In my case, walking behind the smoker, the faster I realize “none of this matters,” my power awakens and my mind begins to look for alternatives and my emotions get out of the pity pot and my body can take action, or not. It is all my choice at that point. And if I am not happy, then it is my _kuleana_, my business, my responsibility. Sometimes it is easier to stay on the street and put up with the smoke, and be able to laugh at being slightly miserable, than to go out of my way and take a longer, fresher route. I find my bliss in accepting what is while knowing my options and acting accordingly.
The immature me would say that I shouldn’t have to make the choice or the effort. “There should be a law against smoking and then I wouldn’t have this problem.” This is the antithesis of maturity. She would also state emphatically, “But smoking is wrong! It is bad for your health! It imposes itself on others!” And in one fell swoop, an opportunity for consciousness turns the corner into rigid judgment that gives me no relief only righteousness.
Very often, opportunities for consciousness become opportunities for judgment of right-wrong, good or bad. The actual issue though is my preference and your preference. And how do we reconcile them? This is a task for consciousness, not for immature wannabees who seek happiness that is free of any challenges or responsibilities.
You see, it is just too hard for children to grasp that happiness can be created out of conflict.
That you can find a way to have your way in the midst of so many things appearing to work against you. That you have so much power at your finger tips as an adult, that you could not ever have as a child. And most of all, that it doesn’t matter if you figure this out or not. It is just one of the myriad choices life presents to you.
It is my wish that you want to figure some of it out. I like interacting and co-creating with people who embrace this type of consciousness. But I would be a confusing and mistaken person if I said you _need_ to figure this out in order to have a happy life. Or to interact with me. Or to find love, or lose weight, or make money. Or whatever.
It is my belief that life is really just a series of choices. That we are safe beyond our wildest dreams. That we have very, very few needs and they can generally fit into the boxes of food and shelter. We can survive in the barest of environments, with a complete absence of love from others, as lonely or frightened or angry as can be. Instead of minimizing or fearing that, I choose to let it weigh in and reassure me that everyplace else is a step forward to my bliss.
Once we begin to learn to sort the difference between needs and wants, we are gifted with a grownup form of power and awareness that for me, is profound. There’s no rush. This isn’t going anywhere. Take your time. I’ll see you in the next chapter if and when you so desire.
[This is part of a continuous thread of writings I did in Bali earlier this year; you can follow them in order if you like.]