I am struggling in this sense of loss to recognize how I’ve embraced the victim role. It seems especially ironic as I have a philosophy that is not about being a victim, I have a history of overcoming any such role when it comes to work. I even have overcome that role just to be able to return to the realm of love. But I have still employed the victim when it comes to being finally embraced. Somehow, I have been involved with women who claimed to adore me and us (again, that is perhaps because of what women have learned to do), but who were not truly aware of their own hearts, their own desires, or their own values.
As I’ve stated before, I knew this, but sought to help, because they sought help. It was a perfect set–up for betrayal and for harsh feelings on all of our parts, as well as a set–up for us to continue with our roles, one of which is playing the victim. I know that I have learned that role well, and the ability to hide from it by my ability to rise above it in most cases. I watched the same pattern in mother and father and in their interactions, a victim, but one that can survive in any case.
But the universe is a funny place, and does not much allow for layers of insulation between illusion and truth, even if humans do allow it. The universe is timeless, so humans may take all the time they want to learn and to pretend to learn. The cosmos remains relentless in its presence.
I may want what I want in a relationship, and I do–the beauty of that vision engages me. But I will not get it while hanging on to being a victim, because that sense is only corrosive to the reality of such a beautiful relationship.
What I saw modeled in my parents as individuals, as a couple, is part of the legacy of my learning. Part of that legacy is also embedded in my learning from movies, television, stories, lyrics. There is always some reason why we don’t get what we want. It is not just about allowing others to be who they are or about allowing ourselves to be who we are, but about allowing our vision to become manifest (though we might need some checks and balances in the process). In that, I have not. Whatever these three women are, whatever my parents were, whatever they said, whatever their values, morals, and ethics, it is I alone who have kept my true vision (rather than the vision I learn implicitly) from coming to fruition.
Last night, coming back from seeing Guillermo Gömez-Peña and thinking about his performance, I thought about how we are in the business of creating victims and oppression. It is like carrion that sustains us, so much have we developed a taste for the decay of dreams. We are so used to our heaviness in our choice of food, of mood, of spirit, of body, of politics, of art, of religion, of relationships, that we cannot seem to truly embrace ourselves as anything else, even while many of us surround ourselves with new-age visions.
It seems that all I have been envisioning is true and possible, even likely. But last night, in a different way than it has hit me before, I felt that my forward thinking was premature. This did not seem like the sabotage routine of the victim, but like a pause, a reflection, a re-setting of the navigational instruments. A new self is a new self. Such shape-shifting is not something that humans, used to time frames and a history, are easily predisposed to accomplish quickly. As I’ve said to my students, it is one thing for me to walk into or out of a class, it is quite another for me to suddenly appear or disappear. That would be a violation of our sense of time and history and linearity.
Apparently, profound shape-shifting is something that can only be accepted when accomplished within time and with a history that establishes the worthiness of such a shift. Even then, many who have accomplished such shifts, whether it is professional degrees, advancement, contributions, loving relationships, etc., will still not believe in their worthiness. The habit of belief contains much power.
To shift from habit seems to require an assault, something to re-establish sensitivity. As I previously offered, perhaps we need to learn to create critical periods beyond what we have biologically in utero, at birth, or for language development. To establish new imprints, humans may need to learn the art of creating critical periods intentionally. In love, there’s adolescence and/or those “magical first encounters.” In philosophy, there are those college years or any other new periods of learning. But these seem mostly like unintentional periods, times that we are un-enmeshed to begin with. What can we do to create critical periods after we have already been imprinted and need to realign what we “know?”
We probably all have some experience with realignment. I realigned myself in my early twenties. I did it professionally in my forties. But it appears that we may need to do it regularly and that a few weeks off a year, or on weekends will not likely do the trick. And we may need to do it prior to heartbreaks, to learn without being clubbed over our heads.
The notion that suffering tempers and shifts our imprints seems to be unnecessarily harsh, simply because it leaves so many on their own and so vulnerable to those who feed upon newly emerged beings. Perhaps we cannot avoid anguish when we create or find ourselves in critical periods and forming new imprints. But, as a species, perhaps we can intentionally support such endeavors without standing arrogantly by, waiting to download our beliefs onto others.
In any case, I remain in a critical period, brought about by the heartbreak of my mother’s death and another broken relationship. And I find myself in the midst of the many weather conditions that abound in such a geography. Will I emerge as a new being, or only as an extension of that old one?
There is a definite distinction between development and transformation. The three relationships have been developmental and I emerged from each critical period having learned something, but having failed to transform. I cannot beat myself up for that. That being does not want to die and actually it doesn’t have to. But, again, it can no longer be the CEO.
Do I need a relationship with a woman?
I suppose not, at least in the sense that my life is not at stake, my humanity is not threatened.
Would I like a relationship, do I want one?
Yes, I do.
Do I have the courage to form a new imprint, to transform instead of to just learn how to get along with what I have?
That is part of what this journey is about. I hope so, I intend so. I am putting myself out there in plain sight. I strip away all of the veneer, all of the defensive explanations, and all of the masks. And I recognize that attempting to survive without the usual survival tools requires a new being, with different requirements.
Well, good luck–renewal is not so easy
Nonetheless, the silent acceptance and welcoming of the universe have been there anyway, even if they’ve often been obscured by the illusion of glory and heroics, that noise that we create in our head because we cannot seem to find comfort in the vastness and silence of the cosmic embrace. Yet, there are so many things to create in that vastness and silence, it is so filled with the essentials of creation that we are not left empty and without.
I suppose, at best, these words are the philosophic journey, the precursor to the deeds, the re-setter of the creative gauge. It is a careful journey of words, one in which I do not want to create and recreate old patterns. Sometimes the dialogue serves to do just that. But this journey is about opening. And it seems to me the distinction is the peace and awareness such an opening can bring, as opposed to an awareness of filling in the spaces of our lives, especially by having conquered something, of having successfully defended the realm.
So, it is time for a reorganization. I have inadvertently employed a CEO that has tended to dominate my perspective, however much I’ve accomplished. That victim is in front of me, obvious. And just as obvious is the realization that victim (or any archetype on a regular basis for that matter) must not run the show. I say to him so, and I say that is not the same as being devalued. You have your place and you are and will continue to be blessed. You shall live, and you shall be well, and you shall do so in the service of all of me. In that place, all will thrive, none will be without, all are blessed, and we shall transform together.