We see only what’s in front of us…
…And even then, only what we’ve told our feet to carry us toward. Choice and conviction, too, play their roles at the behest of your own personal direction. Something must physically change, than, in order to view what lies beyond the boundaries of our peripheral — but at least that remains an option.
So how might one begin to look within?
Should we place our faith solely in others? Depending on them to focus our peevish perceptions of the world and ourselves — or is there another way? Can we learn who it is that we are, somehow, on our own, and yet still be free from bias?
I believe we can.
It might be my youthful naiveté, but I have been convinced, for quite some time now, that the self can be known — though it takes a preternatural resolve towards the necessary work, and, even then, years. First and foremost: Honesty. Honesty with ourselves, and, as well, honesty with others. Before we go spreading “information”, which, truthfully, when is unproven, is nothing more than mere rumor, we must know that what we’ve heard or seen was true — and not merely an illusion…
There is a passage in the Pulitzer prize willing, John Patrick Shanley play, entitled, “Doubt”, that I always return to in my mind when I think on the concepts of rumor and gossip, which speaks volumes, as well, as to what havoc they reap on our own psyche, along with others’.
Father Flynn, in blue and white vestments, is at the pulpit.
Flynn: A woman was gossiping with a friend about a man she hardly knew — I know none of you have ever done this — and that night she had a dream. A great hand appeared over her and pointed down at her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O’Rouke, and she told him the whole thing. “Is gossiping a sin?” she asked the old man. “Was that the Hand of God Almighty pointing a finger at me? Should I be asking your absolution? Father, tell me, have I done something wrong?” (Irish brogue) “Yes” Father O’Rouke answered her. “Yes, you ignorant, badly brought-up female! You have borne false witness against your neighbor, you have played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed!” So the woman said she was sorry and asked forgiveness. “Not so fast!” says O’Rouke. “I want you to go home, take a pillow up on your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me!” So she went home, took the pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to the roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old preist as instructed. “Did you gut the pillow with the knife?” he says. “Yes, Father.” “And what was the result?” “Feathers,” she said. “Feathers?” he repeated. “Feathers everywhere, Father” “Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out on to the wind!” “Well,” she says, “it can’t be done. I don’t know where they went. The wind took them all over.” “And that,” said Father O’Rouke, “is gossip!” In the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, Amen.
How many feathers have we all cast to the wind over the years?
If you’re anything like me, quite a bit. Embellishment makes for better stories. You instantly become more affable, enigmatic, and entertaining — but, at what cost? In my humble opinion, the feathers that are impossible to reign in which, in the parable, have graced the townsfolk’s ears, are similarly released into your mind whenever you’re not honest with yourself. And soon, if not held in firm check, when you release enough, you’ll find that your living in delusion. Or, rather, you wont. Sometimes you get so deep in the rabbit hole that you can forget that you’d ever gone down it at all…
This is why the self, and knowledge of it, is paramount.
It’s about growth. It’s about improvement. It’s about getting better. You simply can not grow if you cover up your failures from yourself. When you spin lies you become blinded to what is, what can be, and the work — as, there is ALWAYS WORK — required to get there. Blind as you will be, you won’t find the road, and, if you do, you won’t be able to recognize the path anyway to your true happiness. You will forever walk a twisted path of your assumed success, miserable, for some untold reason, with every gaining step.
Surely this is not the way
However, and again, it is possible that all this is just my 28-year-old, unrelentingly child like, naiveté talking (It’s an admission I must make if I hope to believe my own words), but I am skeptical. I’ve been doing my best to relay information honestly, to others as well as myself, for a while now, and though it’s not won me many accolades, nor hoards of acquaintances, it has brought me into some meaningful relationships, of which I would not sacrifice for the world.
In any case this is all very personal, and unique to each of us individually. There is a journey to be taken when searching for the self. An expedition I’m still on, say thank’ya. But I feel that this is the real fun of life. The meat of it. Simply: the path.
It wont be easy, cleaning the mirror we face — but what award would be worth it’s shimmer without a fight? And when you feel down, or lost, or simply out of gas — which you will, if you’re driving at the path with everything you’ve got (as you should) — a good Quote will always be there to remind you of who you are, or at least of how to remember. This is why most quotes revolve around The Self, and this is why I’d like to share with you all my quotes on the subject as well.
People who base decisions on one factor alone cannot possibly understand the matter at hand. — Jan 1st, 2012
There are no absolutes — only a spot on a spectrum within your own private perspective. If held in mind, this makes life easier to bear. — Dec 21st, 2011
Verbal or mental judgement of others is an obvious and ugly reflection of the self. Don’t judge others — change yourself. Lead by example. — Dec 26th, 2011
If you overly concern yourself with the adventures of others, you will never experience any for yourself. Live or observe — those are the choices — Dec 26th, 2011
The only thing you will ever regret learning, is nothing. – Feb 21st, 2012
When people use words to hold you at bay; to bring you down, make you small and incite a bad day — remember then this one shining truth: You’re fine, they’re in pain and their salvation relies on you — Dec 30th, 2011
You might have the best idea in the world, but present it poorly and no one will notice. If you’ve worked hard, than you’ve earned faith in yourself, and it’s not hubris. – Feb 18th, 2012
A life led in pursuit of understanding the self, is a self that’s lived misunderstanding life. Be good, be, then — be happy. — Jan 2nd, 2012
Health should be regarded as existing in three distinct places: Your body, your mind, and your awareness — all essential, and each no more important than the other. — Jan 3rd, 2012
It’s not everyone’s destiny to be great. Some are destined to be mediocre, to be worthless, pathetic and scared, and some, the smart ones, forge their own paths, knowing that destiny is highly overrated. — Jan 9th, 2012
Inspiration leads to Creativity, Creativity becomes Invention, and Invention lends itself to Inspiration — Thus is the wheel of life.
If you can’t find your place on the wheel of life, well, than — You’re not living it. — Jan 21st, 2012
Discernment above instinct is all that has made us man. Never sacrifice who you are for a group, as you yield to the very thing which has made you. – Jan 17th, 2012
When presented with opportunity, never ask, “why?” — that road leads only to excuses. Instead, try, “why not?”. – March 7th, 2012
Never sacrifice your own uniqueness in order to worship someone else’s. – Feb 28th, 2012