With respect to Socrates, my unexamined life is not worth living. The front room is the face we show everyone but we hide our true self in the back room.
Early in the first season of Twin Peaks Agent Dale Cooper tells the sheriff to give himself a gift every day. Doesn’t matter what it is. Just acknowledge you are doing something for yourself.
Like the slice of damn fine cherry pie the agent gifts himself, I often think about that gift and how easy it is to set into a have-to mentality and forget that gift.
Probably because I spent the last 25 years in fear do I see how much time I lost and how precious my present.
I could get bogged down in the time lost, regretting missed opportunities, but like a daily mistake I find it best to learn from the past and move on.
I live a freer life and funnily enough it appears to have been simplified by getting married. Sure, the have-to hovers above me every day, keeping me from spending all my time with my bride, but my life have never made more sense. So in felicity, in its Hobbesian connotation or as Cornel West’s “existential deep-sea diver” I strive to seek the simpler existence with her, heavy only in worldly contemplation.
I am fortunate to be paid for something that comes to me rather naturally. The unnatural, learned part is how to protect myself while doing my job. I empathically receive their words, open my welcoming and safe maw, and allow the pain in. Some days I am able to be present, with compatible give- and -take and some days, well, some days someone else’s pain sits in me like a ball of foil.
What to do with the shiny lump that won’t biodegrade. The next hour, the next day, new pain accumulates, upsetting my tender soul.
Eventually my thoughts return to the gift.
The gift looms large even though it may be small.
Made special in a serendipitous stolen day with my bride.