Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The inner child, the inner adult and your true nature

What follows is a wickedly raw rant. Sadly, it's not as raw as it was in the three phone conversations tonight that produced it, but it's as raw as I could get it down.

Please understand that this is a LOT of personal disclosure and a LOT of me talking out what I've discovered to be true for me and I know in my heart to be true for all of you, but it won't make sense to some because of the way I present it. It's just the way it came to make sense for me.

There are pieces missing because I am human and I can't get it all down via keyboard. I may add to it or re-arrange things over time...but, here it is, unvarnished and LONG, but give it a try and see if it doesn't have something useful for you in it. If not, no problem. I got a lot out of writing it.

This may be stuff everyone knows. But, it's news to me. Forgive my self-indulgence. It IS my blog after all. Additionally, this is by far the longest post I have EVER written and I hope I will EVER write. It is all over the place. So be prepared.

I'm also not saying I've pulled all this stuff off. I have recognized it and I am working on it...but...I'm still human. Don't worry, I'll still eff up and you'll get to hear or read about it.






Put on your big girl panties...

...cause it's about to get real in here, and I mean REAL.

So, a LOT has happened to, around and within me since my breakup six plus months ago. There has been a great deal of change, personal and not a great deal of personal struggle, a great deal of personal excess, a great deal of growth.

There have been so many catalysts in the form of:

Material objects: My beloved motorcycle, Wyonona, who I NEVER plan to sell, even if she's a pile of bolts because she's been a part of this, my apartment, my jobs (I count them as material, the people involved in them are separate entities)

Experiences: (again, related to the other categories) traveling (mainly thanks to 'Nona), and watching the tribulations of other people close to me, observing my own behavior, personal introspection and all other forms of experience

People: I've had new relationships, continued and developed old ones, watched old ones die, watched new ones wither and even dissected old ones long dead

So, what have these catalysts done? Well...honestly...that will continue to be a question. But, I've had some big jumps, some explosive moments.

One came when I reactivated my alter and tried to reconnect spiritually. I found that although I am more skeptical than ever, my spiritual self is still healthy and actually stronger than it's ever been. I am more prepared to deal with the universe and my place in it than ever before. I've grown as a person and my spiritual self, although mostly dormant the last few years, has miraculously not only survived, but now that it's being fed is actually thriving.

Another came in several pieces while traveling with 'Nona. I began to recapture the childish sense of wonder that I'd missed for so long. It initially just felt like "YES! I LOVE my motorcycle. This is so amazing." But, as I've processed, I'm realizing that my eyes are open to all the things that make this an incredibly beautiful world we live in and just how happy I am to be in it, where I had been seeing it SO darkly for SO long. See how that also fits into the above. It's gonna be a recurring theme, watch for it.

Another came upon my trip to Ohio's first regional Burning Man festival, Scorched Nuts (THANK YOU, Andi. You are one of my angels). Suddenly the darkness lifted from Ohio and I realized that even though this place SUCKS, and yes, it does suck (audibly, just listen, you'll hear it), there are those around who share my beliefs, my desires, my sensibilities. They are rare and harder to find than in other places I've lived. But, they ARE here.

Another came on my trip to Austin, which was bitter sweet for me. It was good to see my family and friends, but seeing the multi-cultural and cosmopolitan nature of Austin broke my heart because I knew I was coming back to Oxford, the homogeneous bubble from hell. However, soon after I arrived back here, I began to realize that I was actually now more determined to make the best of my stay here, at work, socially and most importantly in grad school (thanks, Morley for talking that out with me).

The final catalyst (for now, only, I hope), the one that smooshed all these together, came in the form of a bit of a childish emotional tantrum. What it regarded is too personal and in the end completely irrelevant. The way I came to this did have to do with thinking about relationships, so forgive me as I go along for meandering into talking about them. The end conclusion actually has very little to do with that meltdown and NOTHING to do with the people involved, their actions, or my relationships with them. Cryptic, I know, but give me a few more minutes to rant.

Over the months, I've been becoming happier and happier with where I am in life and more confident and convinced that I'm doing the right thing. The realization I have come to is that there isn't a damn thing wrong with me.

Say what? Yeah, I know you're listing my flaws out in your head. Get back, thee, non-believer and listen to the WORD.

I have my issues. I have ADD. I struggle with cultivating internal motivation. There are plenty of others.

But, the thing is. I'm working on them. I'm aware of them. I learn more about them every day and I AM dealing with them. Moreover, for the first time I am seeing appreciable differences in how I deal with my issues on a daily basis, not weekly or monthly, DAILY.

That, my friends, is the difference.

Even though it took me a long time to get here, I did it all on my own time and I learned a LOT from those experiences and that time.

I have, finally, after many years, began to actually truly look inside myself and accept the ugly truth that I have issues. Sure, you say, I know I have flaws. But, do you really KNOW it? Have you really accepted it? If so, rock on. Most of this won't apply to you, but humor me and read on.

I realized (thank you, Daniel) that everyone has issues and for every single one that they point out in you, you can point one out in them. Period. Some people appear "more effed up" than others because there strengths may be obscured by the issues floating on top or more evident than others', but I assure you, it all comes out essentially equal. The only difference is people's relative willingness to accept and work on their issues.

What's the difference you say? Isn't that six of one, half dozen of the other?

Not really. Thanks to someone whose influence I can't even believe at this point, I've realized that absolute honesty in relationships is much more of an absolute and necessity than I ever thought (what? how is this related...again...some latitude, please). That honesty cannot be relative. There are tiny, tiny exceptions for things that would simply hurt the person involved and not serve any other purpose, but if you're doing it right, those should be extremely rare. I'm talking if there is one a year or more, you're probably not being honest enough.

So, why is it important? Three paragraphs of preface and I'll get to it.

People talk about their inner child. They talk about embracing it. I don't buy that concept. I know what they're talking about, but we'll get to that shortly. The inner child I am familiar with is a spoiled brat who wants nothing but what it wants when it wants it. It's the emotional part of you. It's your hind brain. It's your base instincts. This is the part of you that needs to be "controlled." Notice the quotes. I'll explain that later, too.

Then there's your adult self, that part of you needs to be nourished and built and strengthened. This is the part of you that needs to be satisfied with how your life is going on a more material level.

Then there's the part of you that I'll call your true nature. The "inner child" concept that people try to put their finger on, but often get the child within you confused with. You have to watch for that. Your true nature is the part of you that you need to satisfy spiritually. The part of you that whispers in your ear about finding a career that's more satisfying.

So, you're all over the place, man...what are you saying?

These natures compete within you all the time, especially the adult and the child. The child is the part of you that gets hurt and sad and throws a tantrum when a loved one doesn't give you the attention it wants.

So, what do we do? We tell it to shut up and we send it away. Just like with real children, all that does is buy you time before the bad behavior starts. Holding that back only means it will seep through your fingers and make you do NASTY things to the ones you love.

Don't believe me? REALLY think about it. Think about past relationships that failed and tell me that resentment, which is what happens when that child isn't satisfied, wasn't the poison that killed that relationship. I'll give you a dollar if you can prove to me that it wasn't. It was. I promise.

So, what to do then? No one can give you everything you need. Well, it is an excellent case against monogamy. I'll give you that.

But, what if you were honest. I mean really, painfully, uncomfortably honest with everyone you had a relationship with? Not your boss and co-workers...I'm not about to go there, that's a whole other rant, but everyone in your personal life.

If every time that child had a tantrum you recognized it as such and explained it to the other person as calmly as you could what would happen? (It's hard because when the child is in control, you're not rational. Period.)

I can tell you this much...if you're both honest with each other...resentment would shrink considerably or even disappear.

So, that leaves the adult more able to grow and thrive. Which is good. That's what leads to self-sufficiency and self-reliance. But, you don't want to just succeed on material levels...this is where your true nature comes in.

If you have that child in check and recognize its tantrums...if you come to realize that you're okay no matter WHAT happens in your personal life, that you are a complete human being regardless, you can allow your true nature to come out and influence your life. You can get out of your ruts, you can be more "yourself."

If you don't believe me, try this. Try to identify when that child is speaking. Try to identify the adult voice. Then listen quietly and see if your true nature doesn't talk to you. It may be REALLY, quiet at first, but again, I promise...it's there.


So isn't this just the same "I'm okay, you're okay" stuff that people have been spewing for years? It's similar, it's related, sure.

But, this is how I found it in my life and in myself.

Take it for what it's worth. It may not be much, but it's my process, and I'm doing it as best I can.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Alicia said...

YES! This is very awesome that you are writing about your personal discovery of your "true nature" also called "Wise Mind" (which takes the wisdom from Emotional Mind (child) and from Logical Mind (adult) and finds the synthesis. I love that you are learning this. We'll have to talk more.

~Alicia

September 21, 2008 5:49 PM  

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