“What a long time it can take to become the person one has always been! How often in the process we mask ourselves in faces that are not our own. How much dissolving and shaking of ego we must endure before we discover our deep identity ….” That’s Parker Palmer’s comment in his wonderful book, Let Your Life Speak.
The process meanders. It tracks back often, revealing the same scenery many times over. The way forward is anything but a straight line.
We mark time with linear numbers. We count days, months and years in ever-ascending numbers. We add up birthdays. These sequences suggest order, smooth progression, intentionally moving from one stage to the next. It’s a lovely thought, this notion of life with Swiss Rail precision, complete with courteous porters to cart our luggage and mannerly companions to share the journey.
In Wednesday’s post, I mentioned my intent to divest myself from the false self in order to make room for the authentic aspects. My experience in leaving the former behind while moving toward the later is a lot like driving in Rome: rules are open to personal interpretation and nearly anything goes as long as you get where you want to go.
Frequently it seems as if I am confronted by a niggling aspect that I thought was decidedly left along life’s curb. Yet, there it is, waiting cheerfully at a new destination as if nothing was amiss. Had I merely been traveling in one gigantic traffic circle? Every now and then, after repeated efforts to ditch an aspect that’s not at all authentic to who I am, that pesky trait suddenly decides to give up its clingy ways and stay behind once and for all.
The way opens up. The skies clear. Freedom … for now.