“Buddhism has a word called Vipassanā, or (vipaśyanā) (विपश्यना for all of you Sanskrit speakers. It means insight into the true nature of reality, and it’s Three marks of existence: impermanence, suffering [or unsatisfactoriness], and non-self.
“Roughly translated they mean nothing is permanent including you, shit happens and you aren’t a special snowflake.”
“What!? WTF? F@€% you for saying that, I am too a special snowflake!” My mind is spinning.
I read this ‘proverb’ weeks ago from one of my favorite, thought provoking, facebook tribe. My immediate, knee-jerk[face] reaction was to be incensed and annoyed. How dare someone tell us all that we aren’t special…I’m special.
I am really.
I may have done some trudging around, had a bit of defiance in my step, while ruminating about this particular ignorance. Days past and I pondered. Wow, you think you know a religion and then…then this…not a special snowfake…none of it matters.
It all matters…right?
As the blind, indignation of being told I wasn’t special faded and my ego tried to recover I kept thinking and pondering this perspective on Vipassanā.
At some point in my dejectedness I realized that while no two snowflakes are the same, they are still all snow. We don’t catch a snowflake on our mittens and rejoice over how insanely unique each one is, it’s just snow. I hate admitting it, but snow is neat (from far away or whilst on vacation…oh and on Christmas…) but snow is just snow.
For some reason in the interim of exploring why I was upset to not be special I happened across another personal gem. I’m struggling to find the words to relate, in a way that will make sense and have as few ums, and grunts as possible, so stay with me.
What does it all mean if none of it means a dang thing? What’s the fucking point of all of it?
There’s no point so let go. You’ll never be special. You’ll never be perfect…
I can finally start a naked commune at my house and quit wearing clothes, stop tempering my potty mouth, start smoking and drinking like I’m the rockstar I thought I’d be by now…
Just when I was about to give it all away a quiet whispering threaded its way into my noodle
…”know by doing…”
It doesn’t make sense now that I’ve written it but in my heart I understood it to mean that we can believe whatever we want about the person we are, but do we know it because we’ve experienced it.
We may believe that our morals are unshakable, our resilience to adversity above the cut. We can believe that we are charitable, and that we know how to work hard, have great love and or an unmatched ability to forgive…insert whatever beliefs you have about who you are…what makes you ‘special’?
Do I live it, I must ask.
When challenged within my iniquities do I faulter? Do I succumb to my addictions, my frailty, my fragility, impulses, desires, do I indulge in my gluttony? If I do, do I recover, do I confront failures or continue to make excuses, give up, turn up the volume of distractions, defining who I am, not by my actions but by my own inner dialog so that I can live without guilt, without change and without experiencing the fullness of my best version of me?
Can I be in pursuit of becoming the most stunning version of myself or do I need the validation of being special.
When I get over that “rainbow bridge” I want to look at my reflection and not see all the places I let myself down –holes in my soul–for not working as hard as I could have, not living as much as I should have, not giving all I have…I want to see perseverance, generosity, forgiveness, resilience, muscles from hard work and brains from learning. I imagine lots of scars across my body and my heart, and I hope that everyone of them turns into a treasured memory of becoming stronger, better, smarter, kinder, quicker and I hope I still have a mean, twisted sense of humor.
I don’t want to be snowflake, I want to be a beast!