[3 minute read]
Why is it so important to learn who you are, then be who you are?
You cannot BE who you are until you KNOW who you are, so must *know* your self before you can *be* your self.
Why is it essential to pay attention to — and know — your feelings, in the process of knowing your self?
Because, that is your power.
YOUR feelings are YOUR power.
And “your” is the only absolutely exclusive, existential experience of you as an individual person.
Exclusive, because it is unique.
No one else is you.
This seems pedantic, but it’s profound. A newborn was presented to an assembly: “This is Teresa. Unique in all of creation. Never has there been, nor will there ever be, another Teresa.”
Unique in all of creation. Never has there been, nor will there ever be, another…
This is true of YOU.
No one else has the experience of being YOU.
You might be conditioned to think that it’s not a big deal. You are just one of many billions alive today. And many more billions to live in the past, and future. But none of those billions and billions are, or have been, or will be, YOU.
Your power is unique. Your truth is unique.
Uniqueness is accompanied by feelings of isolation and loneliness. The thinkers who wrestled with this profundity were called existentialists. Why are those feelings so hard? Because what we seek above all else in human experience is connection.
We seek to be known. “Belonging.”
For an interesting trick, separate that word into two:
Your BEing is someone who longs. And the isolation of uniqueness counters that impulse: If no one else is me, how can anyone know me? Why do I long so deeply to be known?
If no one else has ever been, or will ever be, me, that is isolating.
Uniqueness is isolation.
That is one expression of the human experience.
But your unique feelings and experience are where your power lies. Power shared by no one else. Yours uniquely. If you squander it, there is no power that will fill that vacuum. That is an overwhelming responsibility.
When you subscribe to a political tribe, gang, group, or religion, that’s fear of your overwhelming responsibility. Being “like this” or “like that” are likenesses. Our impulse against loneliness. Our longing to be-long. Our impulse to be known.
But groupings and likenesses are artificial. Not authentic reality. What’s real is only you, me, and every person. We like to speak about common interests. But interests are not real either. They are only interesting.
You are alone in being you, so you are alone in *being*, per se.
In a certain sense, that is the only thing you have in common with others. Isolation.
Why are judgmentalism and hypocrisy so insidious to human persons that God became man to remind us that human uniqueness is our greatest power as creatures, and each child’s power can be fully actualized only when love prevails?
You and your judge are unique. Is it not, then, obvious that your standards differ? You cannot know the experience of being someone else, so you cannot judge the extent to which they are free or not. And so it is with you.
In fact, you are an unfair judge even of your self. It’s not given to us to “know” the totality of our experiences consciously at once. And we have so many survival instincts in the form of psychological defenses that keep us unconscious of who we truly are and what we’ve experienced. Even when you judge your own self, you cannot be impartial! You’ve got a lotta damn nerve judging others!
Comparison is a curse of radical freedom that mortally neglects your exclusive, unique power, and that of others. Try to stop. Homogenization is ne’er a cause for celebration. Love is. Love uniqueness.
You are love-worthy because you are different, not because you are similar to anyone else. Ever.
Neil D. 2020-05-09