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what does respect look like?

October 25, 2014

Despite being my grandmother’s contemporary, the version of Mrs. Nocerino who is my introject is probably younger than I am now. We are both adults, in middle-age.

I won’t badger anyone to talk to me. If now isn’t a good time, we can revisit this later.

No name calling. No insults.

I want everyone to get a fair shake. That includes people I don’t get along with. It also includes people who are unpleasant to me.

+++

Starhawk says, “Where there’s fear, there’s power”; there seems to be a nuclear reactor inside me, trying to prevent me from doing the work at Being Myself.

If the idea of that being my Life’s Purpose actually were laughable, or pitiful, or just perplexing, why are so many of my aspects mustering so much effort to prevent me from even considering doing it? Why not just let me fail on my own? I’ll learn my lesson, and move on with my life. There must be something worth keeping me away from here.

I keep thinking about Mother Teresa, as she was presented in Mary Johnson’s memoir, An Unquenchable Thirst. Mother Teresa apparently had a bottomless pit instead of self-esteem or self-love. In her quest to keep her nuns from finding emotional intimacy with each other, or anyone else, she created alienation and misery. Inadvertently perhaps reflecting how she felt inside.

My own mother, with far less social reach, has done something similar with my family of origin.

I don’t want to do that.

If I could heal myself, from the inside out, what other miracles might become possible?

+++

Spouse left for a photo shoot in DC early this morning. When I woke up, almost immediately, I improvised my own photography setting, and took a bunch more pictures of my body in contact with materials readily available.

I ate breakfast. I wrote a difficult blog post.

I went to the U-Haul store, looking for boxes that books could fit into. They didn’t have any, so I went to Staples. Got three boxes, and a tree-free notebook. I went to Pier 1, and got a new “compost cup”.

I went home, where I scraped leftovers into the compost cup. I packed up two boxes of books, and other small items.

I retrieved the mail. I took out the recycling. Inspired by the empty box, I went again over to one of the maple trees losing their leaves. I took photographs with the leaves, the leaves and the box, and both with me.

I’m writing again, because there are things I need to think through. I’ll have more things to pack up later.

+++

Why are Life Purposes that are devoted to the care of other people acceptable and even laudatory, but concentrating on oneself is embarrassingly selfish? Or just weird and sad.

Hypothetically, I could decide to become someone like Mother Teresa, and help hundreds of people. While being utterly miserable myself, and feeling like an unlovable wretch. Why is that okay? Or maybe it’s okay in the sense of “collateral damage”. But why?

Women in my family of origin became mothers, partly so they could get their own needs met through their children, somehow. It didn’t really work. To actually work, the child has to be practically a clone of their mother. And I think even clones should have the rights to self-determination.

I am so dissimilar to my mother, and my father, and most of my other relatives, that I’ve always wondered if I was adopted. Or switched in the hospital. I’m still wondering.

What can it be about me rediscovering who I am that utterly terrifies people? It doesn’t make any sense. I’m not violent. I’m not cruel. I’m not spiteful. I don’t gaslight people. Defending myself, or helpless others, I can be formidable, but not vengeful.

I’m mostly kind, and often gentle. Sometimes tender. I’m exuberant and joyful. I’m curious about everything! I need to be learning all the time. I’m fascinated by people who are different than I am (which is everybody). I’m whimsical and playful; sometimes I’m kind of goofy. I can be really funny (so I’ve heard).

What about me could possibly be fearsome?

+++

“Finding answers” is the wrong approach right now. I need to keep asking questions. There is stuff here I need to learn.

Why?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2014 19:15

    I have found that curiosity scares people sometimes. Maybe because you’re willing to look at things that other people are not. You are willing to unearth all your parts in effort to Be Yourself. There is power in choosing to look and listen and learn. (Goodness, Apollo is in my head this evening.)

    • October 25, 2014 19:59

      I hadn’t thought of that as a possibility; it’s definitely an intriguing idea.

      Apollo was part of my personal pantheon before I even knew that was a thing. Maybe I should explore finding my inner Apollo again…

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