How to be “Real”

I want to talk about a particular aspect about myself that I’ve been extremely hesitant to share with anyone, for fear of the shame or even ridicule I might get. It’s not that it’s particularly a bad thing, per se, only that, it’s not something that I wanted to make public, and for good reason. I’ll explain later.

First, I want to dive into some of the clarity I received in regards to how much of this thing came to make sense to me.

So, let me start off by saying, I’ve been reading two books simultaneously, one by Carl Jung, another by Dostoevsky, and also listening to a lecture series called maps of meaning, by Peterson. I’ll tell you, it’s all fascinating, to say the least.

In many ways, while I reading and listening, I understand, at least it seems, pretty clearly of what they’re all saying, but haven’t been able to quite put into words on how to communicate properly in my own voice. Which that’s a frustrating thing. It’s like I know what I want to say, but no idea how to say it.

Now, it’s not that I didn’t attempt to utter it out to people around me in my day to day conversation, as conversation certainly helps articulate my ideas better, but I could tell, and they could as well, I had no idea what i was talking about at times, partly because i had no idea what i was talking about at times.

But, the mind is weird. This morning, seemingly out of now where, lost in my thoughts, it suddenly “clicked”. It all made sense, at least one particular aspect of the problem I was wrestling with.

The problem?

How do you know when you no longer need your parents?

Now, i don’t mean that literally, okay. We always need our parents, in a sense, and it would be arrogant, overly-prideful, and dismissive to think otherwise. That’s not the point I’m trying to get at here.  What I mean is, how do you know when, whatever wisdom and knowledge they have for you, it no longer exceeds your own?

I don’t mean this in a purely academic sense either. Obviously, with many of us going to college and growing up with the internet, most kids are going to far exceed the absolute academic and objective knowledge of the world than their parents. It’s just the way things are.

But, the one thing that parents seem to hold over their children, sometimes forever, is the wisdom and experience they have, and it makes sense too. They’re older, and usually, wiser individuals.

Here’s the problem. Sometimes, naive kids come to believe they are wiser than their parents, and maybe forever, but usually it’s up until the point they realize they weren’t. That’s when our parents and elders are usually there to step in and give us a little guidance to whatever problems we’re facing.

And, maybe I’m being naive here, too, but I believe that I’ve exceeded, or at least, matched the wisdom of my parents in some parts, though, most likely not all of them. And, I don’t mean this is an arrogant way either, I simply mean it in a way that, my parents no longer can give me the full guidance of how to properly aim myself in the world. The problems and ideas I’m struggling with now, my parent can no longer be my guiding light, my north star.

I want to give a little bit of clarification of what I mean, as many of you might be slightly dismissive of what I’m saying and think I’m being too proud or arrogant. Which I’m not, I seriously am not. So here’s a good example of what I mean.

Let’s take story of Pinocchio. I’m going to assume you have a fair idea of story, so I’m going to jump right in.

When he (Pinocchio) and the cricket escape from pleasure island and return home, after they arrive to the house of his father, they see its empty. There’s nothing left. Again, assuming you know what’s happened up until this part of the story, Pinocchio had gone through a series of experiences, which after realizing the error in his ways, he’s come home. He wants to go back to the way “things used to be”. Which, he can’t. There’s just no “going back home”.

Symbolically, this means, Pinocchio has already begun the journey of individualization, and he’s taken the lessons his father, and not only that, but has gained all that his father has to offer him. The answers to his problems he face now, they’re not going to be found in his father’s house. He must face them alone now.

Now, what some people do, in spite of this, is to artificially maintain the father/son relationship, in that, they can’t break the “perfect” image they hold of their parents. They continuously take the advice of their parents, even though it’s not any better, maybe even worse than what they could have conjured up themselves. Essentially, the kids, or the parents, don’t allow the child, the son, to live his own destiny, to become who he’s supposed to be: an individual.

So how do you become an individual?

Well, Pinocchio, as his father did, raises his head at the north star, which this symbolically represents his journey down his own path; his own destiny. And then, out of sheer luck, as it seems, a dove comes down holding a scroll that reveals what he’s to do next: to save his father from the bottom of the sea.

And it’s not like the dove appearing was sheer luck, it’s supposed to metaphorically mean that, like Gepetto, once Pinocchio orientates his self properly in the world, the answers he was seeking revealed themselves to him, in this case, the location of his father.

So, what does Pinocchio do? He goes to save him.

You can go on to watch the movie, or if you know the rest, I won’t go on. The point I’m trying to get across is, looking back at myself, and where I am currently, the same “spirit” that gave me clarity (be that God or whoever), the voice that revealed itself to me, it only manifested itself after I realized, the answers I’m looking for, my parents can no longer provide me. I’m on my path to becoming my own person.

But, like Pinocchio, I’m not to just let my parents “die” at the bottom of the sea. I’m to rescue them, to take what I know now, and what they’ve taught me, and create a new state, a new being. My own being.

This was a tough thing to cope with for the longest time, and, I didn’t quite “get it” until today, actually. And, in some ways, I don’t quite fully understand what this means either. I can only describe like this, I knew who I was when I was still a kid, literally and metaphorically. And now, although I’m not sure who I’m to be in the future (long term or short term), I know the proper pathway to get there.

I know how I’m supposed to orientate myself in my life now.  I’m becoming an individual born of my parents, born of culture, and born of my ancestors.

And I think that’s what the story mean when it says you can become a “real boy” if you can be “good”.

It means you are no one else but yourself.

thanks for reading,