The plan was to begin writing what I consider groundbreaking psychology. Finally, put all of my crazy onto paper while taking a little break from the life lessons. The universe said not yet. The time has come to put avoidance through guiding others on hiatus, she said. Speak your truth, admit you haven’t let go. Open the door, and walk away. Integrity has never failed me. The one strength that is also my greatest flaw. My transparency. Ironically this is the introduction, which is being written after the ending. Makes perfect and no sense at the same time. How do you start a beginning after an ending? How do we not begin after we end?
Reluctantly as my mind was stating the obvious internally anxiety was eating me alive. To prevent my upcoming message to the world from being hypocritical, I had to let go of my biggest crutch and accept it. Seems simple. To let go of something or someone that no longer serves us. My man Buddha makes that shit look like a cakewalk. Acceptance and closure are part of the existential idea of endings and necessary for new journeys. With 2019 and the decade both at an end, accepting, closing, letting go, and moving on are expected. Tie up the loose ends, cut losses, and document the wins. Yet something untold had asked to be made known. The piece of me I willingly ignore no longer. “Introduce me to the world”, she said to me. “I’ve been waiting patiently”. “It’s going to change everything,” I said, “That’s the whole idea”, she cunningly replied.
When you are an existentialist the assumption is you’re all about that behavior and nature over nurture life. Nietzsche is your diehard. Not for me. I theorize to analyze the mystery of humanity and justify what we do based on our behavioral responses to anxiety and ego. The internal battle we pretend doesn’t exist but face in the mirror every morning. I catalog behavior in others to better understand the pieces of myself that I still really don’t understand. Yet there was a Swiss genius who understood the mind for what it is better than most of our ancient philosophers. An analytical machine with a soul. Of all the hyperbole we call psychology, Carl Jung’s teachings are revolutionary. Jung perfectly married environment to emotional neurological development. He proved humanity’s connection depended on us finding ourselves within others. That mirror he called the theory of synchronicity. The thorn that has traveled with me since the day I came into existence. My emotional connection to intelligence and how it fuels every type of relationship I have had, will have, or wanted so desperately but couldn’t attain. The inability to create an intellectual environment for myself because of shit I can’t control has been my excuse for easily the last 20 years. I settled and considered accepting things “for what they are”, and “it is what it is”. I allow people to accept a lesser version of who I am to simply have people accept me period. That’s not acceptance. That’s stupidity. Mr. Carl Jung whom I like to call the hippie of the psyche in itself is the one person on this planet that made me feel normal.
I’ve discussed many times how being the brain in this American Society sets a tone. However, what I haven’t brought to light is the toll it takes on us. We are Chaos. Perfect storms wrapped in a flesh and bone package. The smart one of your circle is turbulence in human form. It’s the most exhausting experience I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. You feel out of step, isolated, and nowhere is home. Misunderstood, constantly have to explain everything, frustrated, and mad at yourself for no reason. Nothing quite fits right. Jung believed however that coming to full consciousness required pain (reality) and to know ourselves 💯 was a terrifying idea. If the human mind understands itself completely it no longer has a reason to grow. The comfort zone or (the shadow) in Jungian theory is the basis for superficiality. I call the shadow Serenity, stay tuned. In other words, when we feel comfortable and all the pieces have fallen into place it doesn’t mean the order is correct. Jung believed who we are is ingrained within us since birth and the environment around us is molded by our own hands the environment doesn’t mold us. So theoretically because I feel uncomfortable everyday Jung says I am not in danger of being stuck in comfort zone and living a shallow life. I force myself to stay in comfort zones by choice. While the actuality is my unconscious is molding my physical world to meet my future needs. Sounds like some real farfetched sh*t right? I thought so too until I met Serenity.
Win, Lose or Draw
I declared myself a descriptive writer on the second Christmas after my divorce in 2015. I had made my closest friends at the time, floating locket key chains. Along with it, I enclosed a letter detailing the choice of each charm placed in their locket. The tiny enamel and metal charms represented an overcome hurdle, a dream they hoped to accomplish, or a significant life event. In return, I received crackled voice calls, and texts expressing inexplicable tears cried over a key chain. For Christmas, I handed them their humanity to carry around and show the world. The pieces of themselves they can be the proudest of. Something I was told my whole life I should be ashamed of, my intellectual humanity.
All humans want their actions reciprocated. I knew this level of depth wouldn’t be returned that Christmas or any Christmas for that matter. Reason being, as deep as I dive into others I prevented anyone from reaching my depths and surrounded myself with people who are self-centered by default. Shallow relationships are the easiest to maintain, no one questions, no one grows, nothing changes.
It’s a serene stagnation that appears to be peaceful because nothing gets shaken or stirred. There’s no challenge, there’s no chaos.
By 2015 at 30 years old I hadn’t truly bonded with anyone other than my 5-year-old daughter. A product of my environment growing from childhood through teenage years and on to adulthood I found comfort in deception and downplaying the most important part of who I am. The brain, the Chaos of Intelligence is a double-edged sword. My life in its entirety was met by those older and younger than me going out of their way to make me feel inferior because that’s how I made them feel. Those my age didn’t even bother. I was light-years away. So the lesson of a decade came with a final exam. Look in the mirror in-spite of deception coercing me to avoid it.
In America, divorce is determined to be a situation with a winner, a loser, and a return to the drawing board for each party at the end of a relationship. The reality is there is no winner, there is lots of loss and a beginning, a start over. We are trained to believe divorce is simply an end to a marriage. It’s more than that. A relationship is an environment, a journey, and a period of development. In that sense, we go through many divorces in our lifetime. The departure from childhood, into adolescence, then the sharp right turn into adulthood. How about friendships that dissolve, or having to move away? A career change at 42. Or the ones that aren’t so pretty like the ascension from addictions, the descent into depression, or the road that leads us away from integrity. All of these are environmental changes, journeys, and periods of development. Development isn’t always positive just like deception isn’t always negative. When deception marries denial they give birth to Serenity. Serenity is oblivion of nothing. It’s a poor reproduction of peace. Denial convinces us Serenity is peace. Nope, far from it. A divorce is the decision to remove ourselves from a certain phase in life and leave the pieces that didn’t work behind. The idea is to find everlasting peace for ourselves. Peace is mutable. Peace requires Chaos.
When Chaos met Serenity
Overly intelligent, creative, or, mentally stimulated individuals carry a burden that most humans find difficult to comprehend. An analytical brain is equivalent to running a relay race without anyone to pass the baton off to. Our minds are always wired and move too fast for anyone to join alongside. Sometimes it’s even a detriment to our development. As a young child, I had a speech impediment. “Her mind works too fast for her mouth to frame the words”, the doctor told my mother after I came home from Kindergarten crying another day because the other children made fun of my stutter. Once I grew out of it, my advanced brain had learned to work with my mediocre motor skills and became a weapon of mass destruction. The child they laughed at became the child that made them feel inferior. So as is human nature I downplayed the best part of myself to “fit in”, and socialize like all the other “normal” children. The consequence of this is mentally we become frustrated. That frustration is what introduces us to deception. We lie, and pretend we are someone else to gain normalcy. To simply feel the sense of belonging. The inclusion criteria for extraordinary people in a world of mediocrity. The benefit of this detriment to society is we adapt to personalities, welcome and enjoy differences, are open to change, and most importantly are masters of handling the Chaos of the mind, emotion, and that dark place connection.
Being dishonest with ourselves, however, becomes our shadow. Our shadow becomes our self molded environment. We go about the world “unconsciousness” and lose reality (Consciousness). We project a falsehood that attracts the wrong type of people to us. The people we can’t pass the baton off to. The boundaries become blurred and reality becomes so scary the thought of being discovered becomes horrific. So we lie. As such dishonesty becomes the right hand to deception. In my case, however, I was born with an honest tongue. My spectrum of deception is one where I don’t let anyone past my walls that others have shut me in. While some of the deception spectrum are completely superficial with a need to avoid reality and spend eternity running the relay, and there are those who are a cocktail of deception, denial, and dishonesty. Now those brainy people are horrifying. Why? When a smart individual marries denial and deception inside themselves manipulation is born. The worst human is one who harnesses manipulation to keep dishonesty close by. These individuals in their own attempt to keep the secret of who they are hidden, destroy boundaries in others and make them vulnerable. They feed off of these vulnerabilities and replace soul fire with toxic fumes.
When we uncover pieces of a person they have carefully kept hidden, when we somehow get past all of the mental blockades, toxicities, and find the truth, the fear of rejection surfaces.
Use their own manipulation against them by being deceptive and mimicking their same toxicities, to get in and start making repairs, cleaning house and rebuilding boundaries.
Manipulation has a positive side when married to integrity. Sometimes all people need is to understand the battle within themselves simply needs reinforcements and a cease-fire, not more firepower. Sometimes people just need to be understood for who they are. Realizing living in our own shadow is conquering the worst of our enemies. Ourselves.
In 2016 I decided to go to grad school. I mean being a single parent wasn’t entertaining enough. So I breezed through a 36-month program in 18 months. Why not? The stickler here is I was part of an online program. My human interaction with other highly intelligent individuals was reduced to profile pictures, two truths and one lie intros, and forced replies to discussion comments. Group projects were my relief. While most of my classmates hated them I looked forward to each one. Even though some proved difficult especially on an online platform where it’s impossible to hold others accountable, such is life in its entirety, the exchange of intellectual ideas and opinions was a temporary pain killer to my frustration. I found people I could pass the baton to. Others that could carry my weight for a while. Here I found serenity. I stagnated in the idea of these intelligent people. I made a few acquaintances but none became the friendships Chaos longed for. It was serene to find people that I could relate to mentally. It was serene to know I didn’t have to explain myself with my overly wordy sentences full of syllables. It was wonderful to find adults with dreams, goals, and parallel life paths. Until Serenity’s numbness wasn’t enough for Chaos. She knew it was temporary. I knew it was temporary even though I denied reality.
School means people are there for a purpose. Once that purpose is fulfilled we move on. At 31 years old I had found an environment full of people who I could relate to. I was considered normal like myself. There was no reason to downplay my brain, no reason to act, and no reason to live in my own shadow. But came the time that one by one they fulfilled their purpose and moved on, I too fulfilled my purpose and moved on. Serenity now became painful. Growing up I understood why people left me behind. I couldn’t relate to them. Perhaps I didn’t want to relate to them. Now I had people I related to and they left me behind. In despair, I found my last straw. I took it with me to graduation.
May of 2017 I graduated grad school. As I took the last curler out of my hair ready to head to commencement I looked at myself in the mirror. This moment was more than just recognition for completing a degree. I didn’t recognize the person staring back at me. Conformity had shaped me. I hadn’t shaped me. I hadn’t molded myself, I was someone who lived by everyone else’s rules to simply spare them my full force while they had no remorse for me. No one had remorse for making me feel inferior. From my parents straight down to my coworkers. Not one soul.
I should have been happily satisfied with the Serenity of this huge accomplishment but I wasn’t. I was about to walk down the aisle to receive a degree I didn’t want and attained because my job field corresponded to it. A job field I never asked for but settled at the idea “It’s a good job”. A degree I sought after because it was online and I had no village to help me raise my child so I could have pursued that PsyD that my mind knew was the right fit. Knowing that not one person was going to be in the seats waiting to applaud and tell the person next to them how I am their person. Hopelessness said to me, “If you can’t create any lasting bonds with intelligent people on your level either, who is left?” “If you can’t stick up for yourself how do you expect anyone else to?” By no means am I a person who takes sh*t from anyone, as the saying goes I don’t suffer fools yet, I can’t put into accurate words what this self-made revelation did to me. I felt nothing, so stunned by the truth to this hypothesis I couldn’t pull an emotion card from the deck. I was lost in my own mind. I stood there looking hard at the mirror telling myself to cry. If I cried that meant it was just vindictive with his usual a$$hole tendencies. Nope, it was the absolute undeniable truth. It was reality slapping me in the face to get a reaction. Facing reality changes you in a way that makes you never want to turn back. When you realize reality isn’t something to get through rather it is the only way to attain growth, the feeling of invincibility outweighs everything else in existence. I rid myself of my serene shadow by simply being myself. The person I hid for no other purpose than to satisfy the insecurities of others. Family, friends, coworkers, and strangers self-created insecurities that had no other purpose than to hold me back because they were afraid to live in reality. I’d successfully blocked my unconscious from molding my environment and the result of that behavior are consequences I am still cleaning up today.
To commencement, I went. I walked down the aisle for the first time since the eighth grade with no other person in the audience to cheer me on than my 7-year-old child. My greatest accomplishment since the birth of my daughter marked the point I threw caution to the wind, as I walked across the stage I went back to that mirror in my mind and said: “F*ck them all”. The vibration of that validation of my new found confidence made the walls come crashing down and Chaos filled my veins. The euphoria from that moment of truth is hard to match. I know I will never experience a self-made high like that again. There is no drug on this planet stronger than the point in time when you finally accept yourself wholly and you stop accepting anything less. That moment I introduced the world to that person who asked to be heard and together we started a new journey, to find peace within the chaos.
As we come to the ending of our beginning I am ready to guide you through the chaos of the mind. Are you willing to come along with me? It’s not going to be easy, it will be messy, you will fail, and succeed. The end goal is to make you have that f*ck them all moment. To love yourself to the point that you have zero tolerance for bullsh*t and all the compassion for the world. Say goodbye to insecurity and inferiority. No room for squares in our circle.
Previously published here and reprinted with the author’s permission.