The Other Side of Reason – Unveiling ourselves
Involved in a bus accident that took the lives of six people, David Gibson has been battling through PTSD for over three years. In an effort to better understand himself and to communicate with others, he turned to writing. His first book was The Other Side of Reason: A Journal on PTSD, available now via petrabooks.ca. This column continues that text.
[By my side]
In the darkest of night.
Midnight tears flow.
Dawn breaks gently,
Sunlight filters through.
Chasing away the grey.
Walk with me across the sand.
Beside the gentle sea.
Hold me close,
Please don't let me go.
Dealing with change often comes with the realization that everything we are with respect to our “having” and “doing” in our lives are really out of our control and subject to change without any notice. Even if we place high importance on such aspects of our life, such as a job or relationships, such things can vanish without our influence or intervention. Our spouse can decide to leave or you may find yourself out of a job. Our car may be stolen or our child may be hurt in an accident. The only things we really have control over are our attitudes, beliefs, values and choices—things that comprise our being.
Our identity—how we define who we are—is a key component in understanding self, what we value, and our beliefs. Everyone has a unique identity comprised of a variety of factors and experiences.
But … (always our life qualifier)
“Who am I?”
There is an intuitive kind of wisdom implicit in this question uttered in our hearts and minds across this big city. Who am I? Resides within our relationships, our shrink’s office, where we work, play and even in our daily activities we engage in.
Not “What could I be?” or “What will I become?”
But “Who am I?”
A question implying the answer is already present. And deep in our psyche we know this to be true: I am already here somewhere—my becoming is really an unveiling of what already is.
I believe when we listen to our own voice we take ownership of our lives. Ownership comes only through great struggle and the ability and courage to tolerate great anxiety. As Dr. Rollo May put it, “Courage is the capacity to embrace the anxiety that comes with each step one takes towards freedom, independence, and authentic selfhood.” The struggle to be authentic to oneself is perhaps the greatest battle anyone faces and there’s so much on the line. If we fail to listen to our own voice, we lose ourselves, our independence, and our vitality.
When we do finally find our voice and listen to it, we stand a greater chance to discover life itself because it is during these moments we are truly set free.
Until next time.