Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Change Would Do You Good

Last night an old friend called me in tears, her relationship ended a few days ago and as a result she was questioning her part in the break-up. Evidently, she was feeling pretty tortured because she asked me to pray for her. The essence of what she was experiencing is not new to me, or anyone else who’s been involved in an unsuccessful relationship. The experience of losing someone you love is powerful, and littered with vestiges from the past. Does that knife in your heart twisting about remind you of the past? Sometimes our pain comes in the form of a blessing, or a teacher, but it can be hard to appreciate a dull blade, some people really work it in slow. My friend was wondering about her ability to trust, since her lack of trust was destroying all of her relationships. Although, I believe she has inherited an extreme amount of anxiety about relationships from her mother, she’s much more equipped to deal with this than her mother is or was. So, her question got my wheels spinning. Basically, she said she understood her problem, but felt unable to change. She asked, “How can I change?”

I didn’t have a quick fix for her. This advice maven was left speechless. Imagine that! I was confounded, how does someone change? Is it a process? Is it something we “do?” Can we see it happen like in nature when a caterpillar transforms into butterfly? It seems to me insects have it easier than us. As rational beings, we understand how we are broken and where the holes are, but who or what will fill us up? I’ve always had a gift for being able to pin point people’s holes, but when they inevitably ask, “Well, what should I do about it?” I’m at a loss for words. And as the saying goes, “I cannot save you, I can’t even save myself.” If I knew the answer I would run around saving everyone, including myself. These holes are like massive bleeding wounds that won’t stop gushing, and it just gets bloodier and messier with each pattern we repeat. My friend knows she doesn’t trust people, and with each relationship, her expectation of unfaithfulness permeates through the atmosphere. Prospective partners who also have similar patterns hook into this image and work it thoroughly. We will bang our heads against the cement until we “get it”.

Fear of Change- Transformation in Reverse

The more we regress and resist the necessity of change the harder the lessons come. This regression serves as retraction of energy, spirit, and our livelihood. We work backward into our pain again, layering ourselves with the comfort of wrapping it all up. This massive cocooning humans take part in seems instinctual and primitive, but the developments of our intellectual and emotional facilities are fostered by stepping out and taking a risk, exploring new territory. Why, then, are we so afraid? And why are some people less afraid than others?
To be certain, most people are unaware an inner revolution is beginning inside of them, as they stumble from one day to next. But, as fully conscious beings we have a responsibility to stay connected, self-awareness is critical to our survival.

Recently, I have been reading Frank Kafka’s, Metamorphosis, which is an interesting exploration of the dehumanization, alienation, and mental isolation people fear or experience when going through an intense transformation. Will the people I love still accept me? Will I able to relate to the people I love afterward? All of these questions weigh heavy in the minds and hearts of those who are transcending their old reality.

See below an explanation of insect metamorphosis:

Metamorphosis refers to a major change of form or structure during development.

One of the most dramatic forms of metamorphosis is the change from the immature insect into the adult form. Most of the major insect orders have a typical life cycle which consists of an egg, which hatches into a larva which feeds, moults and grows larger, pupates, then emerges as an adult insect that looks very different from the larva. These insects are often called 'Holometabolous', meaning they undergo a complete (Holo = total) change (metabolous = metamorphosis or change). Those which have immature stages similar in shape to the adult minus the wings are called 'Hemimetabolous', meaning they undergo partial or incomplete (Hemi = part) change.

Metamorphosis is one of the key elements that explains why insects are so successful. Many insects have immature stages with completely different habitats from the adults. This means that insects can often exploit valuable food resources while still being able to disperse into new habitats as winged adults. The potential for adaptation and evolution is greatly enhanced by metamorphosis.

There is an important feature to note regarding metamorphosis. Insects are not able to mate and reproduce until they undergo their final moult or emerge from a pupa as a winged adult. Wings do not appear until the final moult (the one exception to this is the Ephemeroptera, or Mayflies). When you see an insect with wings, it is fully grown.

In closing, I’d like to leave you with some Lauryn Hill lyrics from her Unplugged album. The song speaks of the internal struggle so many of us face as we try to cleanse, rebuild, and transform our reality.

Oh Jerusalem- Lauryn Hill

Realizing that there's no place else to go
And there's nobody I know who can help me
Text book solutions are so improbable
Cause everybody else is just as empty
Naked as the day that I was born, I tried to hide
...behind education and philosophy
Hopeless explanation to describe a situation
I can't see because the world's on top of me
Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me
From the body of this death
Freeing me from dust, and the superficial trust
Of an enemy that seeks to take my breath
Failing to connect, cuz I'm morally defect
By reason of the God inside my head
Causing me to see, only what pertains to me
Believing I'm alive when I'm still dead
Limited to earth, unable to find out my worth
Cause I can't see past my own vanity
If I'm not included, then I just have to remove it
From my mind because it has to be insanity
Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me
From the body of this death
Can I even factor, that I've only been an actor
In this staged interpretation of this day
Focused on the shadow, with my back turned to the light
Too intelligent to see it's me in the way
What a paradox, having God trapped in a box
All this time professing to be spiritual

Oh Jerusalem, wash thy heart from wickedness
That thou may be saved from thy deception
How long, shall thy face those lies within thee
Oh Jerusalem, keeping thee from perfection

Submit to truth, leave the deception of thy youth
So we could walk in the council of authority
Forget the proof, our generation so aloof
Only follow in the steps of the majority
Trust in the Lord, with all thy heart
And lay not to thine, oh an understanding in all thy ways
Acknowledge Him, and He shall correct our paths

We judge and condemn, just as ignorant as them
Who religion tells us that we should ignore
Perpetrating we're in covenant with Him
Exposed by the very things that we adore
We grin and shake hands, then lay ambush for the man
Who has a different point of view then us
Infuriated cause he doesn't understand
Bringing up those things we don't want to discuss
Why we still do evil, we don't know how to do good
Walking on in darkness running from the light
Led to believe, because we live in neighborhoods
Telling us what's going on, it will be alright
Oh so repressed, so convinced that I was blessed
When I played with my game of Monopoly
Oh to suggest, that my life is still a mess
the pride I'm hiding is what's stopping me

Oh Jerusalem, wash thy heart from wickedness
That thou may be saved from thy deception
How long, shall thy face those lies within thee
Oh Jerusalem keeping me from perfection

1 comment:

Snakebite said...

I've been down that road myself of being hurt and wondering what I could do or needed to do to change. The answer - nothing! I've become very content with who I am and what I am about. Although I've experienced a similar situation to that of your friend, I am who I am. It took me a LONG time to resolve in my mind that I'm not afraid to try again and that if I hold anything back or wait for the hurt to come again - I'll never fully experience the relationship and can never fully give of myself and therefore, never fully receive that given to me. Maybe I'll be hurt again and maybe not. But I will not worry about it or dwell on it and it will not keep me from living the happy life I do nor from searching for the special someone. When hurt comes self estemme suffers. It shouldn't. Sometimes, and it can't be predicted, a person ends up with someone who is - to put it bluntly - an asshole. Good luck to your friend. Tell her to keep her chin up. She's not to blame for someone else's poor judgement or bad behavior.