Thursday, May 15, 2014. As often happens I have no idea how my thoughts will trickle through this post. I just know I have a lot of them tumbling around in my mind right now, and that I do not feel calm and chipper. Will writing here help me to put pieces of thoughts together into a more coherent whole? Can I “differentiate” and then “link” them up in a better way so that I feel more “integrated” — as Dr. Daniel Siegel describes this process of moving forward through life in a healthier way?
I know a little guy who just turned four who wonders a lot about what death is and why, where dead “things” ARE once they are dead, and about what is real and what is not real. Once something is dead is it REAL any more?
His daddy told me that this train of concern began one day when their family went to a dinosaur museum. Just like at the local zoo the little boy loves to visit there were big glassed-in “cages” where the dinosaurs “were.” Or where they were supposed to be?
The little guy approached one of those “cages” to find NO DINOSAUR. Just a long collection of bones. “Where is the dinosaur?” the little guy wanted to know. “It is dead. They are all dead. These bones are all that is left of this dinosaur. Only its bones.”
Questions about when he will die, when his mommy and daddy will die, and WHY follow often now. What happened to a wolf now missing from the local zoo? “He died over the winter.” Where is the wolf? Why did he die? Why isn’t he real anymore? On and on….
Maybe I am puzzling about the same concerns but just on a different front.
When people do not seem able to differentiate their emotions and thusly stash them somewhere (?) are those emotions real? What if the front that appears to the world cracks open – no matter how wise, nice, smart, motivated, together, giving, happy, etc. etc. a person might APPEAR in the world, and even perhaps appear to their own self — if emotions that don’t fit this public image DO exist somewhere else, is that person “being real?”
What happens when OTHER kinds of emotions break through? What if a person is really (!) far more angry (full of rage) or sad (full of grief and sorrow) or scared than their public self ever shows? What do we let ourselves and one another know about our WHOLE self? Is a part self more real than a whole self?
When a whole self doesn’t seem to be present every day, all of the time in a person’s life — is a part of that person more dead than alive?
Very possibly because of my intense and very long history of terrible abuse during the first 18 years of my life I walked into my adulthood being completely oblivious not only to the fact that I had been abused at all but also just as oblivious to the self I am who experienced those horrors. Where were my feelings?
I don’t ask that question now. But I also realize now that there are MANY people who are so uncomfortable with FEELINGS – theirs or anybody else’s if those feelings are not deemed “pleasant” and therefore acceptable — that if such feelings should actually show up somewhere all hell is likely to break lose unless those “awful” (awe-full) feelings can somehow be made to disappear again — ASAP.
From my side of reality all feelings are REAL and are REALLY important – or they would not exist. If they are quarantined, banished, “obliviated” they do not go anywhere. In fact, I think they are more real that the “real” feelings people try so hard to “only” live with.
It makes me wonder about this so-called “derealization/depersonalization” that is a part of PTSD and other trauma-related developmental changes some people go through. So many people perhaps are NOT “being real.” How can they FEEL real to me when I am around them if this is the case?
I lived like that until I was 29 and my entire world began to fall apart. I woke up. Slowly at first. But I DID wake up. I am ALL me — yet in contrast to a “social world out there” in which many people may in fact not be living with their whole self present, there is a temptation for MY way of being in the world to be labeled “mentally ill.”
Mentally ill be damned.
I live my passion. My whole passion. Passion is not always easy, tidy, silent. It does not ignore what might be less-than-charming in life. Passion expresses itself. Passion is itself.
That’s my bias: Passion is real. And when one’s true passion is forced out of one’s main life I think sooner or later all hell WILL break lose. Passion is life. And sometimes life is just plain messy.
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