On facing it

This is it.

This year I’ll know.

A promise I made to myself at the start of this year, thinking this year is the journey I will take to knowing (things I need to know).

I was wrong.

This year I’ve come to know a lot of things – what I feel and don’t, what I need and don’t, what I want and don’t, and what I know and don’t.

The most important thing to know – knowing is a lifelong process.

Knowing is the journey, continuous and endless.

Let’s face it.

I take pleasure in knowing myself. But in seeking this pleasure, I have spun myself a web of absolutes. Ironically it is these absolutes that keep me from truly knowing (myself).

While listening to the On Being episode with Zen priest angel Kyodo williams it dawned upon me – we strive so hard to be known to ourselves and others, yet the very act of it is confining, fixating us to a point in time; when the only constant, is change.

Let’s face it.

I recently wrapped up a research project to explore the tensions that have caused shifts in behaviours ensued due to the wrath of COVID-19 – each “normal” challenged, creating a moment of pause to choose (differently).

While writing my reflection during this whole research, I realised how confronting this time has been. How we [I] have been forced to face what is it that truly matters to us [me].

Let’s face it.

What is it that truly belongs to us?

Which thoughts? Which feelings? Which behaviours?
Which opinions? Which dependencies? Which absolutes?
Which needs? Which wants? Which desires?

Use the pause to ask yourself – the conscious and subconscious.

What is inherent?
What is inherited?
What is learned?

Proving myself – is this who I am or who I think I need to be?
Prioritising my job above all – is this what I want or a construct I’ve subscribed to?
Leading with emotions – is this my culture or my choice?

Living in denial – my need or my dependency?

All uncomfortable questions. A tangled mess of thoughts and feelings.

An assault on myself.

Should I run or should I stay?

Let’s face it.

I can choose to live in the idea of things, keep fighting for (in actuality against) my absolutes, and even choose to live in denial.

I can take pleasure in “knowing” myself, convince myself that I do.

But that would be another absolute, and rigid, idea of me.

I can give myself a stamp of approval, call it self-love.

But how can I really love myself without knowing my real self?

So instead, I can choose to face it.

Face my self.

It’s hard. It’s a lot to ask. And yet, it’s the only way.

Overcome the discomfort.

Ask myself.

Why does it exist? Why do I feel attacked?

Is it me that’s under attack?

Or my absolutes?

The moment of stillness offered by this question that threatens what I [think I] know – it’s where the growth lies.

One step closer, in knowing myself.

Not the idea of me.

One step closer, in loving myself.

The big, large, spacious kind (of love).

Which will allow me to be in acceptance (of myself) – even when I’m in motion.

Which will allow me to create space (for others) – to be themselves.

Which will allow me to make meaning of my absolutes – not be defined by them.

Be willing to know myself, in this current moment.

To ask (myself) does this make sense for me now – why.

And in doing so, get to know myself.

Through being human – which is in being flexible and open to change.

Where freedom lies.

On the other side of my absolutes.

On the other side of denial.

Where I am willing to know my truths – feel alive in all my changes.

The willingness to be in denial is dying within me – I have to need to want to face it, my humanity.

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