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Ego and Emotions
This chapter occurs at the map location below.
Simi Valley, CA


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Ego and Emotions

Finding Our Path in Life

Simi Valley, CA, JUN 01, 2007 Author: JMichael

Carrie Dear,

There is no hiding my emotions anymore, either from myself or from you. I cannot say that I am able to read your moods all that well, as your expression can be implacable. It seems obvious that you can read mine. I wear them on my face, not my sleeve.

I have spent years traveling around, more or less camping out and enjoying nature, interspersed with "real world" issues and relationships. Rootless is the word than comes to mind. That was not always true. I spent many years as a stable husband and father. I built gates, trimmed trees and nurtured my relationships as best I could.

Events, both inside and out pushed me from that comfortable existence into times of trial and loneliness. I experienced many of life's pleasures, but did not find fulfillment in my relationships with others. I tried as best I could, but nothing seemed destined to last forever. Ultimately, I sabotaged myself and moved on.

Whether I seek them consciously or not, my life brings me the challenges that I need or deserve. My current challenge is to deal with my own ego and its perceived needs. In my childish way of assessing situations, whatever happened most recently is what I remember and by which I judge the situation. My challenge is to see beyond "not getting my way", no matter how improbable my fantasies may be.

Faith is a word that comes to mind. Do I have faith in my own abilities and myself? Do I have faith that taking three months to put my life story "on paper" is worth the effort? Do I have faith in the happy-ending we have already created for ourselves? Do I have faith that I will "amount to something" someday and be worthy of the love you share with me?

One silly crisis after another I have created in my life, sometimes when there is nothing there to consider. I know better, but holding my candle of faith up to the wind can be a daunting task. I waffle between invincibility and fear, yet finding a middle ground between the two bores me to death.

Ultimately, I know that I must follow my own path and see where it leads, whether to the land of self-pity and despair or to the light at the top of the world. Your presence and understanding allow me to see and feel both sides; shadow and light.

I do not ask that you to enable me in any way. We are both adults and understand the consequences of our thoughts and deeds. As soon as I allow the artist in me out for some air, my ego pops up and laughs at me, saying that I should be "at work", earning a living. My ego holds out failure as its lure, as it tries to make me conform to the strictures of society and social appropriateness. The ego says, "You can't play these childish games your whole life, or you will find your end in poverty."

Am I an artist fool, wallowing in self-delusion or am I the artist, yearning to break free of egoism? The risk is to try to be both, while expecting success in both realms.

Like Groucho's TV show from the 1950's, "You Bet Your Life", I am betting that you will love me and allow me to express myself, even when the expressions have a hint of doubt about them. Working my way back up the emotional ladder is my task. Faith in me and in the relationship we are creating is my desire. Being stable enough to do what is right and artistic enough to express myself openly to the world is the balance that I seek.

I love you and I always will.

JMichael

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