Out of Assumptions

I realized a couple days ago what has really died in my life: my assumptions.

Last year was a living hell. Trauma after trauma. But I can handle chaos to some degree. What truly devastated me was the iffy mammogram. I had been hanging onto the assumption that I would outlive Barry for dear life. Having that assumption yanked out from under me eliminated all pretense of stability. What if I am making all this effort to keep my life up and running when I might be gone in a year myself?

I have been having mild panic attacks lately as I try to prepare for the move, which should be happening in the next week or two. The panic comes from not trusting myself or life to provide even the basics, even though we have enough in the credit union for a year’s worth of rent.

It is very hard to live without any assumptions. I stopped pretending to have faith a few years ago. It got to the point where having faith felt a little like having an invisible friend, which I had when I was about six years old. Believing something to be true does not make it so. It only makes you delusional. Faith might be comforting, as long as it works sufficiently when it is most needed. But imagine not knowing if your vehicle will start or your computer will work or whatever. I have been living in that place. I take little for granted. But this is an exhausting way to live.

I have been reading this book about “Homeless Kodo”, a Zen priest without his own temple. His attitude is that we are all homeless whether we realize it or not. I understand now. I feel like one of my mistakes has been getting comfortable where I am. “Comfort” to me has become a code word for “automatic pilot.” When people say they just want to be comfortable, I believe what they are actually saying is that they don’t want to have to think about absolutely every single choice.

The problem is that, once you find something that works for you, either you or the thing you do changes and no longer provides the same satisfaction. I never change anything until it completely stops working for me. I am very routine-driven. The routine has to stop working before it occurs to me to change it. Part of me just wants to be comfortable right now. That’s the hazard.

About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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