Over a period of several years I experienced three entirely independent
mental exercises as a result of reading or listening to books, tapes,
or lectures. These exercises were very similar in technique and
content, but I encountered them from a fresh viewpoint. I am entirely
certain that the “answer” to the questions were arrived
at without prejudice. This simple fact became very significant when
I answered the third question.
------The first activity called for
me to take an inward inventory of how I view myself in my professional
life. The exercise called for me to summarize the way I see myself
in a concise yet complete statement. I came to the conclusion that
I see myself as someone who is very much, as the cliché goes,
“on the outside looking in.” I came to this conclusion
through the realization that I rarely associate with colleagues
actively, rather choosing to watch their activities from the side,
a solitary and quiet observer. I saw myself as very involved, but
the involvement was happening almost entirely on the inside. As
a result, my successes were almost entirely unknown to others, and
the general assertion among colleagues around the area would be
that they recognized me, but didn’t quite know who I was or
where I called home. Though my pattern of involvement was definitely
an “outside looking in” conundrum, I knew that in truth
I was actually on the inside looking out. A passive but passionate
participant; I didn’t appear to be in the game, but I knew
the game was in me.
------Years later, in an entirely unrelated
event, I was encouraged to recall my earliest childhood memory.
I had little difficulty recalling this event as the image had flashed
in my mind on numerous occasions prior to this. The event occurred
at the house where I lived my first 3 years. Though I know nothing
about the circumstances surrounding the event, I can see it very
clearly to this day. There are several neighborhood children in
my back yard. But I am not there. I am seated on a large wooden
toy box in my room, looking out the window, watching them play on
my swing set.
------One thing is very evident about
the three activities. Each activity became increasingly easier.
I had to examine my actions objectively and come to a conclusion,
to determine how I view myself in my profession. The childhood memory
was very clear. The mental work necessary to complete the third
task had already been done in prior years. The task was to succinctly
define your own self-image, recall your earliest childhood memory,
and compare the two. This was the first time I had considered the
correlation between the first to activities. I was amazed to find
that the two are identical.
------This reinforced in a most tangible
way something that I had always known through intuition. As we go
through the trials and tribulations of life; as we sing and shout
in celebration through joys and triumphs; as we ride the placid
plains of mundane routine; as we search for meaning; as we order
chaos and make chaos out of order; there is something within us
that never changes.
© 2004 - The Trill House