Lives contract as closed minds sap our souls
A friend said something the other day that would resonate with many of us. “I just feel as time goes on that my life is getting smaller.”
She went on to explain that she felt the world had contracted. She was no longer flying around having adventures like she did when she was younger. Travelling was expensive and tiring with kids involved.
She was no longer at the height of her career, feeling the weight of being left behind by new technology and multitaskers.
She said she’d stopped going out at nights. This was a big one for her; a lover of bands and music festivals, she would be dancing the night away.
But her husband preferred TV and she said his lethargy rubbed off on her.
“I wonder if it’s his fault my world has gotten smaller … if he wanted to go out and do more things … then maybe I would.”
I speculated that perhaps it was that expectation of things to come that made life seem big? Or perhaps just the freedom.
My life is big at times, sometimes medium. Sometimes small. I know that when I lived in Manhattan it seemed very big. When I lived in Israel as a journalist it was big. Some lovers made life big. When I gave birth and moved to Byron Bay, the new world seemed big, even in a small community. Having a child was a new adventure, too.
Now life does seems smaller.
I think our world seems big when things are fresh, stimulating and challenging. New people drove me forward, doing new things. Going back to uni a few years ago made the world seem big. New intellectual mountains to climb.
Things seem small when we are not stimulated. And perhaps it’s true. Boring marriages; bad sex; indifferent children; boring careers, even hobbies and the same friends can make things seem contracted.
It’s important to look regularly at what is a big life to each of us. Adventure? Money? Richness of relationships? Family? Fame? Great sex? Travel? A soulmate?
What we all need is a nourishing life. Not by other people’s standards or in competition with the fascinating glitterati. We’ve seen too many people we admire die young as a result of addictions related to fear, or their own creative contractions, loss of fame or beauty. Many seem bored with the same A-list parties.
But it’s big if we open new doors and stimulate ourselves constantly with fresh people and ideas regardless of finances or responsibilities. Closed doors are in our head.
The world hasn’t grown small. Opportunities haven’t always dried up. Often it’s we who have.