Grasping : Attempting to Fill the Infinite Void

Have you ever felt like there’s an emptiness in your life?  A certain nagging dissatisfaction? A longing for something unnamed?

You try to fill the void by overindulging in pleasurable acts, like shopping, eating, drinking, sex…the problem is that the hole has no bottom, it is infinite.  For a while you are satisfied with the temporary relief these pleasures bring, but when the pleasure wears off, you’re back where you were, empty.

You’re not alone.  The Buddhists have a name for this behavior; they call it grasping.  …and yes, as you may have guessed, it’s futile.  So what to do now?  Well, you could continue to ignore the problem and wait for yourself to be swallowed by the black hole you’ve created, or you could get to the root of the problem.  Easier said than done, huh?

Only a strong person can take an honest look at themselves.  Confronting our inner demons is no small task.  Letting go of excuses is imperative, it is what it is. Just as important is the letting go of judgment.  Be kind to yourself.  What is done is done.  Now is the time to understand, detach from the problem, heal and move on.

You can do this.  You’re stronger than you think.

If this is a subject that interests you, check out my book, “The Red Speck”.  The book is an allegory, not a straightforward self help book.  Couched in the allegory is a path that helped me tremendously.  You might also find this article on neuroplasticity helpful.

Good luck on your journey.  Take some relief in knowing many others have walked this path and survived, why not you?

Much Love,

S. Conde




It’s easy to keep the faith when times are good.  When times are tough, however, when uncertainty reigns, it’s not so simple, is it?  …not quite so easy.

Staying positive and knowing all will unfold as it’s meant to; learning the lessons set before us and rolling with the waves of stormy seas, is what must be done.  Fighting the tide, struggling against the current, bring exhaustion, even death, for none of us are stronger than the patterns of life.

Losing ones self in the overwhelming onslaught of change is the danger.  Forgetting who we are and reacting in desperation reduce us to nothing more than rats on a sinking ship.

Step back and breathe.  Look at the big picture, minimize the risks as best you can, and capitalize on the opportunities.  Then just roll with the ebb and flow of the tide.

Control is an illusion.  Our lives can be set up in ways that increase certain probabilities, but we control nothing.  Obsessing over things completely out of our control is at best a waste of time, at worst a stress inducing killer of both health and sanity.

I am not omniscient, omnipotent, nor infallible.  I am not the proverbial monk meditating in silence on a hilltop.  I am a real person, like you, who suffers and struggles as everyone else.  I work hard to practice what I preach, and not always successfully.  Still, I try.

Now give us a kiss, a smile, a laugh, and let’s see what happens.

S. Conde


Bring On The Pain

So here we go again.

I know what my next novel will be about.  The basic flow, the chronology of events, is worked out in my head.  I’ve named the characters, visualized the settings, and have begun to put pen to paper.  (I like to start with paper and pen, then move over to the computer where I work out the details.  The physical act of writing, connects my hand to my subconscious mind in a powerful way, or, so I believe.)

The problem is, I dread returning to my notebook. Not because I don’t enjoy writing, I love it, I’m just avoiding the subject matter.  I know what awaits. Why can’t I write about daisies, rainbows and unicorns? Happy blonde headed characters dancing in a circle at a family picnic somewhere in Nantucket?  Actually, I suppose I can, but I wouldn’t feel it.  …and if I don’t feel it, you won’t either.

Why oh why, do I have to pick such painful topics?

Of course, I know the answer.  Surely you do too.  You write what you know, don’t you?

My writing is filled with pain, of the emotional variety.  Still, I think it’s uplifting, even humorous at times.  I suppose the running theme is, we must learn from misery.  If we don’t, what was the point of all that suffering?  I can not allow myself to believe that it was all for nothing.  Light comes out of darkness, strength comes from fear, and good can come from bad.  Yes…  “Hello, my name is Stacy, and I’m an optimist.”  “Hello Stacy.”

This is how I’ve lived my life, looking for lessons in the pain.  We all experience emotional pain at some point, we may as well learn to make lemonade.

…and personally…  I fucking love lemonade.   Lemonade is Victory.

S. Conde

The Violence of Peace

If you follow me on Facebook, you’re probably cognizant of the fact that I’ve been avoiding writing this problematic piece since the title first flashed across my brain some weeks ago.  (I’m much happier writing about the inner world, than the outer.)

Just now, browsing the internet, I came across an essay by George Orwell called “Pacifism and the War“.  The issue I had been avoiding smacked me in the face.  Below is an excerpt.

“Pacifism. Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’. The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security. Mr Savage remarks that ‘according to this type of reasoning, a German or Japanese pacifist would be “objectively pro-British”.’ But of course he would be! That is why pacifist activities are not permitted in those countries (in both of them the penalty is, or can be, beheading) while both the Germans and the Japanese do all they can to encourage the spread of pacifism in British and American territories. The Germans even run a spurious ‘freedom’ station which serves out pacifist propaganda indistinguishable from that of the P.P.U. They would stimulate pacifism in Russia as well if they could, but in that case they have tougher babies to deal with. In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted; in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism.

I am not interested in pacifism as a ‘moral phenomenon’. If Mr Savage and others imagine that one can somehow ‘overcome’ the German army by lying on one’s back, let them go on imagining it, but let them also wonder occasionally whether this is not an illusion due to security, too much money and a simple ignorance of the way in which things actually happen.”

…and there you go.  Mr. Orwell not only said it better than I could have possibly, he also relieved me of the task.

Please take a moment to look at our current situation through his eyes.  What would George think?  Apply the common sense of this essay to what is happening all around us today, then extrapolate…do the math.  Frightening.

Gandhi is the example that is always bandied about.  Yes, passive resistance worked in that case, but not alone, and not without the loss of many Indian lives.  Indians who were willing to “lay down” for their cause, willing to get shot.  Are you?  …and while it may have eventually sickened the English to fire on unarmed peaceful civilians, if you think for one moment that those who would behead children, and shoot women in soccer fields, are the same sort of enemy, there is no essay written that can help you understand what I mean when I say there is violence inherent in peace.

S. Conde