I was in a pickle in Tuscon, Arizona. I needed to get to San Luis Obispo CA and things were going sideways. I was accompanied by a hot young man with whom I was having a little thing. Watcing me with some amusement as I dialed and dashed around town, he led me into an ancient crumbling church to say hi to Jesus and calm down for a moment. So what are you going to do, he asked, now that you’ve missed your train? I looked him sharply in the eye and said, I ALWAYS HAVE A BACKUP PLAN. He nodded, impressed. Yes, he said, you do. I went to Plan B, then Plan C, and sure enough landed up in SLO for New Years eve. The backup plan is my secret weapon. Also, it is a double-edged sword.
I know this pattern in my life. Without the usual anchors of security – property, progeny, parents, partner, possessions, position – I maintain, by way of insurance, Plan B. This modus operandi reliably saves my ass. The flip side is, always having a fallback plan feeds my demonic indecision. With my eggs evenly distributed between many baskets, it is hard to make a truly satisfying omelette.
This pattern contributed to the flailing of my relationship with Daniel. Never ready to let go of any option, I could not fully commit to the project at hand. Letting go is the hardest thing in the world. Not letting go is the cause of dukkha. Dukkha is suffering.
Freedom and security, security and freedom: two sides of the spinning coin. Both purely illusory: no action comes without repercussions, and we never know what tomorrow will bring. Letting go of Plan B leaves me fully at the mercy of the fickle universe. Letting go is an act of pure faith, and ultimately, it’s the only way forward.
I mull this over as once again I pack my bike and my bags, dash and I dial, and piece together my convoluted multi-modal travel plan. Back I go to my comfy little nest the city, back to Plan B, with Plan A ever trembling on the horizon.
I am moving toward Plan A. In the meantime, indecision will be my little demonic friend, trying with best intention to protect me from the sublime terror of the unknown. Mara wears the costume of chronic indecision. I see you, Mara. Come sit here beside me awhile.