2011/02/24 – My Compartments

It occurred recently that I have an interesting way of dealing with relationship by acts of compartmentalization within my mind. This is done as a defense mechanism where I can separate troublesome aspects of my life and relationships into separate “boxes” or “rooms” where I can keep them isolated and discrete. This has caused me a fair amount of pain and confusion in my life, as keeping everything orderly and manageable, because of the extreme separation involved. It leads one to live multiple lives at once, all of them false and desperate.

For example, if I were cheating on a woman with another woman, I had to come up with a cover story, an entire line of the most deceitful mendacity. And above all that, I cannot believe all the lies I lived!  Ways of being that weren’t even true. And yet, they were true because I lived them. Such are the ways of life.

The ways these compartments worked was that I categorized everything in my mind as either “good” or “bad” as it related to my desires being met or frustrated. My motivations and actions were also set in the same way. It was only very recently that I even knew what I was up to, because I didn’t have a valid set of criterion that allowed my to be honest with myself. I didn’t even know such a thing within self existed. Which why the concept of self-honesty was such a tremendous paradigm shift within my consciousness. I could be honest with myself. Who knew?

When I look back at the events in my life, it seems to me like a living, moving wave of rooms that I lived in for a while, each room containing more rooms where I kept parts of myself hidden from others. And myself. Each room  spilling into other rooms featuring different version of myself, filled with secrets, thoughts, memories, desires, disappointments, triumphs, projections, shame and glee. I used to believe that they were all valid aspects of myself. Now I see they were nothing but the useless and tattered remains of my projections, secrets and lies distilled in silent separation within the compartments of who I thought I was. I wonder if we all live like this, unaware of the true nature of our selves, leaving an interminable trail of rooms and secrets that follow and cover us like sizeless shadows onto our death. And who knows what happens after that.

I can only relate my deep appreciation that I stumbled across self-honesty and the process of self-perfection. Without these tools, I fear that I would have been consigned to wandering the endless compartments of my mind in confused illusion.



3 thoughts on “2011/02/24 – My Compartments

  1. In the interest of self-honesty, perhaps you might examine your personal biases as pertaining to equality, esp. in the context of your vision of leadership. Your recent post that spoke about leaders in the Black Power movement failed to acknowledge Assata Shakur, Elaine Brown, Kathleen Cleaver, Angela Davis….True equality includes gender equity.

    1. Re-read that blog, because I did name check Angela Davis (and placed her picture on the post of her holding the megaphone).

      My personal biases are totally unrelated to the dissolving irrelevance of the Black Power Movement that took place in the 1960s. The fact that those leaders either coked out, went mad or sold out exists independently of any personal opinion I have about this topic.

      In any case, thanks for the question, but I don’t see anything relevant coming out of Black Leadership today. What I see is everyone is looking out for their own comfort and influence. The thing is that enough blacks have made it into the mainstream to relegate the Civil Rights Era to a quaint and nearly forgotten chapter in American History, and further, it seems to me that the best black voices were heard in the last century. But what about now?

      Jesse Jackson? Remember, “Hymietown?” Mr. Obama? A pure politician. What about Black writers that push Black issues to the rest of the country? Can you name any that are on the cutting edge? I like bell hooks, Ishmael Reed, Cornel West. What has Alice Walker and Terri McMilllan written of consequence lately? Michael Dyson? Tavis Smiley? Really? Gucci Mane? Jay Z? Clarence Thomas? LeBron James? Then again, perhaps I could be looking in that wrong places for this vision of leadership in the Black Community you apparently believe exists.

  2. I said nothing about a vision of leadership in the Black Community now. I do think that it is important to remember how many extraordinary leaders were murdered and imprisoned, thus effectively nullified as leaders. I agree wholeheartedly with bell hooks and Cornel West as important voices. I would add to those Derrick Bell, Manning Marable, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Walter Mosley (who has written a number of powerful and thought provoking novels not in the detective genre). And Alice Walker has written an enormous amount I consider of great value recently–Hard Times Require Furious Dancing (poems), The World Has Changed (conversations), Overcoming Speechlessness (essays) –all published in the last year–AND an ongoing blog that is addressing some of the same current events and issues you yourself are writing about , along with other more personal and poetic meditations. The blog can be found at http://www.AliceWalkersGarden.com.

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