Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Let's (not) Pretend

One of the biggest steps I ever took was coming to accept myself, including and especially my so-called "dark nature" and all. I've told this tale before, but will repeat it briefly, since it has bearing here. There was a time when some friends were visiting here in the desert, shortly after we moved here, but just prior to our re-engaging with Orlando through his letters - probably around early 1994. I was in a transition phase, not really knowing what I was going to do next in my life - whether to pursue writing or venture off into another area altogether. I'd had some major setbacks in my writing career, and nothing else seemed to be opening up, so I was at a crossroads where none of the intersecting streets had a name or even a hint as to where they might lead.

These three friends, well-meaning but a bit naive, kept insisting that if only I would try to be more positive, more cheerful, more on the sunny side of the street as opposed to the shadows... in other words, if only I would be more like them... all would be well and I would find happiness waiting at the end of that rainbow they always seemed to be dancing on. And yet, in hindsight and based on how their lives have unfolded since that time now 25 years in the past, I have to say they would have been right at home in Stepford. One of them became a closet alcoholic (and had been all along), another addicted to drugs (and had been all along), and the third became what amounts to a card-carrying internet troll. So much for their sage advice.

Pretending to be happy doesn't make you happy. Acting as if you have all the answers doesn't make you wise. Believing you know what's right doesn't make it right.

And yet, perhaps because I was extremely vulnerable at the time, I found myself thinking on their words and actually trying to be more fill-in-the-blank.  Ultimately, however, all I was doing was attempting to upload yet another false personality. By trying to subjugate my autumn spirit and mask it with spring, I was programming myself to ignore the beauty of a falling leaf only because society in general finds more value in a fresh blossom (because that is what they have programmed themselves to believe). In trying to always outrun the storm because someone had told me there was more value in the sunlight, I was failing to appreciate the soft caress of the rain, the delicate beauty of the snow. In attempting to be something I wasn't, I was losing track of who I-Am.

It took awhile for me to go through this process, but ultimately I began to see that it is only by working with our nature that we can learn to enhance, expand, and evolve. That isn't to say we can't achieve greater balance, but the balance I discovered is one of finding joy, delight, happiness, beauty and appreciation within my own nature instead of trying to upload someone else's program of what we're "supposta" be. When I finally realized that and accepted that about myself is when - "coincidentally" - Orlando reappeared in our lives and the path began to really unfold. As long as I was trying to be something else, I was lost in the program.

So by all means, toss those programs out the window! A predisposition to "darkness" isn't evil anymore than the night is evil. Evil is always a matter of human intent, and it's nothing more than a social/cultural program that makes us question our nature. There are some people - many, in fact - who are hard-wired to the moon over the sun, the rain over the cloudless sky, autumn over summer, night over day. It is simply a variation in the yin and yang - and to try to "fix" it would be like trying to fix someone because they have green eyes instead of blue, blonde hair instead of brown. If all women looked like Hollywood's idea of perfection, we would live in a malnourished world indeed. If we all ran around like bliss ninnies without ever acknowledging that our trials and tribulations shape us as much if not more than our happiness, we would all sit in a field of yellow flowers staring at the sun until we were blind.

Never let anyone tell you who you are.  That's your secret, your power, and your evolution.


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