Not What I Expected

April 7, 2023 3 By Lance Kelly

As the umbilical cord is cut, the first experience of this existence is not what I expected. I cry and wail in utter confusion having entered such a strange and alien world. As I gradually adjust to the condition of living, the reassuring love of my mother and those around me cushions the sense of separation since leaving the warmth and congeniality of the womb. The emotional condition of those I love disturbs me as I begin to make sense of where I am, but I’m powerless to intervene. The constant quarrelling and petty disputes within the family are not what I expected. The years of childhood pass by, heralded by the onset of puberty and the pure sexual energy of creation. This introduces a mind altering experience of life – which is certainly not what I expected.

With pleasure comes pain, a polarity of feelings with one side often in conflict with the other. This pendulum effect stokes an inner tension that keeps me vibrating out of kilter with people who are not on a similar wavelength. I find myself frequently at odds with those who profess to love me, and teachers at school whose only purpose appears to be holding me back from the experience in the world I think I need. I try to find love through the physical union with another. Despite the beauty and passion in the act itself, the feelings that linger afterwards create self-doubt and uncertainty. The initial attraction towards the other wanes in time and what was once a golden light of love becomes a pale shadow of its former radiance. Not what I expected at all.

The world beckons me to embrace its seductive suggestion of the fulfilment of every desire. I go to work and, try as I might to retain my individuality, become a carbon copy of those I scorned as a youth. Now with a partner and kids with responsibilities for their welfare, there’s a gradual realisation of what I’ve become. A sort of world weariness sets in as the years of being in the body begin to take their toll. And yet time appears to speed up with each passing season. At around the mid-point of the life something happens. I start to ask questions about the purpose of life that would have been meaningless not so long ago when absorbed in the drama of the world. Frequently I seek the sanctuary of nature or just sitting alone in my room. Something is dying inside. Friends begin to enquire if I’m okay and say that I’ve changed. This is because I’m not wearing the mask of my personality as before.

The people around me seem distant and unreceptive to how I now perceive life. It’s not their fault since they are just being what they are. In fact they are changing as a consequence of their love for me that they feel is leaving them. There is now a new knowledge emerging from a place within my being beyond description and I know I must leave behind anyone who cannot make this journey of self-discovery with me. I can see clearly that what I expected from the world is no longer there; in its place is a state of no expectation and an acceptance of the way things are. Never have I felt more alive and aware of the tremendous privilege of this epic undertaking. The next step into the unknown may well be challenging, but any feelings of uncertainty are contained as the creative aspect of being – the purity of life without fear.