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An update--doing well

Hi John, Carla, and community-

Just wanted to drop you guys a quick note to let you know that I'm still looking and doing well. One theme that seemed to come up repeatedly in recent podcasts is wanting some kind of signal that the looking has done its job, some confirmation of having reached the end point of the process or at least confirmation that the looking is working. I was very interested in those conversations because that sense of completion/having "made it" used to be what I craved most strongly in doing this work. I understood quite well intellectually what John's frequent response that there is no point of completion because life has no point of completion, but understanding that idea didn't make the craving go away. Well, through no particular action or process that I know of, I don't have that craving anymore. That's not to say it won't come back, but for quite a while now I just haven't really been thinking about/interested in whether or not I'm "done." That question feels, to borrow John's phrase, beside the point (I can't think of any better way to put it). I'm here, always the same and unharmed, and living my life, which is always changing.

I spend less time now thinking about my relationship with my life than I used to, but when I do, it does seem like things have changed quite a lot. I never really got what John was talking about when he'd say to look at my relationship with life in order to check for effects of the looking, and that the closing of the gap between me and my life would be a sign that the looking is working. Even though I had a feeling this wasn't what John meant by that, I just couldn't imagine what this "closing of the gap" would feel like other than that I would like my life more and have more pleasant feelings, all unpleasant feelings would go away, etc.--in other words, everything we think we're going to get from every other thing we've ever tried to make life right. Well, that's not exactly where I'd say I am now; but I do relate very strongly to something John once described as the relationship with life "disappearing." I feel like that's exactly what's happening with me, my relationship with life--all the commentary and judgement about what's going on in my life, what's not right, what needs to be fixed, frustration over how hard it's going to fix these things, despair over the sense that I won't be able to do it--those things are disappearing. And in the fading away of that relationship, I am starting to feel more at home in my life. These are things I don't notice unless I make a concerted effort; most of the time these days I just do what I need to do, enjoy doing things I like, deal with problems as they arise (and grumble a bit, but don't get nearly as miserable as I used to). It's sort of like a persistent bad taste I used to have in my mouth all the time is fading away, and that's wonderful, but I don't even notice the fading away so much because I'm more interested in paying attention to the new tastes I'm experiencing now that they're not masked by the bad taste.

That's not at all to say all anxiety and pain have departed; but lately, I'm kind of ok with those things being around. They come when they come, and a while later they go away. Living is good smily

Love and gratitude to John and Carla, and all the folks in the community.



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