Way back in the 90s a friend asked me this.
I, of course, a lifetime collector, and fighter, of the chaos of papers, one who loses time after time, I am the perfect person to answer.
‘You don’t ask easy questions,’ I write, which is pretty obvious.
Several responses occur. 1) Asking myself “What is my lesson now?” is quite useful. Lots of time my answer is to learn patience. And not make too many messes I’ll have to clean up later.
2) Maybe – I told my friend – you need some slack time. That perhaps pulling back and taking care of yourself is what’s now required.
3) I’m still getting nasty ‘mother’ and other negative voices out of my head. She can sneak in the corner when I’m not looking. Yet I get better and faster at cutting off negativity.
4) Remember, we’re all of us on the wheel of karma (fate) learning our life lessons to final spiritual enlightenment. Life is what happens.
5) Laugh. I’m rereading After Zen: Experiences of a Zen Student Out on His Ear by Janwillem van de Wetering. Helps me understand the Human Condition. And roles of certainty and chaos, order and creativity.
What is your answer?