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Be-coming

Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death. – Anais Nin

Thank you Anais for your wise words.

What are we doing but trying to be-come? Become some THING some ONE somehow transforming the inner image into the outer (or vice versa, I suppose). I know my image of myself is not what others see — it never has been. Occasionally that is a good thing, frequently it is annoying.

But what my love sees when he looks at me is not what I see in the mirror. It is painful and joyous all at once.

Yet, this life, this existence, this presence I carry through my life is an ongoing process of becoming. As it is for all of us. Some of my students get it. Most don’t. No shame on them, nor glory. It just is.

Haven’t you ever had a friend who you loved dearly but who never managed to ‘get it’? A while ago (perhaps I am dating myself here) the media called it ‘tough love’ when you just let that person go to hell on their own merits. I don’t have a different phrase, but I don’t think love enters into it. Not without a lot of philosophical wrangling and a good dictionary.

I can be a terrible friend. I’m a poor correspondant and although I will be there when asked, I don’t offer to be there very often. Most peopel probably take that as a signal of a lack of caring, but its not. I just don’t want to ‘butt in.’ I have a tendancy to over-manage and to take on too much, and my not offering is my attempt to curb that… enthusiasm. It is protective of me, not dismissive of the other. I’ll admit I’m self-centered (reason #7 why I don’t have children, I can barely manage to keep cats alive) and I’m better at serving a large amorphous unseen community than I am a small circle of intimates. I do, however, care deeply about my friends. All of them, even the ones who are no longer a presence in my life.

I’m introverted, and horribly shy. Getting up to speak in front of an audience is hellish. Leading physical ritual is barely any better. I have the curse of the need to be perfect at what I am doing when in ‘public’ — and public here is defined as ‘in the presence of another human.’ Being with others, even the ones I love, is draining on me.

All of this was unknown to me a decade ago. Even five years ago I was only becoming aware of the reality. I still don’t manage it very well, but awareness has prompted understanding and that will lead to strategies I can use to improve. . . to move to the next stage of becoming.

Of course my next question is: Be-come what?

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