20 Minutes or a 1000 words whichever comes first
Some time ago, I cannot remember exactly when. Something terrible occurred in my life. It wasn’t a betrayal or the realisation I’d wasted decades living in a world my inner being detested.
Before the double X rated situation: there was a turning point: I realised people were mirrors. We meet someone who there is a feeling of indifference toward, and there is nowhere to take the connection. Like someone, and we see our best assets. Dislike someone, and we know our sinister self.
Those we detest are our best teachers. Watch and scrutinise them, their negative traits are the traitors which restrict the path; the path to your success. The ones we like, possess our most significant potential. Wicked and despicable truth, why did I not see you before? If there were but one more lesson to teach a child after the values of money, education, learning to think, truth and integrity: it would be this: Everything you see in those you do not like is a mirror of the worse aspect of one’s own mask called persona.
Mirror, mirror in my mind why are my observations so unkind? And truth to tell, the acidic thoughts, like vinegar in the cut of truth were a release. I understood why the physical pain of self-harm is a mask which overwhelms mental anguish. I realise material and intellectual self-harm had once been the modus operandi of my mind; My plights were not caused by another’s actions, my ‘ways’ destroyed my world. For some time the pain of the realisation misted over the beneficial possibilities the concept possessed.
Another aspect of associating what we see with who we are: came to me as I took pictures of a copper-roofed building. The significance of the structure is ignored by those who walk by its beauty. They are indifferent to the majesty of design and purpose. It is a building, which to me, represents strength. I wonder if all humans can see their personality in structures, buildings statues and landscapes?
I think of a church I used to see in Manchester in the 1970’s. Black industrial smoke-stained walls, glass broken by vandals and a tired old sign ‘Morning Service 07:30’. One day, as I drove by I, saw a priest at the door welcoming his lambs. I hated the building even more because now it was no longer derelict. My mind had forgiven its decay because it was empty and finished. And now seeing it was in use frustrated me, the whole situation: the priest and flock of no hope people in an area of misery and poverty made the church a representation of hopelessness. I saw their church, their sanctuary, as a reflection of their plight. I realise now; the church was also a facsimile of my depression.
Time passed: life, as I have already written, was self-destructive. I now understand, failure, darkness, depression, even death, as signs of evolution. Two years ago, I travelled to Manchester with a friend, and he drove by the church. It is now beautiful, cleaned and magnificent. The sun shined that day, almost as if the God was saying ‘You see Ian, all must change’. Only the situation is the God did not answer my prayers. And the message seen in the transformed church confirmed the nightmares that awaken me and remind me the truth can never be erased.
Francis said to me: ‘The moment we accept the truth cannot be changed, and the past is fixed; we can accept people do lie, betray, steal, hurt, take pleasure from hurting and taking revenge.’ He continued ‘The answer to everything is always within our being. Answers to all difficulties are discovered in truth. The certainty is, what we know to be true, is true, and we have to accept this wisdom without question. And when we find reality and discover we are central to every episode in our life, the philosophy free’s the mind from anguish’.
The black church taught me a lesson. Dark memories cannot be erased. The shell is renovated, the environment is rebuilt. And the image of the priest and the lambs remain. Although, the choice can be made to accept the memories for what they were and know the dangers of reflecting on situations impossible to change.
Today my thoughts can be taken into the shadows. You see there is no fear to enter the darkness. I smile at a man who tells me how terrible he is, and the truth is he is mentally weak. And those who are mentally weak are dangerous because they are frustrated and bewitched by demons. I know this man better than his arrogance will allow. He does not impress me, in fact, he is a bore and fool. By observing and listening to him, I realise I am free: I know this because I am looking in a mirror, and I am indifferent to the man. The man who knows all, who has nothing, nothing but academic proofs and a rented life. There is no care if a man is hard or a wimp, they are not welcome in my environment.
And we arrive at the sentiment of the essay. The most painful realisation of my life. Toys are returned to the box; train sets lose their appeal, nostalgia is realised as an indication of stagnation. I had grown-up, become an adult in the true meaning of the word.
Is there sadness for the loss of my childhood? No, there was never a childhood. And that is why I stayed as a child, searching for the love only a real parent can give. Today they are seen as jokers in a seaside stage, Mr and Mrs punch and drunk. They were not teachers they were selfish fools, existing in the glass house of horror, throwing stones through ‘pains’ of glass some call love.
When did I realise the evolution?
The book I wrote after interviewing hundreds of people, receives many varied and often caustic reviews. I do not care about the reviews; there is nothing any inhuman can do to hurt me, the soul and emotions froze decades ago. And, don’t believe you know how to thaw my heart Unknown Friend. I know myself, and I accept who I am, there is no need for me to change.
I suspected my inner-self had strengthened two years ago: Certain indications pointed toward positive change in attitude: For example, there was no fear to speak my mind. I did not need to have people in my life. And those who were in my life had chosen me, and I respect them and value their words and thoughts and their wisdom which enriches my Being. My good friends are important to me; I care for their welfare and wellbeing. I have known real trust in the company of three people: my friend Francis, Simon and Liz. Today I can count the names of trustworthy friends on the fingers of my hands. When I go back many years, there is Francis and my brother Simon, there are no others.
Time is closing the essay: The realisation came from a review of my book, the individual has read the reviews, and he is a wise man. Not because of the review, I’m not influenced by flattery. A reference to the mirror he says ‘If you do not like something it reminds you of a personal fault’. The review also says ‘the facing of hard truths is very much part of my philosophies’ and then the realisation: The searching for childhood is over and I am free.
Thousands of copies of ‘Never Let Anything Worry You’ are sold. I rewrite the book many times, it was once 95 pages today it is 360. And I will continue to write and edit it until I enter the final sleep. The book evolves, it lives and thrives on conversations and interviews. Maybe it is a reflection of the ideas I live by and thrive on. It is sure I have taken possession of the philosophies, writing and editing and revisiting the book makes me think.
Times Up – See You Soon