Saturday, November 12, 2005

Finding Myself or "Where the hell did I get all this emotional baggage?"

I've been away for a while, doing some work in the shadows.

Something that has always been an issue for me is whatever correlation there is between day to day experience and experience of the Sacred. On a personal level, I have alot of "emotional baggage" left over from a traumatic childhood. And with this baggage fully in tow, I've often attempted my journey into Sacred Space. It doesn't work, at least not for me.

I believe there are as many methods of dealing with our baggage as their are people. I think alot of people have some religious conversion, or something along those lines, and they are alot better for it afterwards. Through Faith, or something akin to it, they grow past their insecurities and come to trust in a higher power. Well, not me. :( No matter how much I can come to terms with Life intellectually, I still have a fundamental pessimism and self criticism as the basis for my truth assertions.

I stopped posting here about the same time I started going to therapy sessions. I realized that there's so much my subconscious hides from my conscious mind; I have no idea how someone can deal with these things without an objective guide. Be that a therapist, priest, or guru, if you relate to what I'm saying: do yourself a favor and find someone to help. I bring up therapy, in order to elaborate on what I've learned there.

I started therapy to help myself deal with some minor problems. Such as nervousness, lack of energy and motivation, mood swings, etc. You could say that on a certain level I knew I have some issues concerning my parents, especially my father. I figured if that was important it would come up, and boy was I right!

At this point I could proceed to write twenty pages on what I've gathered from therapy, and it wouldn't mean much to anyone but me. So with that in mind, I'll be as concise as I can.

Basically, the emotional wounds that I speak of are, as far as I understand, created from a lack of acceptance from my father and lack of guidance from my mother. Because my father wasn't able to face up to his life, he wounded me in the same way he must be wounded. As children, we are indoctrinated into reality by our parents. In an ideal world, that would mean we were welcomed and shown the joy, beauty, and miraculous nature of reality. In actuality though, we are sometimes kept at arms length by aloof parents, who themselves are to wounded to show a child the love they need and deserve.

It's something of a complicated issue. I think essentially though, those who experience this type of treatment from their parents spend the rest of their lives yearning for acceptance. Acceptance is really an internal thing. We may perceive that we want others to accept us, and since we're defined relationally, that's a valid observation. Since, on an individual level, our choices and perspectives are always primary, we have to accept ourselves. No one else can do that for us. Our parent's job is to show us that it's ok to find self acceptance. No one is perfect, we all make huge mistakes, sometimes. The point being we have to forgive ourselves, and accept who we are, and where we are in terms of our expectations.

I have been reading about religion and spirituality very actively since nineteen years old, which is going on 6 years now. I've formulated alot of concepts about how people should act and be treated. I should love everyone, unconditionally. And it's true I should. I'm not there yet; however, that doesn't stop me from expecting myself to always forgive and understand. So I beat myself up over alot of stuff, that I need not. There's this whole cycle of aversion and association, that I won't get into here. Let me say, though, that this Self Critic that is always there judging every thought and action, affects every conceivable aspect of my life.

The reason my father is so important, he's my initial definition of masculinity, that thing by which I choose to define myself. Thus to accept what I am, I needed him to accept me into his world, the masculine realm. I never received this acceptance, and never will. The change for me now, is that I know I can never have that. How can I expect someone, who still at sixty years old can't accept themselves, to accept the ultimate symbol of their mortality, his son?

There's alot of resultant concerns such as initiation and understanding my need to wrestle my demons, so to speak. I'm left with the task of breaking the cycle and self initiation. My time to pass into manhood has come, and I must illuminate my shadows, embrace this all important wound, find my inner strength. This is all left for me to do. My individuality has been so accentuate by my lack of guidance and necessity for independence due to perceived isolation, that I'm left to my own devices to resolve this.

To conclude, there's a thought I want to discuss. I am proud to say, the primary origin of this is Star Wars. (nerd = me, yeah I know) As I've been going to counseling and these ideas are beginning to become coherent, and I'm learning to be honest with myself, I see many new perspectives on old things. It seems to me that my father was inundated into the new male paradigm of sensitivity and softness of the feminine liberation going on for the last half century or so, which will be a very prominent aspect of our history, was still rigidly held to an old world male paradigm. I think this is why he was never able to heal himself. He was forced to deal with the feminine, in a way all modern men are called on to do, but not given the freedom and perspective with which to do it. I can speak from experience, even being the extremely liberal and "liberated" male that I am. Being to much in touch with my feminine, to the point that certain aspects of masculinity make me uncomfortable, I know how difficult it is for me. Perhaps, my destiny is to redeem my father. Because I've been graced with the capacity to actually deal with this social dilemma, and apparently my father was not. Through my finding the strength to grow past my abandonment and forgive and accept him, he will find the strength and motivation to accept himself.

Anyway, really those are just strong words, from a scared little boy. But I'm facing up to it, and hopefully I have cosmic evolution on my side. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    "Father, I have to save you."
    "You already have, Luke... you already have"


sophia said...

Your honesty, is refreshing. I see myself as a bridge between the past and the future. As I release my baggage, so I release that of my ancestors.

Tyler said...

I can really tell you've been getting into Robert Bly. I checked "Iron John" out from the local library, and I'm only about 40 pages in, but I can definitley see where you've used this newfound knowledge to conclude as to why certain aspects of your emotional baggage lie in the realm of masculinity.

Already, I've noticed a few things about myself that were formerly in question, and are now brought onto the emotional table.

Also, I'd like to say thanks for informing me of Robert Bly. While some things may not apply to me now, being at a young age, it's definitley good to know and have reference for the future.


Bindu said...

I have really been nourished by Bly. His perspective is very lucid. I find myself comforted even listening to him. We're inundated with so much "truth", it's hard to figure out what's worth the effort. Bly definately is!

I think it's important to be mindful of your age. But hearing someone say that you're not old enough to understand isn't really worth paying attention to. You may not be old enough to relate, but everyone is capable of coming to an understanding, on some level. Those issues are still very relivent to you, in fact, if you can find significance in them at your age, then you'll be alot better off. Bly says that most men don't start dealing with this stuff untill about 35 and certain issues untill about 45! Which may be, but I know everything he speaks of in that regard I relate to. I think what he's saying is at that point there's an urgency that can't be ignored. It's always there, but awareness of it was not.

Bindu said...


Sorry man, no adverts on my blog. If you really want info you can email me or simply aquire a copy of "Iron John" by Robert Bly. That would more than clear up any questions you have :)