Throwing Away All My Parts
Just to see what remains
I like being empty. It feels like being transparent. It feels like you’re a container with nothing in it and able to receive fully. Whenever I let go of my ideas of how life should be, I create space to notice what life is.
This is scary too because throwing your parts away means you’re not sure if you’ll have enough parts to function in life. Of course, I don’t mean body parts. That would be weird. How can you even think that? I mean ideas and concepts we hold on to.
What makes it so scary? It makes you uncertain financially, physically and socially. These are basic needs we have on a daily basis. However, viewing everything through our financial, physical, and social lenses, clouds what we are really looking at and what life really wants to show us.
Almost daily, I try to throw away all my ideas of life. I try to look at things for what they are in their essence. I try to look at the universe and see what it really is.
A Different View
For example, when I walk in my city, Rotterdam, I see city life. I see people working for money and I see the authorities trying to preserve order. People are busy running around in order to pay bills. In a hurry. I see that the city consists of stones for roads and houses. There aren’t a lot of trees and you can’t look too far in the distance because of the tall buildings. So, if I’m walking through Rotterdam and only notice these things, life is quite boring.
It’s boring because I look at the city through a financial, physical, and social lens. If I throw those things away, I can look at the city with whole new eyes. Now I can see that I’m in a place on planet earth, floating between stars. There’s a star nearby which gives us energy and helps us grow. This is the only planet, as far as we know, that has water and makes human life possible. So all the people I see walking around are actually little miracles.
The trees resemble lungs and they both are working together. There are animals and plants between us and the whole universe is moving around just being the universe. For free.
Why Do We Keep Parts That Don’t Work For Us Anymore?
- Because we got used to them. Like Camille Grady said, being hurt in the same way feels safer than change.
- We really believe in the wisdom people gave us. They told us we should take care of ourselves financially, physically, and socially. They meant good but they hyper-focussed on only these parts. Parents want their kids to never be poor, ill, or alone. So they teach us that we have to work and get married to have a good life. What they forgot to tell us is that life has other basic needs too: feeling good about ourselves, knowing we are floating through space, and deeply knowing we are worthy just for being born.
- We don’t listen to our own thoughts and desires. I wrote about how most of our thoughts aren’t even our thoughts. We picked them up somewhere and heavily identified with it. We pride ourselves for achieving things that OTHER people want to achieve. By doing so, we waste so much of life living other people’s lives. Not only does this hurt as emotionally, it also hurts us physically.
How To Throw Away Your Parts (Temporarily)
Just take 2 to 5 seconds to let go of all your thoughts. Let go of all your ideas, dreams, wishes, and desires. Let go of your self-image and of your social responsibilities. Just for 2 to 5 seconds. Our kids will be safe, it’s a short time to let go of our duties. In those seconds, just observe and notice.
One of the tips I like from Nisargadatta Maharaj is: don’t react. Whenever a situation happens in life, we want to react. Whenever you feel compelled to react, notice that it is usually to protect one of these aspects: financial, physical, or social. I’m not telling people to disregard these aspects, but just notice how much they influence you. Ask yourself: how would I WANT to react if I wasn’t reacting through those aspects? What if I reacted through my values? What if I reacted from knowing that earth is a beautiful chance and life doesn’t require me to only make choices based on how much certainty I can create?
The 2–5 seconds of emptiness and the non-reaction really help me to be empty and to be able to look at life through a clear lens. A lens that isn’t coloured by things I don’t even value.
My fictional story The Winner is actually about how we might gain success and still feel unfulfilled. You can read it here.