Dispossession.

Well, hello again. It’s been awhile. I’ve been stuck in a state of indecision and lethargy and not entirely certain which path to take. I’ve decided to take all of them. Simultaneously, or as close to that as the linear process of writing will allow. I’d tell you to buckle up, but you’re already buckled, aren’t you?

You know me so well.

In order to possess what you do not possess 
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.

-T. S. Eliot

What do we possess? Or rather, what do we think we possess? Understanding of the world? Ourselves? A life we’ve carved out from the infinite chaos of the surrounding world? Status? Power? Control? That certainty that you feel at this moment is illusory. We possess nothing that cannot be taken from us, and so we must go by the way of dispossession – holding these things loosely, so to speak. This is a gift not bestowed to me from the gods. I am unwilling to let go of the things I love. I remember what it’s like to lose everything. I’m afraid I won’t survive it. I will, however. Anxiety and hypervigilance are nothing but the attempts of a battered psyche to exert control over the uncontrollable. It’s an exercise in futility. Wasted energy. What am I without the things I believe I need?

I am the same person I was before I lost them, although perhaps I have a bit more perspective, a better understanding of myself and the world around me. Calmer, hopefully. Not diminished, but deepened.

If you hold something too tightly, you strangle it, stifle growth and the necessary catalyst for finding the way to become that which you are not. The hardest part is having faith – that you will survive a change in the order of things, that you will gain more than you think you will lose. Dispossession is freedom, however. It is realignment. You will take one step, and then another, feeling your way through the dark until you find a light.

What you do not possess is control – therefore, give up control. What you do not possess is certainty, so give up any illusion of such. What you are not – secure, valued, known, powerful, wealthy, etc – was never yours to begin with, so take the way that does not chase the mirage.

I’m tired now, having seen two years pass, full of uncertainty and doubt, bringing me to the edge of despair, and several near-catastrophes. And yet, I’ve found that there are more ways to find what you are not than I could have possibly imagined. I am not weak. I am not strong. I am neither particularly wise nor terribly stupid. I can be undone. I can reassemble myself into something far more resilient than the original, learning to knit myself together from the sinews and bones of a life I never actually possessed.

I am not helpless, therefore I go the way of one who helps themselves.

We get one life. Let’s take it apart and turn it into something beautiful.

2 thoughts on “Dispossession.

  1. People change seldom as they endure life experiences. But at their core, they remain who they are. I believe what they find is not change but facets of themselves they had yet to uncover.

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  2. I think capacity has a lot to do with it. People are obsessed with becoming things they cannot be and having things they cannot have. Understanding one’s limitations (read: realities) can do more for someone seeking the truth than the pursuit of a fruitless endeavor. That’s where people become lost and waste energy, I think.

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