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Updated on August 12, 2013

"TAKING OWNERSHIP" (Part 21 of 21)

I'll confess; I was fallible after all, and sometimes I was plainly dead wrong too.

Now, as I reflect and search for accountability, for ownership, I do admit to alienating many of my past ‘accusers' thus missing completely whatever advice or intent I sometimes would perceive instead as attacking barbs.

I sometimes refused to acknowledge that truly successful men truly become successful by maturing through trial and error. Yeah, I'm sure that I blindly threw away a fair amount of what was probably pretty decent insight, or advice from others. Oh well, spilt milk and all. I'd become jaded. How many times had I been examined, prodded, diagnosed, and ultimately packaged neatly into a ‘box?' How many people had dismissed me with ‘insightful' commentary on what was or what was not ‘wrong' with me?

Malarkey, really; insights into our own personal ‘make-ups' belong ultimately to the individual and not to our external observers. Remember, friend, nobody knows us better than indeed we know ourselves.

It has always been my charge that when human beings invest time in retaining something from our respective life's lessons learned, we ultimately come to respect and appreciate life's teachings; good and bad. Not all lessons learned are pleasant, nor are they all intended to be.

When life is hurtful and difficult savor it, retain the experience, and move forward. It is frequently through the learning process of ‘non-comfort' which grows us our legs to stand, to stride, to occasionally bow out and to even run away, when appropriate. As with the best of times, the worst of times are intended to equally be savored; and sometimes even moreso.

Ultimately, the fear of not being deemed a failure, by self or by others, is the only true motivator for anything at all in our lives.

I was terrified of being perceived ignorant, so much so that I became consumed and ultimately, my egomaniacal ramblings rarely made any sense. I was completely crippled by my own paranoia and my occasional extremist "what-if" fears. My ego was thoroughly out of control. I was convinced that the world owed me EVERYTHING. I ignored what an asshole I was until I could no longer do so.

In learning about ourselves we make our greatest advances not by blindly proclaiming "I love me!" like a mental patient, but, in having the gumption to admit that quite possibly we actually might not even like the person we once were; or could be, even still.

Learning to love oneself is not achieved through cars or money or sex or drinking, though all are quite fun hobbies. Learning to love oneself is achieved only when nothing remains to be taken away; when in the absence of everything which once-upon-a-time pretended to be so important, forces us to evict all of our past superfluous bullshit in discovering whom we truly are.

Learning to love oneself is achieved when we truly enjoy the person we have become ( Heinous mistakes and wonderous merits alike). And, it is when we no longer permit the concept of being alone to scare us, but rather bring us comfort. I am no longer terrified about being alone, in fact I rather embrace it; however, the concept of loneliness is something completely different.

It's okay to take ownership about being blissfully alone, but until one has truly been alone, one can never fully grasp the sting of what is loneliness.

Like the dissipation of clouds, or the haunting clickity-clack serenade of a train departing its railway platform, those once debilitating, irrational fears governing the large majority of my past errs - paranoia, insecurity, loneliness - now evaporate away from me. Paranoia, insecurity loneliness; all the devil's play-toys indeed, and just as destructive as drugs, or booze or any of the seven deadly sins. In their absence, I can breathe, and, oh yeah, life smells pretty good to me.

I'd been taking life for granted for a very long time. Walking about umbrella-clad as if anxiously anticipating storms was par for how I thought I needed to live my life. I one day awoke to proclaim "wow, Reid, you really are pouting your life away" and, like new age Turret's Syndrome, I loudly exclaimed "ENOUGH!" Oh, yeah...enough.

I had had enough of myself. It wasn't so much that I was ‘tired' of suffocating, it is probably more accurate to say that I simply was ‘done.'

Slowly, methodically I put the umbrella away; for I would be anxious no more.

I remember that I had a dream once in my late thirties. When I awoke I finally knew what taking ownership not only entailed, but more importantly what taking ownership meant to someone like me. Upon rising, I immediately drew open the curtains and lifted the blinds. Backyard sunlight poured in, baptizing me in the crispness and the warmth of a new day. I looked about the yard, eventually settling my gaze upon that nondescript six-foot fruit tree in the back corner besides the fencing; a handsome shrub with dark, sweet berries. After a brief moment its name suddenly returned to me: Weeping Tea Mulberry, and I no longer cared that its berries were not in season.

Yes, defining a tree by the fruit it bears is easy once we seek not solely to be filled.

I suddenly could breathe.

And just as our ‘good times' are embraced, it is the seasoned, worldly life traveler who comes to appreciate that the worst of times are likewise intended to be equally as savored; sometimes even moreso. For even though sometimes it can be topsy-turvy and upside-down, isn't life still basically beautiful and delicious, good and bad times alike?

Each morning we awake we take comfort in the knowledge that we awaken wiser than the day before; or at least we should. As we move through life, we mature into the realization that life, likewise, moves through us.

Life; take it and own it. Thus, take ownership!




© 2008 - R. MARTIN BASSO


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    • R. Martin Basso profile image

      Reid Martin Basso 9 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Thank you Funne. I appreciate your kind words. Sorry it took me 3 months to get around to saying thanks

    • funnebone profile image

      funnebone 9 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

      very deep....i am going to strip my clothes off and sit in the yard and reflect....