Courage and the natural flow

What follows is taken from my journal.

The nights are not as humid these days. As we are approaching the full moon, the days get drier. This is what full moons do during the autumn and winter seasons: they bring extra warmth and sunny days to us. The inverse happens in spring and in the summer where the full moon triggers increased humidity and rainfall. At least these are my observations where I am. Being close to nature fulfils me and inspires me to remain patient. I have learnt to accept that phenomena happen during their cycle. I am calm and content.

There are many cases where the phrase “so close; yet so far” applies. One is human relationships. It is difficult to communicate intent and to express feelings. Nuances can be interpreted in a variety of ways and we get caught in an endless cycle of doubting and second guessing our understanding of concepts. Even when we are direct, we cannot convince the other person that there is no ulterior motive behind our words.

As Alkinoos Ioannidis says in one of his songs, “given words have been dressed with so many lies, how I can say ‘I love you’ for you to believe me?” What the artist has been tasked to teach us is the truth of the human condition, though not because words necessarily are deceitful, but simply due to the multiple possibilities inherent in our deeds. The “I love you” can mean just that, although it can also be a facade for “now give me what I want”.

People who know each other well can make the correct guesses. It is not because they have some special power to read minds. Rather, they put their faith in the cosmos that their uncertainty will be ameliorated through hard work and sacrifices. They are willing to take their chances. These individuals reach a point of shared compassion by performing a leap of faith together.

We often expect more than what is feasible. An expression of love in present time must come with guarantees for longer-term commitment. Sure, it is easy to follow it up with “forever” and such assurances. Is that true though? How can you honestly say what will happen in the future? Ceteris paribus, you will be there. Fine! Though “ceteris paribus” is not how the world works. Even the best intentions, the most sincere feelings and intimate touches, can only be true in the here and now. If you receive a kiss today, you like it for what it is and not because you are certain that there will be another tomorrow.

“So close; yet so far” describes our relationship with nature. If we speak our mind, we can be seen as forcing things to happen, i.e. to not let them occur naturally. If we refrain from expressing our selves, we risk creating doubts and thus inhibiting potentially mutually desired outcomes. Our nature makes it impossible to operate in omniscience. There is an element of doubt in every action.

I was shy when I was a child and would say the opposite of what I wanted. It helped me stay in my comfort zone and I liked that. Though I did not enjoy the outcomes. I thus realised that me finding comfort in such situations was a self-inhibition I had to overcome. I eventually stopped being shy and have been eager to express myself in earnest when that matters. There is nothing wrong with shyness. The problem is one of degree, when this attitude blocks you from enjoying benign experiences without impediments.

Does my developed directness mean that I am now contradicting or defying the natural flow of things, where phenomena come about organically? I think not. In the wise lyrics of Alkinoos, words are indeed dressed in lies, though we cannot let this fact force us into submission. To mistake inaction for virtue is to make a deep seated value judgement about the propriety of things: it is to say “I shall not question the status quo and must live with the fear of being lied to because this is the best I can get”.

I find that what relieves us from doubt is the boldness with which we embrace our feelings. For as long as we are honest with ourselves, it does not matter how many lies are fastened upon the word “love”, as for us it still carries the meaning we sense deeply. Courage brings us closer when it is done right.

Does this mean that we do not care about the natural flow? I think there is no tension here. We can be courageous in the right moments, while allowing things to develop over time. We do not want to create artificial constraints, deadlines, demands, etc., as those are not strong foundations for good communication. Whatever bonds they establish, will be severed with ease. Rather, we have to be patient and recognise when to be assertive and when to remain passive.

We have to apply judgement. The indiscriminate application of rules is our downfall. Sometimes, we have to wait. At others, we must act. Given our ignorance, we cannot know in advance which is which. All we can do is assess the situation to the best of our abilities, be honest with ourselves, express our feelings with honesty and kindness, and accept that there is always an element of risk given our ignorance. If we get the message across, so be it. If we fail, so be it. Nobody knows for sure how and when it works. This is our nature after all.

It is with these thoughts and without expectations that I welcome another day.