I meditated this morning and completed my re-reading of Awareness (discussed in this week’s earlier posts). I wrote in my handwritten journal, too.
I wrote about something I am reticent to mention here. In fact, I’ve decided not to. I don’t feel comfortable sharing certain thoughts. But why? I ask myself. What does it matter?
Past experience has shown me, in harsh terms, the dangers of keeping things bottled up. Yet some things are really hard to share. Total honesty is extremely hard — perhaps, even impossible. The perceived risks are too great.
My reticence is a reminder of the hold others’ perceptions have over me. I don’t like it, but I’m too afraid to buck it, even when I suspect others could benefit from reading or hearing it.
Of course, nothing I could possibly share would be unique to me. The range of human experiences, thoughts, feelings, and emotions are not limitless; a certain commonality binds us together. It is why (together with my religious upbringing) I prefer to think of us as brothers and sisters, even though we live much of our lives as aliens, competitors, oppressors, and victims.
Perhaps some good would come to others (or myself) from sharing. But perhaps not. Perhaps I’d regret it. And that’s sufficient reason to hold back — the possible regret and hurt, that is.
I know I am too easily hurt. I’m endeavoring to better understand the reasons why. With such understanding, I may become immune to such hurt, which, of course, would make for a more contented life.
For so much of my life I had to keep so many of my thoughts and experiences private. Public disclosure is not an option in the corporate world, where everyone has to pretend they “have it together” and don’t harbor any unconventional or radical opinions, aspirations, or values. Conformity and compliance are valued above all else. The risks to one’s career in shattering those expectations can be severe. So everyone pretends. And holds their cards close to the vest. I can’t be the best way to live one’s life. But it’s our destiny, it seems.
The risks are much less if not nonexistent today, at this point in my life when I’m financially independent and, therefore, free from the threat of economic injury inflicted by employers or clients. Yet I am still not free it seems — free to share freely and fully, that is. I wonder where that fear is rooted. I think I should find out.
In the meantime, I am settling in. I’m getting more comfortable with the loneliness. The solitude. Indeed, it seems the loneliness is transforming into aloneness, which is essential for the purpose at hand. The lack of distractions — the space to focus, reflect, and meditate — is essential, at least for me.
For much of the first three days I was questioning whether coming here was such a good idea. Last night and today it seems clear it was.
In the desert.