ON KNOWING YOURSELF

The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.
–  Carl Gustav Jung

Who are you?

I do not mean ramble on what is your personality like according to the Myers–Briggs type indicator, nor to prattle on the origins of your family name or your zodiac sign. These are details that, of course, do contribute to your identity. How attached to them are you? Doesn’t the importance you give to them hinder you from achieving potential change?

When undergoing a self-assessment of his personality, one tends to remember better the positive aspects. This makes sense as one shall generally choose to introduce himself to new encounters through a favorable light in order to make a good first impression, rather than denigrating his own self. As one thus keeps presenting himself according to the very same set of values, the negative parts are often left out of the equation, making a seemingly very little mark on his mind.

Isn’t it human, after all, to simply choose to focus on the good rather than the bad?

At times, concentrating on the favorable elements in our lives is indeed the only way to perceive the end of the tunnel. In some cases, it may even serve as a life-saving action. Yet, one ought not to forget that as human beings we are works in progress. Life means constant evolution, embracing changes, undertaking new experiences. This means learning to navigate through the ebbs and flows of life. In order to manage it, one has to accept that there is a balance in the way he is, but that shall not hinder him from modifying its weight. 

We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.
– May Sarton

oouui
BCN, May 2020, GC

Aren’t you willing to grow?

I recently fathomed out that the great and prime patience I, for so long, believed I had was not truly reflected in my actions. I can be quite impatient at times and with my stubbornness, it is often likely to lead me to waves of anger. It is never pleasant to realize that you possess such and such flaw, let alone acknowledging it to your peers. And yet, it is also the only way to work on it. It is always the first step to take in order to progress.

It seems needless to say that this is not an easy task, for it requires a constant self-evaluation. Moreover, it demands a certain kind of strength to accept ourselves in our most vulnerable state  – the most genuine and authentic. Many people, as frightened as they are to conquer their fears, are not willing to confront themselves. In the same way, they could be intimated to disclose their true self in front of their peers.

Indeed, it takes a lot of courage to be authentic but there is no other alternative to self-growth. Perfection is unattainable. One cannot forever hide beneath the covers of an illusory self, as they eventually fade. This does not mean proclaiming all of your defects from the rooftops, but simply not pretending to be someone you are not and thus not lying to yourself.

***

All in all, to fully know know oneself requires to, sometimes, shift the focus, see yourself through a different lens and be ready and willing to evolve.

Do not worry, the universe will test you and if you pay enough attention will always show you the way.

how well do you truly know yourself?

Le Canzoni. Jovanotti.

ON INTUITION

Intuition, commonly known as the ‘gut-feeling’ is oftentimes portrayed as a superpower, a tough virtue to nurture, a sixth sense or a divination. But what is it exactly? How often does one encounter it? Is is really an inner source that calls for cultivation? Or is it barely an esoteric and frivolous idea? 

***

“The ancient Icelandic word for intuition is “innsæi,” but in Iceland it has multiple meanings. It can mean “the sea within” which is the borderless nature of our inner world, a constantly moving world of vision, feelings and imagination beyond words. It can mean “to see within” which means to know yourself, and to know yourself well enough to be able to put yourself in other people’s shoes. And it can mean “to see from the inside out” which is to have a strong inner compass to navigate your way in our ever-changing world.”

I do not recall undergoing any epiphany as a child which years later would lead me to move to a different city. All I know is that for some reason, still unknown to me to this day, a specific city would remain stuck in my head, on my mind, in my heart for a long period of my life. Perhaps this is why it seems as though in the blink of an eye I took the decision to leave everything behind and move there, after realizing I had to take responsibility for my own dreams and wishes. But why there?

As I look back, trying to piece together the memories, nothing in particular calls up to my mind. There was no movie or documentary about that place that seemed to have struck me. There was no story I had heard that could have impacted my younger self. There is no reason I can exactly pinpoint why I chose London. All in all, London did choose me, as it transformed me too. And yet, all this time, the British capital embodied a dream of mine. Thus, I pulled up stakes. I followed my dream. I followed my heart. It is only after things truly starting shifting in my life that I became aware of the real explanation behind this life-changing occurrence: intuition. 

***

“Intuition is the whisper of the soul.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti
BCN, Nov. 2019, GC

***

Many people consider intuition as a mysterious and scary word, an otherworldly term. In a culture in which risk is predominantly seen as harmful, daring to follow your intuition seems to be rarely encouraged and supported. Indeed, it takes a great deal of courage and bravery to do so. For, intuition is, in fact, very much rooted in the spiritual dimensions of one’s world. It is a mystical sense, an enigmatic and cryptic gift. To decipher the meaning of one’s unconscious calling is more often than not a laborious task to achieve if it is ever attained. 

Intuition is diving deep into the unknown. Intuition is a hidden awareness. Intuition is a powerful force that can drive you to channel your inner self. It is a singular tool that requires time and careful practice to be eventually mastered. But it is also a gift that needs to be cherished and cultivated. It is a decision to be made: to follow one’s heart, at one’s own peril —yet most-likely at one’s own benefit. 

Intuition is one’s inner voice. It is one’s best teacher. It is the most meaningful sense you connect yourself with. It is uncanny gleam in the dark. It looks like an outlandish path on the map. It is a concealed trait in one’s soul. Thus, tuning may require efforts, yet the results display best its value. 

The key element in mastering one’s intuition is belief, almost extraordinary belief. In fact, it demands faith. It necessitates believing in the imperceptible, the unknown, the illogical. What a grand faculty, indeed, to be able to literally believe beyond belief. Believing fully into something, without needing any material proofs. 

For intuition is merely trusting your inner self genuinely, leaving space for that little voice inside your soul to erupt from your being, and utterly trusting the universe. 

Dream. Jain.

did you ever follow your intuition?

ON MEANING

“It might be possible that the world itself is without meaning.”

Virginia Woolf, ‘Mrs Dalloway’

Does everything have meaning? The latter is a question I have long pondered on. I have come to realize that, perhaps due to my personality, I tend to seek meaning in every event that happens, every thought that occurs to me. This insatiable desire to make sense of the world, of the universe, lights me up. Nonetheless, more often than not, this never-ending quest leaves me with unresolved queries. This idée fixe might merely be the result of apophenia, in other words, ‘the tendency to mistakenly perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things’. Or could it have been generated by all of life’s torments previously endured? This pursuit could thus be the result of a crucial need to answer all the why’s, find a judicious explanation to any trials and tribulations and grasp wisdom in appalling circumstances. Perhaps it can serve as a way to fight against the lack of justice and fairness of life towards one in particular. Some could even say they use meaning as a shield against the unknown and a strength to never be defeated.  

Yet as, once in a while, some occurrences do not seem to make sense at all, do they still have meaning? Is this search constantly required? Is it solely necessary to navigate through life’s hardships? For one to be able to withstand adversity with strength certainly requires to emerge from it with a lesson. 

***

Oléron, Nov. 2019, GC

As my contemplations took a striking turn, the possibility to leave all meaning in the dark, for certain things only, seemed like a fruitful answer. From time to time, indeed, the reason behind may be elapsed, as one can choose not to look upon it without further ado —perhaps a difficult task for the overthinker’s mind. For, it may be plausible to believe that everything has, in fact, meaning and not need to decipher it at all times. 

***

What about life’s grand meaning then? 

“Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.”

Joseph Campbell

In the last years, having been through a roller-coaster of emotions, I often found myself reflecting on that one question, attempting to uncover a definition to life. These are thoughts that usually leave us puzzled, in a more meditative state than we were beforehand. I wrote a piece entitled The Meaningful Nonexistent Sense of Life, in which I dwelled upon the idea that ‘life was nothing’ and so were we. What might seem to be a bleak perception is yet the absolute opposite, as I continued:

‘Of course, life does not make sense. How could anyone explain the tremendous and swiftly changing rides of one’s existence? Why are there so many serendipities, tragedies, and mysteries? Why do so many opposites intermingle? Simply: why are there so many unanswered questions? And yet, just because life does not seem to make sense to us, it does not any less deprive it of meaning. This is not a gloomy perspective to take on that matter. On the contrary, it constitutes a hopeful call to life.

There are as many bits of magic scattered around us as individuals that have for some reason which we cannot grasp been brought around us. It is okay not to know. It is okay not to understand. The most important is to keep on seeing the beauty and being thankful for it; it is to learn how to clear our mind when the vision gets darker. And along the way, we’ll find ourselves in a quest to discover our own very unique mission of life.’

***

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”

Albert Camus

Perhaps there is a meaning behind this piece I have just penned, or not at all. Who knows?

La Vie Ne Vaut Rien. Par Tim Dup.

what do you believe is the meaning of it all?