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  • Writer's pictureJulen Murguia

Breaking up... with myself?

Updated: Jan 5

I recently went through a break up… with myself.

Well, with a certain idea of myself… Well, with a certain way of relating to my self-narrative and narratives in general.

And, as any break up, it was kinda scary and very uncomfortable.

Ultimately I’m still me — provided that by that i’m referring to the ever evolving, dynamic pattern that is experienced as “I”. The multi-layered, infinitely complex organism-environment (time, place and activity) often referred to as “Julen”.

I feel that for the longest time I’ve been fighting mercilessly to “go back” — whatever that means! I’ve had this underlying assumption that there is something like being what “I once was”. Of course, this is a severe confusion. It felt like my body was running in one direction while my head was turned 180º, looking backwards. It wasn't until very recently that I was forced to renegotiate with myself, to have the courage to look forwards.

Let’s talk about our symbolic self for a sec, shall we? It’s so odd, right? We have a re-presentation of “ourselves”, which in turn, and in a very profound way, is ourselves. Or at least, part of the kaleidoscopic picture. But this incessant need to make sense comes with some interesting 'side-effects'. See, although the symbolic self is in constant flow, just like the rest of everything, it somehow seem less apparent. Ideas appear to be more stable than the wiggly, swish-swashing, oogly-boogly nature of reality. This is an illusion – a cheap trick!

Once you realize that there isn't anything but change — that that is the very nature of the universe, of self — and are able to truly come to terms with this fact, only then do the doors to new possibilities, to life, open once more. Umm...but how does one do this?

It’s not easy. Because the symbolic/narrative part of ourselves is such a fundamental part of what makes us human. That beautiful and frightening configuration of fears, longings and aspirations. Yet, if we wish to attain any semblance of equanimity, being able to incorporate 'ever-changing-flux' into one’s self-narrative is imperative. To embrace it and look forward whole heartedly. This does not mean one must forsake cherished memories. Moments in our past that intimately inform who we are now. It’s simply about not becoming attached. Hah! As if it was at all “simple”. 

So… why is it so hard?

I guess one could say it’s a denial of death. Or worse, old age! It’s an acute sense of vertigo. Suddenly life is too long and too short at once. It’s scary, facing forwards. There’s a thick layer of fog clouding the future. Afraid we might trip? We totally will. But it’s okay, cause we’ve gotten back on our feet before. 

Having an idea of who we are that doesn’t line up with the actual unfolding of our current lives, with the continuous churning infinitude of interwoven variables (of which we are aware of but a measly fragment), is a sure way of getting extremely frustrated. It’s funny, how audacious it is to think that our very limited understanding of existence could possibly, accurately, predict what life really has to offer. To live we must drop our expectations. We have to accept and be open to the continuous unfolding of life, and therefore, our narrative. If we get overly attached to an idea (of the world, of ourselves), it creates great friction and there’s not a lot of room to grow. You are inevitably being dragged by the river of life, kicking and screaming. 

But, one can swim with the current.

Remember, assumptions make an ass out of you and the universe.

Okay… so then what?

To my amazement, the pervading sense of dread gently rolled of my back when I realized a simple yet sobering and revitalizing notion: never before, have I been who I am now. I’ve never been this age before! I’ve never breathed this air! Where did I get the idea that there was nothing novel left to uncover? I’ve always had a knack for adventure, and what greater adventure is there than this one? This is, after all, my first time at being alive (that I’m aware of anyway). Of course, like any adventure, there is risk in the unknown — which is part and parcel of what makes it fun. So one must garner a degree of trust in oneself and proceed, onwards, into the ever unraveling mystery of now.

Anyway, I think I’m ready for a new relationship!

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