- ... are trying to guess what is normal. Yes, I can relate to that. But it could just as well be due to other reasons, such as the fact that spirituality is more important to me than it is to normal people, and in an unorthodox way at that. I am also artistic, which normally places you straight into the category of outsiders.
- ....have trouble finishing projects. Nooo, not really. Or at least I didn't used to be that way.
- ... lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth. No, that's not me at all!!!
- ... condemn themselves without mercy. No, that's not me. I'm hard on myself but I don't do self-blame very much. Perhaps it's a matter of how you put it.
- ... have a hard time having fun. Well that depends on many things, not least my company.
- ... take themselves very seriously. Well, again it depends how you look at it. I'm not so sure I take myself so seriously, though I certainly take life seriously. I have humour, though it's not always obvious when life feels demanding.
- ... have problems with close relationships. Yes... but who doesn't? Especially if you don't fit the norm.
- ... overreact to changes they cannot control. That's an odd statement. I usually embrace changes with great zeal, but I do have trouble with feeling out of control. Does that make me a control freak? Well, again, it depends on the context.
- ... are constantly looking for approval and acceptance. Yes, I guess so, quite often, but I can live without it too. I don't go fishing for it that much, I think. I'm not an ambitious person and so someone else's encouragment keeps me going. Is that a fault?
- .... see themselves as different. Well yeah... is that really only because of my childhood? Hm, I doubt it.
- ... are extremely loyal, even towards people who don't deserve it. Well I certainly am loyal but I drop those who don't deserve it! Ok, I admit that when in a close relationship, I do tend to persevere too long and accept too much. This I know to be a pathology.
- .... are impulsive to a point where they have a lot of dire consequences to deal with. Hm, I always thought a certain degree of risk taking was a way of getting experiences of life!
So, as you can see we have once again a list that attempts to pinpoint a category of people who do, after all, have very different ways of dealing with their traumas and have grown into different kinds of insight. Will have to see if these assumptions actually expand or if it continues the same (which books like these tend to do, I might add).
There are times when I get very depressed about the beginning of my life and wonder if we can ever truly heal without having to resort to 12 step programmes. I'm afraid I'm one of those who doesn't feel drawn to any 12 method way of dealing with things either. It's in my nature to be creative and free thinking. No critique intended for those who find it useful to structure they lives accordingly! The question is, how do we know that the way we are is really a question of pathology or just a consequence of us truly being different from the norm. Eileen Aaron did us a great favour when she published her research on highly sensitive people and found that up to 20-25 % of the population are that way and would even go and hide in a dark place at times because they are so overwhelmed with too much input. That was a step in the right direction for people who are more vulnerable on the outside than others. It doesn't mean we are weak people, though. Very often people like myself have to come up with a bunch of strategies for survival and though life is not easy, we wouldn't trade in our sensitivity for normality either. Even as it is, I get bored with myself. Though one could argue that it's my personality that makes me crave for changes and a more energetic life style.
At the moment I feel very confined, but this is not a new issue. I have always felt limited as if I had had to squeeze in a limitless being into a tiny human mould. Which I probably had to. All I have really, are my intuitions. There are no books that would pertain to my situation, at least not as far as I know. I guess I have to finish my own... Some people would say it's a blessing when your work is your hobby, in other words, that you get to do what you like the most. But everything has two sides. My situation is such that I don't get to have vacations. I sit in isolation day in and day out. Is it really that odd that I feel bored with my own company and have trouble motivating myself? I'm not a complete introvert, so I crave interaction with other people in order to get the needed stimulation. I want to write and make art based on my life and not just theories made up in my armchair. It's funny how this point of view is readily accepted by normal people but spiritual people feel that you must be happy to be alone in order to realize your higher potential. Other people cannot fill that void in you, and so on. I understand that. But we were also created to move around and interact with each other. Again I am happier thinking in terms of a paradox where we need both solitude and company. Too much of either is detrimental. It's all about the happy medium as usual.
A friend of mine who also is not into the feel good spiritual way of thinking because we need to clear out emotional blocks before we can be truly authentic people lists some methods here.
They say this full moon is exceptionally strong and marked by the sign of Cancer, which is my sign and one that stands for emotions. Great. It probably means a roller coaster for me... Maybe I'm supposed to go through every human emotion there is because I've felt stuff in recent years that I never associated with my personality at all. Feelings such as rage, envy, being riduculed, feeling judgmental, even sordid revengefulness... Yikes! Though most quickly pass, I hasten to add, and don't seem to come back. It's so easy to say, chill out, let go, don't worry. Right now I feel, that the only way I could do that would be by giving up life altogether. Which in fact you can do if you reach enlightenment, so you don't necessarily have to take your life! But what has never been clear to me is the prerequisites for this. There are many paths and many stories of people who got their great insight. I also take into account the possibility that some people are already enlightened when they were born, but have chosen to take a tour among human beings in order to understand more about dualism (good and evil to boil it down) and to assist the world in its attempt to disengage from the fetters of the subconcsious mind and animal-like instincts.
I'm trying to work on a collage for Valentine's day, but it's hard to come up with ideas that don't support the sleezy and over-romantic view that all there is in life is the love of a companion. My thoughts are so foggy... I seem to have lost the little ability I had of thinking up something straightforwardly symbolic. I hope this is a sign of improvement and not degeneration! Who is to say! Indeed, romantic love can only take you that far.
Artwork: "The Mask", digital photograph by author, all rights reserved 2008