One wonders how living authentically became such a thing. At least I do. The subject snuck up on me personally escorted by a chorus I identify as the fraud police. This nefarious cabal maintained an unrelenting drone of unworthiness in my mind for years. Where does it come from? As near as I can tell it comes originally from not measuring up when we are small and the scramble to do what it takes to be what an outside source is requiring or desiring from us. It is downhill from there as we grow.
What is worse is that for the last fifty years the media has taken an unyielding advantage of this weakness in our psyche and nosed us into buying things they suggest will bring some kind of fulfillment to silence feelings of worthlessness. This placebo has, for many become a way of life even though it is, actually, a coping mechanism for a lack of fulfillment we cannot identify properly. Before we know it, we are alien unto ourselves and surrounded by things that did not spring from a desire from within us but from someone else's suggestion. Where did our authenticity go? Apparently, it went to Target.
Undoing a lifetime of this kind of framing of the self is no small feat. Most people pass on it, understandably. For many (certainly for Americans) it is all about "those who die with the most presents win". Actually, it is those who die with the most presence win a great deal more love and grace. If that is of value to a person, one may want to re-calibrate their intention. To get to that presence one needs to cultivate personal authenticity and to live unapologetically. One needs to think about things intending on learning something of value that appears intangible and be able to own up to errors and misunderstandings. This is what Hafiz is suggesting in this poem.
He speaks of God, as Hafiz does. I read this as a representation of what is larger of the self that we have not yet met. The reward for clear thinking is meeting and welcoming the parts of ourselves we did not know before as they merge with and become a part of enriching our daily lives. When we live in the present, we cut Marie Kondo off at the pass and forego compulsive acquisitions to go directly to living a life that makes room within us that feels authentic and unapologetic in quality.
Thank you for listening.
Music: Validation of presence is all around us. Nina Simone. She knows how it feels....and sings it authentically with no apology. Goals.
The original post in this series of poems by Hafiz (including an addendum regarding the authenticity of these poems) can be found here.
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.