I have more friends and acquaintances these days than I have ever had; an apparent result of getting older, acquiring a small portion of wisdom and of remaining awake, alert, alive and open.
My friends apparently promote me to other people. That is how a person becomes popular. I am a poor judge of determining the degree to which I am or am not ‘popular’. It doesn’t matter.
What matters is that there are people in my life who seem to believe that I am somehow important enough to them that they talk about me amongst themselves… even when I am not in their presence. It is quite flattering to believe that others hold you in their hearts and minds even if you are not in their presence. It’s oddly pleasing to know that you are missed.
Relationships don’t get any better than that for anyone. Being missed is confirmation that one is worthy of being remembered, that your presence is so pleasant that others like to have you near them. Being missed means that you are part of something bigger than yourself, that you are connected to others, that you are related, that you belong.
An essential ingredient for Human psychological health is a sense worthiness. A person’s sense of self-worth is cultivated early in life. It is meant to occur Naturally. When a mother holds a child, talks directly to a child, corrects a child… all those things confirm to the child that they exist and that their existence is important.
The degree to which a child is held, spoken to or is in general noticed by family members is the same degree to which a child develops their own sense of self-worth. A child who is not held, spoken to, or noticed is a child who will grow up with the sense that they are somehow unworthy of being noticed.
Some children experience early childhood abuses; either physical, emotional, or psychological. Those abuses may come from parents, siblings, extended family members or neighbors. Abuse is negative attention. It is, however, a form of attention. Children who experience abuses are given the message that they are important enough (in a negative way) to receive attention.
Children who are ignored or neglected much of the time are given the message that they are not important enough (good or bad) to be noticed for anything. This is not conducive to fostering a sense of self-worth.
A party that is given by friends for a person sends a message that that person is somehow worthy of being noticed. I’m not quite sure what I have done specifically to win their attention, but I hope that what they notice about me will somehow help them to live a happier life.
Life is reciprocal. We can not properly receive that which is not freely offered. Something offered is different than something that is forced upon another. Nor can we properly offer that which is not welcomed, appreciated, or valued. This is evident in conversations between people who hold different political or religious views. Authentic, honorable exchanges are always completely voluntary. The intent of such exchanges is to create a benefit to all parties in the exchange. This is the essence of ‘enlightened self-interest’.
I understand that gatherings are a common and usual occurrence at the location where my Welcome Home Party took place. Someone made a special effort to make my arrival the theme of this particular gathering. I was described as ‘The Most Interesting Man In The World’. That is quite a description to live up to. I do bear a similar appearance to Jonathan Goldsmith… the actor in the Dos Equis commericals.
The pattern of my Life is not one that could be described as ‘orthodox’. I have done many things things that stand out as unique against the backdrop of the homogenized, corporate, propagandized, culture from which I sprang. In many ways I am an embodiment of, and perhaps an inspiration for, the Dos Equis, commercialized persona. I preceded him. The Dos Equis ad is a rip off of people like myself. I have no illusions that I am the only interesting man. There are many ‘oddballs’ like me floating around out there in the world. But, we are rarely known except to our own individual small group of friends/acquaintances.
A liter of aguardiente and a bottle of rum returned with me from Colombia. Many of the attendees got a chance to sample these during the party. We played Vallanato music much of the night. Hopefully, the attendees enjoyed the happy strains of accordion, guacharaca, and drum as much as do people in Northeastern Colombia.
Got to dance and have lively conversation with beautiful, intelligent ladies that night. Shared a few stories with friends I had not seen in six months. Many acquaintances remembered me from six months prior but had never visited this blog. It is difficult to tell sometimes when people are truly interested in your stories or if they are just trying to be kind or polite. For those who did express an interest in my journey, I referred them to the blog.
‘You cannot twice step into the same river’ – Heraclitus of Ephesus
Reunions are celebrations which reestablish bonds and connections. They are an opportunity to reflect on the many experiences encountered during the course of our absence and how those experiences have changed our perceptions. Reunions cause us to notice how we have all grown and changed. Life is the river to which Heraclitus was referring.
The past is always in the past. The future is always in the future. We seem to BE a composite of who we have been in the past and who we aspire to be in the future.
Yet, all we ever truly experience exists in the eternal NOW.
Many sincere Thank You’s to all from whom I experienced a sense of ‘welcome back’.
It is good to be HERE. I am content that it is NOW. There is much comfort in returning to the bosom of connection and belonging.