One of my most vivid childhood memories is locking myself in a room with books, a lot of books, especially the encyclopedias. I have been looking for every clue ever written on paper about the internal philosophical maze that has both amused and eaten me alive since I was conscious of my existence. Silence has always been my good friend, so as the waves of inner conflicts, which (I have eventually concluded) were carried over from previous lives.
My grandmother, out of worries, often tried to invade my locked room. One time, when I was probably six, I screamed at her: “I am entitled to not help you now. I am sorting myself out!” – I meant it.
20 years later, I woke up one morning, on a mountain in Mid-England, and realised a job interview was waiting for my confirmation. The problem was, I was on a meditation retreat and my great teacher would never grant me access to the real world. In short, the appointment had to wait. For a moment I felt guilty. It was the same guilt that haunted me whenever I wanted to leave a lover, or an unsatisfying job – The guilt of not being able to give people what they want from me.
I stepped out of my bed and made a statement (to the window), which I believed could only come out of a two-decade deep meditation: “For as long as I have lived, I have been the destroyer, because I couldn’t fake it. From now on, may there be NOT a noble statement attached to anything I do, whoever I love. I am entitled to be happy with my own creations and share my best possible companionship, period.”
There I was liberated. I (finally) allowed myself to live without the miseries of other people, to listen or to not listen, to dance like a retard, to create ambitious and colourful plans, to not accept unhappiness and incompatibility in my life…
I am entitled to do things with a smile. I am entitled to live true to my heart.
I am entitled to not help anyone. I am also entitled to want to help anyone.