“I’ve seen plenty of your kind … you Americans.
Refugees from that brave new world you have over there. Pilgrims in search of your Mecca … only you have no Mecca.
You’ve rejected one world and can’t quite smuggle your way into another so you wander like lost souls among all the libraries, museums, palaces and cathedrals of Europe … never quite seeing or catching hold of anything that lies outside those musty, but god knows elegant, interiors. It’s called ‘finding oneself’ I believe … as if a self can exist at the end of some tourist’s itinerary like a pot of gold.
Yet it’s kind of a fear, isn’t it? A fear of Life.”
“I have a deep fear of being too much.
That one day I will find my someone, and they will realize that I am
That they will step back and be intimidated by my muchness. “
So. Muchness. Muchness is what resides within each one of us. The problem is Life, in general, encourages us to exhibit, well, much less. Therefore we seem to spend a lot of time in the wretched hollow between our muchness and what we believe the world can accept of our muchness. In other words, we are always seeking to constrict not expand.
Oddly this creates a lot of self-reflection. A lot of “who am I”, finding oneself and defining what is the right level of public muchness. We search as in “as if a self can exist at the end of some tourist’s itinerary like a pot of gold.” Far too often finding one’s muchness, paradoxically, seems a lot like stagnancy. There may seem like a lot of movement in that you may be moving around a lot, but in actuality, you are stagnant … personally.
All the movement appears to be some kind of search within oneself, but you are doing it by seeking ‘out-of-self’ things. Worse? Your self-search often gets judged by what cues the ‘out-of-self- things provide you. Its almost like the search makes you a refugee from yourself. You invest energy not on progress but rather in searching backward or ‘within’ to find ‘something.’
Well. This all seems crazy to me. Seems like maybe by the time you finish your search the rest of the world has moved on by. I would suggest time may be better served by something in which typical ‘finding oneself’ discussions do not appear to encompass — the word ‘disturbing.’ As in maybe ‘disturbing oneself.’ As in disturbing the universe. Kind of like shaking the personal etch a sketch a bit and in doing so be willing to shake the societal status quo of “what you should expect” etch a sketch..
By the way, to me, the fact ‘disturbing’ rarely is included in any ‘finding oneself’ discussion is crazy. Mostly because emotion is the energy for change and I would argue emotion is the engine for muchness.
Ok. What the hell am I talking about? The root of disturb is the Latin word – Emovere.
Emovere: to disturb
Emotion literally means disturbance. The word emotion comes from the Latin Emovere meaning “to disturb.” Therefore, Emovere can be seen as a version of how we find ourselves. A combination of emotion & disturb is the creation of one’s muchness.
Look. Disturb may sound, well, disturbing or maybe a little extreme but, what the hell, you spend gobs of energy going out and about having rejected one world and can’t quite smuggle your way into another so you wander like lost souls.
The whole idea of ‘finding oneself’ all with the overall intent to seek opportunities to find out about ourselves and discover your muchness, i.e., what we are made up of and what we can be.
Disturbing, at its core, is about shifting shit so that opportunities can be uncovered.
This leads me to a guy named Pittacus … one of the Seven Sages of Greece. While each of the seven sages was supposed to represent an edict of worldly knowledge it was Pittacus who proposed ‘you should know which opportunities to choose.’
Other Pittacus Quotes
“It is hard to be good”
“Know when to act”
“Seize Time by the forelock.”
Disturbing is the energy that creates opportunities and then … well … you gotta know which opportunities to choose.
Shit. No wonder we decide to try and find oneself by wandering the world, it sounds a shitload easier than disturbing, recognizing opportunities, than actually knowing which opportunities to choose. In fact all that sure sounds like there is lots of room for errors or missed opportunities are even a lot of bad choices.
Well. That’s the deal if you want to find yourself and let the world see your muchness.
It ain’t easy. And there is a lot of room for mistakes and bad choices. You gotta keep your eye on the prize.
Oh shit. The prize. The prize is actually finding being oneself – being your muchness.
Now. ‘Muchness’ is a great thing for you … uhm … but can be scary for others around you.
However. Not everyone, in fact, I would suggest the majority of us never discover our maximum muchness. Most of us just find crumbs of our muchness.
Some of us just get a bite or two of our muchness. And then there are the few who actually find ‘oneself’ and all their muchness. Which leads me back to where I opened today:
“I have a deep fear of being too much.
That one day I will find my someone, and they will realize that I am a hurricane. That they will step back and be intimidated by my muchness. “
Well. This makes me think that maybe the reason most of us go about finding ourselves the wrong way is because most of us fear becoming the hurricane we could be. Muchness is scary. Muchness is not only a little scary to ourselves but absolutely can be intimidating to others. Hence … “you can be a little too much on occasion.” Frankly, this is where it gets tricky. When you hear that you naturally pull in your muchness. Which is a little nuts. Nuts because YOU can handle your muchness its OTHERS who cannot – it’s their issue and not yours.
I imagine my real point in all of this is that while finding oneself is not easy once you embrace your muchness it gets difficult. Here’s what I do know.
disturb + recognize opportunities + choose the right opportunities = muchness
Let’s be honest. Most of us, even if we are really lucky, will only find crumbs of our muchness. Yup, even if we do most of the formula right … just crumbs. And that is manageable. And while crumbs sound… well … crummy. It’s not. They represent glimpses of our greatness. The muchness inside us is the best of our best … the best version of I … the greatness within.
And even if we only get a glimpse of it? Well. In the immortal words of the coach in the movie The Replacements:
“Greatness, no matter how brief, stays with you forever.”
Finding oneself truly has to be done with some intent of finding some greatness. It’s all about finding whatever glimpse of greatness, of a muchness, we have within us. And why wouldn’t we seek to find ‘oneself’ the right way?
The opening quote suggested ‘a fear of Life.’ Well. I would suggest it would be more ‘a fear of Muchness’.
Suffice it to say that Self, or our’ muchness’, does not exist at the end of some tourist’s itinerary like a pot of gold. And that said … remember … if you truly desire to ‘find yourself’ don’t head out like a pilgrim in search of your mecca just think one word – Emovere.
In other words … Disturb.
Disturb your world and your universe and watch for the opportunities and don’t fear your muchness and, most importantly, don’t let the outside world’s fear of your muchness make you make your much a lesser version of what it can be.
Embrace your muchness and disturb the universe. I could think of worse advice.
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This post was previously published on Enlightened Conflict and is reprinted with permission from the author.
Photo courtesy Pixabay.