By Lee Glazier
Man—I thought to myself—why do you try so hard and think so much?
You’ve got a real Achiever thing going, thinking that if you just cross that t and dot that i you’ll be set. But what if you got everything you wanted, Dude? What if you got the good job, the girl, the life? What then?
Well, then you’d have to fight to keep it because it sure as shit ain’t gonna stay that way on its own. And then it’s not only you, man. Everyone involved would have to fight for it too. Is that what you want, man? To fight forever? To keep struggling and spinning in circles?
No, I replied to myself, I just want to be loved. So be loved, Dude! Love yourself! I know that sounds impossible, but it’s all you’ve got, man. It’s all there is. Whether you’re alone and penniless, or a millionaire with the one you love, you’re still with yourself.
So, fuck it, Dude.
But I hate myself. That’s because ya keep comparing yourself to others or to some imaginary version of yourself, some Perfect You that has no, ya know, basis in reality. You’re never gonna be perfect. The taller you get, the higher that ceiling gets.
So I should just give up?! Stop trying and be a loser?! Nah, Dude. There’s nothing you should do, that’s what I’m saying. Should’s, could’s, would’s, have to’s and meant to’s are all BS. You don’t have to try and you don’t have to give up. You’re underestimating just how informal and willy-nilly the cosmos is, man.
What it comes down to, and I’m not gonna beat around the bush here, is that you’re just afraid to be free. Ya keep looking for some way to define yourself, some goal or trait or relationship, and that’s because you think you’ll float away without that.
Newsflash buddy: you’re floating away right now!
We can’t not float away, that’s how we got here to begin with. Everything’s floating, everything’s moving and grooving, bumping and grinding, bubbling and popping. You can’t control it, it’s beyond you. It’s life, Dude. For an unplanned pregnancy, you sure are worried about making mistakes, haha!
Loosen up, man. We’re all in freefall here. Do some somersaults or something.
But what if that’s the wrong path? Dude, come on, it’s only the wrong path if you don’t get to where you’re going, but don’t ya get it? We’re not going anywhere because shit keeps changing. There are rough roads and smooth roads, new roads and old roads but there aren’t any right or wrong roads because they don’t stop, ya know?
And what I’m talking about here isn’t even a road, Dude. It’s a way of traveling. A way of seeing, walking, and feeling that makes you feel at home on any road you’re on.
But it takes a leap, man, it really does because everyone is going to try to con you into giving up your basic freedom. They’re going to say, “This is the right road,” and do everything they can to make you agree with them.
So you’ve got to choose freedom everyday, got to remember the willy-nilly everyday. If you forget, then you’re gonna get infected with uptightitis and think that you’re heading to some big, “This is it!” again.
You’ve got to swat aside should’s, could’s and would’s like they’re mosquitoes.
Life isn’t a story, it’s a series of sensations that the brain desperately tries to string together long enough for us to pop out some babies, Dude. None of this is a big deal. Take a breath, eat some Cheerios, slather yourself in pudding and run through the neighborhood shouting, “They’re coming! They’re coming!” Fuck it, Dude. Let’s go bowling.
It’s just hard. I’m wired to grab hold of every little bit of life that comes my way. And if nothing’s coming my way, I’m miserable until it does. Life is you, Dude. It’s not, ya know, outside of you. You’re alive. No matter what you do with your life, you’re alive. You get to be here. You get to see, hear, taste and touch. Not everyone gets that, man. Shit, you were born a month early, so you barely got that.
There’s no such thing as wasting your life or living it fully, those are just silly human ideas, monkey talk. I mean, what are you, Dude? You’re the Earth. You’re water, minerals, air and energy but, uh, ya live like you’re different from all the things around you, ya know? Like you’re different from the mountains, streams and trees. You’re not, man. So it’s okay. Look around at how everything abides. Take a breather. Learn to let go.
“Dude” Lee Glazier is a Dudeist Priest, Zen adherent and Taoist enthusiast from Golden, Colorado. He likes reading, writing, hiking, taking baths, listening to classic rock, drinking White Russians, smoking, and having the occasional acid flashback. The only thing he truly believes is that everyone needs to slow down, mellow out, and unwad their underpants. He feels that that would solve all the world’s problems in a heartbeat. “Do you have the patience to let the mud settle and the water clear?”
Editor: Dana Gornall
Other titles you might like:
Overthinking & the Zen of Pancakes: How to Abide in Simple Thinking
- You’ve Heard about Right Effort, What about Non-Effort? - May 11, 2023
- A Missing Cell Phone and a Zen Whack - April 30, 2023
- Hope for the Present - March 18, 2023