A little chat to myself

I liked this book a long time ago.  It was amazing.  I found it deep in the bookstacks within the several floors of Doheny library (USC).  It was about the nature of life, philosophy, quantum physics – it elicited the usual existential pondering.  And one of the chapters began with a quote by Virgil.  “We make our destinies by our choice of Gods.”  And I’ve been thinking about my route, my path, my destiny lately.  I’ve noticed that recently I’ve admired stoical characters.  People who retain a moral compass and ethical center, they do not badmouth others, they stay focused, and sharp.  They have an incredible work ethic.  They value their family above everything else and tend to have a philanthropic streaks.  And their kindness and compassion — it’s evident in every move they make.  But i’ve found that it’s not enough.  We’re all still human.  For myself, I always try to work on my reactiveness and the way I react.  When criticized or censured, I quickly rise to a reaction.  And I want it not to be the case.  I would love that air of equanimity that I see in a few select people.  So I have to realize that these role models I pick, they are not Gods whose example I should follow and from there create a destiny.  It’s not what I must do.

I have to ponder the qualities i want to embody.  Someone who is fair, someone who is kind, someone who is honest, someone who is compassionate, someone who is a good listener, someone who is loving, someone who can provide a good home for her family, someone who values and treats her family with great love and affection, someone who can quickly let go of hurts, someone who can forgive, someone who lets the past be in the past even if it hurt for a period of time in the past.

If I was to live the rest of my life alone, by myself, who would I want to be?  If there was only me left on this planet?  If i had only myself to answer to?  Well, I’ve said above.  But I’d want to be strong too.

I wouldn’t go for positions of power or politics.  I’d like to remain autonomous.  I’d like enough money and wealth to live a really great life, be good and generous to others too.  I don’t want to close myself and be stoical.  I do want to be myself and share my openness with others.  I want to love life.  I want to see the good in it.  I want to take advantage of all that this existence offers me.  And I don’t want to be so cautious and concerned and preoccupied with all the ills.  I know there are ills, but I can choose to not swamp or suffocate myself in them.  I want to see the good in life and make a good life for myself and anyone else who comes my way.  Life is beautiful.  And that’s what i want.  These heroes of mine – these Gods – who could handle battles and hardships and come away stronger and shinier — yes, they were my heroes.  They are definitely icons that i’ve passed along the way in this journey of life.  But for me.  I can’t be them.  I can only be me.  And me is someone who must live with integrity and must always see the bright side of life.  And must – above everything else -not react quickly or harshly when the going gets tough.  I have to develop a reasoned thoughtfulness, even if i don’t think or analyze (in fact, i recommend not doing that), I must be patient before taking action.  Breathe.  Let something settle.  Observe yourself.  Then if you must do or say something – only then do it.  Only then.