Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The New Normal...the Limitation that Leads to Expansion...

I am having issues with my new normal! Although it might be more accurate to call it my "all time normal."  You might be wondering what I'm talking about, so let me explain:

Many think that accepting limitation is defeatist and below them.  I would argue that any growth and change in Life, any expansion, relies upon the limitations one is presented with in Life in order to flourish.  I, like many others find this limitation uncomfortable at times, likely do to my shortsightedness.  Other times, this rubs me the wrong way because I also know that I am filled with limitless possibility.  

There are many examples of this law of dynamic balance that exists between limitation and expansion...The gravity and other forces that hold our solar system in balance being a prime example.  The restriction caused by the sun's gravity allows the planets within its sphere to run their courses, and in the case of Earth to sustain carbon based life.  The planetary orbits would most surely decay very quickly, were it not for the sun's limitation upon them.

This dynamic balance exists within modern psychology, it exists as well in ancient thought, spirituality and religion.  It is particularly found, both in the Kabbalah and within Eastern thought as well as both Eastern and Western astrology.  This idea of dynamic tension exists within quantum physics as well.

Returning to my main point, my "new normal" has in itself been a liberating experience.  There are some, I'm sure that would call my disability limiting, and they are by no means incorrect.  I would add however;  There is a sense, (my sense, my life experience) where it isn't limitation, it is who I am on a neurophysiological level...and I'd better get used to it, it's all there is.  I find it hard to let go of plans and goals that weren't even really mine to begin with.  Both by my rearing and by society I was taught implicitly, that there are certain things that "normal" people do, in "normal" society, etc...and of course as far as goes law and civility this is accurate, however the expectations inculcated within from an early age still effect each one of us deeply and color our will and way.  This doesn't have to be a bad thing, in fact, every day parents teach their children world over love, respect, equality, democracy...perhaps not in the same for that exists in our culture, but whose to say ours is any better  anyhow?

I'm learning to be comfortable in my skin.  I am an (almost) 50 year old man, and I've seen people of all ages go through profound changes throughout life as have I, however the fact remains I was born without the Corpus Callosum, due to genetic defect.

There are things I do great, I have a lot of talent, passion, and energy.  Yet every day I live with extreme short term memory loss, confabulation, emotional and attentional regulation issues.  While skills that I have gained in recent years have enabled me to improve all of these things and my own quality of life, they don't go away...they won't "get better."  At the same time, I will learn, improve, benefit from new studies on AgCC, and from the team of people helping me medically and more.

Yet, the closer I get to embracing my "normal", I find that I still want to compare myself to people all the time.  When I say people, I am not referring to specific peoples, rather my thinking puts it into "me" vs. "them", them being everyone else but me.  I still struggle with the feeling that I am not good enough, because I am not like "them."  I wonder, what is it that causes me to latch on to this thought pattern, this feeling, and not want to let go?  I'm frustrated with how "wired" I appear to be to all of my upbringing and social conditioning about "just be like everybody else."  I mean seriously, how can I be like "everybody" I'm just me, and so are you.  While I understand this intellectually, it still occasionally causes me much distress because those types of thoughts start surfacing again.  To be sure, even after we change a (psychological) behavior or habit, the "seed" of the old habit still exists and will come up until such time as that behavior is both automatic and consistent for a long time.  In short I still "go there."

I've worked through so much shame.  I was told by many including my own parents "why can't you just be like everybody else?"  Sometimes with my ACC, I'm literally "back there" at 17 being told this by my father, I can see his face as clearly as I can see my own in a mirror...it's like a haunting image.  It used to come up often just like this as I would drift off to sleep at night.  To be fair, I love my dad, and I'm not in any way disparaging him, that man did everything within his power to support, help and protect me for many years...

You see, even western society while explicitly condoning individuality, implicitly demands everyone's homogeneity, unlike the homogeneity found in some Asian cultures like China and Japan, this one is founded on a person's "public face" or what Carl Jung called the Persona.

So, anyhow, I still find myself constantly being put up against an impossible image of what "everybody else" is like.  My problem with this, please tell me, I've never met anyone who wasn't "different"...who then can in any honestly say we should all be alike?  What an f*ck!ng boring place this would be.   If all I am aspiring to become in this is becoming entirely comfortable in my own skin, then so be it! Each and every day I can experience more of being comfortable with myself, much like a hand fits in a custom glove... but it takes one step at time...left...right...left...right...and onward.

May all beings be happy and free...
~Just Joe

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