"We must be willing to fail and to appreciate the truth that often, 'Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.'"
― M. Scott Peck
When I was a child and young teenager, I often had a recurring dream. I was driving a car up a mountain road. Now, this dream first occurred long before I knew how to drive or even had a license -- but I was the one driving in the car all by myself.
The road seemed to be carved right into the mountainside and was so steep that I had trouble seeing more that a few feet in front of me as the car seemed to be pointing straight up. My butt was barely touching the seat as I was stretching my face into the windshield to see where the road was going. I grabbed quick peeks to the side to see how high I was, but all I saw was clouds covering the road and the heights before me. I was scared and yet, I started to go faster and faster.
Suddenly, the car went off the road and into the air, and started to tumble over and over and over. These forward rolls seemed to go on forever as the only thought I remember was wondering how would it all end. There was never a crash, never an ending... just the sudden startledness of waking and shaking... and momentarily wondering what happened, before the story evaporated in the mist of my mind.
I know I have had this dream many times when I was young, and even a few times every now and then through my adult life.
I find it interesting that I have not had this dream since I transitioned. I wonder if this in some way was connected.
We humans are storytellers. We do this because we are constantly looking for meaning in everything in and about our world. We ask so many "whys" as we hope to understand.
Some of us will dive deeply to understand all aspects of our universe, and never stop seeking more understanding.
Some of us will wade into the ocean of knowledge and learn to surf the waves.
Some of us barely dip our toes into the ocean for fear of the undertow that may impact the present meaning we have -- whether it is true or not. That entire concept of truth has been the source of intra and interpersonal conflict since, well, since forever!
Some of us are satisfied in just being the listeners to the stories that we hear and find comfort in what they tell us about our world. Some may question while some may not, the stories that they hear. Without any judgment, I think this may be called faith. I am pretty sure each of us has faith in some story we hear, create or share. I am not sure we would still be human if we did not all do this.
In the transgender community I often find myself in the middle of conversations that ask why and what. Why am I transgender? What makes a woman?
So many people are seeking answers, as I find myself more and more comfortable that these may be unanswerable. I consider myself a truth seeker, but I also am comfortable with the possibility that not all things will have answers that fit neatly into a box or category or be abled to be well define and labeled.
This does not give me anxiety, or prevent me from knowing and accepting myself. I realize that not everyone feels this same way, so perhaps this is where my own sense of "faith" resides. My sense of who I am -- what I call my "I"-ness, needs no explanation or justification to me.
I am sure I am not the only trans person who has been asked,
"How do you know you are a woman?"
My only, and by the way, very best response was:
"I know. I just know. I always knew."
This never seemed to satisfy them. I have learned, over time, that I did not need to take on their lack of satisfaction too. After all, I shared my truth that I knew.
I have at least created a story to make meaning of my old dream. I was on a road up a steep mountain. Deep inside me I struggled with the inner battle of my I-ness. This young boy and then older man knew -- just knew -- always knew -- that the "I" he was showing the world was not the "I" she truly was.
I was never able to reach the top of the mountain. Perhaps it was like Mt. Olympus where the Gods themselves resided. I would fly off the side time after time as I was never ready to claim my truth.
Until I was ready! When I was ready to claim my "I-ness," my true self and choose to live it, I then made it to the top of the mountain and found that I could also live among the gods that were there.
In my story, I made it to the top of the mountain and learned that just being me, was my form of royalty. Now, when I address myself in the mirror, when I see my true face looking back at me I can acknowledge my royal "I-ness."
"Abandon the urge to simplify everything, to look for formulas and easy answers, and to begin to think multidimensionally, to glory in the mystery and paradoxes of life, not to be dismayed by the multitude of causes and consequences that are inherent in each experience -- to appreciate the fact that life is complex."
― M. Scott Peck
Grace Anne Stevens inspires people to find their truth and live their authentic life! She is an inspirational and motivational speaker specializing on intra and interpersonal relationships. She is the author of No! Maybe? Yes! Living My Truth, and Musings on Living Authentically. Grace is available for speaking to all groups who would like to learn the values of, and how to live authentically. Visit her website at: http://www.graceannestevens.com/. Follow Grace on Twitter: www.twitter.com/graceonboard .