“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” – John Lennon
It’s become a famous quotation and meme that is actually a line from a song, Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy). I decided to Google the line to make sure I got it right. Why? Well, it all started when I read and liked a Facebook post by my friend Katie, a fellow problem boozer, who has been sober for a couple of years longer than me.
The line just came into my head when I was reading. It wasn’t in Katie’s actual post that was an expression of gratitude for her sobriety. And it was not related to the accompanying pictures. Although it was one of those, a screen shot of a text called Alcoholism’s thin red line, that had the biggest resonance with me this morning. It explained that there were two types of alcoholism. The primary being a person who is in trouble from their first drink, whereas I fitted in with the second definition, the type that takes many years to develop.
For people like me it’s a slow descent, as its something that at first is controlled and you manage to function relatively normally adjusting your life around it. However the grip of the booze gradually takes hold over time. Consequently this type of alcoholism is often more difficult to accept that there is an actual problem. For me I could simply remember the good times from the days I could control my intake. But once the line was crossed there was no going back to social drinking, compulsive drinking was always taking over, and will do again if I go back there.
So the journey from crossing the thin red line and alcoholism to John Lennon’s quote was an easy segue. Alcoholism just happened to me while I was busy making other plans.
Anyway this morning’s Google search led me to a blog post written by Sophie Rose in 2012. The gist of the article is that the true experience of life is beyond plans and just happens to us. This because plans are controlled by the ego-mind that is always threatened by change and so creates self-limitations, usually based on past experiences. By letting go of that control and trusting in something unknown, limitless and wise you jump over the illusory self-limitations of the mind and open the door to higher guidance and purpose.
I can relate this to my recent experiences with my job. From the end of March 2020 lock down certain decisions beyond my control meant I was slowly stagnating and believing that I was in a never ending spiral downwards, all caused by mistakes that have their root cause in my slow burning drift into alcohol addiction.
I finally made a decision I needed a change of direction. I consulted with people I really valued and the over riding response was tread carefully don’t rush and make the wrong choice. I can look back at past experience that at first glance made me concur with this caution. After all I have made one or two knee jerk reactions to situations that led me on complicated detours through desperation to something resembling success. And I was grateful for the reminders. However, the clarity came when I remembered that the successes that only came once I let go and stopped resisting change and self-imposed limitations.
The line in the sand change in my attitude came from a text conversation with an old friend Martin (some time in July) that brought things into focus. In amongst all my recent self-doubt and despondency he reminded me that when I stop being weary of life and get a re-charge I am unstoppable.
It was a timely reminder. I needed to harness what made me unstoppable, and that was faith. Faith and trust that by letting go I would be living in the moment uninhibited by my ego-mind’s control. And I truly did have some big successes to draw upon.
However every time when things were going swimmingly it was the ghosts of my life that came back to haunt me allowing the ego-mind to wrestle back control, bringing back the doubts in my ability and just like that the magical path disappeared. The guidance is suddenly no longer there for me.
So back in July 2020, I once again gave in and decided to embrace the energy of change. I wasn’t going to be held back any longer. I made the decision I was moving on. I didn’t know where yet, but I would be open to the possibilities. And seemingly out of nowhere they came. Unexpected (online) meetings came about and with them opportunity. And I now have a new job, with more responsibility (compensated by more money), and the chance to make a more significant difference to some people’s lives than before.
I can only conclude that this change in fortune came about by aligning with the positive energy coming my way and not allowing my mind to control the reality. And I will be fine as long as I don’t give my ego-mind the controlling interest in the latest journey. Remembering the destination is the important bit, how I get there needs an open mind free of the self-imposed constraints of over-thinking.
The photos with this post are free flowing expressions and visions found through macro lens photos, cut, edited and mixed into trippy images. The music that inspired them was courtesy of a new, and growing friendship, that is blossoming through a mutual desire to explore new musical horizons.
Apart from the Lennon song and Japan’s Ghosts the pictures were mixed listening to the recommended compilation album called A Week in the Real World, Part 1. It’s a magical journey through Electronic, Latin, Funk, Soul, Folk, World and Country music. I hadn’t heard one track on it before. Now it’s a saved album and will provide many additions to playlists.