S2Episode28 Close To Giving Up

March 4, 2024

Good morning from Milano. It’s interesting. Today is Monday morning, March 4th and I’m recording because I couldn’t spit it out in the past days. I hit a brick wall. I was initially going to speak about this beautiful film I saw called Past Lives. I had a lot to say about how the different lens we bring to movies or art of any sort colors the way we experience and interpret things. Anyway, I know that may sound like stating the obvious, but it was interesting to me that after I saw this film with my friend Tiziana our commentary immediately following the movie on our way home was about completely different things.

If you haven’t seen it, Past Lives is great. The story is about friends who reunite after many years. The female lead in the movie left Korea at a young age. Through social media, she gets back in touch with her childhood best friend, who happens to be a very handsome Korean man at this point. Anyway, my friend’s initial comments were about the relationship between the characters and my comments were about the experience of the woman having left her native land and what this reconnection represented to her personally.

When I went to record, I thought I had a lot to say about our different lenses being a metaphor for the radical extremism we’re experiencing in the world, how uncomfortable we feel talking to people who don’t share our same views, and the role of art as a beautiful and important catalyst for dialogue, perspective, and empathy. Anyway, I totally bombed. I must have started that episode 12 times, which rarely happens to me. From that I went to deciding that I was simply going to record an episode and share with you that I’m struggling with right now. I’m going through a tough moment with dear Constance. I’m asking myself what I’m doing. It’s a rough patch. I was going to talk about the fact that a couple of people have said, look, if you’re not having fun throwing the towel, like give yourself permission to quit and all of that.

Anyway, long story short, I recorded that episode as well. Then I thought ‘I need to call it a day. I need to throw up my hands.’ And that is a different thing than throwing in the towel. In fact I’m not afraid to call it a day and say look, this was an important moment of self-expression. I’ve been using Dear Constance to find my voice. But the truth of the matter is that I am practicing keeping promises to myself. When, if and should that moment come, I want it to be a measured decision. And I want to feel that I exercised that muscle of keeping promises to myself.

Anyway, at the end of the day I was thinking to myself, it’s one thing to throw up your hands and it’s another thing to throw in the towel. And when I think of throwing up my hands, I think about surrendering to what is. And surrender in my mind – I guess it’s a little bit related to the way I was raised. In the language and the belief system in my home, surrender is very much a spiritual concept. It is about releasing the need and desire to control everything. There are so many things in the world that are out of our control, and our ability to trust and to have faith in that which we cannot control is of course what surrender is about.

In my family, that was referred to as Divine will and it was very much about trusting in God, but you can replace the word God with whatever it is that gives you faith in your life. The universe or Spirit – however you refer to it in your heart. Surrender is very much about trusting in Divine order. In my personal situation, I believe that what I’m doing with Dear Constance is an important part of my evolution.

So as I was saying before, I’m not afraid to throw in the towel. At the same time I’m very aware that it’s my job to show up, to trust in the process, and in doing so –  including in these difficult times – I’m reaffirming my commitment to myself and my commitment to the project. I think that’s part of the test that I’m living right now. And I hope that in sharing my process and my challenges, it could be useful to someone out there who feels like they have a job to do, one with which they may be struggling. That job may be showing up to work or caring for a parent or staying the course in a rough patch in a relationship. Anyway, so here I am this morning the day of and I’m late. The episode is not dropping in its usual time, but I’m showing up. I sat down with my coffee to record, and I reached around to pick up this little thing to put under my coffee cup. Incredibly, when I looked down at it and it’s a book called “I’m Doing My Best”and I thought wow, that’s a beautiful message from the universe. And I’m really glad that I decided to show up this morning.

So, I thought I’d end today with the first paragraph of a beautiful poem bu the poet – philosopher, David Whyte It’s from his book, ‘Consolations’.  This bit I’m going to read is just a part of the poem which is extraordinarily beautiful. It’s called Close.

 Close. Close is what we always are. Close to happiness. Close to another. Close to leaving. Close to tears. Close to God. Close to losing faith. Close to saying something. Close to success. And even with the greatest satisfaction, close to giving the whole thing up. Our human essence lies not in arrival, but in almost being there. We are creatures who are on our way. Our journey a series of impending anticipated arrivals.

Isn’t that beautiful? That poem popped into my head as I was coming out of my morning meditation and I think it captures this universal thing that we have- this being close, I love this Italian expression which I’m going to butcher as I translate which basically says ‘every point of arrival is a point of departure’. I didn’t hear that till I was well into my thirties. It’s like saying there is no therethere. It’s an important thing to remember. That’s why we hear all these inspirational people talking about enjoying the process. Because the there is there. It’s in the process. It’s in the journey. I know that sounds cliché, but it is a universal truth. There is no there, there. I think this poem close really captures that we are creatures who are on our way – our journey a series of impending anticipated arrivals.

I’ll end by thanking you for coming with me on this journey. It’s not always smooth. It’s not always fun. It’s simply part of my personal commitment to cultivating awareness and living an examined life. It’s as simple as that. That’s all for today. until Wednesday from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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