07 May Dismissing My Experience as Illogical
This is the next paragraph after the one I just quoted in the last post:
Stopping can be very, very difficult. It can take exhaustion, extreme circumstances on a wet, snowy mountain ridge [he described a life changing experience earlier in the book where he was climbing in the Himalayas] or an intimate sense of loss for it to happen. Even then we can soon neutralize and isolate the experience, dismissing it as illogical, pretending it didn’t count, then turning back to our surface strengths and chattering away in a false language we have built around our successes.
He goes on:
Success can be the greatest barrier to stopping, to quiet, to opening up the radically different form of conversation that is necessary for understanding this larger sense of self. Our very success can be the cause of a greater anxiety for further preservation of our success.
Wow. This is so it. When he talks about dismissing some sort of experience that brings a deeper emotional response and connection to our self, I completely see my fears made sense of. My fears that all this will wear off is true, I won’t always feel exactly what I’m feeling. But I don’t have to always allow that to take me back to my “surface strengths and chattering away in a false language.” We can have profound experiences. We can have shifts in our perspective and self construct. And these do no have to be forgotten or dismissed because the intensity is gone. I don’t have to dismiss my current feelings because they later seem illogical. I do not have to neutralize and isolate this experience (what I broadly describe as “pathologizing my experience”) as something negative, sentimental, or not counting.
I just realized right now that part of what I have to do differently from previous attempts at living connected to my deeper self is to stop. I need to stop. I feel the need to rush on to where I’m going, to what I will be doing as a career, or what have you. You know what? I have no idea what it looks like to stop. I mean, I guess I sort of do, but man it feels foreign. I feel hope in the sense that I don’t have to dismiss the place I am currently in, even if I feel differently later. I have felt this before in various ways so I do believe it is a constant that I may ignore. Stop. Stopping. As Whyte wrote, “It lives beneath our surface tiredness, waiting, it seems, for us to stop.” Okay then. I will try and listen and stop.