In a fit of pique, I said to my dear loving husband, “I guess I’ll just have to accept that I’m married to someone who isn’t interested in insights into his own behavior or living the examined life.” And having said about the worst thing I could imagine (yeah, that probably says a LOT about me right there) I flounced off. I don’t remember what the disagreement was about, or (confessionally), how I was wanting to change him. But I put a lot of credence in being mindful, and intentional, and insightful, and indeed, have at times in my arrogant way been known to suggest that it is a mandate of being alive. That it is a responsibility that comes along with being kind and doing unto others, etc. etc.
I just finished reading “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.” by Adelle Waldman. It’s making the rounds right now, but SPOILER ALERT: I didn’t like how it ended. Basically, the guy takes the easy way out, and instead of making a go of a relationship with a woman who challenges him – Not only intellectually, but to his very core – He settles (note my disparaging tone) for the flightier, more conventionally beautiful, let’s face it, shallower woman. Revealing, I suppose, a certain “shallowness” himself.
So here’s my question: Is everyone, regardless of Myers-Briggs or temperament or enneagram or vocation, called to live a mindful life? We Presbyterians say we are called to live a “holy and joyful life,” which to me implies intentionality. But maybe I believe this only because it is woven into the core of my being, to want to uncover meaning, and go deep, and be mindful of how I am interacting with myself, my God, and my world. Maybe it isn’t for everyone.
But what do you think? Does this responsibility come with this life we’ve been given? Or is it more that some are artists, some mystics, and some engineers?