Monday, February 27, 2017
YOUR TRUE HOME
Each one of us is alone in the world. It takes great courage to meet the full force of your aloneness. Most of the activity in society is subconsciously designed to quell the voice crying in the wilderness within you. Until you learn to inhabit your aloneness, the distraction and noise of society will seduce you into false belonging, with which you will only become empty and weary. When you face your aloneness, something begins to happen. Gradually, the sense of bleakness changes into a sense of true belonging. This is a slow and open-ended transition but it is utterly vital in order to come into rhythm with your own individuality. It is the endless task of finding your true home within your life. It is not narcissistic, for as soon as you rest in the home of your own heart, doors and windows begin to open outwards to the world. Your connections with others become real and creative. You no longer need to scrape affirmation from others or from projects outside yourself. This is slow work; it takes years to bring your mind home.
from ETERNAL ECHOES
This reflection by John O'donahue points to a truth that many of us try in vain to ignore. Social pressures are always great––to force us to "join the crowd," to be "one of the boys (or girls)." Going against that current carries a heavy price. If we do not conform to the expectations of our society, we are considered odd or strange or even somewhat deluded. As children, we are relegated to the role of outsider. As adults, we are seen as persons who reflect discredit on our families and communities. The result is that we are forced to hide our true natures and act in ways that "do not make other people nervous."
Yet, we persist. As one of Flannery O'Connor's characters comments (a mother observing her eccentric daughter) "Every year she gets more like herself and less like other people."
But it is such non-conformists who contribute what is most valuable in our society. These are the creators, the pioneers, the ones who defy the accepted ideas of the times to formulate new paradigms, produce new forms of art, new ways of being. The others, lagging behind, may resist such novelties for a time, but eventually even they may catch up and seek to learn from their brothers and sisters who moved ahead and now become the invaluable teachers of those who were so slow to change.
Someone said, "Revolutions are never won. The opponents simply die off.
P.S. As the nonconformists mature they will encounter more and more friends and acquaintances who are much like them. They will recognize and support one another. At last, they will have found their tribe.