We look at ourselves in the mirror daily. Part of it is self regulation and maintenance. The other is vanity. We are all vain and there is nothing wrong with that. I consider myself to be a person that continually strives for altruism in helping others, and I still want to look good. It is a form of control. And control is something we all continually strive for to affect the outcome to situations that arise in our lives. But the very idea of control was controlling me.
After several tragic losses in my life when I almost lost all sense of myself not to mention my life from an accident and an appendectomy I felt disillusioned and not whole. For the most part I was still myself. I still strived to help any one and everyone. I still vehemently meditated several times each day to find inner peace and tranquility. I still feverishly yearned the nourishment of knowledge not acquired and wisdom I had not yet obtained. And to an extent I still sought out love yet I still felt unworthy.
When I felt I had reached a depth so dark and so far from my norm I decided that I must leave all notions of who I was at the door. And if they were still there when I returned then they would be richer and fuller than before with a depth and dimension that would foster a knowledge even greater than myself. The first thing was to remove all things that showed an image of myself. So I took down all pictures of myself and locked them away. I removed every single mirror, magnet, aquarium, anything that showed a physical reflection of me. I did this because if I could no longer look into myself and clearly see who I was that any image of myself would be a lie. I also felt any of my reflections would further augment the clarity I sought. And since that was gone I shaved off all of my hair, which to those that know me are still in disbelief because as much as I complain about this big ball of thick curls, I freaking love my hair.
I took my meditation time to a level I had never went to before. I always practiced it before but this time I did so fanatically meditating for hours nonstop. I did this all day every day without fail, barely breaking for food and water. I stopped watching tv. No going out. I would only speak to friends on birthdays or if something major came up. No internet. I completely cut myself off from the world. During this spiritual (also physical as I had to relearn to walk three times) So this was a physical as well as a spiritual and mental journey. All of myself, my entire being was up for the test.
During my quest, I reached such a deep level of desperation not knowing what else to do. It had been ten months since I started and I still felt fragmented and lacking in the centered self I once was. I didn’t know what to do to realign my spirituality and self love again. I cried became angry and ridiculed myself endlessly. Another six months past but the only thing that changed was my level of frustration which grew immensely. I still held on to the last strings of hope that remained refusing to give up.
One night I gazed upon the stars as I always have searching for answers but to no avail. Then a small blue star far off in the heavens caught my attention and I squinted my eyes to better see it but the image became distorted and harder to see. I got mad cursing profanities into the sky while almost searing hot tears streamed down my face. I closed my eyes hard and took a breath and when I opened them and I was about to go into another barrage of expletives, the star I had tried so hard to see was so bright. In that moment it was the brightest star in the night sky. A soft wind caressed my check and I felt true euphoria for the first time in years. I was so moved and felt centered and connected to everything. And my tears were no longer anguish. They were tears of joy. It was bliss.
I then remembered why I started this journey of self reflection. It wasn’t about regaining control. I always to an extent in most cases had some form of control even when I didn’t realize it. So I had control but it wasn’t doing anything other than making me feel stagnant. I let go of that concept of controlling how I healed and how I completed the stages in life I wanted to achieve. When I stopped trying so hard to control my vision, is how I gained clarity. I wanted to control the flow of life but when I became the flow itself, the experience became so full and vivid. I wasn’t just living life, I became life. That’s how I was able to see that beautiful star far off in the distance. I had connected to vision itself and that is how I saw what I yearned to see. I became control. I became life’s flow. I became desire I became love.
I’m still a work in progress. I don’t have all the answers to life’s riddles because if I did I would share them with the world. We all are works in progress and will be our entire lives. Things will go wrong again and I will have to deal with whatever comes next. I am still working on the goals that I thought by now would be completed. But as of now I am whole again. Centered upon the flow of life and what I wish to obtain, to learn, and love. Still working on my master’s degree. Still learning about myself and our world. And no I haven’t found my soulmate, the man I have dreamed of my entire life that I know is already a part of me. And as a gay man I still fight for true equality so that I can marry that man that I dream of in this country. My journey isn’t complete. Our journeys aren’t complete. But for now I know my vision is clear to know him, to work my ass off and to know when and who to help. I no longer need to look into a mirror to see myself clearly. I know my path and to truly love…myself again.