I spent the majority of the past 24 hours in the company of some of my most amazing friends. Our time together included smirnoff, the patriot + the psyche, king-sized beds, kitten love (like actual kitten love … that’s not a euphemism for any girl on girl weirdness), patio wisdom, 70s grooves, sliding Ws, headstands, ice fights, couch time, and screaming like a girl. Oh it also included one very memorable moment where Carrie took me out with an old-school suplex … like literally flipped me over her back to land on top of Christina. It should be noted that she is freakishly strong and a tiny bit mean. She took us both out with one spectacular Rowdy Roddy Piper move (remember that guy?) … she even threw in a couple of eye gouges that would have made the bekilted WWF star proud. (Yes “bekilted” is a real word.)
The night also included lots and lots and lots of talking. Conversations that swirled around the themes of change, authenticity, and community. It turns out that we are all facing some pretty huge transitions in our lives. We’ve all been chased down some twisty paths by our various demons and we’ve been winning the race. Until now. Now we are all inching ever closer to that proverbial wall. The one that looms inevitably ahead. The one that will force us to stop running. The one that will force us to stop and choose. Choose to fight (make a decision), negotiate a compromise (settle), or tunnel frantically under and keep running until our lungs burst (defer the decision indefinitely). As for me … I think compromises pretty much always suck ass and I’m getting irritated with all of this running. I think it’s time to make a stand.
change: The decision I am facing really could lead me to one of the most pivotal junctures in my life … a Robert Frost sized fork in the road. I mean I guess every moment brings an opportunity to chart a new course but this decision is bigger than most. Or at least it feels that way. Maybe it is just that … one more moment … one more opportunity. Maybe I should be cautious about giving it a mystic quality that its significance in the giant universe doesn’t warrant. It’s hard to say. Things feel intense. The stakes feel high with this one.
authenticity: While many decisions in life have a myriad of options that include all kinds of interesting shades of grey, this decision is one of those rare ones where I am truly choosing between two very black and white options. (PS … did you know that only 3 of crayola’s 120 colours include shades of grey … timberwolf, silver, and grey … that hardly seems like enough.) At the heart of this decision is the Jungian concept of the psyche.
The Self for Jung comprises the whole of the psyche, including all its potential. It is the organising genius behind the personality, and is responsible for bringing about the best adjustment in each stage of life that circumstances can allow. Crucially, it has a teleological function: it is forward looking, seeking fulfilment. The goal of the Self is wholeness, and Jung called this search for wholeness the process of individuation, the purpose being to develop the organism’s fullest potential (http://www.thesap.org.uk/jung-s-model-of-the-psyche).
I am struggling to understand which option will bring me closer to wholeness at this stage in my life. I have written lots in recent months about my quest to find and hold onto the most authentic version of myself. While I have made progress, I know that the ink is not yet dry on my latest sketch. The edges blur, the details smear, and the colours bleed unless I am paying very close attention. I haven’t quite figured out which of the options is most likely to help me preserve the image.
community: I’m not sure but … I get the feeling that the answer to this dilemma is community (Carl Jung meet John McKnight … John meet Carl). I’ve been thinking a lot about that lecture on abundant communities for the past several days (see my post from May 7th). I have been wondering which of the two options I am considering is most likely to give me the opportunity to share my gifts, passions, skills, and associations with others and which is most likely to give me access to those things being offered by others. When I think about my gifts, passions, and skills … I’m pretty confident that both options are fairly evenly matched. After all skills like roller skating, selfies, handstands, and kissing are in demand no matter where you are. 🙂 My gifts and passions are equally immutable. The deciding factor seems to be community … or associations. Throughout the week, I’ve been making mental lists. The gifts, passions, and skills part was easy but … I have struggled to identify my associations. Even applying the definition liberally (gently), I can’t come up with more than 5 or 6 genuine associations that I benefit from and that I could share with others. I’m puzzled by that and have gone over it and over it. I keep thinking I’m missing something. I find it hard to believe that is really possible after living here for 20 years. But … it’s a fact. I think it is THE fact that will help me make the decision I am facing. I have a feeling that associations are going to be far more likely in one of these scenarios than the other.
In the meantime … you should probably know that buzzfeed has confirmed that I am a passionate kisser. I’m putting it on my resume.