Friday, September 30, 2011

getting lost will help you find yourself

"getting lost will help you find yourself"

i think i've found a manifesto. or at least, as near to one as i'm likely to find and as close to one as i'd like to write. 

and i'm ashamed to say it's a bit of consumer-pop culture that i found from a eco-aware lifestyle company called Holstee (i'd provide a link, but i don't want to be seen as providing a shameless plug, especially since there's nothing for me to even be shameless about--now if they provided a reciprocal link to me, *that* would be another matter, but that's something to address another day).

still, this being post-modern times, i guess it's ok as an exemplar of dry wit (or not) and serious mixing (or not) of memes and metaphors (or not) in a consciously intentional (or not) ironic cultural pastiche of messages (or not).
i've attached the picture above. you can see what i mean. it's an amalgam of dopey romantic idealistic sentiments. the kind you feed to people to get them inspired and excited and motivated just before they charge forth to get hit with a hard, brutal, ruthless dose of reality to knock them back into their place, cowering in fear and despair with the shattered remnants of their hopes and aspirations, their dreams dispelled by the truths of this world.

except for some of us it's not.

there's one line that sticks with me, and it's the title for this post: "getting lost will help you find yourself."

i always tell people that one of the motivations for participating in endurance sports is the chance to find yourself. the real self. the truth about who and what you are.

because for so many of us, it's only in the moments when we've completely exhausted our physical and mental energies that we're forced to release the burdens of all the lies, half-truths, falsehoods, distortions, deceptions, and perversions that we tell ourselves to avoid dealing with this reality, and only in those moments that we're forced to confront the simple, unadorned, undisguised, unchained truth that we're so afraid to face.

and the extent of the energies needed to cover the extent of the lies calls for a corresponding extent of demands to provide the necessary extent of exhaustion. for some of us it goes as far as 140.6 miles. for others, even more.

of course, you don't need to go that far. you don't have to work that hard. it's entirely possible to reach these same realizations without anywhere near the same level of suffering. in fact, it's entirely possible to do so from simply sitting. psychiatrists claim to help others do it all the time; they call it therapy. Buddhist monks claim to do it on their own all the time; they call it enlightenment.

but you see, for some of us, it's only in the distance where we get lost. far out in the depths of space. far out outside of time. we lose ourselves. and only there, and only then, do we realize that we need to know who and what we are. and only there, and only then, do we realize that we need to take action to find out.

because it's the only true point of reference we'll ever really know. the only true compass pointing out the direction that we should--and that we need--to go to make it through the eternity that is the distance.

because in those times when we are confronted with hard, brutal, ruthless doses of reality, it will serve to remind us that we can still rise up from beyond our place.

because in those times of fear and despair it will serve to remind us that we are still the keepers of our hopes and aspirations.

because it tells us that we are not just our dreams; we are also our own truth:

a truth as true as any among all the truths of this world

and hence, not to be dispelled, but to live

simple unadorned undisguised unchained

it's only when you get lost that you find yourself


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