June 2018: To Know and Be Known
This month’s blog started percolating at the end of May after watching the movie, “Hector and the Search for Happiness” which came highly recommended by my well-knowing sister. Much of what follows comes directly from my journal entry.
In a nutshell, the movie is an adult version of the children’s animated film about emotions, “Inside Out.” They are all equally important. And underneath it all is connection/bonding. Most powerfully for me is the sense of being truly known by someone—in this case, my younger sister. That is true connection. To know and be known. That is love. Albeit there are the bits about chemistry and working at it—but at its core: Love is about being known—being seen and appreciated for who we are—our essence. Not what we accomplish, or what we can do for others.
The King James biblical turn of phrase for sex “and he knew his wife” just took on a whole new meaning. [I’m usually not one to quote scripture randomly; but for those curious about what I’m talking about see Genesis 4:1—“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain…”] Now if only it were true—but highly unlikely given the patriarchal context; however, it does allude to the deeper meaning of intimacy: to know and be known.
Like any of us, I have experience with both superficial relationships as well as the deep knowing of another. Hector’s search for happiness illuminated some of the differences. The primary realization for me was that we cannot know/love others until we know ourselves.
Hectar had to go on this incredible geographical and emotional journey to discover himself in order to give himself to his work and to Clara, his romantic partner. Until that point, they were both going through the motions—neither one feeling known/seen by the other. Until I know who I am, I cannot truly know others. I won’t be able to relate to their experiences (listening is loving) if I do not understand my own.
If I honour my Light, it casts a glow for others to see their own Lights. Living in shadow does not serve anyone. We must know ourselves in order to know others. Which reminds me, I have a lot of unfinished business in the sense of finalizing my relationship status: single/divorced/ previously married. I really do not want to deal with my ex; but in order to freely move on, as my life appears to be doing, I need to completely cut that chord and walk un-tethered into my Light.
While my new life is far from perfect, I no longer feel trapped. My life is my own. There is happiness in freedom. I want to follow Hectar’s lead and jot down the lessons he jots down as he journeys along. It really comes down to ownership. Owning your life; and if it isn’t what you want, what is to be done about it?? To quote a line from the movie: “Courage Hectar!” [Inside joke with myself. I will give you the opportunity to watch the movie for you to join me.]
We live in a culture and country of opportunities. Yet we entrap ourselves by dogma and internalized messages. Breaking barriers—especially those of our own making or choosing—might be the hardest thing we have to do: Claiming our liberty to live well and help others. Self-liberation. Often misconstrued as bullying and/or dominating others—to have freedom is to take it from others. How sad. How limiting.
True freedom is the freedom to love. I’ll say it again: True freedom is the freedom to love. Some define freedom as the right to self-govern—to come out from under the weight of oppression and domination. At its core, that remains to love (to know self and others). Even the indigenous cultures of this great country require the freedom to love—to know and be known. We have tried to strip the people of self-knowledge which has effectively crippled them. They are struggling valiantly to right that wrong. That is a little side tangent, but dovetails with my realization of the critical importance of knowing and being known.
If we wait for others to know us and grant approval for our existence, then we spin our wheels always externalizing our Light. If we dominate others convinced that is the way to keep on top of the proverbial dog pile, we limit both ourselves and others—and again externalize our value to having others around to belittle. If we know ourselves and live out of our own unique Light, then others can do the same. And what a brighter world that would be. I can only imagine the kaleidoscope of colours!
Take courage! Shine on! Add to this world’s beauty: refract instead of retracting the Light.