“Real Substantive Engagement,” reprise

This is from a longer post.  My therapist praised (October 14, 2016)  “Your tenacity in wanting to be engaged in real substantive ways.”

It’s an important concept for me.  I think it’s one of the reasons I’m doing so much better.  Seeing my fierce and relentless search to create “real substantive engagement” with the world, knowing that this is how I’ve lived my life, committed to engagement, to deep connection and conversation with everyone and everything I meet — this is not a wasted life.  I see that when I failed to engage — as I often did when I was younger — it was either because I didn’t have the social skills, or because my wish to go deep could not be met by people who were afraid to look at the truth, or who were in denial and couldn’t even see that there was truth.  The words “real,” “substantive,” “engagement” describe the truth I’ve been committed to searching for all my life.  This is what my life is about.

This is NOT a wasted life.  This is NOT stuck in depression.  I see that I’ve lost it right now, at least partly because of COVID and social distancing.  My efforts to create “real engagement” too often bring me to experiences of not being met, and even being criticized for being “stuck in your misery” by “people who were afraid to look at the truth.”  This triggers me into younger states, because not being met with understanding, and being misinterpreted are things that happened far too often in my childhood.  This misunderstanding caused me to have an experience of who I was that is not the same as who I really am.

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