DAYS 37 & 38: 6 Minutes & 10/20 Seconds of Gazing

sunset and lampposts
Brian Hogan

I got drunk with one of my closest friends who I hadn’t seen in a while and slept through morning gazing on day thirty-seven. I somehow missed it that night too, more focused on my hangover than my spiritual overhaul. I was just about to lay into myself for this lapse in judgement, and missing gazing over it too. Well I oughta be ashamed. But I’m not. That’s what the clarity of the sun has really offered me so far in this early part of phase one. Self-acceptance is the first step before self-improvement can even be a possibility. So I forgive, I chuckle at my willful disobedience, and I just let it go. I woke up vibrant and ready on day thirty-eight and gazed, knowing the sun had already moved on and was happy just to see me showing up again. He traveled all the way around the world just to be here with me today. 

I suppose the ups and downs of the journey are what make life interesting. At least that’s what I used to believe and that’s probably a big part of why my life has been a wild ride from the day I came screaming into the delivery room straight through until today. From the summer I spent living in a family friend’s attic while my mom struggled to sustain her children and her dignity while getting a higher education, to my time traveling around war-torn Africa helping the poor get medicine with my then born-again Christian buddies, the adventure has raged. From 184 pounds to 134 pounds and back again, the ebbs and flows of my life seem to be right on tune with the ups and downs of my jean size. From my days guzzling coca-cola to my days snorting cocaine I waited in long lines in the amusement park of life, determined to try every single ride they had to offer. As I now sit on the bench, nauseous from the fried dough and the non-stop action, I search for a gentler ride. So I’ve started chanting, and sun gazing, and by some miracle I’ve started slowing down. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been having a blast. But like any day at a the amusement park, I’m ready to wind down in the air-conditioning and sleep in the backseat of the car as I journey back home. 

I made myself comfortable in the world of debauchery, excess and the unusual because I crack under the weight of others judgement. I wish this wasn’t true, but I just can’t stand to be judged. On the fringes of our organized society there is far less judgement and more tolerance because by it’s very nature the fringes include the weird, the misfit, the inappropriate, the edgy, risky, raunchy and downright disrespectful, they’ve adapted with a thicker skin and a highly developed sense of adventure. So people living and thriving out here have been conditioned to hold no judgements. Too many unusual things present themselves here, and forming opinions about each and every one and carrying those opinions around would prove exhausting. So the philosophy of the fringe is “It’s cool dude, as long as it’s harmony. And if it’s not harmony but not violent it’s still cool. And if it is violent but also consensual, well that’s cool too.” So in short, it’s cool, dude. This nonchalance about my eccentricities and boldness and quirks relieves me, even soothes me. But I don’t feel at home in the world of excess anymore. It has been a good friend to me, giving me experiences of fun, acceptance, meaning and of course love. It was a part of my destiny to ride every roller coaster I got on, asking my Better Judgement to wait for me at the end and please hold my jacket. But destiny has moved on. My Better Judgement wants to go, and my will wants to go now too. It’s been a long day. But just where am I going, that’s anybody’s guess. 

Without getting into too many details because my mom reads this and I don’t want her to worry, I had my fun with drugs and sex and bending the law and all the crazy stuff the kids have been doing. I found meaning there. I found something familiar. Vestiges of the energies of past lives maybe; or perhaps I just had to sow some wild oats. Now I long for meaning some place else, the horizons of new adventure, with the sun and with my soul. The hardest part of this journey has been to finally realize once and for all that shame and regret over choices I’ve made is more destructive than any of the consequences of the choices actually ever were. There were consequences, but they were my teachers. The consequences have formed me. The self-loather and self-pitier who wasn’t patient enough with the Brian going through those adventures is the one who made the journey harder than it had to be. You can’t learn a life lesson when all you’re focused on is how you screwed something up. I believe we are given just what we need, just when we need. And that’s why even though I drank too much and missed a day of my quest because of it, I’m going to let that go. Indeed, the light-hearted energy of the sun is why I can let it go. Today’s lesson: forgive thyself.

SIDE EFFECTS: Obviously drinking too much can fuck anything up.

BENEFITS: I feel more love because I love myself more. Finally knowing that clearly is worth the price of a hangover.

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About Brian

About Brian

Brian is a Writer, Clarity Coach, Filmmaker and Adjunct Professor who loves teaching and learning, and living in the uncertainty of it all.

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