Thanks For the Presence
There’s a certain comfort in the stillness of it. There’s a certain sanity to be found among all the madness. There’s an order that you might see in the chaos if you just allow it. You’ll find it difficult to see the path through if you allow yourself to only concentrate on the fire. What I mean is, if you only focus on the panic, and the chaos, and the madness of it all, you’ll find yourself looking back with a feeling that you missed something.
I think there’s a reason we don’t see what’s directly in front of us. I think we choose not to see these things. We’d like to hope for something better, for something beyond what we have. We want to believe there’s something more than this. It’s the same reason some of us believe in a life after death. We want to believe this isn’t all there is.
There’s value to both hoping for something better and beyond, and believing that this is as good as it gets. Belief in something beyond will give you comfort, it will put your mind at ease, but it may cause you to lose appreciation for what you already have. You won’t truly appreciate the now of your life if you’re too focused on hypothetical, and often times unrealistic, possibilities. That’s the cost of this belief, you may potentially lose your gratitude for now.
Believing now is all there is will, on the other hand, give you the space to appreciate. If you can’t be guaranteed that something better will come along, then you can only revel in what you already know to be real. The downside to this is a fear of what is to come. If you don’t believe in something after death, or something to better after this, then you may appreciate your life more now because of the fear of an eternal nothingness later.
I think you can have both of these beliefs if you want. It might be hard, but it is possible. However, I think it’s more beneficial for you in the moment to believe in the latter, to live as though nothing more than what you have is guaranteed. It’ll allow you to be more aware of what you have now and stop you from taking it for granted.
To me, it’s not rational to believe in an afterlife. It makes no definable sense. Why would that be the case? That isn’t to say there isn’t one, I just can’t get my mind around it. But I’ll still hope that there might be one. I think I subscribe to an expectation for the worst with hope for the best. At least then you can be happily surprised, instead of living a certain way to find out it could never have been true, instead of taking what you have for granted because of an over-confidence that you have better things coming your way.
This last week I was meant to go to South America for 6 months. A big aul’ solo adventure. It didn’t happen and I was momentarily annoyed by the whole thing (Selfishly). But then I went for a run with the sun batin’ down on top of me, in the hills of countryside that surround my house, and it was lovely. The view of Glanmire from my viewpoint on top of the hill was like something out of Lord of the Rings.
It dawned on me then that because I was so focused on reaching some made up idea of paradise across the Atlantic Ocean, that I had neglected to be grateful for the slice of it that I had out the back of my own house. I feel like there was a lesson in there in fairness.