I say disconcerting because so many times we sit in a stupor, or what might be more softly described as philosophical befuddlement, and wonder why do we have to be who we are. Looking in that mirror we see the same person, day after day. So, we begin to wonder….how did this happen? Why am I Seven in
Why did I get these parents? Why was I born into poverty rather than wealth? What is it like to be Patricia in
A songwriter captured this feeling with the phrase “No matter how fast I run, I can never seem to get away from me.”
We do this. We run and run and fake this way, then that way. We buy different clothes and we swear we will change this or that. Still, looking back out of the mirror is that same old you. Every time.
Some visualize the demon too long and place a gun to their head. Some choose the escape of drugs. Some slip into mental decline and others cope nicely with this smothering constraint. And in the middle of all this we ask over and over…why me? Why am I me?
I don’t know the answer, and I know that is a big surprise to you. I do think wrapped inside this mystery lie explanations for our behavior. It seems to me that the first order of business is to accept the fact that this is presently inalterable. Maybe the future holds some secret where we can choose to be a new individual each day? Maybe. But it does sound confusing, doesn’t it?
Inherent in knowing that this fact is inalterable comes the twin and painful fact that we must now do the best with whom we are. Again this is likely not a philosophical nugget or thought unknown to you before now.
But we do this dance of confusion with ourselves anyway. We get up and look in the mirror and decide what there is to not like, change, or wish to be different. Why was my father not a millionaire like David’s? The dance with confusion and the inalterable goes on day after day. Week after week. Year after year.
I am reflecting a simple yet inalterable fact. Unless the Creator decides to issue a memo we will not unravel this anytime soon. We are simply stuck with the image in the mirror and the thoughts that reflect our discomfort with these stone facts.
In our discomfort, we grant a tattoo artist the right to push ink into our backs illustrating God knows what. Maybe a snake coiled around a something or other. We decorate ourselves with piercing jewelry. We succumb to alcohol and drugs in an attempt to numb the reality of the recurring image in the mirror. We are cruel to others because we are not them. I could go on with these examples a long while and you could do so as well.
I’ve worked my way to making the obvious more obvious and now I am reluctant to make such a simplistic statement that we should all just decide to love ourselves because we can't change the facts of who we are.
We all already know this don’t we?
And so I guess I am left with another intractable truth.
It is far easier to teach the Truth than it is to practice it.
Maybe tomorrow the image looking back will understand something finer.