Raiders of the Lost (sp)Ark

My biggest accomplishment last year (wow, time sure flies! I can remember 2014 like it was just last week 😀 ) was overcoming my codependency. I was not free to think,to do, to differ,to be, for several reasons; I had not yet developed the faculties within me to be independent, the faculty to see my self as worthy as any other person and thus validate my own emotions and thoughts. I had no boundaries, and as such I had to ride piggyback on other people’s self-worth and identity in order to survive. They, in exchange, demanded I tend to their wants and needs, that I become a mere extension of them. Manipulation is a two-way street, so I sold my life for security, and they bought it for servitude. I had thought about breaking free for years, and in fact I tried several times but in the last minute I’d always change my mind and decide to stay put because I realized I had nowhere to go. There was no one home in my soul.
When I realized that to resolve this life-long issue that manifested itself in the control mum exerted over me with such crudeness, I had to dig deeper within myself to find the reason ,not for why people treated me this way, but the reason for my accepting it. What I found beneath the surface was a mess of traumas,self-neglect,and putrid self-hatred. I spent every waking hour thinking,reading,writing,venting  about this issue. It wasn’t as if I had a conscious goal to go through a laundry list of to-do’s when it came to my recovery, but there was this fire that was burning within me, urging me to go forth when I felt stuck. No conscious effort would have succeeded in keeping me going for 10 or so hours a day for months on end. No way. I wanted my freedom, and the key was within me. That intrinsic drive was my ticket to freedom.

When I did attain it, when I enforced my boundaries, I realized that even though I could do whatever I wanted, speak freely, not be ashamed of being who I am, be transparent and vulnerable- I felt that something deep within me was still incarcerated. I felt constricted and I had no idea what it was. I felt it the most when I tried to take first steps in following my dreams; something within me just shut down. Denied me access. Then I read this article on Psychology Today, Essential Freedom is Essentially Ignored  and I realized that although I achieved freedom of doing, I had not yet achieved freedom of being. Paradoxically, freedom of doing robbed me of my freedom of being. I’m indolent and now that nothing threatens my security, I don’t have an incentive for climbing higher. I’m apathetic. I don’t care enough about progressing for me to dislike my status quo. Part of me fears the unknown, but mostly it’s just a dislike of discomfort and for what? I don’t have that fire to propel me anymore, the fire I had when I was being controlled.

My new mission is to break free from this laziness, this passivity. My new mission is to find what died in me, if it even existed to begin with, and revive that. I want to start a bonfire in the depths of my being to burn myself down, and arise anew from the ashes like a phoenix. I want to be reborn. I want to be able to pursue my dreams without fear,laziness,or anything else weighing me down. I want my passion for life, my inner fire to be more forceful than any potential obstacles. I don’t want to live my life making up alibis for my failure to live.

This year is going to be an emotional scavenger hunt for that lost spark.

ان شاء الله

A Personal Renaissance

William James once remarked that those who are concerned with making the world more healthy had best start with themselves. We could go farther and point out that finding the center of strength within ourselves is in the long run the best contribution we can make to our fellow men. It is said that when the fisherman in the sea around Norway sees his boat heading for a maelstrom, he reaches ahead to try to throw an oar in the boiling whirlpool; if he can do so, the maelstrom quiets down, and he and his boat go safely through. Just so, one person with indigenous inner strength exercises a great calming effect on panic among people around him. This is what our society needs- not new ideas and inventions, important as these are, and not geniuses or supermen, but persons who can be, that is, persons who have a center of strength within themselves.


May, Rollo. “The Loss of the Sense of Tragedy.” Man’s Search for Himself. New York: Norton, 1953. 54. Print.

Our collective emptiness

I recently bought a book by an author I’m totally enthralled with; Rollo May. He was an influential existential psychologist who was heavily influenced by the works of Erich Fromm and Otto Rank, and as such is widely considered a humanist. He was also the peer of Alfred Adler.

I came across some of his quotes that compelled me to buy the book I’m currently reading, ” Man’s Search for Himself” in which he probes the causes of loneliness and emptiness, both on an individual level and societal. Some shorter excerpts follow;

“The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it’s conformity.” 

“Finding the center of strength within ourselves is in the long run the best contribution we can make to our fellow men. … One person with indigenous inner strength exercises a great calming effect on panic among people around him. This is what our society needs — not new ideas and inventions; important as these are, and not geniuses and supermen, but persons who can “be”, that is, persons who have a center of strength within themselves.”

“It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when they have lost their way.”

“Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don’t find themselves at all.” ( which is actually a quote by André Gide cited by May in aforementioned book.)

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