There are no two ways about it: I’m on a mission in this life. The ironic thing is that even I have not been completely aware of my mission most of the time. Nevertheless, I’m proud and thrilled to be who I am and to be doing what I am doing. If there’s any problem with that position, it would be that I’m frequently concerned I’m the only one who feels that way.
I don’t believe there’s any way to be a revolutionary and not be misunderstood. Even being so bold as to suggest you yourself might be a revolutionary sparks all kinds of misunderstandings.
I am certainly no stranger to being misunderstood. Actually, to be more accurate, I am most often misread. Even before there is anything to understand or misunderstand, I have found my mere presence alone gives the illusion of qualities or ways of being that are simply not present within me. Add to that my inherent fascination with paradoxes and oxymorons and the illusion factor is multiplied. Pile on top of that my drive to present all facets of sexuality freely and shamelessly then mix in my burning desire to withhold the highest standards and ethics in everything I do and… well, people’s heads are pretty much ready to explode with a swirl of factors that haven’t traditionally added up.
In my earlier years I was quite fearful and insecure and did not project the level of openness I have now. Funny thing is, I have come to recognize that I actually connected with others more readily in those days.
With an adulthood immersed in introspection, meditation, and shedding layers of fear, in recent years I have headed out the door with an openness of heart unparalleled before… a willingness to connect with others face-to-face in a truly genuine way.
The effect I have observed, however, is that this brand of openness is far more terrifying to people than hovering in the shadows and avoiding eye contact at all costs.
There was a meme going around a few years back with a quote from Meryl Streep that said something to the effect, ‘I am done knocking people down to simply say hello. I value myself more than that.’ Indeed, being a proponent for peace and goodwill does not mean you’re a spineless doormat. Quite to the contrary.
So after more than a decade of keeping my heart open wide for those I meet along the way — and having my heart stepped on more times than I can count — I’m doing things differently now. I've handed off the ball and I'm leaving it to others to open to me if they feel so inclined. Everything inside me says it’s high time for the power to shift in my interpersonal equation.
I have alluded many times this year to the books I have in the works. And if things go as planned, in July they will enter the realm of ink-on-paper publishing. Much like what you’ll find on my inspiration-inclined Twitter page, my forthcoming books are about opening to a more gratifying way of living. This encompasses not only achieving personal goals but more evolved ways of approaching relationships as well.
Given the metaphysical themes of my work, the choices I am now making around interpersonal relating could easily come off as hardassery on my part. Or hypocrisy, even. But to quote A Course in Miracles, “Only the truth is true and nothing else is true.” In that light, the same willingness to connect on a heart level with others of like willingness is still right there vibrating away within and around me, ready and available for those who feel the pull.
I wanted to touch on the relating topic in this segment because I imagine my experiences mirror what’s going on for a lot of us. As peace-oriented practices such as meditation enter the trendy zone, it can be all too easy to fall back into an era we as a culture just emerged from not so long ago: that of doing and saying things because it’s the ‘right’ thing to do. Or the ‘nice’ thing to do. And all the while, our true feelings are bubbling away under the surface.
I have walked a long and winding road to understanding that genuine connections with others involves not just kindness and openness but the oft overlooked self-esteem, too. It used to be the enlightened thing to say that ‘you can’t love others until you love yourself’. Well, though it’s fallen out of catchphrase status, it still holds true. Interesting fact: you can also replace ‘love’ with ‘respect’ and its precision remains intact. Try it. Out in the world, I mean.
Thank you for viewing and reading =] Rob
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