Outside my apartment there’s a steady drip, drip, drip of water on a metal rooftop – the air is hot and humid. The night is inky black. I’m working hard on client projects (which I’m unforgivably behind on) and a little upset with a freelancer I’ve hired who keeps asking for more money, without having done any of the work we agreed on.
Meanwhile, I’m in the process of migrating all my blogs to a more stable host and now have duplicate versions of my sites on different places; I’m not exactly sure where this post is going or how to finish everything and kill the duplicate and make sure the final version is the most updated.
I’ve also just watched the 2013 movie Coherence, a creepy sci-fi about parallel universes converging during a comet appearance. In the movie, infinite realities are made aware of each other; the leading actress decides to skip out on her current reality and find a better one. The only problem is she has to kill herself and steal her life. In the process she becomes the monster that she’s afraid of; a pre-emptive strike out of the fear of another her doing exactly the same thing.
And it just so happens to be Fall Equinox; the day when the nights become longer than the days, the beginning of the slow descent into death and winter. This is the night that the hero is defeated, questions himself, goes into hiding; this is the night evil and darkness take over the kingdom. All of these things occurring together feel especially ominous.
I like to believe I can commit to a future reality and my present self will work out the path to get there… but if that’s true am I doing violence to my other selves? Am I really the best version of myself? Is the freelancer with whom I’m having communication difficulties another version of me? Are my clients myself in the mirror?
We all want better lives, more money, more joy and happiness, fulfillment… but what are we willing to do in order to make sure we bring these benefits to us? Are we manipulating the universe, transgressing natural flows, when we stubbornly seek out our own good?
In my mini-existential crisis, I’m gotten out an old skill – spellcasting. I cut an apple into three sections and placed a gold coin in the center of each, surrounding a white candle. Under the candle is a piece of paper with an affirmation of gratitude:
I have the energy to take action, and through this I give and receive abundant blessings.
The thing I’m most worried about right now is taking too much for myself, without giving enough to others, so I added:
I give joy to everyone I meet.
I think I’ll probably also give a big donation somewhere, or give away some free stuff, or make another big effort in that area: my natural reaction, after having given someone over $1000 that isn’t likely to complete the project (and with no option of getting a refund or leaving a negative review, since I mistakenly agreed to work outside of a proper freelance website) is to get fearful and tight-fisted, distrustful, cold.
That’s the danger; that’s the abyss I must leap over to continue on the correct path I’m choosing for myself.
Allowing it to dictate my actions could turn me into a different person, heading towards a different destination.
Instead I choose to be grateful, to allow the opportunity to happen to me; to interpret the setback as a necessary test, through the passing of which I grow closer to my goals. I’m anxious, certainly. There is fear about whether the project will get done, how I’m going to pay for it, who I’m going to get to help me finish it. It’s frustrating.
But the events in my life shouldn’t determine my happiness. And protecting myself with a big shield isn’t the answer.
A poem by Hafiz goes like this:
Even after all this time
the sun never says to the earth, “You owe Me.”
Look what happens with a love like that,
It lights up the Whole Sky.
When I’m scared of lack, I need to give more.
I need to set the example for what I wish to find in the world.
I’m borrowing these affirmations from Bethany Butzer but I like them:
Universe, thank you for the beauty that exists in my life. Thank you for my health and well-being, for my senses that allow me to see the sky, feel the rain, smell the flowers. Thank you for the amazing relationships that surround me. Thank you for providing me with all of the financial abundance that I need. Thank you for continuing to guide me on a path that is of the highest service to me and to the world. Thank you for the roof over my head and the fantastic food that I get to enjoy every day. Thank you for this blessed, blessed life.
What are you grateful for?
I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.