Our character and social interactions, the way we deal with ourselves and with others, are built on the darker foundations of our addictions and how we come to terms with them, whether we are able to control our desires and emotions or are controlled by them.
The moments and experiences that turn into memories and persist within us are always the ones that carry an emotional weight. The rest of the things we go through we do not remember or recall. So our memory and recollection of the world is always subjective, reflecting ourselves and set of emotions and being in that particular moment, the person we were at the time. But, also, the memory which persists within us is not a finished memory or a static image; it changes within us as we change, for the memory itself is always grasped and viewed through the prism of emotions and thought, our growth and maturity, which are ever shifting.
It is not always the experience we go through which creates the memory within us, the opposite can also be true. Some emotions can be so intense that they generate a set of images and feelings that acquire the hue and shape of reality and thus persist within us, becoming more real than reality itself. That is how artists, in particular, grasp the world. But what is true for the artist is also true for the “normal” person. Memory and image making are no passive activity but a creative process that goes down to the very roots of our being and idea of the world. The person is both generator and creator, grasping reality not as a fait-accompli, but always creating it out if the prime material the world and our situation within it provides. In the truest sense, “we are the poets of our lives.”
Part of becoming mature lies in the realization that we do not know ourselves as well as we thought we did, that we are not transparent to ourselves and that we act motivated by certain forces, desires, emotions, and needs we have no control or knowledge of. Part of becoming mature consists in trying to befriend and bring light to this shadow life, while knowing that life will end before this endeavor does.
Only the weak person wants to bind others in contracts of blackmail and fear. These contracts come in many forms; one of them is love and kindness.
When you remember, which comes first, the image or the feeling? I venture to say that it is the feeling that calls out the image and frames it, giving it its depth, hue and texture — it sears it, as though in fog. Many feelings remain after being uncoupled from their original images, and so they create images of their own. This is well known to all poets and artists.
We all coexist with the idea that the people we love might disappear at any moment, though this idea, in the every day life, only occupies the fringes of our minds. But when someone you love has cancer, the idea becomes central, and it moves to occupy the entire space. Managing your emotions while going through this is one of the hardest things a human being has to do.
People are avoidant by nature; they dislike taking responsibility for their lives and actions. And because they don’t take charge, they feel, as a result, and subconsciously, that their lives are not going the way they want. This breeds inner pestilence and it becomes easy to get angry over trivial things. The energy resulting from a feeling of dissatisfaction and lack of control needs continual discharge, so things are invented over which to get angry, and life in certain areas grows dark and poisonous. Many people, philosophies, religions, epochs, curse existence as a result of this. Many people need hate and anger to survive.
A poet is one who feels and intuits the infinite in the finite, and this from the deepest elevations of his spirit and soul.
Poets and people in whom the spirit is rich and abundant face the danger of feeling excluded and guilty on account of that which makes them rich and unique — because it also excludes them from the company of people and society, and makes the space around them so great that very few could hope or want to traverse it. Learning the usual social skills is doubly more difficult for such people, because, at first sight, it feels for them as though it is a betrayal of the spirit in them, of their uniqueness and idiosyncrasy. But that is necessary if they hope one day to become more than just poets and spiritually rich people — human beings who are full of light and mastery, conquerors of the inner realms and of their lives, a light unto humanity, and also, simply, genuinely and deeply happy people, people whose ability for joy and fulfillment is so much greater than their normal kin could ever fathom or understand.
There will always be unbridgeable gaps between our knowledge and reality. On the force of what, then, does the person fill the gaps and act? Life was not founded on knowledge; and a being in the flux of life does not rely on knowledge primarily to act and react. Knowledge is a step back from life, and therein lies its value. It enables us to understand the emotional and unconscious forces and drives that govern our being in the midst of the action — emotions, forces and drives that have hardened into character — and by doing so it gives us the power of control by enabling subtle shifts in the emotions and drives which, in turn, enables us to change or redefine our character. By bringing unconscious motives to light these change and transform; and a person becomes free when, overtime, he is no longer acting out of them as from a compulsion. He is free, which means that the spectrum of emotions have widened, enabling more control and selection over the course of the action, enabling more ease as his sensory and experiential centers take in the outer and inner experience feeding the loop of his being and drives. He is now able to digest life and experience better and with more cheerfulness, and life is richer, more profound, fulfilling and manifold for it.
Though lesser in potential, self-confidence would take one farther than another who, with a greater potential, lacks trust in his own powers.
Feeling awkward or inadequate in certain social situations, that we are somehow less, is a self-fulfilling prophecy. What we project becomes the truth. We put ourselves off by feeling this way.
Realizing this is deeply liberating because, to our surprise, the world does not hold a grudge against us and has no preconception of us. It is liberating because it allows us to shift our feelings. We suddenly realize we are more powerful than we thought we were, and so are better able to move in our minds and bodies.
The best way to deal with your hurt is to just feel it, to just allow it to take hold of you, to sit with it and be the structure that supports its flow through you.