Spontaneous Advice to Emptyanima

I was going to write this as a comment to Emptyanima's post on this exercise, but it grew into something larger. 

I decided, since it fit perfectly into the rules of Rhino's exercise, I'd copy  and paste it from the comment bar and put it up as a chapter. 

So here it is... a practice in spontaneity all of its own.

Emptyanima: Spontaneity does not come naturally to me.

I now understand your need to plan, that you described in your ten writing pointers.

I'm not going to assume I know you in any sense, simply from reading these few posts of yours in the past two days. However I will give you advice based on what little I know and you have, of course, the ultimate prerogative to take it or discard it.

This may be useless to you, but I truly believe that people make life far more difficult to live when they are afraid of losing what they have.

You may think it cold, or disheartening, but try to accept in advance, that you will lose everything, and a lot of the fear goes away.

When I was in Afghanistan, and people were dying around me, I noticed that there were two different mindsets forming themselves within our ranks to deal with the stress of death on our heels.

Those with devout faith, became even more pious and thrust their lives in the care of the creator their God and went on with it, knowing that whatever happened, was in His hands.

Agnostics and Atheists as myself, on the other hand, simply accepted that, for all intents and purposes, we were already dead. It was the only way to do my job, was to assume that I wouldn't make it home alive. It worked, and it taught me something very important.

To put it in a way that is more easily related to someone who hasn't been to war; Imagine tomorrow you would lose everything you own in a fire.

Try to imagine what life would be like if that were the case.

Although there would be moments of sadness, and despair, you would move on.

This is a far deeper way of looking at life as it is your last day on earth.

Don't be afraid to lose. Don't be afraid to lose everything.

If you can do this then spontaneity will come second nature solely because you can understand living life as a social/psychological nomad, ready to settle, but just as ready to leave it all behind to find something new.

Don't get me wrong though, there are some things that will never leave you, no matter how hard you try. I'm no longer in Afghanistan, but unfortunately Afghanistan is still with me.

Take the things that can't be left behind, and learn from them. They are the closest thing you'll ever have to a compass in life. They will tell you want you truly want, even when you don't know what that is yourself.

The End

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