What If We Stop Conditioning Life?

By Katia Del Rivero

Versión en Español

Every month that goes by since Michael Blumenstein passed away I write a reflection. It seems useful to me in more than one dimension.

Going through this process, it’s good for me talking about him, and when I write on the profile he left on my care, I believe that in some way, he listens to me.

I believe there’s thousands of people in grief that don’t let themselves express or recognise what they feel because we live in a world that seems to love “packing” everything within processes, stages, times and ways; and when something is out from this standards it’s usually judged. So many choose to stay silent or not recognising consciously what they feel and I thought that perhaps sharing this reflection could be useful for them.

I’ve always thought that if we stay silent about what happens to us and “try being normal”, we only contribute to a world of appearances where I believe the dimension of life for life itself is lost.

And this is what this reflection is about. In the last post I wrote: “…I don’t have dreams, I don’t have ‘life projects’, there’s nothing that makes me passionate and at the same time — as paradoxical as it seems (you were the Master of paradox and would probably smile reading this) — I’m doing the tiniest of my everyday actions with passion; I’m trying to make a contribution, to be useful to others, to leave something that reminds them their enoughness in front of life; I’m doing my everyday work a life project… it doesn’t matter if lasts only for a moment.”

From my perspective it was almost “an ode to life” and I was surprised in a dimension the reactions of others.

  • Whaaaaaaaat? You can’t live without dreams.
  • I’m sure you are super depressed, you have to seek for something that gives your life a meaning l, a life project.
  • You can’t leave without something that makes you passionate, passion connects.
  • It’s so sad reading you like this!

And I asked myself a lot: where does the “ I’m doing the tiniest of my everyday actions with passion; I’m trying to make a contribution, to be useful to others, to leave something that reminds them their enoughness in front of life; I’m doing my everyday work a life project… it doesn’t matter if it only lasts a moment.” part was left?

It’s maybe the first time that I truly understand Michael’s last proposition where he only talked about “living”.

Where Do We Learned to Condition Life Like This?

If you don’t have dreams, it’s not life. If you don’t have a project/meaning of life, life itself doesn’t make sense. If you’re not passionate with life, you are not alive. If you are not happy, then what’s the point on living. If you don’t aspire for anything else, you are dead.

And it’s not like that! Without dreams there’s life. Without project there’s life. Without joy there’s life. Without passion there’s life. Without aspirations there’s life.

What’s the need to denigrate life conditioning it to a specific “way of life” that, also, is totalitarian in many cases?

I believe that this perspective is the one that has contributed to so many suicides and silent human grief.

Life exists whether you like it or not: whether you enjoy it or not, whether you live it happily or not, whether you are passionate about it or not, whether the person you love is with you or loves you or not.

And is precisely because life is not conditioned to any of this things that it has such an amazing strength.

I share Michael’s proposition that there’s a difference between “living” and “living a good life”. And please let’s see the emphasis in “living a good life”, not “having a good life”.

Because living a good life doesn’t depend on what you have (passion, dreams, projects, love, happiness), actually it depends on how you live.

Then alternatives pop up:

  • I don’t have my dream job”… It doesn’t matter! I turn the job I have into my dream job.
  • “I don’t feel happy, I wish I was curvy/slim/had a boyfriend/leave my husband”… Until I’m ready to move and do something to take me where I say I want… I live what I have today like it was what I cherish the most.
  • “I don’t have the life I want or I don’t have it with the person I wish I had it”… Then I want the life I have with whom I have it.

Lots of people are afraid of this kind of perspective because they “futurize”. That’s so mediocre, you have to seek for your dream job! You have to change what doesn’t make you happy! You have to be with those who you want in the way you want!

Let’s be honest, we don’t have the certainty that when we change it is going to be as we want. Do you know how many people I accompany because they believe they made “wrong choices”?

Life is life for itself. Choosing to live it fully doesn’t depend on what’s there, neither limits what could be there. It only increases the chances that it doesn’t matter what there is, still is a good life.

And yes, in my case I definitely don’t have the life of my dreams… that life was beside my husband, waking up in his arms, learning from him and with him, leaving the totality I lived with him… It doesn’t matter! I’m alive! Even if I don’t know why or what for.

So while I search for my dream life and the meaning of the life I have, I make the life I have the life I want, the life I dream, the life that makes me passionate, the life that’s useful.

Will I have the same life tomorrow? I don’t know. In any case whatever life it is, it will be the best life because is the life there is.

And for once I totally understand Michael’s peace, serenity, love, calmness, fullness even beyond the circumstances surrounding him.

Let’s remove conditionings to life, let’s value life for life itself and live a good life.