Damaged goods?

I’ve gotten through over six decades of this incarnation relatively unscathed considering all the crap that life has thrown at me in that time. Some of that crap seemed like Hell while I endured it but lessons were learned, wounds were healed, and I moved on. In the last decade or so, I’ve gotten a bit more philosophical and a bit more spiritual. (I tried getting religion but that didn’t work out.)

By some accounts, I should be traumatized, dysfunctional, in therapy, and looking for a guru. For the most part, I worked through all of life’s shit without resorting to drugs, alcohol, psychotherapy, religion, gurus, or life coaches. As near as I can tell, I’m of sound mind and quite sane or at least as sane as one can be these days. Does this somehow make me abnormal?

There seems to be a general assumption, judging from the emails I see and the sites that I follow, that I should have been damaged by suppressed childhood trauma, that my dark side and my secrets need to be brought into the light, or that I must have been otherwise damaged by life experiences. It stands to reason that some of my behaviors and attitudes may be deeply rooted defense mechanisms that can probably be traced back to how I reacted to or coped with things when I was young, stuff that is outside my conscious memory. Whether or not these memories are repressed or simply forgotten is unknown and might be regarded as irrelevant.

Yes, I do have demons lurking in the shadows. (Who doesn’t?) I am well aware of what they are and why they are there. We’ve met and and we get along reasonably well. I openly admit there are many things that, in retrospect, I might have done differently or not at all, but the past can’t be changed. All I can do is learn from those experiences and strive to be a better and wiser person than I was then. And I can ask forgiveness for any harm I’ve inadvertently caused.

Maybe there is trauma hidden deep inside my psyche. I’m sure there is but does it necessarily need to be healed? Do I want to ask questions for which I don’t want to know the answers? Maybe some questions are better left unanswered. Sometimes questions and answers are mutually exclusive for a reason. And, as Spock said, “A truth not spoken is not a lie.”

For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.
Jesus of Nazareth, Luke 8:17

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
Gautama Buddha

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
Gautama Buddha

As much I loathe the idea of keeping secrets, I do have them and I keep them well guarded. I see no benefit in bringing them into the open. These are simply topics that are not open for discussion. I don’t subscribe to the idea that everything that lives in the shadows must be brought into the light. There needs to be a balance between light and shadow. It may be enough to be aware of what’s in the darkness and to be able to discriminate between what should and should not be brought into the light. There may come a time when it will be appropriate to bring more into the light but until that time let sleeping dogs lie.



Author: Rick

I'm a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe.