I remember telling a friend recently about this uncanny knack that I have to know when significant shifts in my psyche are either occurring or in the process of occurring. For example, everyone has at some point experienced the phenomenon where a certain smell, song, image, or other stimulus instantly conjures up a distant and obscure memory. Over the years I have developed the awareness to know when a memory such as this is becoming attached to a certain section of a song (my stimulus of choice as I’m always listening to music). I can pick with great accuracy the exact moment that these memories form, as if I can feel the very neurons firing to form the neurological bond between stimulus and memory.
In a similar way, I have sensed that my psyche is about to go through (or is already going through) shifts. In this I mean I am going through a personal transformation that is actively altering my personality and behavior in a real and consistent manner. I can already feel it beginning to restructure my approach to life and my passions. Upon reflection, I have uncovered a few recent events in life which I am picking were the collective triggers for this change.
For the last few weeks (at least 7 days) I had/have been quite depressed (see previous blog post as an example). Call it winter blues or having something to do with not having much to do now that the semester is over, or not really working out as much as I used to (which always reliably provided me with a sense of happiness and worth), or any other thing. Whatever the reason(s) – I hadn’t been feeling optimal for quite a while now.
This was beginning to affect my magic. I remember one evening just sitting, listening to dark music, staring at my wall and thinking to myself ‘I will never be anything in life. I should give up on magic and just stick to my 9-5’. In my desperation I sent an email to a professional magician in London – whose style and supreme skill I have always admired – about my circumstances. To my astonishment, he replied. He said that performing tricks without a facade and just being true to who he was as a person was what he perceived to be the key to his pristine presentational skills. This was the seed which planted and sprouted all the recent changes which I’ve been experiencing.
Working through the current depressive bout as I have done so many times before, it’s never become more apparent the role depression has in strengthening one’s resolve. Elliott Hulse – the YouTube strength guru whose teachings I follow quite closely – once made an entire video detailing how depression’s role is to break one down just so they can be reorganized at a higher level; in other words, to break down and transform into a higher being.
One of the factors that has come out of this process is indeed gaining a better perspective on who I am, and fundamentally who I am not. Therefore highlighting and more importantly accepting the limitations of my being and personality.
I’ve realized that even though I’ve stayed away from it for a long time due to the almost cult-like cultural stigma attached to the typical listener, I fundamentally love emotional music. Even though I am quite dark as a person at my core (but still lovable and kind) and in touch with my emotions and feelings, I don’t dress in the funny getup that typical emos do. I don’t dream about ending my life or cutting myself constantly or things like that – I just like listening to the music and indulging in the dark imagery that is often abundant in this type of music. For me, dark imagery is particularly striking and has its own magnificence to it which I adore.
I like all that, but probably not enough to wear mascara. Personally I feel that’s going a bit far and isn’t really a reflection of who I am despite loving emotional and melodic rock music. Although, I’ll always think a thick black coat is always fashionable and would like to wear black coats more often. However this is probably the limit of darkness influencing my non-existent fashion sense.
Something that set off this particular chain of thought was my recent purchase of Breaking Benjamin’s latest album (Dark Before Dawn). The more I listened, the more I loved it. And with this realization came down the personal walls that I put up for years against this type of music (even though in my youth I relished it, I felt ashamed to listen to this type of music for a long time). Reading about the lead singer, Benjamin Burley’s, mysterious illness and the effect that his constant pain and suffering has had on the formation of this latest album has made me really admire him as an artist (see: http://loudwire.com/breaking-benjamin-ben-burnley-extremely-sick-excessive-drinking-likely-cause/). Breaking Benjamin’s music is rife with potent dark and gruesome imagery as well – which is a bonus.
I guess the main message here is always strive to know yourself. Knowing yourself and who you are fundamentally at your core influences literally ever endeavor you embark on in your life – and you should always allow your true self to shine through rather than block it. To be yourself without any reservation is to be free in this life. It is a constant process of self-reflection, so don’t rush it. Take your time. Explore things that excite you and make you appreciate this world that much more. Find these things and chase them with all your heart, you never know where these passions will lead you in life.
So – here’s to looking forward to the future and going about life from a place which has its roots in knowing yourself fundamentally as a unique being of this earth with something to offer the other residents of this planet!