Know Thyself Prose

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

I barely recognized my own face in the mirror. I’ve aged. 

And worse, I have forgotten I have until I catch my eyes in reflection and remember. And then I seek to forget. Put on clothes that make me feel young and sexy. Long to catch the eyes of a potential lover, not because I want or need one, but to soothe the burn of aging and weathering. 

I won’t take another lover. Like a uterus that can no longer bare children, my heart is unable to allow an attachment of love. Sex no longer pleases me, so being chaste is my control. It teethers me to the earth and grounds me. There is no longer a desire to soar, but rather to chase the grave. Wait patiently for the heart to quit its needy beating. 

I drove by your house thinking maybe I had also forgotten your face. I hoped to catch a glimpse of you, to form a new memory. A neutral one. One where you look up from mowing and see me, but see me as a stranger, maybe a new neighbor, and wave politely, smile gently, then go right back to your toil. 

You never really saw me anyway, so would it feel much different? Would it be any less selfish? Less curt? 

All I asked of you was for you to end it – at least to be willing to. End the dysfunction that allowed her to overstep boundaries, to lie, to be passive-aggressive and jealous when none of that was appropriate. I asked you to end the toxicity that allowed belittling, unworthiness, contempt, but you kept going back for more, and returned to me depleted. If you let her do those things to you, where would it leave me? Us? 

Us. I tried to tell you, show you, that it all was emotional twisting. Guilt and blame that created anxiety and a pattern of control. But you wouldn’t look. You seem to only recycle and regurgitate the pattern of your past again and again. Just the same things on a different day rigidly controlled and maintained. 

We each have a thorn, and we are also given signs and opportunities to see the truth. We find ourselves “here again”, wherever that is. Over-eating, drinking, gossiping. Physical disease, injuries and surgeries. These are all signs asking us to awaken to truth. Not half-truths. Not truth with caveats. Truth. 

Then, we embrace it and course correct. Or, continue to slip down the rabbit hole like victims as we claw to keep the truth manageable in our own tiny minds. Ego proud. Intuition silent. Faith and hope waning. 

I may not see your perspective, but I see your actions, and I see your results. I may empathize and offer grace, or I may choose to give judgment, but all of those are on me. They say nothing of you. Only you can say something of you. 

That is, if you know you. 

If you can look in the mirror and recognize your own face. And see how deeply it has aged. 

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