When can a man find himself?
And when I say ‘himself’, I mean, his true self, one free from the usual false facades he consciously puts over his face in his daily dealings with other… the real person that exists in it’s purest unadulterated form free from his own hypocrisy…
No, you cannot ask him to show it. He will lie even when he wants to be honest.
And neither can you spy on him and stumble upon his true nature. He also lies to himself most of the time. We all lie to ourselves… and this is where Dr. House is right – all of us are liars.
So how then do you find yourself?
Not really something as exotic as these methods. It is far simpler and goes into the most primal of human feelings.
And that dear friends… is pain.
When you double up in the middle of the night from the excruciating pain of inflamed nerves or joint pain that cannot be treated with pain medication; when everything that you do creates a wave of agony that cuts into even your soul; when your movements are restricted by the sting of unbelievable pain that does not ebb – then and there you find yourself.
Pain destroys the masks you wear to show you the bare naked truth about yourself. It lets you meet yourself in its pure unadulterated form – and whether that form is beautiful or twisted or damaged or sorrowful, it will allow you to come face to face with it.
Carl Jung once said “There is no coming to consciousness without pain”. In other words, without pain, no one can be truly aware of himself.
And pain can take many forms. And these many forms of pain can show you many sides of yourself that you would not otherwise see.
Emotional pain removes the veil of innocence that we clothed ourselves from birth – it forcibly makes us mature and grow up to face the world without the shroud of idealism that once defined us as naïve children.
Physical pain makes removes the hypocrisy of our lives and makes us face the harsh and bitter image of our unadulterated and often unpleasant selves – making us face the person we don’t want to meet in our lifetime.
Who are you when everything is out the window?
Who are you when your vision of yourself is thrown away?
Who are you when you weigh death on one hand and pain on the other?
Who are you when living is rendered as a mere option that can be discarded just like that?
Who are you when the only thing that consumes your mind is the madness that pain brings?
Pain is the cleanser that destroys everything that you believe about yourself – it forces you to be honest… and this honesty is a madness that is different from person to person. It peels away the layers that we have wrapped ourselves in to reveal our true natures.
I wish that no one will ever suffer the tragedy of facing this in their lifetime…but that is mere wishful thinking of course.
Like the dull throbbing pain that courses through my legs that make me double up after taking twenty steps and robs me of my sleep. Like the pain that robs me of my strength that tempts me with thoughts of despair that borders upon lunacy that makes me think of things that no sane man should ever think about.
Life is beautiful, yes.
But it is also ugly.
Pain bridges these two realities.
And only when both are embraced can one find himself.