16 Minutes 42 Seconds
About This Episode
The pilot episode is a stream of consciousness documenting my existential crisis. Infused with self-help musings on spirituality, phenomenology and the art of emotional intelligence, My Authentic Lie is purposed to help empower men in crisis within their lived experience.
Time stands still when you’re fighting for your life and attempting to kill yourself.
If pain is the mask of fear, fear is the shield of vulnerability; wisdom is the compass of morality. The wise dome of the brain is a complex structure. Most humans may never comprehend the algorithm of the cerebral cortex. One’s own hippocampus is the space in which we live and the limbic area of the brain is where we feel. How do we feel? How do we connect to emotion, healthy emotion, if we’ve never learned how to feel healthy?
One of my earliest memories was my mother telling me I should have been a girl. My mother and father were hoping for a balanced family – my older brother and my sister. I wasn’t what they wanted. Nor was I what they expected and that anticipation, that hope was a let-down.
Their sense of disappointment in who I was, well, it must have been painful for them. I know they didn’t want to reject me. I was their son, how could they? Well they could. Abandoning a child isn’t easy. Giving up on what you have, when you don’t expect it or anticipate it is painful. I think about my mother, when I first entered the world as a little baby – how she must have felt. Was she pleased? Overjoyed? Happy with the new life she birthed? Or was there a sense of regret and disappointment that I wasn’t what she wanted. Wasn’t what she’d hoped for; what they’d hoped for, my parents. Their expectations and anticipation of a beautiful baby girl.From the moment I was born I disappointed them, simply because of their expectations and the anticipation of their hopes unfulfilled.
My current understanding of my childhood is deep and layered and predominately based on experience, experiential data and a journey to reflect on past events, recent traumatic experiences and a very real world existential crisis that I didn’t expect or anticipate and was
most certainly not what I hoped for; but it echoes and mirrors my parents’ journey.
The authentic life lived within an authentic lie.
It is said we have two lives and our second life begins the moment we realise we only have one life. This podcast is me surrendering my version of the story. Surrender is giving up your version of the story. My hope is that by giving mine up, I can redeem myself and help others to feel healthy about their story.
Today’s society teaches us how to think, not how to feel. We must start to break the cyclical patterned dysfunctionality within the family of origin and otherwise. To learn how to think like a man and feel like a boy.
The paradox of life is the more we hold on to what we believe in, the more terrifying life feels. When we feel submerged, depleted of oxygen, stressed, pressured, suffocating, drowning, our instinct is to gasp for air, kick for the surface to be able to breathe. That struggle is hopeless. We must trust that letting go and floating down to the seabed may feel like rock bottom. And when our feet finally touch the ground, connected with the Earth again, the solid foundation when we feel connected, then we have something to push off – to believe in, to place our faith in – for we can feel it. We may never reach the surface again; such is the right of passage to manhood, the coming of age, the sense that death will come. We cannot keep it at bay.
It is in that moment and only in that moment do we feel alive. The gift is unwrapped in trust. Trusting that the connective tissue of humanity within our humility of allowing ourselves to land on rock bottom that we will not feel alone anymore. It is said don’t look back it’s not where you’re going. Very true. But where I’ve been dictates where I’m headed; who I’ve been, how I’ve lived – the experiences of my expressed emotion through the years of my life, in my reality and I must live with them. The longer that I ignore them, the longer I supress how I feel about them, the longer I avoid them, the more they will push me to the same behaviours that brought me there, to the existential crisis in the first place.
Digging a hole for yourself, hiding away, burrowing down, misering the cognitive, selfishly keeping yourself in the dark, stealing your own life away for material gains and exterior adulations. When I reflect on everything I’ve lost, everything I had, I find meaning in it now. But when I had it, when it was mine to hold on to, I didn’t know how to appreciate it. I wasn’t aware of how I felt about my life. In actuality, I was racing so fast, always residing in the next
moment, never appreciating the now. Never feeling authentic in the moment. Always presenting in the next moment so that I wouldn’t have to feel vulnerable in the now.
As I headed towards the moment of my existential crisis, I couldn’t feel. I couldn’t feel it coming. I reflect on the people, the situations, the moments and everything leading up to it. The kind, thoughtful, vulnerable, compassionate, loyal, tenacious, sensitive, strong-willed human beings who believed in me and the fact that I wasn’t able to repay that belief in the moment caused me massive, overwhelming amounts of anxiety after the moment of crisis.
It is overwhelming when we think about who we may have wronged and how we may have wronged them and how might we put it right, make amends. An apology doesn’t seem like enough. How do we even access a former life when the pain has been so great? When we have caused and been the bearer and giver of pain and suffering. Of emotional distress. The gift of trusting, of letting go, of surrendering your version of the story is that in doing so, you afford yourself belief and faith. And the belief and faith will connect you to the Earth, even though you may feel like you are drowning and suffocating. Finding meaning in your life for the first time requires trust and trust equals constancy over time; a lifetime, whenever that begins, whenever we fund the trust in ourselves. When that moment begins, when we invest in our emotional bank account, we start to feel the worth and if we reinvest, it will pay lifelong dividends. Those self-transactions, those emotional agreements that we make, if purposed
with honour and impeccability, will afford us relief from a lifetime of pain and the overwhelming gamut of emotions that comes with reconciling them.
Reconciliation and redemption doesn’t happen in one moment. When you rage against your own machine, the constructed edifice of your belief system that’s worked for you your entire life, you are in a combat to the death with the psyche of the self. The ego testifying, giving evidence, judging. Judge not lest ye be judged yourself. Judge not lest ye judge yourself.
Self-judgement does not belong in the court of public opinion. Opine to self. The most important amends is reconciliation with the self. Transact your own behaviour. Re-mind your emotional action. Regulate your emotional reaction. Sestate the need for negativity even in
your own thoughts. Especially within your own mind. This re-minding of your own patterned behaviours will allow you to train your brain to a more positive existence. Tell yourself and yourself will hear. Speak the words and you will be them. Hear your own voice and you will speak with clarity and purity. Compass your wisdom. Axis your Praxis. Steer a course for a new horizon. Feel the sun, even if there are clouds in the sky. Feel the wind, even if the air is still. Breathe life even if there is no oxygen. Visualise your existence.
I see you, I hear you, I feel you, I sense you.
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Harbor by Kai Engel
Midnight Sun by Lee Rosevere
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