LIB Story Ticket Winner #4 – So Many Options
Posted by: Lewey Knox
I frequently brush up against those times of having so many options that, whatever I choose to do, I am forced to miss out on an infinite number of equally wonderful things. Lightning in a Bottle exemplifies such a scenario: everything is compelling, exciting, mysterious, intriguing, life-affirming. You want to experience every bit of it – you want to be in all places at once, all weekend, but this is just not possible. Last year, I had a few private moments reflecting on this universal truth and its implications. Even though every single instant of my own experience was wonderful, now and then I wondered longingly about the all other moments that were happening without me.
On Saturday night, I was walking with my best friend. At this time, we were particularly saturated with awe and delight as we looked around at the thousands of people creating thousands of vastly different yet equally joyful moments. It pierced my heart to see so much happiness. I moved through the people in wonder, feeling immense gratitude to be part of this magical sea.
It was right then that I was able to release myself from even a small need ever to be having a different experience. I put it in words to my friend, something like this:
There is no possible way that a single person can have all of the experiences that there are to be had, or even all that are desirable to her. But I realize why that is not something to worry about. It is because, all the time, there is SOMEONE having each of those experiences. This is not a jealous thought; it is a welcome, ecstatic truth. If we recognize ourselves as not just individual beings, but rather cells of a collective creature, we can rejoice in the immeasurable glow created by the energy pouring in from all these different sparks of joy. Even though my small self cannot participate in everything, I am not missing anything because the energy flows to the same, single pool in which our spirits all swim. Life is much more vast than one little body – we share it together as this beautiful, colorful, expansive creation.
Thank you to Lightning in a Bottle for being a catalyst to this understanding. And thank you to my best friend for looking me right in my eyes and with her whole heart in this moment, as she has done many times before and since.
submitted by Monica Filippenko