I can recall a time when I was more interested in receiving than giving. The prospect of getting things for Christmas, things as reward for a good deed, things for the variety of holidays that capitalism seems to have established to feed itself. In retrospect, I started to move away from that failed formula for fulfillment during my years in college. The latest gadget, the most stylish attire started to become less of a driving force for enhancing my sense of self-worth. Mind you, I didn’t become a died-in-the wool minimalist, but I did start to realize that dissipating all my cash on things that only had value for a season, in the eyes of others, was a complete waste of time.
The internal motivation that persuaded me to be less of a consumer in college manifested itself in my childhood. Being poor had its privileges, for me anyway. Not having more than I needed freed me from devoting ridiculous amounts of time taking care of stuff. Stuff, you know, clothing, shoes and other accoutrements that adorn the outside, but add no value to the real persona. I can remember when I was as young as ten years old, I used to regularly make time to be by myself. At that age, I discovered the benefits of spending time in my head. Of course, I had no idea that I was meditating, or getting close to it anyway.
Spending time in our heads is a good place to be. It’s there that we connect with things that are waiting to greet us, to commune with us, to assist us in understanding our position in relation to what we encounter in life. If you’re a spiritual person, haven’t you had some of your best experiences alone, in the quiet focusing absent the noise the world produces? Although you might enjoy corporate worship, don’t you have a stronger connection with your universal spirit while you’re spending time in your head? It’s in our heads that we solve problems, design plans for success, have conversations that can’t be had in any other venue.
The last two years have presented unprecedented challenges for people worldwide. Covid-19 and its off springs (Delta and Omicron) have frightened us, confused us, left us dangling in the wind. There’s information overload in the media. Each day numbers are reported about new cases, numbers of hospitalizations, numbers of dead. Oftentimes, these reports take on the quality of all the other noise that permeates the atmosphere. I must spend time in my head to maintain my sanity. With all the talk about normalcy being absent around the world, I’ve found that keeping my mental and emotional self in balance is the kind of normalcy that’s more important than any other barometric reading. I must spend time working in my head. I venture to say that even folk, who seek the services of a counselor, discover that such professionals are coaching them on how to spend quality time in their heads.
I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution for 2022. I discovered years ago that these never work; I’ll just spend more time in my head, the place where reality is formed.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.