For You

Hi my friend,

I came across this card the other day and wanted to send it to you…and you…and you..and keep it for myself as well. The inside flap is blank, but on the front of the card, the following is printed without attribution-

“‘Finding yourself’ is not really how it works. You aren’t a ten-dollar bill in last winter’s coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. ‘Finding yourself’ is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you.”

Bam.

The thought of emotional excavation seems like a Herculean lift. Perhaps you find it easier to avoid the process – totally understandable, if a little lazy. Perhaps you fear what’s at the real core – although I have a feeling that the core is undoubtedly fantastic. Admittedly, we all dig a bit, we all have a hazy picture of who we are, but when we have to let go of the protections we have built, we stop. Far too much of a risk, maybe.

Here’s what I know – none of us are that good, and all of us are perfectly imperfect. None of us have arrived at adulthood without totally pissing some people off, stepping on our tongues unintentionally (and intentionally I guess), wishing for a few do-overs, and making emotional negotiations that may or may not be healthy. We all rationalize what we shouldn’t and overthink what isn’t in our control anyway.

We marvel at birdsong, look breathlessly at Dave’s photos (davidkanigan.com), weep at the thought of how we have punished the earth, love so hard it can make the heart truly ache and if we’re even slightly self-aware, know that we have been mysteriously blessed with precious people and moments in our lives. We are boastful and insecure; indignant and tentative. And at core, at that hidden core – there’s a lot worthy of a good look and a lot of forgiveness.

Maybe it’s time to unpack a bit, lighten the load and see what’s at the heart of your heart. You will be happily surprised at what you find. Go ahead – you can take the risk. Love, m

https://youtu.be/mSfH2AuhXfw

20 Comments »

  1. At age 80, I can affirm that as I’ve taken on the excavating that you encourage us to do, my old age has become an incomparable gift, in spite of its physical limitations and losses. I have made friends with the heart of my heart!

    • I love that you have made such a wonderful friend!!! And delighted to read that regardless of limitations and losses, you are still gifted with such a beautiful heart!

  2. What is the so called true self? Isn’t that a cliché?
    Well, the problem starts with the ‘self’ already, doesn’t it? Jung tried to define it but more or less in vain. Modern psychology doesn’t know it.
    We like the idea of the polarity of our being. Indeed, imperfection is human. Perfection is an ideal but not reality.
    Thanks and cheers
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Agree – though within the context of this quote, I think the reference is more as an encouragement to try and unpack some of the negative descriptors that have been ascribed to us by others. Not an easy task, for sure – but perhaps an illustrative one?

  3. Thank you, dearest Mimi, with all my heart, for your lovely note today. I’ve decided that many – perhaps most – things in this life border on the incomprehensible. How else to explain that I’ve been playing catch-up, post-Edinburgh, and was reading ‘For You’ when an Apple notification pointed me to your just having read me!

    And Lori has already said it for me, in her note above: “There is no way to sufficiently explain how very much I love this. No. Way. Thank you, lovey, for this wise and wonderful post. Xoxox”

    And yet, as ever, I want to say more as well! I want to say that no other person I know writes like you do. The loving camp counselor of yore has become teacher to so many of us. And teaching costs, of course, because it’s what Parker Palmer calls ‘Leading from Within’ – and inevitably there come seasons when we’re not much minded, or able, to write at all. But the seeds have been sown and we know that if we just wait quietly, patiently …

    I’ve just celebrated hearing the release of two wonderful new ABBA singles, 39 years (!) after their last recording. Tears and something else, inchoate, accompanied the hearing, like a wellspring. And I think it a most special day that I’ve heard them, and read and heard ‘For You.’ Thank you, Mimi, for finding time to write for us all. We love you dearly. And I want to say to you, my friend and teacher, as ABBA, and Lori do too:

    Always –

    ‘I still have faith in you!’

    🙂 xxx

    • Ah Simon, you fill my heart (and my eyes if I’m being totally honest)…I think you give me far too much credit – I’m just someone who muses occasionally and arguably little more than that. To consider anything I write as instructive or worthy of such praise is humbling. Without hyperbole or cliche, I look to you for such moments. And you never disappoint. I did hear that ABBA is putting out a new album and going on tour! I’m tickled that their first releases have been heard by you – and that they continue to elicit high praise!! Yay! Thank you for your love, your generous heart and your friendship. Xxx

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