Friday, September 11, 2009

Dance of the Seven Veils



Find out who you are, and do it on purpose. --Dolly Parton

We're a funny species, we homo sapiens. What other animal has so many psychic layers? What other animal spends so much time and money trying to reveal its "true" nature? We sit for hours with friends, sisters and brothers, hairdressers, bartenders and psychotherapists, talking and talking, trying to unwind enough to understand what's at the bottom of any bothersome situation.

We consult oracles, astrology forecasts, tarot cards, read Carolyn Hax's advice column, and of course we read many many many many many many self help books, in an effort to understand all the deep subterranean foundations of our behavior.

Yep, we human beings are funny animals.

I'm thinking about this because, through all the recent reunions with friends from a long time ago (and from twice as long ago as that), I am learning that I'm really not that different than I ever was. Long before my ten years of psychotherapy, I was pretty much the same person I am today, "the original free spirit," as my high school friend described it. In high school I felt anything but free spirited, believe me, at least on the inside. But the life I've lived definitely reflects my friend's observation.

All the therapy, etc. was well worth it because it wasn't enough (for me at least) to be who I was/am, I needed to understand, I needed to peel away so many layers and old stories, I needed to come face to face with the essence of me. Others saw right through me, but I didn't get it. It is ironic, in a very funny way, to come full circle with the process.

Maybe from now on I won't have to be so focused on my own navel. I know who I am and I do it on purpose. Now maybe I'll make time to do something different than all that. Wouldn't that be nice?

22 comments:

glnroz said...

Dang, I like it when you talk like that...lol. I think we all have layers that we keep peeling away, then some of us just keep putting them right back on. But, I do agree with you, I seem to like.

Reya Mellicker said...

"People never change, they are simply more revealed."

Who said that? I can't find it through google, but I remember using this quote many times in the past. I never believed it, however, until just now.

ellen abbott said...

Very interesting Reya. I used to believe in nurture over nature but that was before I had kids. Now i'm nature all the way. We are who we are. the problem comes from not knowing or, rather refusing to accept who we are. Not that I think people can't change or shouldn't work on the unpleasant parts of themselves, just that we are born with our essential nature. It was a relief, a lightening, when I finally came to know and accept myself.

Verily I go. said...

Indeed! I love your 'many books and so focused on my own navel' reference, and I love you too. We are so blessed you continue to attempt to keep you feet on this planet. Always comfort to be here. Thank you Reya.

Merle Sneed said...

I live by the credo of the famous philosopher, Popeye the Sailor Man. "I yam what I yam."

The Bug said...

What would different from Reya's usual look like? Can't wait to see!

I'm terrible at self-contemplation. I had a couple of years of therapy. I've tried meditation. I think the only thing that really works for me is to just write stuff down - & then read it in 10 years & go "that's what she meant!"

karen said...

Hi Reya, I've just been reading through a whole week's worth of your blog! Inspirational and thought provoking as ever, and great images of course! I'm a great reader of self help books, inspirational words, and seem to think about "it all" way too much! Still finding out new info about myself, all the time. Usually just when I am sure I've got it all figured out!

Expat From Hell said...

The fact that you are so transparent and eloquent belies the supposed focus on your navel, dear Reya. And that you can write about it, inspire us, and keep us coming back...pure genius.

See you again soon.

EFH

Nancy said...

We all love taking the journey with you. I think we have basic personalities when we are born. I saw that in my children. But who we become is another matter. It has to do with how we decide to see the world. And I think you have decided to see the world in a very spiritual way, a good way. It brings us back time and again to read the wisdom that is Reya.

I have always thought myself as different. I don't fit into a mold. I remember wanting to, at one time. Now, it's okay to be a Seeker. But it was a side I kept hidden for many years, revealing it to only a few people.

Chris Wolf said...

A comment I make to my children is that "I am in the motion of becoming more of who I am." I like when another piece of who I am is revealed to me.

willow said...

Wise words from Dolly...and you!

Madtexter said...

Your words ring so true. I was so shy in high school that I couldn't wait to get to college. Once I was there, it WAS ON! Prior to going to college, I was defined by who my parents were, and I hated it. Everyone knew my business before I did.

Now, I can truly say I'm my own person, and have peeled away the layers one at a time, and I've found that those layers peel away much easier the older I get.

I feel more honest about who I am, but unfortunately I still put up or take down some walls depending on who I'm talking to.

Reya Mellicker said...

Boundaries are a good thing, Mad Texter.

Thanks Willow.

Chris I love what you tell your kids. What a great way to think about it!

Jeninacide said...

YES! My husband has described me as a "free spirit" as well... which is funny because it has always been what I aspired to but never felt like I had attained. Sometimes people can just see yourself better than you can.

Joanna said...

Yeah, when we're kids we kind of are who we are, and then in high school and after we're trying so hard to fit in that we tend to create facades that we spend the next 20 years trying to break through. For me it's just getting easier and easier now to be who I am without apology, and I'm still working on it.

From time to time we all still need a little bit of facade for protection, but less and less now.

Ronda Laveen said...

Every time we break something down, look at at, disect it and put it back together we wind up back where we started with a better under standing of the subtle nuances. It happens to me whether it be my life, or a sport, or skill.

People spend a lot of time talking to massage therapists too.

steven said...

hi reya, i like the game of forming narratives out of the threads of my life, like finding a bag of wool and making a sweater out of all of the ends of wool. bu digging deeper into the possibilities, finding out what might have happened, laying that up against what did happen and especially what might happen - what's possible, well that's truly exciting!!! however the knowledge is arrived at is alright by me - it's all a dream right. steven

Delwyn said...

Hi reya

You have the time now
because you spent the time then...

Happy days

Janelle said...

oh reya you ROCK darlin'! whichever path you walk, whatever you decide to do will be filled with magik. that's just who you are....don;t fret in the slightest. you're wondrous. xxx j

Pauline said...

This post made me think of Pop-Eye (I yam what I yam) and Arnold Bennett (You wake up in the morning and lo! your purse is filled with twenty-four hours of the magic tissue of the universe...)

I like the quote in your comment, too - we're simply more revealed. Age peels us like onions until we're stripped to the core and the core is, what? Pure space!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Great insight. I think I am still "becoming"... I'm not there yet and doubt I can arrive at some recognition of myself in this lifetime.

California Girl said...

I used to think I'd figure out who I was when I grew older. I thought I'd be done with therapy and exploring needs vs feelings etc.

The older I get, the less I know. That is the shocking truth. I am just old enough or smart enough now to acknowledge it.