Sitting in the jungle

It often feels as if that next thing, that next life-changing goal is just right around the corner. Just another short stretch of jungle and a patch of breezy, beautiful break in the thickness of the trees will be awaiting peacefully. Just a little longer holding your jaw clutched tight, pushing through with all your might, and this thick treacherous jungle will be behind you once and for all. Just a little longer: a day, a week, a month, a year. No matter how short or long the next stretch may be, you should just pull through. Then, once in the clear, you will be able to allow yourself to finally rest and peacefully enjoy your success in its fullness. So, do not stop, do not lose speed or your momentum will be lost. Just keep going, you are almost there.
Yet, looking behind, sometimes it seems as if this jungle never even ended before. Didn’t acne turn into high school drama, which then morphed into college applications? Didn’t the heart ache of the the first few months of a relationship turn into the problems of finally being with each other? Didn’t the joy of becoming a parent morph into the worries and exhaustion of parenthood? Didn’t the aches of looking for a job suddenly become the pains of one job and then those of the next? Doesn’t it vaguely seem as if one stretch of jungle morphs into another, each time leaving you to anticipate the illusion of the next patch of green grass? Meanwhile, you were so obsessed with making it through the new patch of jungle, that you did not realize that the previous one had ended after all and you entirely missed that patch of grass that you had been longing for, finding yourself already projected right into the next part of the jungle. This whole thing seems a bit disconcerting.
In all of this jungle trekking, did you know that thousands of beautiful birds live in your jungle? Did you hear the sounds or see the colors of this incredibly complex and delicate ecosystem that is your very own jungle? Most likely, you did not, busy as you have been trying to get through it, blinded by the illusion of the green lawn ahead. Who said that the jungle is a bad place after all? Ins’t it just the most needed place on earth, the beating heart and the breathing lungs of the planet, where trees grow and fall, destroying the vegetation around and making space for new, healthy ones to grow? What if for once you did something revolutionary? What if you just sat and let yourself take in this jungle of yours, right in the middle of it? Even if the next patch of grass is just around the corner? What if you did not in fact wait for the next seemingly perfect grass, but instead sat right there where you are, on the muddy dirt or maybe on a slippery rock , with mosquitos and all? Just like that, no big deal: you could get some rest, take a breather and take in the flowers, the snakes, the mosquitos and all that life has to offer, right here, right now, in all of its unfinished imperfection. Maybe, after some rest, for a change, the trek will seem less exhausting. Maybe, who knows, if you get into bird watching, at times this whole journey may even resemble a stroll. I even heard that some people who reached that famous grassy patch, got bored after a bit and jumped back in the jungle. Crazy stuff. What an inconceivable idea, you better get moving, the breezy grass is just around the corner, that anxiety of getting there is mounting.. you already spent too long in the jungle reading this blog post.

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