It’s Not As Important As You Think

Void & Light

Whatever it is…

Wherever you are….

It….is not as important as you think

Life’s script flips faster than we realize or ever remember. The voice inside screaming halt may, in fact, be correct. Or maybe, you underestimated yourself again.

Typically, fear gets the best of us and we react overdramatically. But seeing a situation truly, outside your own interests, can be sickening and before you know it, you’re the one puking all night from eating someone else’s bad shellfish.

It’s not always your fault.

Most all the time, “it” is out of your control.

And before you know it, before you ever realize it long enough for it to sink into the mainstream and consider the possibility of impossible, everything’s changed.


It’s gone.

Gone forever.


I just got out of the hospital a few weeks ago.

After spending two nights in the ICU, receiving my first angiogram, and thinking I almost died from a heart attack at the age of 26, all is well.

An estimated 10% of people die from myocarditis.

Two weekends ago, during my weekly jog around the city, I began experiencing the worst chest pain I’d ever felt.

Somewhere around the second mile of my run, the center of my chest began to hurt. Thinking I could run through the pain and it would eventually go away, I reassured myself of my abilities and continued to focus on breathing in and out.

The pain escalated quickly becoming unmanageable and I had to stop and sit down. I grabbed the nearest bench and plopped down attempting to catch my breath. Pressure localized around the center of my sternum forcing my breastbone deeper towards the back of my body while the sides of my chest felt like they were being torn apart. Unable to settle my breathe, all I could do was sit patiently on the wooden bench and play around with the thought that I might end up passed out on the side of a Thai road, in the center of the city looking like another homeless or drunk, and it would be days before anyone actually realized I was dead.

Thai culture is extremely non-confrontational; avoidance especially eye contact, is a delicate but inescapable part of daily interaction. I couldn’t help but laugh at how a cultural difference, the primary reason I enjoy traveling, might ultimately be the death of me. The last thing a Thai passerby would think of doing is disturbing my restful corpse.

Apparently, the onset of symptoms of myocarditis feel almost similar to heart attack.

Panting heavily on the bench and holding my chest, I realized my own similarities to heart attack. My right forearm was completely numb (although, typically people having heart attacks usually experience numbness and tingling along the left side of their bodies), I still could not breathe completely, my pumping heart raced, and it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest while two gorillas played tug of war with my pecks.

An hour later I laid in the emergency room with an IV plugged into my left hand, multicolored electrical wires covered my bare chest, and thick handcuff style metal lockets gripped around my ankles measuring my vitals.

Three days, angiogram, EKG, and multiple vials of blood later, my diagnosis, at best, was determined as myocarditis or inflammation of the heart. Thankfully, angiogram discovery showed that my arteries had zero blockages and I did not have a heart attack.

On the third day, my vitals stabilized and the cardiologist allow me to leave the hospital recommending that I take at least a week of bed rest and avoid exercise.

So for the past two weeks, I’ve been resting, not going to work, relaxing, watching TV, and sleeping whenever I feel like it.

I’ve also done a bit of reading, hardly any writing, and a lot of contemplating on life in general, my personal life, and how I’m living it.

In spite of all the pain I’ve endured, I realize my situation could’ve been worse: malaria, a motorbike accident, dengue fever, or permanent physical impairment are a few more common occurrences around the city where I live that could have dramatically altered my means to life.

There are plenty of people in the world who are suffering worst than me. My particular case is nothing special.

What I’ve Learned Over The Past Two Weeks

Opinions, concerns, and unsophisticated judgments come plain and easy when you are the one whose well-being is at stake. When it comes time for others to face their own issues surrounding their health and well-being, the majority will react irrationally instead of responding consciously; ignorance is the most natural and protective reaction when we don’t know how to handle a situation. When danger is a real threat, facing it is uncomfortable. The people that love and care about you, friends, family, and colleagues, are the first people to throw up their fearful opinions and ill advice. The extent that these people want to aid and control your situation can be relentless. Most of these people have honest and sincere intentions, but in a time where one needs comfort, reassurance, and most importantly a level-minded approach, scared and unsound judgment are the last concernments. To live a courageous life, we must never succumb to decision-making that rests on the grounds of fear.

I’ve learned that it’s perfectly normal to be scared, concerned, and to want to avoid unnecessary pain; but, this does not give us permission to run away from our problems. Troughs happen.  It’s how we handle the wipeout that counts. Will we get back up on our surfboards after a taking a thrashing? Are we going to let the undertow drown us and pin us to the ocean floor? And, are we determined enough to rise and ride the next wave?

I’ve realized that as consciously aware of my health, diet, and exercise routine as I am, as much as I want to hold myself to a system that works, nothing can stop chaos from striking at any moment and disrupting my plan. The week before my injury, I’d run my fastest time to date. The following week I was in the hospital. And now for weeks to come, I cannot exercise.  [+1-1=0]

What I’ve come to realize is that everything we think of as being of the utmost importance is in the most literal sense not.

Invisible viruses, unforeseeable accidents, and incurable diseases can attack us out of the blue. The undercurrent that provides our lives its abundance has a sour side. Beneath our beholden and highly-esteemed consciousness radars, there is breaking down effect that constantly tears us down to nothing and rebuilds the facade of who we are. Unseen forces control the world and we are at their mercy regardless of whether we choose (or want) to accept them or not.

The purpose of writing this piece is not to rant or pretend that spending three days in the hospital has motivated me to change the way I live my life.

It hasn’t. But, it has reassured me of my conviction.

Holistic Vision: The Light of Death’s Rattle

Things, objectified phenomenon, are not as important as you think. The job you work at all week, the people who have offended you and who you can and will not forgive, the diet you think you must follow religiously, the guilt you feel over missing a workout or eating a candy bar, the book you need to finish before the year is up but haven’t been writing, the deadline, the contract, the settlement, the financial loss, the stress, all the places you haven’t been or seen, and the searching that has yet settle don’t matter.

None of “it” truly matters.

It is not going anywhere anytime soon. It will be there when you get around to it. As much as you try to control it, you can’t. It continues, even when you don’t.

Life can be seen truly, as if, for the first time, with clear eyes void of anxiety and still thought; two beaming eyes that do not front for false whispers stuck in mundane illusion or sticky misjudgment, but begin to hold all as one timeless current. Glancing without conceptual concern, without recognition to all that is around us; we become holy, and all is seen as being what it is: a wonderful decoration of perfect completion. When we constantly perceive the decorum designing our lives for the first and perhaps, last time, together specifically in a moment of one-timed-ness, we realize the beauty in and around us –finding only that which surrounds us: a beautiful mystery transcendent of limitation.

We tend to forget that tomorrow is not guaranteed. We loathe it, we loathe today and everything we have to do, including all those priorities we hold in the highest esteem that aggravate us and make our lives so urgently unfulfilled.

Take it or leave it.

Believe it or not.

Set your own constraints or liberate yourself from a design you think you must follow.

None of it is not important as you think.


Image Source: Jared Tarbell’s Flickr