In the past week I've posted about having ambivalent feelings about getting well, and, within five days, unambivalent desire for the migraine pain to stop forever.
It seems a wide swing. I feel a bit embarrassed just thinking about it, especially that it's posted for all the world to see. Yet a couple comments on that first post tell me I'm not the only one honest enough to admit to such feelings. So I am certainly not the only one feeling them.
I can't write a long post today because my head's fuzzy with pain and medication, but I want to share a couple of thoughts about this seeming conundrum: that I can be both afraid and desirous of the same thing.
The first thought is about the ego. I have written before about Eckhart Tolle's writings on the ego that have helped me more than anything else to begin to find true freedom of spirit. (Click here and here to read posts; there are more in the Labels column to the right -- click on "ego" and "eckhart tolle.")
Our egos will grab any reason to form an identity. That grabbing targets the obvious and socially-acceptable identities like physical beauty, career and job, relationships (parent, sibling, friend) and talents. So we say, "I'm a painter." or "I'm beautiful." or "My daughter is a doctor." as ways to identify who we are. There are also less acceptable identities that are not so obvious and easy to name, like victim, sick person, or loser.
But, though some identities seem logical and others counter-intuitive, they're all the same mechanism: the ego clutching identity in order to survive. Where does freedom (in the title of this post) come in? Any clutching our ego does limits our freedom. If you cannot let go of your identity as lawyer or successful business woman, you are not free. I cannot let go of my identity as migraineur: I am not free.
There's more, but my head hurts. I am going to free myself of my identity as a writer who is thorough and finishes what she starts -- I'm ending
this post now. More later.
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Carol D. Marsh
- With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90 days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.