someone told me she felt like a zombie. She was going through the motions.
Doing her job, taking care of her household tasks. She was maintaining order and getting things done.
Inside, she felt lifeless and inadequate.
She lacked enthusiasm. Overwhelm had beaten her down to the point where she couldn’t remember her ikigai. She doubted her power to make any positive impact, to nudge the world in a better direction.
Many of us have been there. Especially in the last year and a half.
Okay it’s getting close to Halloween which is a big deal in my house, so maybe I am getting a little too out there, but I am thinking that zombies have wisdom too.
Or perhaps she really was a zombie and while I was busy listening to her tale of woe, she ate my brains. It could happen.
First let me say that I am a wimp and I hate scary movies of any sort. I am trying to be braver in general lately.
So when my granddaughter asked me to watch Goosebumps with her, I had to agree. There were zombies in it. And a lot of other scary things. But I made it through and I didn’t have nightmares.
Yes, it’s a kid’s movie. But I take my brave wherever I can muster it.
Zombies are pretty low on the enlightenment scale. But then, so are a lot of people. They don’t think through a lot of their actions but again, neither do a lot of people.
So what are their spiritual virtues?
They don’t get distracted. They want brains. They go after brains. They don’t let minor things, like the lost of a limb or two, sidetrack them from their goal.
If you have ever tried to meditate, you know how easy it is to get distracted by pretty much anything. If they weren’t chasing brains, I bet zombies would be awesome meditators.
They are dead or undead, depending on the mythology you accept. They are losing bits of themselves and yet they keep going.
They keep taking the next step. If your life is a mess the next step might be the best you can do. Just that one step. Step after step. Keep going.
I admire how persistent zombies are and how persistent humans who feel like zombies can be. They might not have enthusiasm, but they keep their goals in sight and continuously move forward.
There is a name for the times in life when you feel like be a zombie metaphorically and temporarily, I hope.
It’s called languishing.
Keep going. Keep your goals in sight. There is hope: read on.
No one wants to live like a zombie, so if you’re feeling like one, check out Adam Grant’s Ted Talk for practical advice on how to break out of the zombie rut and get back your zest for living.
Just like the zombies in Warm Bodies, there is hope. You can be cured. You can feel and love and laugh again.
The book belong might help. Yes, this is a shameless plug for my own book. But I wrote it because the practices in it help me move forward when I'm feeling a little zombie-like.
The Stockdale Paradox
Retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties
and at the same time,
confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.
Seek more spiritual wisdom.
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