Interestingly, most of my pieces published on my personal blog this year have been about suffering (even with my resolution to be happy).
Now to be fair, I have been able to write in a way that gives utility to the suffering for some greater gain or good. But truthfully, I haven’t written one piece this year that does not talk about me in some form of pain or discomfort. And while I knew that the pain-talk was tied to my happiness, I had no idea of how or why.
So I kept writing and revealing (when my higher self of truth outweighed my lower self of fear), believing, even if I could not intelligently explain, that I was actually writing in my happiness…in route to something greater than happy.
These are words I wrote back in March of this year. You see, I had ended last year with a resolve to be happy. With the passing of my grandmother and the simultaneous end to a 10-year partnership, 2017 was quite dark. So in December, I found myself looking forward to light and new opportunities and giving myself permission to be happy. So three months into the new year, I found myself assessing my resolution and progress toward that end.
As I am now ten months into the new year, prepping to walk into a new- New Year, I have been able to reap the rewards of my happiness resolution; however, I realized I had to confront my suffering in order to get here. In other words, to be happy I had to be ok with suffering… to lean into it instead of trying to numb or escape it.
Today’s piece is actually what I wrote back in March as I was learning more about happiness. It’s a reflection that is ultimately about transcendence but as you will see, I disover that suffering and happiness must first be understood in order to transcend.
[Please keep in mind that when you read the word “today,” do not think today as in October. Instead, think today as in March.]
I’ve been listening to a new podcast on personality types. If you have been following my blog or even my own podcast over the past few months, you know that I’ve not only been interested in personalities, I’ve also been connecting personality psychology to my research on empowerment–particularly the Sense of Self (the 6th principle of my Empowerment Framework).
So this new podcast has been quite a treat for me to access. And usually when someone shares content that impacts me intellectually or emotionally, I will write some type of open letter.
Well today’s reflection can be seen through this vein. It’s an open reflection in response to their episode on personality type and higher consciousness. As I listened, all of my outputting, specifically around pain and suffering, was brought info focus, making my case that suffering is ultimately about being happy. And, as their words (from the podcast) co-mingle with my words (in this reflection), I’m looking forward to seeing new thoughts and ideas emerge.
So here goes…
So far, I have only mentioned suffering and happiness but the two additional words in the title suggests that this reflection is about something more. It is so let me explain.
In a different episode, the hosts explain that intuitives (who make up roughly 25% of the population) go through an evolution before they can be fully and effectively integrated into the world around them (which roughly is 75% comprised of sensors). In what is called the pre-awakening stage, intuitives know that they are substantially different than those who are around them yet because of their suffering from not knowing they were intuitive in a sensory-oriented world, they problematize the difference instead of seizing it for the treasures and uniqueness it offers. However, once they come into knowing about intuition, about its value (about the 25% of the population who exist and can potentially offer relatedness and validation of their thinking treasures), there is a certain level of growth and happiness that abounds.
In one of my latest podcast episodes, I talked about my readings on language– how it captures abstract thinking. The higher up you go in abstraction, the more specific your words must become to precisely convey what general terms and concepts cannot.
I read that intuitives live at higher levels of abstraction; thereby increasing their need for specific words to offer the sensing world the concreteness that it requires. Without having access to the words that exactly express the heightened abstraction, an intuitive can flounder in an abyss of silence…unable to communicate what is truly within. And existentially speaking, this muting is pure hell.
So, in the absence of knowing about intuition, an intuitive can live problematized, invalidated and muted, making the discovery of other intuitives and an intuitive word bank pure bliss. And nothing has moved me into this blissfulness more than my writings, connecting to new words, and connecting to readers and other writers who truly get it.
The episode that I listened to that prompted me to roll over and write this reflection, talked about the ego as part of the self that wants to exist. In contrast, the episode also talked about a state of transcendence where the individual moves beyond the self to being an observer of the self. Well, I feel my feet oddly planted in these two extremes and believe my ultimate point in this reflection is to say that I’m celebrating the self that is ego and the self that transcends ego.
This realization is what clicked most for me as I was listening to the episode this morning. As an intuitive that spent most of my life in the pre-awakening stage (a life without words, without models and without an affirmation of the self– as well as one who has dedicated her career strengthening the visibility of other people’s selves), I am not ready to step away from my self. I am not ready to step away from my awareness of and connection to the ego (especially now that it is healing). I’m enjoying the discovery and the freeing of what has been repressed and denied…because honestly, it feels damn good!
And, truthfully, as I have been confronted by three deaths in the past twelve months, I have recently started conceptualizing my departure from the self. Without knowing, I have started peeking into my transcendence, re- imagining a place called heaven. My Christian upbringing says heaven is a physical place where there are gold pavements, a pearly gate, and awarded gems to signify one’s goodness while on earth. Now, I have to admit, and frequently pray for forgiveness, that the existence of an individual self (as in the ego), a social stratification and a moral meritocracy in the afterlife is a little unsettling. It makes the Christian heaven too much like the social world that we currently experience while in the physical body. And goodness help me if the Big Guy or Gal (note the Christian deviation) is anything like our current world leader. No better yet…goodness help us all!!
So over the past few days I’ve started seeing a different kind of heaven… a heaven that exists as purely ideas and concepts. And when I depart from my body, I see myself turning into a thought and then connecting to a central thought (could it be love?) as though I’m a puzzle piece finding my way to many other puzzle pieces as we merge together in some form of unified concept (conscienceness).
But I can see my grandmother poo-pooing that type of heaven. She died a strong Christian woman so I imagine her crowned, passing those pearly gates, easing on down those golden roads…heading straight for the heavenly kitchen to create some type of heavenly meal for the heavenly Father. Because cooking and eating were her happy like reading, writing and thinking are mine.
So I’m not going to bemoan her heaven but I am going to imagine mine. And I think this ability to see a new me beyond my individual self — beyond my individual mind and body– says I’m not overly tied to the ego. I can see me transcending as well right here while I’m still in the physical. But for now I’m going to bask in the happiness of the self, of the ego, and know that my transcendence is rooted in my acceptance of the self as being whole, dignified and validated.
This is my happiness. It’s the recognition of my suffering… as a condition of my uniqueness. To be an intuitive among sensors, in a body that holds very little capital in a world that centers white men, means that the struggle is real. There’s a freeing nature of knowing that the suffering is the result of tangible resistance to my self…to my ego. This is my liberation–transcendence of the systems (cultural and structural) that want me powerless. There is power in knowing the truth…to be better able to navigate the margins because I understand what they are preserving.
I am not the margins. I transcend them …through my suffering. It is here that I confront that I am self. I am whole, dignified and validated. I am not my body…and for that matter, I’m not even my ego.
I am transcendence. I am an idea.
I am happy.