I’ve been sitting at the edge of my seat for the past year now as events from all over the world (but specifically in this country) begin to attest to an undeniable phenomenon: people are starting to express their truth.
As someone who’s going through her own share of significant shifts in identity and purpose, I deeply empathize with anyone who has chosen to abandon their pond, a.k.a. the status quo, in search for something that feels more authentic to their being.
While my experience comes nowhere close to the mind boggling stories we are witnessing, I feel like it’s impossible not to recognize the value and undeniable courage that some are displaying in search for their personal truth.
History is our most valiant witness when noting the fact that nobody likes changers.
From people personifying change in trivial forms such as fashion (rewind back to when Dolce & Gabbana’s designs were considered heretic) to more complex examples such as shifts in consciousnesses (rewind to a man in Galilee murdered for teaching tolerance) and science (the world is flat).
Like clock work, there has always been a front line of “moral defenders” ready to combat and accuse. Why? Because whether we realize it or not, we are made up of one body.
When one of us experiences transformation, we subconsciously know it’s bound to burst some bubble for rest of us. And if there is anything the ego guards mightier than its sense of identity, its the sense of it’s specialness, a sort of self-proclaimed status of “chosen” based on cultural mores and (supposed) adherence to divine principles. Thus forcing the wisdom of collective human conscience to bow down to custom and righteousness.
To top it off, our inner bully also doesn’t seem to give a squat about the worthiness of the message inhabiting this change. Rocking the boat of certainty and tradition will conclusively place one on the Most Wanted list of all things decent.
So what happens when one pierces through this murky collective ego? He or she becomes a massive mirror. And since we all somehow function as each other’s mirrors, we might not like what that person is mirroring back at us.
Take for example, the people we typically surround ourselves with: they are probably very similar to us, whether it’s in the way they look, their mentality or both.
Why? Because dealing with a familial reflection does not threaten our sense of reality, it doesn’t shake up the parameters we have set up for what we deem right and wrong. For most of us, our friends are strategically chosen to validate us—not challenge us.
In terms of being challenged, an ancient proverb once suggested that our measure of enlightenment can be evaluated by the level of comfort we have with our own paradoxes: our inner saint and sinner, masculine and feminine, fool and genius.
If that idea holds any merit then we’ve sort of been doing it all wrong, trying to eliminate instead of embrace our full sense of Self.
Could clinging on to our most widely accepted version of ourselves be leading us to project judgement towards anyone that is desperately trying to embrace their totality?
With billions of people inhabiting this home we call earth, our practice of only inviting our look-alikes for dinner is leaving us completely oblivious to the rest of our “selves” living in the hidden pockets of our consciousness.
Talk about a lame party.
Coming from an ethnically mixed background, there is one thing about the American way that I am deeply in awe of and that is it’s built in commitment to freedom of expression. As a country founded upon the desire to break free from an oppressive identity, the American blood boils with a thirst for revolution.
Yet, despite being a romantic, I am aware this is not something to be heavily romanticized. Revolution is messy, often times hijacked and always bloody. In the specific context of everyday expression, however, there is nowhere on this planet that rivals the tolerance of buffoonery, heroism and transparency that this country displays. Minorities and women know this better than most. It is hence no surprise that the most fascinating examples of radical challenges to human consciousness are taking place right under our nose.
With Caitlyn Jenner championing the eons-old storyline of what it means to honor one’s truth from the inside out, Miley Cyrus’ campaign to promote the universal truth that we are multidimensional beings capable of loving anyone who has a heart worth loving and now the ever perplexing case of Rachel Dolezal who is opening our eyes to the idea that the experience of this thing we call race may not end or even begin with the hue or our skin—we sure have some heavy duty reflecting to do.
I am not here to proclaim what is right and what is wrong because I wouldnt even know where to start. It seems that what is unfolding now is bringing to the surface a question way more beautiful and interesting than merely examining what is “right“. Instead, the question posed is “What is human?”
Spending our time arguing about “should be” is distracting us from the much more relevant conversation of “what is“.
So far, we’ve been talking ourselves into the ground, thrusting our course into deeper division and more noise.
Surely there must be another way to process these difficult yet evolutionary changes we are all facing? Another way that paves a road bigger and better—a promise land for all of us.
Author: Katerina Pappas
Editor: Alli Sarazen
Photo: Suus Wansink/Flickr