"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Monday 31 March 2014

Fully Human 2; powerful vs powerless

In an email this week a friend wondered if my shift from specific to philosophical here is intentional. In a way, this blog has always been one of introspection, and fairly thin on personal details, but she is right. So today, for you L, some specifics, and a good dose of philosophy too.

About four weeks ago, I went to bed asking for insight into my deepest desires and who I am, and had a vivid dream. Last night, it happened again, vivid and memorable, but this time, a nightmare. In both of these I had either transitioned, or at the very least I was presenting as female.

The first was about feeling powerful. Dressed for some sort of sci-fi convention in an outfit that can only be described as 1890's show girl, I was walking down a hallway. I know, it is not what you expect here and it wasn't what I ever imagined for myself, but in that dream, I looked in the mirror and didn't feel sexy, so much as powerful. I woke up wanting to be her, not to dress like that all the time, but to know that she was part of who I am.
It felt like a push toward womanhood.

Last night's nightmare was about unsolicited male attention (details withheld for the sake of the squeamish.. me that is). I woke up knowing that as a woman, there was little I could do to prevent him doing whatever he wanted to do, even if I tried to fight him off.

Below the fold is the original content of this post, with the questions my heart was holding only days ago, before that nightmare.

What I understand about myself today is I have been avoiding balance. Like someone who tries to lose a little weight by going on a starvation diet. It cannot work, for inevitably who you are, your deepest reality must be acknowledged. The only questions have to do with the nature of a balance that will work for me. I am so a work in progress...

~   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Messages insistent, approaching relentless 

What she doesn't know won't hurt her
Is it wrong to have fun as yourself?
Take yourself out for a test-drive girl!

Is this a craving, or so much more? 
    Part of a plan, 
         an obstacle that I must (refuse to) overcome?

Who I am inside 
    only subtly influences what is seen and heard. 

Slowly, gently, my self image says androgyny ~ 
one who cannot be female                       
              one who shuns something hated

I am a 'tweener whose heroes bridged the gender divide
saying 'I am who I am'                                            
feeling no fear...                                 
without fear....                           

Even through the darkest phase                                             
Be it thick or thin                           
Always someone marches brave
                         Here beneath my skin

And constant craving has always been
constant craving has always been
                 has always been

                                                   Maybe a great magnet pulls
                 All souls to what's true
Or maybe it is life itself                
feeds wisdom to its youth                             

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Fully Human ~ Part One

So, some thoughts on self-image. 

As you must realize by now, the sense of wrongness came not from the deepest you, but from imposed and projected attitudes of the society around you. This is a never-ending battle between the spirit, honestly trying to develop its potential, and a fearful, controlling society, desperately seeking a false sense of security.

 ~ Comment by Tom to his blog Gwynt ~

As suggested by my inclusion of Tom's perceptive comment, I believe self-image can be rescued from the potentially toxic effects of those attitudes from society. For me, that struggle of my inner spirit, delightfully playful and loving, to make heaven on earth is starting to become at least partially successful. Connecting and acknowledging its potential in my life is a move in the right direction. 

From the moment we begin life, we are moulded, sometimes personally and unintentionally, but mostly impersonally and intentionally to fit someone else's vision of what it means to be a good human. It is by recognizing, then freeing ourselves from those limitations that we can get on a path to become fully realized humans.

The personal moulding by parents and the like is done unwittingly I suggest, because these people are steeped in a culture that they never question, a culture that tells them, based on your appearance (male, female, fat, thin, red-haired, curly haired... the list is endless), and their perceived position in the world (rich, poor, Asian, black, French, Tongan, etc.), who you ought to become as you grow. They want 'the best' for you, after all.

Impersonal influences like churches and schools, along with the sort that didn't exist a century ago, such as radio, television and now the web are also unavoidable. We all want to belong. Naturally, we pay attention and internalize it all. 

Even as I write this, there is a radio playing. My sweetie loves having it on 'in the background'. The voices suggest that my life is incomplete because I don't have a particular car, or see a certain movie or go to the casino... on and on it goes. Is it all really innocent and in the background?

Finding a quiet place to pay attention to a softer, kinder and more personal voice is difficult. At one time, going for a walk, or the morning run might have provided time for personal thoughts to bloom, but earbuds and the devices that connect have solved that problem, and I do think for many, hearing that inner voice is a problem, especially if it challenges them to be different. They seek out a diversion to allow them to ignore it. I know I did for a very long time.

Sadly, when I was younger, and mentioned this inner voice to a relative who I thought of as spiritually advanced, he counselled great caution and gave me a book about Satanic influences in the world. What a great way it was to mess me up completely. Not surprising, I never have "thanked" him... 

In my experience, inner challenges are sent our way all our lives long. When the same challenge appears over and over, it is a sign of purpose. Some higher power is creating those challenges; directing me toward part of the life's work that was preordained at the moment of conception. 
This inner voice of power that I call Love and others call God is personal. Nobody else can tell you what part you might need to pay more attention to in your life. This guidance isn't something that is accessed through magic. You might have to redefine what you think prayer means though.

This might seem preachy and religious, but it is far from that.
Oh, it is possible that for most the only time they might hear that voice now is at church, during the "quiet time for meditation", but in my experience, this is not long or free enough for any true meditation or prayer, prefaced as it is by the officiant directing our thoughts to the path 'they' have determined is 'best' for us. To me, the agenda and sales pitch of a religion is just as frustrating as that of Madison Avenue.

I am not suggesting anything wrong with listening to Pope Francis, or anyone else we care to pay attention to. What I am suggesting is a blend of information sources, and allowing your heart through that inner voice to be part of the input. 

There are two aspects to being fully human that I now see as essential. 
First, although we will certainly die, there is a part of us we must believe in and learn to hear; an inner, or higher self that is eternal. 
Second, a result of the first; believe you are part of a purposeful existence. 
There is a potential within you for good. 
Don't take anyone else's word for what that good happens to be. You and that internal voice are the best judge of that. 

I am going to stop soon, for now. This is part one and there is more. More about what it means to me to be transsexual, and maybe surprising, how that is part of my personal good

There is also going to be reference to some external sources that I have come to see as reliable in my personal search for meaning and a self-image I can live with. 

... on earth, as it is in heaven... 

An important part of the path that has brought me here is a realization that heaven is not something to be found after death. The search for heaven is part of our personal journey, and it is our responsibility to find and be part of creating it here ~ now. We start by creating it inside because we must first forgive and recreate ourselves before we have a chance to bring anything of heaven to others around us. 

... forgive us as we forgive others ... 

Love and respect for self is the beginning.

No matter who you are or your personal path, until you are part of this heaven it is no heaven at all. 

Somehow, seeing others as co-conspirators in this nefarious plan makes me feel so very happy.

... A new commandment I give you: Love one another...

Wednesday 19 March 2014

A Powerful Image

Cameron Russell only 27 years old, a fashion model since 2003, knows about image.

" … there's very little that we can do to transform how we look, and how we look, though it is superficial and immutable, has a huge impact on our lives."

I can see my friends here in Blogistan nodding their heads.

Russell says she was able to became a model because she "won a genetic lottery".  It embarrasses me to admit to the many times I have cried, feeling sure I was a loser in that same lottery. 

She knows that so many see her and want to be who she is and do what she does, yet knowing that her success is a result of luck, she counsels a different powerful image:

"…what I really want to say to these little girls is, "Why? You know? You can be anything. You could be the President of the United States, or the inventor of the next Internet, or a ninja cardio-thoracic surgeon poet, which would be awesome, because you'd be the first one."

Ms. Russell, it seems to me, is very likely to rise above the limitations that starting working life as a lingerie model might have place upon a less thoughtful, intelligent person. 

She understands there is power beyond appearances. Well-spoken, and more importantly, not trapped by what others expect of her, she speaks with an authority that makes me hope to hear more. 

I have lots of thoughts on self image and the filter through which a successful individual might see the world, but for now, here is the TEDx talk Cameron Russell presented in 2012. 

Hear about the power of image, good and bad from this thoughtful, intelligent and obviously caring person.


Saturday 1 March 2014

A Life of Potential

Today, a post about, well, a post about forever, and meaning. It may be just the crazy ramblings of a crazy lady, but they are my ramblings, so here they are. Laugh if that is how you feel. I will laugh too, but perhaps for another reason.

When I decided to seek the help of a professional therapist, it was going to cost me money. Insurance helped, but only some. We are not wealthy, or poor, but every expenditure must be justifiable, not frivolous. Because I did not want to transition, even though every fiber of my being was screaming at me that this was the only way to go on, I committed to tell this one person, Dr. T, anything she asked, as honestly as I could. Everything...
Part of the process she insisted needed to be followed early on was to listen to the inner child I had hidden away so very long ago. I told her that one of the first things that had happened when I started blogging had to do with that little child who had insisted on being heard in my dreamtime. Here, that was reflected in a series of posts, beginning with Halle Visits The Boy. Of course, I read those posts to her, and we went from there, discovering aspects of childhood that deeply influenced who I became. Today's post has to do with a very recent awakening that, if it is important to give credit, resulted from self-examination spurred on by Tom's recent path-working posts at his site GWYNT (see the sidebar under blogs I read).

As an aside, if you can afford it, therapy is such a positive and helpful process, at least in my own experience. But in my opinion, you shouldn't waste your time or that of the professional unless you are willing to be completely open and honest with them.

In a post last year, I related the earliest dream of my life, one that had profoundly affected how I related and still relate to the world.

Today's post has to do with something that is part of an even earlier memory, but it is hard to call it a dream, although it certainly was dreamlike.

Surrounding me is soft light and what I can only describe as Love, for that is the closest current feeling that compares. 

In an instant, the way everything in the cosmos works and what it means has been revealed. There is a calm acceptance that whatever worries I had carried before were totally unnecessary now. They had been meaningful not long before, but now, I couldn't even recall them in any sort of detail.

It was made clear that I was to begin a new adventure, full of possibilities, but could be assured that nothing that seemed to be happening in that new life could hurt me in any permanent way. 
After it ended, this was the place I would return to.
~~ home ~~

This was how my current life began, 
and the promise of how it will end, 
no matter what.

I will never hear talk about God in the same way again.

I won't argue theology here or anywhere.

Reality is simply too wonderful, and perhaps, too unbelievable.