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 self-necessity

(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.


2 thoughts on “Me, I Will Throw Away – The Self-Slaved

  1. Thanks for this reminder Luminara. It’s easy to get caught up in the quest. Whenever I’m talking to someone and I hear the false self come forth, I know it right away. And it usually comes out when I’ve just met someone whom I feel uncomfortable with–a false self conversing with a false self. Never a meaningful conversation! I find the hardest part is to write from the true self.

    1. Hi Ellen, thank you for your comment. Your words are so true. It takes courage to be in this world and be our true selves, we disturb people who are only comfortable with the false self, like we all have to agree to be in our false selfs so everyone feels okay. As writers, we put are true ourselves out into the world as much as we can stand to so, and often it feels scary because we are showing our vulnerability, but we do it anyway.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s