Friday, July 24, 2009

In Search of Self

This is what it's all about. This is why we are here, this is what we should be doing, this is at least one of our goals in this lifetime. This is one of the features that is implanted in each and every one of us, it is an intrinsic part of what makes us human - the need to know who we really are, and hopefully to find some semblance of that person. Is it possible to find the real me in there? I don't know. But I sure need to try. And the truth is I haven't the first clue what the 'real' me even looks like – one of the casualties of living amongst humanity for all these years. We lose ourselves, or disown ourselves, or kill ourselves or have ourselves killed by somebody else. However it happens to play out.

What do I mean by this? We live our lives to please others. We learn to live, we learn to function in this lifetime in such a way that fits in with what others want, with the way others think it should be, with that which suits the lifestyle of those around us. And the person that doesn't let this happen is a rarity indeed.

Who do I mean by 'others'? Well first of all our parents because let's face it, we're at their mercy. They are our everything when we're born and through the first years of our lives and for some even longer than that. We are, as children, completely dependent on them, physically, emotionally, financially, intellectually. And so in our desperate attempt to maintain connection with them, and because they are adults and we're not we place ourselves at their mercy, knowing no other way. This is normal human development and no secrets here. For the record a second intrinsic part of being human is the need for connection with other human beings and by connection I don't mean casual interaction but rather deep and intimate knowing but that's another topic for another time. I'll get there.

But… and this is a big but, in the process of trying to maintain that all-important connection with others we lose ourselves. We learn what we need to do, how we need to function, what we need to be in the service of maintaining that connection with those individuals and in the process we suppress, deny, relinquish our own needs, our own likes, dislikes, skills, creativity. We become what those around us instruct us to become.

Until one day in whatever form it comes upon us we start breaking down. One thing I have learned, we cannot deny all aspects of ourselves and not suffer some consequences. Whether it comes in the form of depression, addiction, chronic physical or emotional pain, anger, sadness, whatever, we will suffer the consequences. When we are not true to ourselves, to what we are truly meant to be we cannot expect to function in such a way that is optimum for us.

And so begins the search. A long, arduous, confusing search for what is meant to be.

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