Quote of the Day – July 11 2012

“Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a false messiah.”
― Richard Bach

 

It’s funny really. I began this collection of quotes about identity this week thinking I would quickly reach a destination and yet it seems that the journey like most has taken me down some routes I didn’t quite expect. Yesterday’s reflection on authenticity vs social expectations was one and it started  both externally (through some brilliant comments) and internally some side streams that are still ongoing.

Nicholas Ambrose (http://nicolasambrose.com/) was one of the commenters and he offered this quote from the book Illusions and that book so connects to this topic that I included it as tonight’s quote. One of the biggest issues that Donald Shimoda, one of Bach’s main characters in Illusions has to resolve is the relative importance of other people to his mission in life. For me of late similar issues have come up. How can I balance the relationships I have in my life and still be true to myself? Both of Bach’s main characters in Illusions were loners mainly living solitary lives. This is not true for me and while my relationships challenge my sense of self they also provide the stability necessary for me to pursue inner discovery. What is the higher truth? When we know the answer to that question how do we act on it? How do we learn to trust it? These questions and more have arisen and many feel unresolved. Resolution exists tho of that I am sure.

Blessings, G

Click on image to see full-sized
Atomic Chamber by G A Rosenberg
Phoenix Blood by G A Rosenberg

5 thoughts on “Quote of the Day – July 11 2012”

  1. Thank you for using this quote–it does fit well within this discussion. As I read your thoughts above, I had a sort of epiphany concerning my own relationships–something I hadn’t really considered until this evening. One year ago this month, my marriage of 10 years ended. It ended for essentially the same reason nearly all of the previous close relationships over the last 30 years ended. You see, somewhere in my past I formulated the following hypothesis: I (naively in hindsight) thought that two people who were independent, self-sufficient, and hard-working… who had spent time enough alone to figure out how to support themselves and become materially successful, manage a home, develop hobbies and interests… I figured that when two such people came together in a loving partnership, their individual burdens would be so reduced as to make life in general easy and generally care-free by comparison. During my times alone I longed for such a partner, and was often attracted to just such a mirror of myself.

    What I failed to consider until now, however, is that by being alone a person grows used to and even enjoys being in sole control of their lives–whether it be financially, domestically, or what-have-you. Although it is a relatively easy task to divvy up day-to-day responsibilities, it is another thing altogether when it becomes necessary to relinquish some of that control. What often happens is that one person in the relationship attempts to dominate, and the other is forced to either accept that, or battle to attain the higher ground for themselves. I, being the ’peace keeper’ and wanting to avoid the discomfort of confrontation, usually wound up in a subservient role. But it was not the role I desired or expected, and so it would come out in ways that were certainly not healthy for either party. The other side of the coin is that one person may willingly give up their responsibility and become overly dependent on another, perhaps because they never wanted to control their own lives in the first place. This drives the other into assuming a ’parental’ role, though the results are the same.

    The point is that, had I been honest and true to myself and listened to my feelings as Mr. Bach suggested, I would have easily recognized the flaw in my logic early on and not gotten into relationships that were doomed from the start. I may have been alone more, but at least I would likely have learned valuable lessons many years ago instead of coming to these realizations at 54.

    There is hope, of course, and interestingly Richard shows that healthy relationships can exist in another of his books, ”A Bridge Across Forever”. It also comes up in a movie I’ve seen many times, ”The Celestine Prophesy”. It requires each partner to decide, early on and without reservation, to support the other and be secure enough in themselves not to be threatened by a loss of control that is in itself a fictitious creation in the first place. It isn’t easy, but it seems to be the only long-term path to relationship bliss and true growth…

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