Me I will throw away.
Me sufficient for the day
The sticky self that clings
Adhesions on the wings
To love and adventure,
To go on the grand tour
A man must be free
(From the Self-Slaved by Patrick Kavanagh)
The poet David Whyte speaking of poet Patrick Kavanagh…
“One of the truisms of post-modern therapeutic language is that you are supposed to be constantly exposing yourself, but Kavanagh says there is a false self you can expose. You can be saying how you had this trauma, that trauma, you need that or this, but all the time you are speaking from a false identity and there’s another more radical identity that’s more often, more silent, which is inamicable to therapy. This identity is more radical, wilder, lives according to a more outlaw view of the universe, of creation. Kavanagh says, to be constantly describing yourself, and to think you know who you are, and to be constantly explaining to others who you are is a gospel of despair, that to BE yourself and to put that self into conversation with others and to overhear yourself saying things you didn’t know you knew, this is more like the truth, the is more like an identity, this is more like the poetic imagination….”
Years ago, maybe four or five, I stopped seeking out healers and therapists, stopped attending spiritual workshops, ceremonies, and courses, stopped reading books that promised to enlighten me. I didn’t do this because I felt I knew all there was to know about the universe or myself, I stopped because I got utterly and totally tired of that “Self”. I got bored with the part of me that was constantly seeking answers to the stories I was carrying about myself. I realised seeking to “Fix Ourselves” can be just another way to keep busy, to distract us for sitting with the true self because we are afraid of who we may find.
Instead, I decided to trust my “Wilder, more radical” self. This meant listening to and believing my body feelings and symptoms without having to know the “Why” of everything. When my energy goes low around someone or something, I trust that and leave. When I feel an ouch or tension in my tummy, I know I am not with the right person or in the right place. ”
“Me, I will throw away” – Kavanagh asks us: Do you have the courage to cast off all false selves, all the identities you have created for yourself, your stories and just sit, vulnerable and with the understanding you will never fully know yourself and that the endless searching is just a way to keep yourself busy for decades.