Monday, April 1, 2013

Playground


A rather forlorn playground I happened upon yesterday short circuited me back to the play yard of the school in London that I went to when I was five. I wrote about it here. I don't know why the memory of that year is so keen today. I'm not feeling at all depressed, just reflective, musing on how certain watershed experiences can forge who we become. I think that year when I was five and living with my family in London was when I became aware of feeling not quite acceptable in the world. It is a sense of myself—a misunderstanding with myself, as one therapist termed it—that I have done battle with ever since. But isn't this really just the human condition? Don't we all come to a moment when the world sees us not as we see ourselves, and the disconnection begins? Perhaps the effort to put the fragments of ourselves back together to create a self that is whole and true is the epic struggle of all lives. I do believe we are, each of us, challenged at some juncture with making peace with ourselves. For some of us, this might mean living with the internal and external duality, recognizing the lie, accepting it as such, even if we never quite manage to mend the disconnection. I suppose this is what I'm thinking about this morning: How do we learn to live from the inside out, and not from the outside in?


14 comments:

  1. This week I was reading some Anne Lamott and she was saying that her whole life she has been waiting her entire life with the belief that there was a code that she was about to break and as soon as she broke the code, what was going to be revealed was the thing that she has been searching for her entire life. The code could be broken with her kids, her relationships, writing and having peace in her life. She just had to break the code.

    What has she learned?

    There is no code.

    She goes on to day this...

    "But there is no code. I don't know what you do in the aftermath of that- of someone saying there is no code. How do you go on, because the codes have given purpose and direction and sense of self and a sense of hope, but it was toxic because there are no codes.

    So let go, let go, let go, unhook, unhook, take the rusty fishhook out of your chest- it is not connecting you to anything true; it is connecting you to your own disease in your own code. There are no codes so what are you going to do?

    What we do is try to find the windows and the doors to get us out of the situation of being human, of having human minds... You have got to just understand that there is no escape and to sit down on the floor where you, feel the connection to your butt to the floor, breathe, notice that there is a tiny crack, a little tiny bi of fresh air getting in, and that is enough. Sit there, breathe, be present."

    Now in my words.. Just the fact that you wrote the question "How do we learn to live from the inside out, and not from the outside in?" is the answer in itself. Just being aware. Be aware every day. That is the answer. It is a journey, not a destination.

    Much loving and living to you, dear one. xo

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    1. Thank you for this, dear Birdie. And loving and living to you too. xo

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  2. I love this blog post, this photo, and the comment you received. Thank you.

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  3. great post!..I think as we get older we just want to be accepted for ourself (by our self) and others as we really are...without having to make excuses. I am trying to do this myself...by being honest in the simiplest ways....by not telling "little white lies" instead of just saying "no, I don't want to do this". This may sound so trivial but the other day I was asked to go to a family gathering and I simply said(nicely) "I can't make it"...instead of going on and on...Sometimes we can be our own worse enemy. I don't know if this is what you are talking about but for me it was living from the inside out..if not now..when?

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    1. it felt true and right when you honored your own needs, and that's exactly it, the whole deal right there. thanks for this.

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  4. I read your post and I immediately realized that this is exactly why I love being alone. When I am alone, no one here but me, I CAN live completely from the inside out. It is an ease and a joy. Maybe that's sad. I don't think so. I think it is restful and lovely.

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    1. Ms. Moon, yes! i think you just explained something to me about myself, about us. Thank you, dear friend.

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  5. Wow. You can't know how deeply this post resonates with me, my life and my current state of mind. I keep having seismic shifts when I realize the world sees me differently than I see myself, especially when I try so hard, so very hard to be seen the way I want to be seen, to be the version of me I want to be. I just fall short so often, it becomes a pattern, and an old scar that hurts whenever it's bumped. It is an epic struggle, and I wish I had the cliff notes from your therapist.
    I love what you write and how you write it and I've often thought my compulsion to write was based on the need to capture those moments, those watershed moments that shape us at such early ages.
    Off I go now to read about your playground. And to find more of Birdy's Anne Lamott quotes. And to try to start living from the outside in. xo

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    1. Mel, i wish i had cliff notes from that therapist too. She retired a decade ago, but i dont know where i'd be today if i hadnt had her to check in with in my 20s and 30s. i love it when you write about those watershed moments. i remember your posts about them so vividly. we are all so human, aren't we? I am glad you're here. xo

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  6. Living from the inside out is only possible as the opposite to living from the outside in. I guess what I mean is that living paradoxes or holding two contrary things in one's sights is the essence of being human, of duality, etc. I agree with Birdie, too, that the being aware of the duality is where it's at, and I'd venture to say that that is The Code.

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    1. Elizabeth, i do believe you have broken The Code! Holding two contrary things in one reality and being at peace with the inability to ever fully reconcile them. Yes.

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  7. Wow wow. Yes yes. I have a few memories like this - except I'm sitting on my dad's couch, watching he and my brother play guitar and singing. I so want to be a part of it, but I'm not. I so want to be a part of my dad's life, but I'm not. I remember my mom's friend telling me that when I was younger (2 even) I wouldn't say much at all, but just watch and she could always tell there was something going on, that I was absorbing everything. I think this may be my misunderstanding - that because I was born to observe, I felt I could never take part. I think what you say here IS the conflict of ourselves. I love this post, very much. xoxo

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    1. Rachel, some of us are watchers i agree. I used to think my daughter was at watcher, and then she goto a certain age and jumped into the mix. She still needs recharging time, though, as watchers do. Your sensitivity to what was unfolding before you, perhaps your very yearning, contributed to making you the beautiful writer you are.

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