A game of survival…

March 14, 2009 § Leave a comment


Have you ever slowed down, while in a crowded area, in a place like Times Square during rush hour? Have you ever taken a moment to really take in all of the people, rushing about looking either very focused or frazzled? Have you ever just wondered to yourself exactly where in the world all of these people are going, especially at such a breakneck speed?

I had one of those moments today. I was very calm during the evening rush hour commute and was in no particular hurry, so I decided to slow down and just take a moment to breathe. And as I did this, I took the time to watch people’ faces and their body language. I watched people running from one train to the next, with flushed faces and flapping bags. I observed the frenzy of the crowd, how it was so frenetic and yet no one was dazzled by its busy movement — oh the beauty of being a New Yorker…nothing really fazes you, lol.

Anyways, as I took in this whole scene, I thought again of where all of these people might be headed. Where oh where are they headed? And although there are millions of people in the vastness of New York City, I realized that all of these people were headed to the same place. A place where they felt safe…a place where they would (or at least hope to) encounter people and/or things that will bring them a sense of safety. Be it back to their families in their homes or be it the young travelers who wish to leave NYC for a more earthy surrounding. Whatever the space may look, feel and smell like, this space is universal amongst all of these people I saw….including myself.

Everyday we get up and go out into the world, moving away from our cocoons….our wombs of safety. And everyday, the game we play is making it back safely to our cocoons. Every single day, ours is a game of survival…a steadfast and yet deeply subconscious game of survival. Someone comes too close to you on the train, especially someone you deem as unsafe? You move away from that individual. Some people try to offer you something on the street, something you may not be inclined to trust? You decline the offer. Or quite simply, you play the “unseen and unwritten” rules of work so that you can keep your job for another day.

Survival. Playing this game of survival is what keeps us alive. Our animalistic instinct to live is what drives us to play this game of survival. And thinking about all of this on my quick commute back to my apartment, I thought that if the why of survival is completely based on our instinct as “evolved animals” and there is nothing further to the question, then what else is there to ponder about human existence in of itself? And then it dawned upon me that the question is not why do we rush to get back to our safe places? Our constant search to make our lives more fulfilling, more authentic and more than just playing this game of survival cannot be found in our animalistic instinct.

The only way we can succeed at making our lives more fulfilling and authentic is actually defining for ourselves what we need to survive. This sounds simple enough, right? Food, water and shelter, right? I mean sure…those three suffice for the physicality of our beings….but they do not fulfill our constant search for a more full feeling in our lives. That search for something more authentic comes from our souls. And it is at this point, trying to find out what our souls need to survive is where so many of us (myself included) get tripped up and get caught up in the wrong relationships, jobs, situations, etc.

So what does your soul need to survive?

P.S. Whatever makes you smile for no damn reason or makes you feel contented — that is a breadcrumb on the path to figuring out what your soul needs to survive.

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