Decades ago, my great-uncle Daniel taught me this revolutionary concept that I'd never encountered before - that it was ok to be who I am. As a teenager, when everything was falling apart for me, everyone else kept pushing for me to get my shit together, but he alone just accepted me.
I've been mulling this over, ever since. It can seem to be a fine line, between a healthy sense of acceptance, and giving up. Rolling over for forces that we might otherwise have been able to overcome. It seems to be a perpetual battle, trying to discern the difference.
Few years ago, I asked him if he'd consider giving me a job, though. I wanted him to help me aim higher - and he said no. It seemed that he felt that who I was, wasn't someone he believed in. He wasn't willing to go out on a limb for me at all.. at least, that's the way I saw it for quite a while.
Another way of looking at it could be that he didn't support me trying to be something I wasn't. He was drawing that line between acceptance and effort differently than I was, to the point of refusing to even help me draw it the way I'd wanted to. I suppose it might even be fair to say that he was adhering to his belief in me, in accepting me the way I am.
I hate admitting it, but regardless of all that, to be brutally honest, it may have been a wise decision, not to go out on a limb that just wasn't going to hold. It's easy to forget that the very foundation of acceptance is really a matter of striving to deal openly and honestly with reality the way it just is.
The problem is that the rest of the world doesn't seem to agree, as far as I can tell. Who the hell wants to support me, while I just lay around, being myself. No, even after decades of this, I'm still supposed to get my act together, and if I can't, well, sucks for me. I'm really trying, but as always, I'm just spinning my wheels, making myself miserable.
Hard to blame anyone, though, when the fact of the matter is, that if I can't support myself, I'm going to run out of options. I need to able to survive - and if I can't do that, fat lot of good any amount of wu-wei will do me.
I remember Dan telling me that the wolves were not baying at my door, that I would be ok, but as time goes on, and I'm left more and more alone, I'm afraid that might have been so very wrong.