The other day, during the course of a lengthy email conversation with my guru, he told me that I should settle down, whatever that means, I'm trying to figure out. The past year + I've been contemplating how I am to enter the phase of stability within life. We should probably start from the beginning and, hopefully, along the course of this adventurous recount of Kyle's life we will have a better perspective of what's what, what goes where, and when. Maybe.
So I was a kid once. Probably like you, too. There was the whole learning to walk and talk, read and write, socialization and exploration of the world and things in it. As a young boy, those gender roles were being introduced and I was fastened to Star Wars, G.I. Joes, Thundercats, WWF wrestling, Matchbox cars, and sports. Playtime was full of living out fantastical scenarios and roleplaying. Of course, at that young age, no one really considers their profession, life is viewed more as a big potential for magical creations.
I remember, when I was perhaps 4 or 5, living right there in the moment. Cuddling with my pillows, dog, and stuffed animals was supremely enjoyable right then and there. Pain was experienced and quickly forgotten with the tenderness of a mother's touch. The outside was bright and big with behind every turn, corner, tree or bush, under the rocks and in the grass, was an adventure. There really was no fear aside from situations that were new, novel. Hesitation to enter prevailed the consciousness while the sense acclimated and adjusted to the unfolding of this new reality. Who can say, but I probably wouldn't be in such a predicament settling down if I didn't enter into the new reality of parental divorce and step-parenthood.
My biological parents fought, I questioned love. My grandparents seemed happily married, I questioned love. I heard people say they loved one another yet do and say mean things, I questioned love. Going to church, I heard of God's love. Was human love different, somehow, than Divine love? If God loves and we are God's children, why do bad things happen when we all supposedly love one another? Does God operate within the same parameters of our human love spectrum?
Amid the fantasy experienced through playing with toys, romping in the forest, and in books, this was the basis of my emotional childhood and adolescent reality: What's love?
The interactions between us humans has always fascinated me. How is it that we can agree on an electromagnetic spectrum of light and call it "green" or whatever? How can we use vocal sounds, facial gestures and bodily movements to convey ideas, come to a consensus and build societies? Why do we have such elating emotions, proclaim the most endearing, gentle love, yet express such frustration, anger and wrath? Just like many of you, I walked the walk of public school, transitioning between three states - New Jersey, Georgia, Florida - enjoying the crazy, wonderful, exciting and humiliating times. There's nothing quite like life. The time spent in those institutions, and on into college, eye opening experiences that allow for the social melting pot to cook you into the person you think you are. We're influenced by our family's values and interpersonal power roles, at school we are dangling on the rungs of the social ladder, scrambling to climb in what we think is a positive direction, and indoctrinated and graduated into a life, a country that has its own values, social history, and perspective. I walked this path. But I walked it with my questions: what's love? why this if we love?
It was only, really, in the past two years that answers to these questions starting becoming more readily apparent and tangible, whereas before I could only emotionally postulate about the why and how. A deeper opening within my psyche started to occur during the last couple of years of college. My blind struggles to prior were the precursors and proverbial "straws" that broke my confined and conflated ego; we can only take so much until we just give in and surrender without life or we call to arms our deepest strength and work to understand, to free oneself. They were struggles of the heart, of self-expression, autonomy. Everything I did was because I was trying to feel full, appreciated, loved, attractive, or ecstatic.
I'm now 31, no wife, no kids, no "full-time" job in the traditional sense because I would like to consider the pursuit of ultimate knowledge of and full realization of the Self as a lifelong endeavor. This burning desire to know propels me forward. It's love that drives. I know this.
It's time to settle down into love.