There are the times when every fiber of my being is challenged beyond its normal container, stretched and emaciated like the clear yyut candy I used to enjoy as a kid during my month-long trips to the outskirts of Seoul.
In those moments we may revel as two people join hands and dive into their co-created stew of self-inquiry, discovering the little pieces of pleasures, ideas, and dark fantasies, just to realize that the separation between us is…well, a divine gift AND a necessary hallucination.
In the past, before I really understood what this meant, I had become a special kind of masochist that believed suffering was the law of the well-learned; that it was the ultimate trophy reserved for the most radical martyrs. What a delicious lie…and I ate up every crumb of it.
I don’t believe myself anymore when I hear the all-too-familiar voice that tells me “I’m lost”. In the past, when I’d spiral into this space, it would make me want to give up on everything, after I bit off more than I could chew (as I often tended to do).
But really, even if I tried, could I really stop myself from being “a person that understands the craziest part of another’s soul”?, and still love that part…no, love the ENTIRE person, along with all their fragmented parts?
But often I’d be scolded for being “too understanding” of the crazies.
Because it’s safer not to investigate how a child molester or mass murderer or neo-Nazi eugenecist still somehow shares a common humanity with me (and everyone else, for that matter). It’s safer not to know how a homeless or schizophrenic or 3-year-old can teach us about some of the most intimate parts of who we are – the very parts we so eagerly disown, as they remind us of the hell we each carry. And those flames will always be there, to both entice and scare us, until all of us are equally okay.
But the thing is, we can get comfortable in this grey area of subtle self-sabotage, like a hamster on a neverendingwheel: “Look at how fast I am going! I’m running in the same place, oooh my blood’s flowing!, I’m burning off energy, sculpting my body and brain synapses!”
But when are we actually gonna embark on the marathon that this proverbial treadmill is preparing me for? We can’t keep clutching onto the training wheels like an ornament of security. In a truer reality, however, we’ve always been right where I needed to be. Which is, to say, that even if we’re collecting our ten thousand steps on the wheel, we are always just right on the path.
I don’t know how else to explain this, though I wish I had more concrete examples of how this actually manifests. But it really just describes how we’re becoming more aware of our own awareness, almost painfully so.
This is just another way of saying that Everyone is living in their own reality TV show, and the camera is almost always directed from the POV of three things:
- our most neurotic fears
- our most self-inflated version of ourselves
- our most outlandish fantasies, or yet-to-conquer dreams.
But as we reflect, let’s make sure we attend to the things that are most meaningful. We’ll learn again how to place one immutable foot over the other, all the while fine-tuning our pleasures and lessons, finding the melody that feels just right, knowing that the perfect note doesn’t actually exist, because a “perfect note” means one that is so equalized that it cannot actually vibrate, and hence cannot make any sound.
‘Cuz we all know by now that without resonance there is no music. We wouldn’t be able to hear or feel or enjoy its perfection, because life itself is a balance of all movements, like a seesaw that never stops.
Because if the seesaw did actually become “perfectly” balanced, it would stop moving as it found its “perfect” equilibrium, coming to an impossibly horizontal stillness, defeating the entire purpose of its playful design. What a whack seesaw that would be.
Instead, the balance we seem to be seeking is that magical up-and-down plaything with a strong, indestructible fulcrum – the center that anchors the two polarities – light and fear, play and pain. That, is the movement of perfection: never stagnant, always steady. And from this place we create a symbiotic exchange of laughter and excruciating lessons, over and over.
Perhaps we will always grapple with this dilemma. We’ll wrestle with finding the “right kind” of inspiration, or the “perfect way” to package this thing called life, or humanity, or goodwill…and finally have to convince ourselves all over again that it’s all crazy and beautiful and exactly how it is.
Still, sometimes we’ll go into the abyss (just look at the world in 2020), if for no other reason than to re-acquaint ourselves with the brightest of Light. Often this happens without our awareness. Once we get the courage to find ourselves again, we unlock the parts we forgot to nurture since forever ago: self-compassion, altruism, the occasional binge of not-giving a fuck, the psychedelic thinktank inside each of us fighting and lusting and surrendering, at last, to our Creator.
And after this quietly violent struggle between our hearts and minds subsides, the noise of the world will settle, and we will hear again the divine music. We feel the reverberations, the Creator’s sweet nectar infused into each moment, pulsating through the very breath and thought that carries us along this plane of reality, unfolding each corner of our experience like a piece of fine origami.
Then the last remnants of our Shadow surfaces tenfold.
These enduring lessons, the “bottom of the barrel gunk”, has been manifesting in such frightening ways as of late. It ultimately stems from judgment, of others, but really, of ourselves, which then turns into crisis, paranoia, and our latest manifestation of an Orwellian dystopia. Every message on every digital screen, every number on license plates, every passing conversation between strangers, are somehow all directed towards the little big fears inside us, as if our “logical programming” has glitched and has surrendered the cockpit to chaos and indecipherable clues, convincing us that this WHOLE THING is meaningless, trying to get us to loosen the grips of our own psychic destruction, to untangle from lifetimes of penance that we’ve forgotten to pay, for the times we drowned the voice carrying us out of perdition into salvation.
“I feel like part of mental health should involve an understanding that we can never entirely know ourselves. And while today is focused on self-discovery, I think we’ll soon trend toward self-oblivion.”Anna Dorn
Perhaps isolation is a necessary ingredient for self-awareness, but it sure doesn’t need to be forced. We are already necessarily alone, separated by the personal silo of our creativity and self-awakening nature. The trick is to own this, and not fear it. To listen to what’s softly hidden within the silence, between each of us. Connecting each of us.
And if you don’t believe me, wait until the universe tugs at you until you are in complete surrender, drained of trying so hard to “do that one thing”, when really you can never know what that one thing is. Cuz it’s already happening! Perfectly. Always. Which means, You are Perfect. Literally.
Sending love to All.