
I don’t know, I know nothing, but here is some possibly temporary knowledge that the years of my life so far have brought me. Here’s my current version of 35:
1. If you always stay in the same mental and physical patterns, the only change in your life will be in your appearance, the intensity of your feelings, the volume of the collection of your memories, and in the things and lives of those around you. To really feel, understand and personally live the changes you want, you have to make them a constant way of life and sustain the changed thoughts and actions until the next change you desire, so that it’s Just like brushing your teeth. If you don’t you will more than likely slip back into old ways over and over and over, I am testament to this so far.
2. The more you experience the fear of what others think, the more you realise it’s pointless, and the more comfortable you start to become with receiving eye-rolls and other facial expressions, derogatory or negative comments and plain nastiness. As time goes by you can see it’s got you nowhere to fear it and you begin to build resilience from within and even enjoy shocking others with your lack of fear of what they think.
3. Love is probably not what you think. It’s not that dependency you feel, it’s not the need you feel or the lust, and it’s not the attachment or the expectations you have of what you think the other person owes you. There is no darkness in love. When people say love hurts it’s not the love that hurts, it’s more than likely the pain of an attachment breaking, not your heart. So find the lightest, purest, most liberating and enhancing feeling you’ve ever felt without the aid of a chemical/drug, and know that it’s that. For me in terms of relationships, it’s the being able to let the person go where they need to go and be who they need to be, and still find them awesome through it all. When you hear someone say to you ‘If you loved me you would do/be/say…’ Say bye-bye and RUN ‘cos that ain’t love honey! You can deeply love a flower or a sunset and there is no pain or expectation in that.
4. When someone hurts you or something traumatic happens, don’t hide from the pain and push it down, because if you do that, you will end up meeting that pain again further down the line. Only it might have evolved into a twitch, a phobia, a depression, an addiction or a bad habit that self-sabotages you in some way. Feel the excruciating pain while it’s passing through you, cry it out, speak it out, write it out, heave it out, breathe it out… and while feeling it, keep reminding yourself that these things happen to teach, strengthen and show us something. We’ll never know what that is if we keep running from it.
I doubt I’ve only learned four things, but this is what I’m sharing for now and don’t quote me on any of it, because 5 years from now I might tell you it was all bull and in fact I will have some new things then that I know for ‘sure’.
Mainly just keep an open mind, and keep knowing nothing!