You can say you’re letting go and moving on, but one of the hardest things to let go of is that sense of identity. The new way of life is going to feel very unfamiliar. It really is like a caterpillar changing into a butterfly.
Sometimes it’s the pain that reminds us to stay on the new path. The old way is so obviously not wanted that we’re determined never to go back. Pain can be useful like that.
Of course, there comes a day when we realize that this is the path we’re supposed to be on, and no power on earth can keep us from it. I get glimpses of that feeling, like sunlight peeking through clouds. That’s when I see that this is a journey of the heart.
To be honest with you, in this life, I don’t know how to separate myself from the roles that I play. I also don’t know how to not play a role. For example, I don’t just write, but I’m playing the role of a writer.
Is there some holistic, penultimate, unifying person that I’m supposed to be? The Self? Maybe, but I’m not completely aware of it.
So I continue to play the various roles of my life, all the while being aware that I’m doing it. There’s someone there at the heart of the matter who feels like me, but he/she/it is invisible and often imperceptible.
I woke up from a dramatic dream at 3am and consulted the I Ching about its meaning. That led to several more questions, and the answers had to do with blocking my own progress, needing to maintain equilibrium, being impartial, and prioritizing. I want to make myself, my life, and my work a top priority.
Things have shifted on a deep level. It’s easy to lose focus, so focusing needs to become a habit. It’s all about priorities.
Pretty much all I do these days is a way for me to focus on making myself a priority. Stop putting others first to the detriment of my own life. I’m learning to value myself in a healthy way.
Sometimes it can be frustrating to take small steps after what seems like more than enough time and effort was put into something, but that’s the true work.
Even after all these years I find myself taking small steps; one letter at a time, one word after another, one sentence following the next until paragraphs are formed.
My sense of self has never been stable, and what I know about myself is that I’m constantly changing, but there is a center of gravity.
My purpose is to embody myself and inhabit my world.
1. to give a concrete form to; express, personify, or exemplify in concrete form: to embody an idea in an allegorical painting.
2. to provide with a body; incarnate; make corporeal: to embody a spirit.
3. to collect into or include in a body; organize; incorporate.
4. to embrace or comprise.
1. to live or dwell in (a place), as people or animals: Small animals inhabited the woods.
2. to exist or be situated within; dwell in: Weird notions inhabit his mind.
Rather than treating the symptoms, this year (the year of re-invention) is about finding the cure. In truth, I know what the cure is (and it’s not my cover of The Cure); it’s just a matter of taking the medicine. The healthy self is a confident self.*
I feel strongly about things, and I relate to the “feeler” types out there, but sometimes I admit that I get annoyed at our wishy-washyness (lack of backbone). It’s great to have deeply held values, but you have to stand up for them and that means – at times – standing up to others and standing up for yourself, especially when your happiness and peace of mind is at stake. As I sit here in my lovely apartment (that I worked for), I sometimes feel a disturbance in the Force; feelings of guilt and anxiety for doing my best and improving my life – and this being the year of re-invention – I choose to confront and ultimately transmute these energies.
I’ve got names for my bad guys:
- Asshole Judge
- Spilled Milk
- General Negativity
- Insecurity Blanket
- Infinite Sadness
- Inner Critic
- Depression Sinkhole
- Shameful Guilty Goblin
- Green Eyed Slime
- Fear Mongrel
I’m sick and tired of letting these inner demons run rampant. Feelings can help guide us, but only if we use them effectively. Their purpose is to allow us to express our true selves.
*The cure is to be happy, which requires being confident, and that means having confidence (trust) in yourself.
What I see in the mirror, and what I show to the world, is merely a reflection of who I really am. I also cast a shadow that follows me wherever I go. My shadow defines me just as much as the light.