I told my older sister one afternoon that I know what sort of a person I’m becoming.
I have come to understand that I am on track to something, that I am becoming someone I do not need to be scared or ashamed of, that I could actually be useful, inspiring, strong, and yet vulnerable, loving, kind. I know the texture of my mind, the style of my being, and the music of my soul. Intimately. And while this life-long discovery shall never be complete, I am not a stranger to myself anymore.
Imagine, experience, capture the lightness and joy of being that belongs to you when you can say exactly that–“I am not a stranger to myself anymore.”
Once, I had been a stranger.
Once, I did not know what I was doing. I learned to observe, analyze, adjust.
Once, I did not know why I was doing what I was doing–which is a more fatal level of not knowing what you are doing. I learned to feel, to think, to trust.
Once, I knew why I was trying to do something, but I was not doing it. I learned discipline, grit, suffering.
I do not claim to have mastered such inner character and abilities as have led me to this place. I only point to them as the prominent guides along my journey. I trust that those who have walked a similar path testify to the same.
A particular thought pierced my mind over the last week, and it is this: All want to do what they want.
The sum of such people can be described in a bell curve on a graph, with the two lower ends signifying those who do what they desire, and the apex of the curve (signifying the majority) being those who constantly struggle between baser and nobler desires.
On the left are those who simply do what they want; as such, there are fewer of them than the strugglers, for to exist simply to gratify one’s self results in destruction of life and that which makes life worthwhile.
Those who struggle make up 80-90% of the world. These are those who feel at least some sense of responsibility towards something, and thus are in conflict–at the basic level to ensure a decent life for one’s self with minimal self-denial, and at the higher level to do good for others without sacrificing pleasurable enjoyments.
The third category, the minority on the right hand side, are those who have so trained, purified, and disciplined their default desires and behaviors that what they want to do is that which is best for themselves and those around them. Thus they accomplish both of what the other two categories strive for, without contradiction.
The question is not whether this level of being is possible. The question is whether you would live in such a way.
Back to the story: When I said as much (in more practical detail and less esoteric elaboration) to my sister, she laughed and said I should listen to myself.
That is exactly what she did not realize–I have been listening to myself all this time. For years, I have been listening to my thoughts, my words, and my actions, tracing the themes and threads they weave in reality, learning to hear and understand every part of my being so I can bring all I have into the light.
That is how I know I speak truth when I say I speak and act as if I know what I am doing and why, because I do.