It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way

“Men at some time are masters of their fates.
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
The above quote is Cassius philosophizing to Brutus while they both struggle with the meaning of their lives in their complaints against their Boss – Caesar. (Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act I, scene 2)
Soon and often in our lives we come upon “harsh” realities we feel obliged to maintain. No one ever asks for help who is in balance with the objects of their lives and their ability and willingness to sustain them. It might be a job or a relationship, the need of better resources – a new car or children’s schooling. The desire that gets us off kilter keeps us there. We institutionalize it, we become its slave.
In this scene, as in much of Julius Caesar, the plotting and the complaints against Caesar grow to the culmination of his death, and his former cohorts becoming murderers.
In the squeeze to perform and promote what have become our desires – no doubt changed from our first wispy fantasies – we put ourselves in the crucible of those desires and let them take us over. Often without a clue as to how we got here. We feel “fate” has led us or our “nature,” sometimes we blame a parent. This is suffering for sure.
There is always some exterior modifier to point out our lacks – we were born this way, at the wrong time, to the wrong culture. I used to tease my “well bred” mother when she would complain about my actions that I had been given the wrong genes.
But really – let’s get gritty – what can we do? Once we feel overwhelmed, panic riding us, solutions beyond our grasp, what are we to do? This is the most irritating part – it was for Cassius too – because it isn’t the lottery or the new car/husband/wife. It isn’t the dictator or even the next helpful book/workshop or prescription. It comes right back to, “not in our stars but in ourselves.”
How and what we align ourselves with dictates how our lives unfold. A choice here, a path or road there and we have momentum going for us. Is it a flood or a stream, a wind or a storm. What’ll it be? What will you have, what choice will you make to determine your course? And what will it take down the road to correct it if you need to? Murderers have a much harder row to hoe than the one of us who says, “oops, sorry.”
What’s your story? How do you feel?
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2 thoughts on “It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way

  1. Your piece triggered so many thoughts about my life I thought I’d share how they fit. For about a year I, who work and teach about and for healthy eating, have allowed myself to indulge in sugar, caffeine, and fat. The part of me that is the petulant child saying ‘life is short. You deserve this’. Also, I am about to pay off my mortgage and will be able to “retire” if I want to. And I do and I don’t. So anxiety is there. What path will I choose? What will I do with my life if I’m not working? So, I’m out of balance. One day I beat myself up for the choices I make, the next day I take a tiny step in the direction of health and balance by choosing a good food or meditating for a few minutes, etc. Yes, I’m very aware of where I am. And some days its easier to let go of the struggle than others.
    Thanks for your posts Pam. They are, for me, often so pertinent.

    • Dear Dear Paula, Thank you for your words. Happens I’m doing a lot of reading/thinking/writing about that very dilemma – what to do with time left to us. Something for every one to contemplate but the images get more contrasty as we get nearer. I know you’ll keep yourself well and I wonder why the letting go so soon to the goal????
      Love to you, Pam

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