Regarding My Self
‘I don’t know’ has been one of the most powerful answers I have ever come across. This particular answer carries with it humility and an openness to possibility. With respect to the question, ‘who am I?’, it feels like the only appropriate response.
I often have the habit of identifying with particular things in my life – my possessions, my home, my city, my work, my name. Implicit in our language, the identification with that which is outside of me is intimately tied to the very use of me and mine. Am I really those things? What remains after all that exists at the surface is stripped away? Do I no longer exist?
Any attempts to identify with things will only leave us feeling less than we already are, which is whole and complete. The challenge is that the feeling of being isolated and incomplete inevitably leads us to acquire, to expand our self, in order to fill our deep need for connection, which only perpetuates the initial feeling of disconnection.
Integrating the Past
I wrote a blog when I started my latest adventure across Canada sharing my experience of releasing a few of my material attachments through fire. The feelings I experienced during this process were mirrored back to me by family, along with a level of confusion as to the reasoning behind my actions. How could I burn those cherished items from my past, those things that made me who I am today?
I feel as though much of what I write about is read as an outright rejection, bordering on regret or anger toward events in my past. Please know that such interpretation could not be further from the truth. My process of healing is one of acknowledgement, acceptance, forgiveness, lesson integration, and release of past wounding – not resentment or anger. I am filled with fond, loving memories of my past and the people who were a part of the story. Indeed, it is through healing and the honoring of such a necessary process, that I am able to recognize negativity I carry, thereby allowing me to transform such emotions into positive ones.
The Gift is the Present
Since few people actually talk to me about what I write, I have little opportunity to clarify miscommunications or to expand on the reasoning behind what I do. I am aware that a lot of what I say and do steps into the realm of the absurd; indeed I wonder whether it is possible for spontaneity to ever satisfy one’s thirst for reason. I do not believe that a box of items defines me, nor are they necessary for me to remember my past. Why turn from the fullness of life in this moment to focus on an abstract memory of the past? Fulfillment can only be found in this present moment – through the creation of new experiences and deepening the connection of relationships.
What I release is all that which keeps me from this present moment – limiting thoughts, emotional baggage from the past, anxiety about the future, any story that can be titled, “why I cannot be happy right now”. When we place our memories into material objects we invariably lose a part of ourselves. For the Harry Potter readers, a parallel to this idea is contained within the story of how Voldemort attempted to make himself immortal by infusing parts of himself into material objects called ‘Horcruxes’. Each time he invested himself into another object, the totality of his being was reduced.
When I released my attachments through the sacred element of fire, I felt lighter, stronger, more complete – like a part of my Self returned to me. The emotions I experienced were the emotions I invested into the objects. The fire freed them by connecting me to the impermanence of all around me. I am not my possessions.
The inspiration to choose another name also reflects this understanding. I am not rejecting my past. I am tuning in and finding another word to express my new and present state of being. Labels have many interpretations tied to them. Skye is a reflection and embodiment of all of the ideals I practice to integrate into my daily experience. It provides me with inspiration and enables me to infuse new possibility into my relationships. Name changes often marked important transitions along one’s life path, most notably the passage from childhood to adulthood. We are constantly changing.
Being Consciously Now
I believe we are a product of our past as long as we allow our past to define who we are. Are you the same person you were ten years ago? Saying that I am a particular way because of my past is not only limiting, it feels like it diffuses responsibility for a present action. We always have the choice to be, act, and think differently once we wake up to this latent potential within. These choices only exist in the present moment.
We are not our things, we are our relationships. Nothing exists in isolation. I am because you are. It is not the physical environment that defines us, it is our interaction, our relationship with all that is. The web of relationship keeps us connected to each other. It is the stories we share and the stories we know that connect us to those around us. To be lonely is to not have your story known. The breakdown of community and the intimacy of knowing your neighbours has been replaced by the superficial substitute of television shows, soap operas, and dramas. These temporary fills only give us the illusion of knowing the stories of others in a weakening attempt to fill our deep need to know and be known.
Share your story. Listen to your neighbour’s story. Co-create and play together! Everyone I meet has given me invaluable wisdom through their openness, whether they are aware of it or not. For that I am grateful.
A Fool on the Hill
I practice moving through my life with a lightness that enables me to pierce the illusion of the games we play, and yes, it is all just a game that we collectively create. Once we see it as that, we are able to change the game. I do what I do to open myself and others up to the make believe world we live in and make real by acting as though it is. I question, I love, I challenge, I dream – this is my present gift. I have no idea where my path is taking me, but I trust in it. My community gives me the feedback that lets me know I am on track by expressing gratitude and sharing inspiration. I am grateful for all that has been given to me.
I am not these words.