Therapist asked me when I felt the most "Me". My answer was that this occurred when I was teaching, but now that I've had time to think about it, I don't believe this is correct. I feel confident when I teach and I have lots of fun, and I think teaching is something at which I excel--but not necessarily what makes me who I am. I chose that because it's a place where I'm comfortable, but I don't believe I'm comfortable, necessarily, when I'm the most "Me."
I've been thinking about this for nearly a week now. I've realized that there are times when I feel almost completely whole:
1. When I'm practicing.
2. When I'm reading.
3. When I run.
4. When I'm laughing.
Surprisingly, though, there was an unexpected revelation: The time when I feel the most "Me" is when I'm allowing myself to be completely vulnerable with someone I love. I'm no longer hiding any parts of me, dodging questions, or deflecting attention. And this feeling of being whole increases if I'm allowing physical contact. This situation, two or three years ago, left me feeling guilty and devastated--concerned that I had somehow hurt the person I was with. I would spend weeks trying to undo the imagined harm and scurrying about, apologizing for some unknown thing I had done.
I no longer feel that. I'm finally convinced that no one will allow close contact with me unless they desire it--and therefore I'm probably not hurting anyone by allowing them to have physical contact with me--which might mean anything from a hug, to sitting closely side by side, to something as simple as a brief kiss on the cheek or shaking hands.
I had a long talk with a friend recently. It felt as though both of us were sharing honesty. It was simultaneously frightening and deeply moving to me. I'm still trying to sort out what that means, but I think it has something to do with the fact that as I listened, I wasn't internally negating the words that were said, or excluding myself from mutual devotion or love. Also, for the first time, I found myself believing the words that were spoken, trusting the person who was speaking, and allowing myself to understand that while nothing on this earth is perfect, much of what I experience with another person can be joyful.
I still don't know why those moments I've identified make me feel whole. I'd like to understand this better. I believe the first four things make me feel complete because I'm able to participate in them without holding back any part of me. I throw myself into the activity, losing myself in it completely. Perhaps I've never done that with another person outside of Darrin, and never in the realm of friendship. Maybe when we allow ourselves to let go when we're with another person, we discover who we really are.
Regardless of the answers to those questions, I'm left in an emotional upheaval. Nothing seems level or predictable. And the really strange thing about all this is that I'm not upset about it--curious, but not worried.
I have a feeling that everyone in the world understands innately the answers I'm seeking and that what I am discovering, they have been experiencing all their lives. Better late than never? Apparently this old dog can still learn new tricks. And with that, I will stop being cliche and go to bed.