What Then?

We have talked, haven’t we, about how so many of us feel like a before picture? How the patriarchy and the fashion world and diet culture and social media have all conspired to make us believe – truly believe – that if we were thinner or taller or curvier but mostly thinner – our lives would bowl along merrily; paths scattered with sunbeams; heart full of love; relationships sorted, leaks – both actual and metaphorical – fixed. This is, of course, toxic nonsense and makes us ill.

But my worry is that we are living our emotional and spiritual lives in the same vein. That we are running on the promise of ‘once I deal with my depression, social anxiety, lack of faith, irritability and horrible personality, then it will be over for you motherfuckers….Once I entirely transform myself, I shall become so powerful and meaningful that the world had better watch out.’ Except it won’t need to watch out because I shall also be serene and beneficent and only good things will come from my energy. This is of course also nonsense.

We are all on an aggressive path to self-acceptance. A path scarred with pitfalls and pit holes. But assuming we are it; assuming we manage to accept we are who and what we are. What then? If I we actually, finally manage to unwind….what then? It’s all very well seeking enlightenment and a certain stillness; equilibrium and connection but… what then? What shall we do with our newfound wholeheartedness? It sounds a bit exhausting. We are so accustomed to dissociative Netflix watching. If we heal ourselves – what then?  We get to fulfil our ambitions. Perhaps we have longed to do up a house and to live on a clean, coordinated way. So, if we ever manage to save up – what then? Builders, perilous design decisions, spread sheets and deadlines. Exhausting. Maybe you are single. What if a man suddenly appears and it all works? What then? Blended families? Moving house? Jesus. Do we have the energy for the… then.

Are we all so stuck in the familiar discomfort of ‘I wish it were now, but I’m not quite good enough, so it will have to be then’ that the ‘then’ has become almost as remote as ‘never’? And do we even have the energy to mind?

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