Some days, wouldn’t you like to hang this sign out to the world.
Sorry people, I am closed for business.
Not looking at you.
Not stepping out into the day.
It is all too hard or all too bothersome.
Just like the Chiang Mai noodle vendor who religiously runs out of noodles every day at 2pm.
‘No noodle for you! Come back tomorrow.’
Or the old Cornish baker who sells his pastries before lunch.
‘Dear customers, we have no pastries left.’
The door is closed and the yeast is in the cupboard.
Come back another day…..preferably next week.
Yes, wouldn’t it be wonderful to just shut the door on the world.
Cease trading and close up the shop.
Decide to shun human connection and sit in a darkened room watching re-runs of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy until we can quote Gollum verbatim.
And to ensure our isolation we will order home delivered pizza and sleep in the crumbs and stale discards of barbeque chips.
Coke Zero will be our lord and master. We will arrange an altar of empty plastic bottles and worship the dark, sweet, liquid master.
‘It burns, it burns.’
What did you say Gollum?
‘It hurtsss our eyes, the light hurtttss our precious eyes!’
So, we will draw the blinds closer and roll the doona tighter and retreat into the sweet abyss of Middle Earth.
Unfortunately, Lord of the Rings is a fantasy (albeit a grand one) and so is hanging up the ‘sorry we are closed’ sign.
Fantasy can be a short term fix as long as we keep it short and in perspective.
Fantasy is a pretty way of dressing up avoidance and when not kept in check, fantasy can gradually become psychosis. As Freud argues, this particular individual will develop neurosis and use justification to keep slipping back into fantasy.
Often, the inflamed anxiety that drives the fantasy warps into addiction and this is when we lose our freedom of choice.
As Rick James says;
‘Cocaine is a helluva drug.’
We all have our own cocaine and our ‘go to’ addiction becomes our conduit to fantasy and avoidance.
When the pattern becomes regular, the resultant, destructive behaviour can be extremely difficult to break.
An attractive, short term fix can morph into a long term jail sentence.
Lets face it, modern life can be challenging.
It is irritating.
In fact, I argue that our natural state IS discontent, so all the effort we put into avoiding discontent is a waste of time.
Unfortunately, the solution to our angst is acceptance, action and change.
The very effort we avoid is the exertion we need to apply to come out of our self-imposed funk.
Happiness is in fact a choice and a difficult choice because we can always find a person, place or thing to create distraction, and that very distraction often turns into resentment, fear and anger.
It is easy to wallow in our own self-pity but it is much harder to choose the way of light and the spirit.
And please do not confuse spirituality with religion.
Religion is the creation of man and spirituality is our personal journey to God and our community.
So why don’t we get moving!
Throw off the doona, pick up the empty pizza boxes, turn on the light, open the blinds and turn off Netflix.
Put your mobile in the top drawer, put away your school year book, take off that old T shirt and go and have a shower.
Wash your hair, put on some nice clothes, give yourself a hug and go for a walk.
You may bump into someone who will change your life forever.
And if not, the song of a bird or the setting of the sun could be the very medicine that makes you well.