I’m not a very Zen person by nature. I generally believe that God is in the details — working hard, planning thoroughly, and aligning your intentions with reality are all tasks that successful people commit to fully. I come from the class of people who believe you can use discipline and commitment to achieve success. I work hard, I push, I challenge, and I make things happen through persistence.
Yet I’m starting to hold a duality of belief based on my years of experience – sometimes things are “meant to be” or “not meant to be.” I’m starting to realize that one cannot force every intention and desire into being through sheer force of will. It’s a difficult realization for me.
Most things cannot be made to force fit. Some level of effort and persistence is required in almost everything, but I’m stepping over the line of “too much” less often these days. I’m more likely to let things pass, to take a breather, and accept the outcome of the gestalt between my intention and energy and the Universe direction.
Perhaps this is the nature of wisdom.
I’m starting to realize why certain synonyms are paired with old age: crusty, cynical, sarcastic, grizzled, veteran, wizened, and weathered. The list proceeds in stark contrast to descriptors of youth: flexible, energetic, hopeful, precocious…shiny. I’ve spent my 30’s feeling young and pushing to maintain the hope and vitality of my 20’s. I like to think I’ve succeeded fairly well in my endeavor to project youth.
There’s a biological transition happening within my psyche as I approach 40 – the derivative of my crustiness is now positive and increasing, and the derivative of my energy is negative. Perhaps this transformation is inevitable and I will surrender to it as almost everyone does…after all, a little more cynicism and wisdom isn’t necessarily a bad outcome.
I’m striving to create a balance – a yin-yang – of informed energy and flexibility. I must nurture my more limited energy, hope, and love for the projects I hold most dear. My diminished energy is coupled with better information and decision-making. I can still make an impact – and in fact, I might be in the prime of my impactful, crusty, cynical life.
I do sometimes mourn for the moments where I felt that shiny optimism clearly, unencumbered by the burden of wisdom.