Scattered Thoughts on a Blue Pale Dot
Take a deep breath.
Every time I’m in a stressful situation, I heard the words: “Take a deep breath.”
How come we do that? What is it about breathing that can in a moment alter our feelings and state of mind? There’s a lot of research that has gone into this, but I’m more interested in the magic.
I’ve been taking a lot of heavy, long-term decisions lately. When I get really stressed out, I always imagine a close friend sitting next to me and telling me: “Hassan. Take a deep breath, relax, and think about what really matters.” Almost always, I somehow get transported to a world of deep thought, an existential maze that only makes sense with every deep breath.
My self inflicted dilemma is that I really love that world. I almost don’t want my problems to be washed away or the melancholy to vanish. Perhaps, that’s why I lovingly drown in sad melodies and music, and why I shed a tear at the happiest ones too. Some artists cry at the beauty and intricacy of art, but I actually see deep expressions of art within emotions, so a bit of the other way around. It’s a curse and a blessing, and I’m learning to see it as more of the latter.
So here I am making existential decisions, and the emotions and melancholy come sweeping around the corner, brushing aside most conventional logic. In that moment, I sit with my feelings and try to experience the sensations fully. It gets me closer to the answer. It gets me closer to what matters. And when I’m almost there, with the answer at my fingertips, my love for space, physics, and philosophy comes in, and suddenly nothing matters in in the face of our insignificance.
Did I lose you there? I’m sorry, but I also often lose myself. And when that happens, I simply sit by myself and imagine I’m in the arms of my loving mother, the purest heart of all. Surrounded by the warmth of her unconditional love, I listen to her tell me: “Take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay.”