Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Personal detachment

Its an interesting feeling, that you are attached to the things around you, be it materialistic things like cash, cars or clothes, or people, or habits or addictions like cigarettes and coffee, or alcohol induced happiness, or the rush of meeting new beautiful people. These are all attachments, they make you feel glorious, powerful, untouchable. But what if one day someone or something takes all that away? What would you have left? How would you feel? Would you feel depressed, alone, and weak? If so, then you join the ranks of everyone else too consumed in the rat race of urban life that ultimately you have forgotten the meaning of true happiness, or contentment.

Many years ago I participated in an unforgettable camp, it was somewhat an outward bound school type survival camp, where we were taught skills, to overcome our fears, to be observant, to be confident, and to rise above these elements in the form of challenges. One of the things I remember being drilled into us was, 'I will not remain in my comfort zone.' The comfort zone is defined as all of the above things, your bed, your air conditioning, your money, your phone, ultimately everything that makes your life comfortable. Over there, we slept on hard, simple beds, too tired to complain about comfort, we slept on wooden planks in tents, getting bitten by what I wrote in my review as 'gung ho mosquitoes', because they really did attack you no matter how much insect repellent you attempted to apply. But we slept anyway from exhaustion. So much so that after the camp ended when I got back, I slept on the floor, perhaps as a way to reminisce about the whole ideology, or simply because it felt good to be detached from all these things that didn't seem to be that important anymore.

Its from there that I cultivated my mentality of being detached once in a while from my comfort zone. All the things that make me, me. Quite a number of people have commented that I have all these things around me, perhaps that is why I am happy. But honestly speaking, that doesn't really make a person. So I started being detached recently from all these things, I kept thinking of 'what if' scenarios, and then I was at that place again, where everything was simple, everything was essential, and then from there on I would build my life again, assembling everything from ground up. Making sure that I don't end up being consumed in the things around me.

Perhaps it helps to be a little jaded too, so that one remains unaffected in the event unfortunate events happen, I've written before that things do happen to me, so much so that I've grown accepting of these events as part and parcel of life, so whether I like it or not, I'd have to deal with it eventually. But it gets easier to deal with it when you know where you stand, when you know what's important to you, what you can live with, what you can live without.

Just yesterday someone asked me, 'How are you?' Such simplicity in words to elicit a similar answer, 'I am good.' But said in an honest manner, it really is self-explanatory. However, what he does not realize is that I am not happy because of the material things that I have, but rather from what I've learnt over the past few weeks about myself, about love, and about life. True happiness is knowing that you'd still be happy and living life irregardless of comfort zone.