Thursday, August 9, 2012
To gain a greater perspective on my imagined competition that was causing my feelings of defeat, let's go back to the beginning. When I was spending the summer with my cousins in South Carolina and Maryland, we all played summer games on a level playing field. Although I was not the most physically coordinated child, I enjoyed our hide-and-go-seek, our foot races, and our youthful adventures.
Over the years, however, I felt like I was trapped in amber like a fossil while my generation lived their lives. They had children, they got married and they had more children. I felt great shame because I brought nothing to the table as my mother's side of the family was expanding and I seemed to be stagnating. My parents and maternal aunts and uncles were rightfully proud of the new blood in the family and I was simply becoming an irrelevant relic.
This seems to be the American way, right? We are always struggling to keep up with the Jonses to accumulate the most things in life. Yes, the two-car garage and the white picket fence figure in to that all as well, but I have struggled to be happy with myself unconditionally. Once I stop comparing myself to others, I know, I will be truly happy with all that I have and will stop seeking to be someone else.
Easier said than done. LOL!
This is the most frustrating part of my spiritual journey. I have spent much of my youth seeking approval from others. Although I know that it was to help me strive to be a better person, I still remember the times that my mother told me that I could not do anything right and that I was lazy. This admonishment has been a motivator and an albatross to be at the same time. Narcotics may never get the best of me, but the desire for approval and the desire to be liked have become my most incorrigible addictions.
I realize that the point of being on the path is to finally overcome and transcend, but some quests are more challenging than others for me. Between having a sister who is engaged to be married and a cousin who is expecting his fourth child, it does not seem to matter what I can do in life because I have failed in establishing a meaningful family of my own.
I bet you are asking why I am even writing this blog entry if there is no handy resolution to my situation. I guess it is out of my own understanding that this imperfect world will yield resolutions in its own time. As I pick up the puzzle pieces, I will find clarity as long as I realize that I have more growing to do and do not give up in my search for wholeness.
In the meantime, my mission is to teach myself and others that single does not have to mean lonely. I am grateful for the circle of friends that I have developed over the years through my school, my church, my work and my travels. And, in a time when single adults are outnumbering married adults, I dare say that I have become the Joneses in a weird way. But this does not matter as much as following my own bliss. Then, I will have truly won. FOR THE WIN