What do running coaches, Ovid, Dante Alighieri and the early Christians all have in common? They thought we should be “stand tall”. Upright. Faces to the sun. Erect.
It is a litmus test whether you see humans as flawed wicked beings or not.
Is it the Willie Stark template in the Robert Penn Warren novel “All the King’s Men” that “Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption” that resonates with you?
And there was plenty of that in the history of the church. for 2,000 years in the Roman Catholic tradition and certain Protestant strains. Do you think people have it too soft, easy, that they are guilty of thinking too well of themselves. There was no kneeling in the early Christian church. No grovelling was allowed. Unhappily the mass evolved into a heavily penitential rite full of so many mea culpas, mea maxima culpa, supplications galore, breast beating. Christ confronts wicked, rotten behavior head on, he does not rationalize, make excuses, evade but essentially says stop that! Mend your ways, sin no more and now go. There is catharsis, liberation and not an eternal time of wallowing in self pity.
What I have thought for so long is that the bigger problem in the world is with self loathing, self hatred.
That to me, does much more harm, evil than the notion of excessive self-love.
I keep coming back to what a theology professor said about homosexuality (today he might have said ‘queer’). Is it like being left handed (as opposed to being right handed, which most people are) or is it akin to having a crippled and withered left hand?
There is someone I know who has a lot of self love, is poised, confident, assured in life and also has a tremendous amount of love to give as they waltz through life. I wonder if the two are related. How often is it said about someone that they hate others and then we conclude that they probably hate themselves most of all at the end of the day. If constantly flagellating oneself produced positive results we would have had utopia on earth a long time ago and then we could have read Thomas More’s Utopia to see how close his conception was. I enjoyed reading that book so much by the way. Obviously no such thing has happened. What I am all for is a truce, a peace with the inner voice tearing myself down, ripping into my being. A friend said to me recently when i was in a great mood “Isn’t life great?” and I replied, “let’s not go crazy with optimism just yet.” I am more than willing now to meet the universe half way.
Above, saw Jake Bugg in concert once and he was great. Check him out. Amazing he has so much talent and so young. The Bob Dylan of the midlands (England) is what the British press on Fleet street have christened him as.
My apologies kind and faithful reader for such a disjointed post.
Years ago I formulated the mantra that Life is movement. Movement is life. Yesterday quite fittingly I added in people. Movement with people is healing. I must learn more about dancing as a healing art, as therapeutic, as a restorative act. A big part of the entire coming out process is owning your story, telling your narrative, admitting your history. Communication to oneself and to others right? I feel more whole and complete with each person I have told. Filling in the jigsaw puzzle of life. Aside, did a lot of those growing up with my pa, a rare happy childhood memory. Dancing, especially in the learning process is such a place of being vulnerable (as in making mistakes and feeling like a fool, then you realize it is not the end of the world) overcoming them, mastering the movements, feeling comfortable with it. And with persistence, practice, dedication comes success and triumph.
“Success comes before work only in the dictionary.
In other words practice practice practice.”