What do you see?

Imagine a beach.

Or any stretch of land, really. Anything that speaks of serenity and appears fixed, but feels transient.

Hold onto that restlessness, that undercurrent of “This isn’t final.”

This is key. This is the thought you try to suppress every single day, and that which your human mind goes to ridiculous lengths to disprove by organizing, planning, checking off all those lists they publish every year to make you feel more in control. And to make you feel like we all know what we are doing.

To let you think, we walk on the beach.

Now imagine millions of identical, minuscule grains of sand. They make up the beach.

But they never see the beach.

They see themselves, everywhere they look. They see grains all around them, some being lifted up and tossed around, some sitting still for years and some constantly crashing around, struggling to find a more comfortable vantage point. Their perception of their existence is limited, entirely because their vision is limited. They do not know of any context other than that of all grains of sand seeming to congregate and shuffle around here. They resent the wind on some days, and welcome it on others. They are content in their ignorance of the source of this wind, but hate that they must admit their ignorance in the first place. And then it’s a new day and they do not have time to mull over the wind, because maybe today it does not matter and they get to decide everything for themselves.

All this while, the beach is calm. There is no chaos. The breeze is light and playful.

In one image, there is great disparity between perceptions and no real understanding of who or what is really in control. And this is the crux of it.

We hold onto this illusion of control, fooling ourselves so we won’t break down, helpless. We take a step back every time it all gets overwhelming and try to walk on the beach and take charge and assume a holistic position. But it gets us nowhere, because we are in too deep to rise above the mush of life. We cannot possibly rise above, because the reality of it is that we are minuscule.

How can grains ever know that there are two never-ending blues – the sea and the sky – instead of just the one they see above them.

It is when you let go of this illusion, of being in control and of knowing the greater context in which you exist – that you are truly free.

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