Archive for July 26th, 2009
In thinking about this post, I thought back to this photo I took in April, 2008 in ChangZhou, Jiangsu, China. I was taking part in a three-day event with other Foreign Experts who were at work in education in China. Before I get into the post, I do want tos say that risking the two years as a university prof in China was one of the greatest gifts I ever gave to myself… Now back to the photo. I was between sessions, well truth be told, I had snuck out during one of those interminable boring aspects of conferencing in order to wander in the light showers of an overcast afternoon. I took ownership of my time rather than allow an outside force to maintain authority. And in doing so, I found this flower. I was there with it at this point in time, a point in time never to be recaptured.
Each of us loses so many of these precious points in time because we give authority over ourselves to others and to the world. Failing to take the risk because of wanting to maintain approval of other(s), results in loss – loss of soul, a diminishing of self.
If I risk myself, I may lose your approval. If I lose your approval, I will perhaps still be larger, for I will have gained my own approval. (James Hollis, On This Journey We Call Life, 2003, p. 30)
While we might on some days prefer to simply be happy carrots, relieved of our urgencies, our anxieties and impossible desires, we also suffer greatly when we are not living the life which the psyche wishes us to live. Such existential bad faith will always demand some payment – in the body, in our relationships, in our disturbing dreams, or in the burden our children will have to carry for us.” (Hollis, On This Journey We Call Our Life, p.12, 2003)
I know, this is a tough road. The hardest part for me is the balance between what my head wants and what my heart wants and what those around me want and need. Most often, I cave in so as to keep the world around me at some level of peace. Like most people, I beat back the urges, the voices, the dreams. Guilty as charged.
Like others, I then have to pay the price in terms of my body. Sleep becomes more difficult and the dreams seem to taking on a louder voice in an attempt to have me recognize them. I don’t want to go there. Instead of recording the dreams and thinking about them, I surf the Internet and read news items that are really not news at all. The disquietude within is simmering. I don’t want to go there. Why can’t I be a happy carrot?