Dear World, how are you? I know we are in quite a pickle. I was already in for quite a season but this has given a weird twist.
Anyway, here I am, showing up. What do I have to tell you today?
It’s easy to look at symptoms and try to fix them. It makes sense, because the symptoms are what are causing us the immediate problems, the discomfort.
But symptoms always have deeper roots. And my experience is that it goes deeper than you may realize. The idealist in me wants to dig all the way down to the very root and resolve the issue there. Not always practical or called for, but it’s worth a consideration.
I am an artist, I was built to create. I create because I have to. But I had this other problem, this inner belief deep, deep deep down stuck in my physical body, that said “I’m not worthy of attention.”
So instead of creating and sharing them out of sheer joy and necessity, my “showing up” got burdened with a twisted mission. A mission to make me, nay prove to everyone, that I am worthy of attention. I tried very, very hard, to make myself unique, valuable and exceptional. It was an untenable proposition — a belief like that forms a lens through which I view the world, and no matter what happens I always zoom in on events that can be interpreted as the proof of my belief.
But now everything is unraveling, thanks to my very ordinary mid life crisis. I say ordinary because I perceive this as very common and consistent with what folks in their 40s go through. I was not so exceptional nor unique, I can’t count on that to make me a worthy existence. The root problem was not that I was unworthy of attention, it was the fact that I believed that.
It’s scary to let go of the tentpoles I was using to build myself up. But I am letting it collapse and looking for new tentpoles, this time not so twisted and fragile ones. In the ideal world, every individual deserves attention from others — loving, accepting, caring kind of attention. None of us should have to earn that right, it is built into our existence. Or at least believing that seems like a better tentpole to me.
I keep thinking that this pandemic has hidden messages. The fact that it’s super contagious. The fact that it targets the vulnerable, those with compromises in their system. The fact that it’s forcing us to isolate and slow down. I can’t wrap my head around all this — I hate to admit but I am kind of self-absorbed. But it’s a worthy discussion.
Have you had any experience where you thought the problem was one thing but there were deeper issues? Let me know. Thank you for reading my thoughts.