From Finding Yourself to Finding Each Other.
In my mid-twenties, I told a friend I was going to the Esalen Institute to “find myself.” He responded matter-of-factly, “You’re out of luck. You won’t find yourself there because I see you’re here.” Clearly, my friend didn’t get what I meant.
Of course, I’m not alone. We all have friends who don’t understand our searching nature.
The pandemic pause has given us all time to reflect and connect—both with ourselves and with others. But I think one of the profound parts of our aging process is how our search for ourselves evolves into a new comfort with connection. As I wrote about in this past blog about the bookends of the ego, midlife opens the door from the bedroom of self-focus to the ballroom of other-focus. And this process gives us a lighter sense of being. And more levity and gravitas.
And with this lighter sense of being, maybe we can morph the movie “Finding NEMO” into “FEMO,” also known as Finding Each Marvelous Other. When we emancipate ourselves from our ego, we see that we’re surrounded by beautiful people and the wonder and awe of nature. Not all the time. But more often than we know, and certainly only when we’re looking for it.
I’ll finish with this quote from Duane Michael:
“Inside and outside her head, a billion, trillion stars, beyond count, circles and exploded. A million frogs croaked, trees fell in the forest echoing down the valleys; children cried. The flux of everything throbbed on and on. Songs were heard in spheres within spheres, electric, crackle, sharp. She heard nothing. How could she, when not once had she even heard the sound of her own breathing?”