Bixiing my way to September’s Creative Morning. Running late, as one does on a Friday morning (couldn’t resist that chocolate protein shake with bananas and heavily buttered toasts – a girl needs to fuel her ride).
I always go down University street to get to the bike path on Maisonneuve. Except today. Today, I’m feeling wild and free. As a true at heart cycling cowgirl, I get to the red light on the corner of Sherbrooke and turn right.
Who cares? The four cops having coffee in front of McGill Campus. One more little fish caught in the nets of the municipal justice. Another $127 into the state coffers.
Who cares. I’ll just plaid non guilty. This rule is stupid, advocates of cyclists have been trying to change it for years now.
I finally get to the conference, just in time to fill my Mason Jar with fresh coffee with a hint of soy milk. I text friends about the ticket, acting mad, even if I know somehow it’s really no big deal.
I’m so right. And the next 30 minutes are how life has decided to show me why.
Inspired by the month’s theme, Jasmin Lavoie tells us about what it really means to be immersed in chaos. The risks of war zones. The issues of violated rights. The dangers of fail states.
That’s what we call a reality check, my friends.
How many times do I get fixated on minor issues, on little things I amplify to make my life more interesting? How many times do I take for granted my education, my job, my house and holdings? Believe I am entitled to that comfortable life, that I should be able to do whatever the fuck I want, when I want.
That I don’t have to follow any rule.
The truth is I’m not. Shame on me for ever forgetting that I’m just lucky as hell to have been born here. I don’t deserve more or less than the woman whose rights and freedom are amputated, who may very likely suffer the loss of a father, a sister or a child.
Too often we act as victims. We choose the easy way out, the self-righteousness, to protect our ego, to excuse us from having to show up and take action. Exempted from having to fight for our survival, we create our own mental chaos. A smokescreen that keeps us safe in a bubble full of our unique fantasies, a world where everything should be served to us on a silver plate. We are trained to think there must be something superior than what we already have and that we should pursue it.
“The self is like a cracked mask that is in constant need of being pieced together. But behind the mask there is nobody at home.” – Neel Burton
When we do so, we tend to obliterate the obvious : we already have so much, more than we can handle most of the time. What we need is not to do more or to have more, it’s to be more.
If you’re reading this, I guess on your iPhone or some other fancy device, it’s probably because you are as privileged as I am to be writing it on my MacBook Air. Of course, nothing is perfect, but we are never the victims we pretend to be in our stories.
We can do better than. We have to. We need to rise up to the dignity of our human condition.
It’s only once we’ll get pass our own self-deception, as we shed the walls our ego has elevated around us, that we will finally ascend to our true greatness. It won’t be all rainbowns and unicorns, but at least it will be real.
If you decide to embark on this journey, be aware : it’s a long, tortuous journey, a path full of pitfalls. Life’s not easy, we will encounter obstacles and reverseals.
Sometimes external conditions threaten our life. It’s not my case. How crazy that it took me decades to come to that conclusion, to realize how blessed I am. As the clouds dissipate, I feel the sun rays lightly kissing my face. From the outside in. From the inside out. Because the heaviest, darkest ones were my own. All along the misery was my creation. All the thinking about what others were thinking about me, all the perfectionism, all the control as an attempt to get a grasp on something, anything. I choose otherwise. I choose to let myself be touched by grace, and use that superpower to show up.
There are real fights taking place right now in our world. We might not make it. We need all of us to get strong and stand up for those who can’t. We need you and I to put aside our stories and get to work. We need your divine light.
Needless to say, with deep respect and gratitude towards our imperfect democracy, I will gracefully pay that damn ticket.