How do I bond with myself? Where do I truly belong?
I am alone, and it’s quite ok.
Accepting a truth that bites, and exploring what comes after.
Loneliness is human-ness, until I become a real home to be within.
What is the reality of human connection?
I skim through the hours between beings and different levels of intimacy.
A call to a family member opens a window and the persona that comes with it. But significant others get another facade. My old classmate will witness someone else — and all I’ve got is the same features, and a tape looping in my brain without ever stopping.
I want to connect, yet, I can’t accept the truth that I am in this life, alone.
How do I reach interdependency and find solace within, and without?
Varying from people to people, my emotional needs on this planet make me act in different ways. I hold on to security, or perceived security while I fight for the survival of my assets: time, space, freedom, material possessions — and my supposed ‘potential’. As I contract the expression of my identity according to society’s realm, I see myself lose contingency on honesty. Hours upon hours I self-monitor. Thoughts pass by, following careful algorithms which leave little space to change and growth. I adapt to and from people — according to my trust in the other being, I am either in survival mode or mere automatic mode.
Because I want them to stay by my side, to be with me. Why?
I can’t accept we are alone. I can’t accept I am alone.
There — a painting of scarcity but I needed to acknowledge this truth. And repetition. I don’t enjoy the play, reacting to instances following the scheme of what is acceptable. To control my behaviour is to control Providence, to control people’s responses to my fine-tuned actions. One, because I (and you) care about others’ perception of the self. Two, because I was bred by being corrected instead of being accepted. True, to live in society, restrictions have to be made. The price to be paid for being accepted — in a culture putting conditions to my being appreciated - is my integrity. And so, all and every one of us continue on living in the illusion that connection with others is more vital than connection with our very own self.
My reality is affected by the abstract idea of my ‘status’ within society. Ambition and success are the first denominators - but more so, my wellbeing depends on my perception of my self. The latter is defined by none than others’ perception of my self.
Not being accepted by my community is fearful, the fear of rejection, the fear of not belonging. It’s safe to say then: My wellbeing is defined by others.
It follows the spectrum of us as children, when not being accepted by our close circle meant our survival was endangered (shelter, food, love). But to get to that belief is to crash the system already.
My identity has been defined by how I rebelled against stereotypes — of my gender, of my social class, of my education, and the labels that go with it. I have been reacting and my life took turns depending on the rebellion against people’s actions and implicit signifiers. I believed rebellion was freedom. It wasn’t. It was a fight in reaction ‘of’.
Whether I admonished the validity of being categorised while I was in high school and still feel attached to this, fear creates a rift between me and people. Its different aspects affect my life with micro touches and macro reverberations, our community is disparate, and unforgiving. My relationships are usually confronting honesty and the norm.
Today, I want to break through my own fears, opening up to my ultimate vulnerability: not belonging.
In reality, I’m an outcast. I’ve always been on the borders of friendship groups, age groups, and genders.
I’ve never fit in. I never belonged. Whether it was a subconscious choice to give less importance to the waves of change, or because I want to feel different; is something I haven’t explored yet. I’m weird. I don’t really fit in society, nor do I want to — whether it’s France, England, or Turkey. Yes, it hurt me at times. I’ve grown accustomed to wanting things differently. Alas, years of conditioning clouded my truths — and to access the crypt of the false beliefs is to invest in painful introspection.
To belong, to respond to my innate need to be ‘social’, I’ve had to play a ‘part’ in the ‘apparent’ communion with multiple beings. I don’t think I’m the only one. I’ve been micro-managing how much hurt I’d allow myself every day. Would I adapt or would I be myself — and risking ‘losing it all’?
Mostly, what hurt the most was not fitting in with myself. External voices slowly entered my pores and withdrew my authenticity. The pending possibility of shame grew accustomed to surveying me and being surveyed. I needed to control my own heart, my own breaths, my words, and the rhythm of it all while the world deployed its facets. As John Berger’s Ways of Seeingexplores, the surveyed became the surveyor. Societal constructs were added as a variable in my behaviour. Even though the beliefs adopted by community differed from my conscious beliefs, I wanted to fit it. Ex-communion had been partially experienced and it left a gashing wound, threatening to be hurt again.
The half-assed ideologies became an outfit I’d wear to protect my naked identity. Oblivious to my needs, I would add layers and layers of constricting clothes to hide my bruises and scars from the world. I’d let my wounds fester without the oxygen of awareness. Growth would be conditional to the splashes my subconscious would scream in moments of crisis or through lucid dreaming. Years of teenage-dom and young adult conditioning, fights upon internal fights, I grind my teeth at the daily battle of human connection. I’d leave my home country to avoid responding to my society’s mould. It’s a square. I’m a circle.
People’s actions and motives are highly doubted. I didn’t trust. (because I don’t trust myself).
Different stances from my schoolmates had clearly been bullying me, and the snark on their face sewed off parts of my entirety. Now chipped away as my peers laughed, I discovered shame. It grew in the place where my only home within was. Myself.
A vicious process continued rooting in my heart, caused by socialisation, to protect myself, I dissociated.
I separated from myself. I was ashamed of being an outcast. My peers separated from themselves, afraid of being outcasted. We were learning the rules of survival. Here and there, parts of my selves at different ages are laid on my path. Worst — I abandoned my inner child, my true self. From then on, I lost myself and collected tools which could supplement the missing parts of me. Alas, making it impossible to live authenticity with myself — or to discover my purpose on Earth.
Now, I’ve graduated from University exactly four years ago today. After a double bachelor in Arts, specialised in both Journalism and Media Studies with a cursus in Photography and Art Theory — I haven’t seen myself adopt the high road towards success. Nor have I felt fulfilled with the outcomes of my conceived ambitions. I’ve worked, as a freelancer for years. I’ve done and gone to do what I wanted, and nothing sustained my desire.
I questioned myself. What is missing? Now, I’ve completed a chunk of the reflections and development needed to advance. I’ve given time to introspection and self-awareness. And I can share my discovery with you now:
I was missing.
From then, what to do?
All the notions that make me whole, categorised as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ by society, are being collected and assessed. In the process of repairing and healing, I’ve had no clear purpose, but to lift off some of the weight of my everyday thoughts. I’ve questioned my years to see what created the isolation. With it came discoveries of hurt, trauma and unprocessed events which stank the crypts of my psyche. I’ve managed to review them, reanimating the pain I had numbed, and accept their presence.
Now, I feel my anterior being, and its innocence, and its desires for life here. I’m being stitched again with golden thread, kind of like the Japanese art of Kintsugi — from broken ceramic, artisans reconstruct a new object by stitching the broken pieces with gold.
Self-therapy and psyche digging made me an alchemist, transforming my human heart into gold.
Only by bringing awareness to the screaming ego, and accepting the situation I find myself in. I’ve tried everything, I’ve approached theories in the field of medical and psychological research. I’ve reconnected to a sense of God, my own spirituality has been crafted out of my . But more so, I’ve aligned my present with my original blue print. By rediscovering who I was before it all, I’ve found my true joys: a balance between voluntary solitude and nature along with occasional happiness with my people.
Communion with nature is something I’ve addressed many and more times in the past Copious Copy letters.
It is necessary to approach the walls I’ve constructed around my different selves. To palp my wounds and do the uncomfortable process of reliving my traumas is a daily ordeal but it brings healing.
While I heal, I heal the community. Multiply that and the world might change.
While I repair, I dig and open. I explore vulnerability, its positives and its negative aspects. I cover the distance between my self and my world.
On the field for completion, my recovery grew accustomed to the changing feelings, by giving them time, I saw my fears develop and find soothing.
I recognise a path in which trust is compulsory, and growth inevitable. Its first steps are outlined and I walk the talk. Or try to.
The healing path is not comfortable, and yet, it is only about accepting the truth of this world: things change; I don’t have control over anything; and security is an abstract concept, not a reality.
Connecting with oneself is prior to any other connection made in this world. Yet, I forgot.
Accepting I live within and without. I remind myself I and my circle are interdependent, I should not be codependent on my loved ones. It gives me the freedom to stop harnessing new weights around my neck, attaching and bonding my sense of identity to external perceptions. It slowly offers freedom from my anxieties.
It gives me the love I need: my own love — which isn’t subject to conditions.
Originally published as part of Copious Copy — A series of letters between the Earth and you: a weekly cosmos of words about metaphysics and enlightenment, through science and spirituality, consider joining the conversation.