Thursday, December 15, 2011
This has not prompted me into a flurry of writing to compensate for lack of sharing but rather it has pushed me back over this last week into the perusal of my own personal writing in my journals. The words and thoughts I have found there while reading back through the past year has given me a time to pause and reflect over what has transpired and elicited many different emotions as I read the words penned on different days about the time and circumstances that have transpired.
It has been a rather difficult year in some respects to say the least. Family, faith, , friends and love have factored prominently and my emotions and feelings in each situation have shifted wildly at times. I seem a man tossed on an ocean barely keeping my head above water at times all the while attempting to project a calm and cool exterior of a guy who has all his shit together and a ready answer for everyone and every thing that happens.
Nothing could be further from the truth, but in that realization, I have found that I am learning to reach out to others. To ask and seek out what the people in my life think about what is going on and actively listen and apply some of the advice and truth that they have shared with me out of the wealth of years, knowledge and experience that life has brought them. This has not been an easy task as it has always been further complicated by the interior pride and independence that I wish I actually had versus the reality of my existence often as a lost and seeking soul of a boy who still is baffled and hurt many times by the trials and tribulations that this life seems fraught with.
I guess, in part, I am finding more integrity with my exterior and interior life and have started to live out who I truly am instead of projecting and emulating whom I wish I was. Authenticity is a elusive and shaky concept at best and my hardest efforts at such often find me bewildered and hurt when attempting to share. The verbal processing that I do with the people in my life often reveals to me in that instant what I am truly feeling and sometimes once the words are out there, they are not my true self, but rather a jumbled mess of emotions that get aimed like a cutting edge at the very persons who love me most. In the effort to rid myself of the pain and confusion I am feeling, I end up passing it to them, as if I somehow think that if we are both hurting in some way, that I will feel the pain all the less.
Some things have been gnawing at me, in my guts, in that innermost place where a man can be himself. That quiet and biting voice that I can never escape from that tells me that I am not good enough, not smart enough, not talented enough, not beautiful enough. Not enough of all the things that others would want. That if they truly knew the "me" me that they would not love me and in fact would shun and reject me.
This voice is a lie. I am learning this now. The people who truly love me, love me. Just me. They do not love me for the body I am in, the personality I have, the talents and gifts I possess, the things that I own, the money that I make or any of the things that I do. They love me. There is nothing I could do to earn this love and there is nothing that I will ever do that will make them stop loving me. In this discovery I found a simple but stunning truth.
I do not love me.
Oh, don't get me wrong. I am selfish like any other human. I like the idea of me. I am madly in love with the portrait I paint for myself each day to shield and protect me from all in this world that I find scary and baffling, but I do not love the "me" me. Over this past year I have reached out to friends, old and new, and shared events and experiences from my past that I truly never felt that I would open up to another human about in my entire life. In each of these exchanges, I fully expected to find pity, disgust, revulsion and hatred from those I hold dear in my heart, but instead have found acceptance, compassion and an unfaltering and unshakable love for me, just as I am. I would not be myself if it were not for these things and knowing my past history, the real version, not the carefully edited and well lit parts, but the entire journey has brought me closer to them and restored my faith in how others can help us carry our pain and hurt. A shared burden truly is lighter and the silence that I have shrouded parts of my past in has created an airless void that slowly has suffocated my soul.
And they love me.
This I need to learn.
How does one learn to love oneself?