I have felt as if I have been “at war” with the world for a long as I can recall. From being a kid and getting really angry at, and standing up to the older kid who bullied my Korean friend on the playground because he was ‘different’ (and boy was he in 1970 rural Illinois!) to no longer tolerating covert racism as people ‘confide’ in me, thinking I am “white” like they are…I have always had a keen sense of the absurd. Perhaps absurd is not the bet word; maybe hypocrisy would be more apropos?
I do not have this entry in any way well-thought out. More like a rough rough draft. A couple of quotes come to me as I type; one from Emerson and another from Viktor Frankl. Emerson was, per Wikipedia, was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century.Viktor Frankl, again per Wikipedia, was was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. Frankl was the founder of logotherapy, which is a form of existential analysis, the “Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy”. OH! Cannot forget Sherwood Anderson: an American novelist and short story writer, known for subjective and self-revealing works. To me, though, all these guys are general Bad Asses.
Emerson said somewhere, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Frankl, in his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning” speaking to two governing forces that that effect all members of any group; the drive to fit in as opposed to the drive to be one’s Self (note, not at all “self”). From Anderson, “You must try to forget all you have learned…You must begin to dream. From this time on you must shut your ears to the roaring of the voices.”
Collectively, the words from these three men have shaped how I am. I say ‘how I am’ vs. who I am in short because I quite literally have no idea who I am! More on that later, gawd willing. How I am, however, is something that I can have thoughts and feeling about AND, in addition, have some influence on. For me, the snippets I cited call me to get from head to toe that I am more than I can think or feel, or know AND getting to that ‘more’ requires of me to let go of what I think, feel and know about who I am or how I “show up” to both my-self and others. I can, for example, remind myself to be true to my-Self vs. what I know of my-self, or, forget all that I have learned. Learned about my-self from those around me. What is all the my-self and my-Self? Well, end up, there’s a quote for that:
“Do not let the self lower the Self. Let the Self elevate the self. For the Self is the self’s only friend as the self is the Self’s only Foe”.
I stumbled across that as a teen to an Indian father and an American mother. Had NO idea what it meant as a teen, but man o’ man does it make sense now…
I’m fading fast here…Tons of loose threads percolating through my brain, but also haven’t been feeling well lately. Ends up my irritable bowel syndrome is flaring up and it tends to suck the Life outta me. I will say this before logging off; I am starting to reject my sense of self in lieu for what might be below that knowing of me…That if I reject the self as I “know it” and be true to who I am, then gawd only knows what may emerge in the rich soil that just might be Me.