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  • Writer's pictureRai Cantisano

on the purposefully endless quest for (fill in the blank)

listen closely.

ask your body how it feels when you tell it "today, we're going to find love". mine immediately enters hunting mode. my eyes narrow, my mind starts to wonder who and what and where, and how am i going to make it happen, and do it right, my heart beat races, the same way it does when i feel sick, or euphoric. finding it is a task i now must fulfill.

if instead i offer myself "today, we're going to be in love", the game changes. i notice the plants in my apartment differently. i am aware of my heart, beating, but strong and steady, and did it grow a bit? my eyes moisten and suddenly, the urge to call a dear friend to whom i haven't spoken in months comes. being it is a state already available to me.

here's the thing. i overidentified with the first scenario for most of my life. who would i be if not the adventurer, the searcher, the finder? what would my days be consisted of, if I wasn't looking... for something? i derived my value from walking the path to a (implicitly impossible) dream. if i got there, and sometimes I kinda did, the euphoria would peak but then disappear. then i'd start again. what i didn't know i didn't know was that this precise cycle, sensation, high was what i was committed to creating. if i ever found love, it would be over. if i stopped struggling with money, it'd be a sort of death. it felt safer to be in it than over it.

i see a lot of artists identify with the struggle of being an artist, more than with the value of creating their art. some of my clients also get a kick out of being "on the way" to a life that they say they want. i get it. it's delicious. it's addicting. and it's the thing we must give up in service of getting to where we say we'd like to be.

the easiest way to know what we're committed to is to look at the results around us. it is safe to say, that if i find myself continuously trying to get somewhere, i am committed to the trying, not to the getting. because it feels good or, deep down, because i believe that it's what i deserve.

so what is my point here. awareness. that's all. when i started to see that i was choosing to be the maiden in the castle, looking out the window to find my beloved (and that i did so because that was my safe space - albeit miserable) i could choose. in or out. in my entrapment knowing that it was my decision or into the scary wild unknown, where love might actually find me.

i invite you to look, too.

may we all choose being where we want to be, whether it's on the endless roadtrip or the beach, holding hands.

P.S.: of course there is nuance to this conversation. systemic oppression, isms and varied levels of trauma us humans carry play a big part in our ability to generate results over time. some have denser deeper work to do than others, even though i believe everyone can ultimately do it, even if that takes extraordinary levels of support (which we all deserve).

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