Find Yourself Whole

522. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

He asked me, with eyes downcast, “Yes, but when will I believe that I am whole?” We were sitting on the stage of an outdoor theatre. It was a hot summer night after a not-particularly-good-rehearsal. This young man, an actor, came dangerously close to being fully present, alive and available in his scene; he came very close to actually being seen without his armor. It scared him and he fled. I was secretly proud because he was brave and daring to come so close to his power. Now he was fully invested in pummeling himself. Had I a whip, a hair shirt, and a wee bit of salt to offer him he would have gladly added the torture to his self-abuse.

“You will believe that you are whole when you stop investing in the idea that you are broken.” Not a very useful response, but there it is.

A wise old mentor once told me that you can only give an actor one significant note a day. Give them too many things to incorporate and nothing will move forward. Give them the note to chew on and leave them alone to chew. So these are the things I did not say: When you deem that it is alright to be afraid, when you consider it useful to feel what you feel without a need to alter it to service the opinions of others, when you stop beating yourself for trying, when you stop abusing yourself for making strong offers and reward yourself instead, then you might feel whole. Wholeness is not something you attain. It is something you are. Feel it. Broken is a learned behavior, it is the hallmark of a people that reject nature, particularly their own nature; it is a story guaranteed to keep you hiding and, that is the point of the, “I am broken and need fixing” story. The “I am broken” story is a central and necessary in the maintenance of a culture of control. And, above all, I did not tell him that it is a useful thing to struggle with; finding yourself is the whole point of being alive – or perhaps better said: finding yourself whole is the point of being alive. Wrestling with it makes for a good story and great life.

[I’m be on the road and taking a break so I’m dipping into the archives and reworking and reposting some of your favorites. I’ll be back at it in the middle of August]

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