Authenticity

I do not “want to be a woman”. I want to be who I am, and not to hide that from others or myself.

All my accretions and pretenses and lies to myself and habits which get in the way of that are things I have taken up in order to Survive, and they are the things in the way of my flourishing now. On this blog and in my retreat from the World I am working out what that might mean. Possibly it is anatomical: the amygdala in conflict with the frontal lobe- and the idea of the Real Me, under all the attempts of my parents and society to “civilise” me, is so attractive to me.

So much for the origin of this post, written in a Tea meditation, a desperate search for how to be. On the bus, a woman says, “these chairs are so uncomfortable, so uncomfortable” and I note how I place her immediately, the word “chehs”- one of those decanted from London- rather than the more correct and educated “seats”. When we all get off, and queue by the stairs, a little girl tries to push ahead downwards, and her mummy tells her to wait. Then a man with them grabs her by the back of her coat, and she immediately starts to struggle and cry out. Just to rub that in, for my benefit not yours, she fights the restraint of a man so much larger. I note a red heart just above her bottom- what a gorgeous birthmark! If it is a tattoo-http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/34/Hombres_leyendo.jpg

He picks up their pushchair from the lower deck, and says “cheers, mate” to the driver in a gruff but cheerful, salt-of-the-earth manner.

In the street, I note a woman in a long floral dress and a bulky floral headscarf, Muslim “modest” dress made beautiful. Is it just the Autumn sunshine making me feel this good?

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. The Struggle for the Real Me.

Thing is, the pain and distress are real, the unknowing, the old self-protection mechanisms which I have taken up to survive and now hurt me, the difficulty in perceiving all this, because I feel that my false perception is reality and the constrained way of behaving is Right and Good- all Real. And so are the flashes of insight, and the Progress, and the absolute commitment to do this work, and the necessity of it. I thought my opening a bit whiny, and then looking back at it, it is positive.

What do I want from anyone else?

Nothing.

Ah. Can I say that, really? I know that is the right thing to say. I know that any other response causes me needless pain, am I really there yet? Not sure.

I know that is the place to be, loving the beauty of all good things, undaunted by bad, and that further on good and bad cease to have meaning for all is good. Actually, I am fair pleased with mysel that I have the theory!

15 thoughts on “Authenticity

  1. How much of ourselves do we discover through others? The daily encounters, especially, with those we love most and trust? Isn’t that part of discovering our real self, of keeping our vision true, of keeping us on course?
    This is quite different from trying to conform to some image or don a social mask or bend into shapes that aren’t ours.
    But you know how it feels to sit down in a circle of silent people and just let everything fall away. As you say, into Nothing. That is, a shared Nothing. And then we begin. Again.

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    • That is gorgeous. TEDx, Louie Schwartzberg on Gratitude, with some beautiful images. In the retreat centre- everyone else has gone to bed!- I find “Made for Goodness” by Desmond Tutu- practising forgiveness and prayer we see the beauty and goodness of others.

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  2. It’s funny I was thinking about some of these things earlier today. I was thinking about how I am the accumulated products, both good and bad, of a very long line of people. In other words, there isn’t a whole lot that IS me. Only my will. And even the capacity held within that is mostly inherited.

    Still, like you, I consider what I might impose upon my lot in life. I do have SOME control over that. I’ve thought a great deal about Christopher Hitchens. Recently I’ve focused upon how he dealt with his imminent death. Yes, we will all die, but his was a torturous one. He did it so very well. At one point he said, “I don’t have a body, I AM a body.” Well, whatever there was of him that wasn’t a body, made a damn good showing for himself. He died with great dignity and integrity.

    I’m trying to live that way.

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  3. Reblogged this on Donald Miller's Journal and commented:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)It’s funny I was thinking about some of these things earlier today. I was thinking about how I am the accumulated products, both good and bad, of a very long line of people. In other words, there isn’t a whole lot that IS me. Only my will. And even the capacity held within that is mostly inherited.

    Still, like you, I consider what I might impose upon my lot in life. I do have SOME control over that. I’ve thought a great deal about Christopher Hitchens. Recently I’ve focused upon how he dealt with his imminent death. Yes, we will all die, but his was a torturous one. He did it so very well. At one point he said, “I don’t have a body, I AM a body.” Well, whatever there was of him that wasn’t a body, made a damn good showing for himself. He died with great dignity and integrity.

    I’m trying to live that way.

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  4. I noticed your new photo thumbnail. I was wondering what the new one looked like larger. After seeing it, I was thinking: But you’re a man.

    I guess it’s not that simple. I remember reading about Two-Spirits recently. That’s from Native American culture. If a group like the Apaches can understand and accept that it’s one of the traits someone might have, that’s pretty amazing, wouldn’t you say?

    Anyway, I’ve been away from WordPress for a few days. What I like about your comments, as I indicated in the previous one, is that yours are so darn insightful.

    Anyway, just dropping by to say, “hi.”

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