For several months I have neglected writing articles in favor of writing poetry. This was done for a variety of reasons. One reason is that poetry is quick and can be written in between calls at work. I was writing articles in this manner as well but only able to write one piece per day at best and readership was fairly low. However here I am with a great deal to say now and the poetry slowly slipping from my mind. I truly enjoyed writing “Unicursal Hexagram” and enjoyed the support it got, but the following piece “Without I” did not satisfy me in the least and did not invoke the image I had in my head when writing the piece. I had noticed this occuring in many of my recent poems and felt that the poetry was getting to a point where it was forced. Thus I am going to write this article in order to break from the poetry and begin addressing some thoughts I’ve wanted to essay on for quite some time.
“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” – Benjamin Disraeli
The constancy of change has been written about ad infinitum and I would like to address change from my own perspective juxtaposed against stagnation. Over the course of the past two years I have gone through serious doses of both in extreme degrees. My hope is that some reader will see these anecdotes and, if they can relate, will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I sit here recognizing within myself the intrinsic worth central to my being and that that recognition has changed me from where I was two years ago. I have mentioned in other places within the blog that I spent three years living in Asheville, NC and that I had moved there to be closer to my children who are now grown. I pushed myself into a massive change by uprooting from northern Minnesota, leaving behind a profession I didn’t mind and a comfort level that exists only when life becomes linear, to living in the south where culture shock promoted a tremendous degree of unknowing and uncertainty. That period of time was marked by two very distinct poles — continual change vis a vis social and professional upheavals and stagnation vis a vis a “resting” into the normalcy of change.
There is a tremendously interesting issue at play here. While the thesis of the article relates to personal change I am describing a period of time continually bombarded with stagnating within impersonal changes.There are many people that I know that stagnate within stagnation. For example, an old friend goes to work everyday and works very hard to provide for his family. When he gets home there is a very specific routine that he and his family goes through. Once a week he goes to a friend’s house to play RPG’s. This cycle runs through seeming eternity. Now he likes things exactly this way. However there is no catalyst for change in that stagnation. In fact he has made it clear that he could not handle what I put in my life as far as constant change. Please note that that statement is not meant to imply superiority nor inferiority. I have simply never been raised in consistency and thus cannot relate to it in nearly anyway. Ultimately our individual stagnation is a stagnation within what we were raised in.
That stagnation is not conducive to personal change. To clarify the difference between continual impersonal change and this very specific definition of personal change I feel it is necessary to define them separately. Continual impersonal change can be defined as changes that occur continually throughout time involving factors not directly within your control. Examples include changes to the workplace, to the home life, to social groups, to romances, and other such changes. They may impact you and urge your towards personal change, but far too often those changes are temporary. Personal change, in a way, does not truly involve change at all. Personal change, then, needs to be defined as becoming truer to your true self. On the outside this may very much appear to be an actual change. An extreme example may be your typical 1960’s and 70’s hippy who had abandoned that lifestyle for the white collar world of the 1980’s. Thus they were called yuppies. The appearance lends to the idea that the group had changed. The reality is that they had either turned away from their true selves or they had moved closer to their true selves. As an aside, my personal opinion on this group is that they were moving towards their true selves. Not all who express notions of spirituality are in fact spiritual people. In fact there is an incredible trend for people to cling towards the idea of who they think they are versus discovery of who they actually are. My old friend mentioned above was behaving in accordance with his true self. Thus any expectation of him to change is a wasted effort. Looking at that from his side any expectation that I would become more like him was a wasted effort as well as that is too far removed from my true self.
We are, at last, brought back to the crux of the article and the original anecdote supporting my thesis. When I moved back to Minnesota I had high hopes for change. I didn’t want to let my kids down. I didn’t want to let my old friend down. I didn’t want to let my other friends down. And of course I did not want to let myself down. I immediately started eating healthy and going to the gym and reinserting myself into old friendships. After a period of time, when physical changes were not being reflected in my body, I succumbed to depression. That depression led to a series of “changes” involving isolation, reverting back to eating junk food, and a surprisingly unsuccessful suicide attempt (I had taken two full bottles of meds including Klonipin and Seroquel). A part of me thought that mental illness was being true to myself. I thought that it must be my fate to simply dwell in depression and medicate for the rest of my life while spending a great deal of time isolating, eating junk food, and playing video games. A variety of excuses were used to explain the isolation, poor eating habits, and obsessive video game playing. The primary excuse was that I just obsess over too much and I wanted to find a balance. I wasn’t ready to make the change without first finding that balance.
In conclusion “change” only Truly occurs when we have embraced our Truest self. For me the way that looks needs to be broken down into how that appears in body, mind, and spirit. With body it means upholding self-care through a ketogenic diet, a regular amount of walking, exercising no more than 4 times a week for no more than 25 minutes each session (exercise is defined slightly different than play which can be done for any amount of time I choose). With mind it means regular engagement in research and a return to reading books, but not overindulging reading as I have had a tendency to do. Lastly with spirit it means fully embracing that my spirituality means that every action I take is done in devotion to the sacred feminine and that finding balance between body, mind, and spirit includes continuing to engage in writing that I intend to focus on reaching out to my fellow man. Does this act of being True to my Self mean becoming perfect? Absolutely not. I still deal with depression but I will no longer owned by it. I still get angry, however there are plenty of anecdotes of figures in history getting angry when you would not expect them to. Furthermore I still enjoy being a sexual being, but will not surrender to lust as I have in the past. Is this the picture of change? Or is it the embracing of a Self that I was always meant to be?