It was November of 1967, I was a high school pupil laying in bed surfing through a burst of adolescent insomnia. The thought occured to me that my mind was the product of the various stuff I’d taken in. The various stuff included things that I chose to take in and believe and stuff that other people had thrust upon me.
Teens often feel the harnesses of the various stuff that they have no choice but to endure. There is a sensation of mistrust of teens by adults. In retrospect the parents’ mistrust is warranted. But the lack of trust is strongly felt by the teen if he’s got a healthy sense of autonomy. This mistrust is likely the trigger for the eventual breaking away from the birth family into the world at large. At least it was for me.
This knowledge and imprisonment of limitations is frequently and strongly felt by teens and early twenty-somethings. I’d be sitting in high school history class thinking that much of the important history had been laundered out. What was being taught was an American fairytale version of history. It was the western counterpart of the fairytale version of history told in the USSR, or England, or Japan.
Earlier that year, I remember sitting in the little Methodist church during the mandatory church service attendance while the sermon droned on. Above the altar was a copy of the famous painting of Jesus knocking on a door. I had a fantasy of bursting through the door to ask the preacher what was being left out that we weren’t being told. I vowed to someday get to the core of “it”.
It’s a memory that has spurred me on as I’ve come into relationship with various christian ministers, priests and laypeople. The question followed me along my path as I investigated native American belief systems and traditions of the East. I also carefully looked into the “New Age” beliefs and concepts and unwillingly came to the same conclusions. I wanted to believe these things, but somehow they lacked authenticity. If I took them up, I’d be dishonest with the deepest aspects of humanity and whatever is within and without us.
I finally understood what I had figured out during that long night of insomnia at age 15. We believe what we take in and reject the rest. I knew then, that I had to carefully examine everything that was being presented to me. I had to resist the temptation to believe something just because I liked it or that it fit inside of some preconceived worldview.
I had/have baggage to unpack and sort through. We all do. The question is, “How honestly can we face the task?”
The need to pay more attention to this came via an innocent comment by a fellow gym buddy the other day. He said, “You need a day off.” I replied that everyday was a day off. He laughed and said that I needed a day off from everyday. We had a good chuckle over his statement. But during my shower and while I was getting dressed to leave the gym, the wisdom of his retort started to dawn on me.
So, today, I began my meditation a little earlier and it lasted a few minutes longer. I wrote and will post this to the blog queue to appear on my blog in the future, which will be November 5th. After this is posted, I plan on taking the day off. When I again read this on November 5th, I hope it reminds me to do it again.
I hope you can take a day off from everyday very soon, too. It’s a very important part of letting go.
The Blue Jay of Happiness loves to let go into the sky of possibility yet perches upon the tree of honesty and clear headedness whenever possible. He’s still working on this, too.