Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Deconstruction of Me

There is a point in the life of each person when they gain the courage to start closely examining the parts and pieces of what makes up their own self, and the even greater courage required to toss out the unneeded things that hold them back and keep them from growing. Self reflection can be an exciting and terrifying business.

Eventually, as I realize how many of my assumptions and pieces of "me" are dependent on the unwanted bits, large portions of who I think I am come into sharp and glaring focus all at once. These moments are often akin to having the proverbial rug yanked out from under my feet, leaving me disoriented and searching and off balance. The domino effect of realization is dizzying and humbling and numbing, and, if I fail to quiet my heart in the moment, can leave me scrambling for a scrap of identity to hang on to.

I start to feel like Tevye, the main character of Fiddler on The Roof as he shouts in a moment of introspection, "One little time, I pulled out the thread, and where has it led? Where has it led?" I'm torn between the comfortable "used to", yet called at the same time towards the irrevocable pull towards growth and stretching. It hurts. It is a great, great struggle. Change is the ripping apart long held assumptions and notions that have brought me comfort, pain, belonging and rhythm. The roots and tendrils are woven into all the experiences and assumptions I gained from them, for better or for worse, and losing them blasts away all semblance of equilibrium in my "self esteem".

I don't know if I can change. I don't know if I'll ever be "happy" again if I pursue it and fail to catch it. The prospect of growing beyond my limited understanding and capacity for living and love sends shivers of delight and dread down my spine. What if I can't catch it? What if I end up depressed and self-loathing? I feel so alone and ill equipped.

But I'm not alone. As illogical as it sounds, I truly believe myself accompanied. I have to believe in my heart that the Caller of my soul is one that I can trust. That
someone will be there at the end of the journey, following me, empowering me, comforting me along the way, as I allow myself to come apart and be scrutinized by gentle eyes. That the core of who I was when I entered this world will be retained, and that I won't be lost all together in the deconstruction.

I'm too exhausted for particulars, and I don't really require platitudes or consoling, because I've passed the point of any of those things being useful. It's a journey, and against almost every splinter of my being, I'm taking the next few steps.