“I am the place in which something has occurred.” — Claude Lévi–Strauss
What is here labelled as “something,” must be aggrandized. “Something” is too broad a descriptor. So, is it more direct to say I am the place in which many a thing has happened? Is this a better means of explaining in a single line that within me, a mass of ever-growing and ever-changing cells, momentous ideas form, actions are made which alter the course of my own and the lives of others?
Many a thing.
“I am the place in which something has occurred” does not grant enough space between fingers sifting unimportant sands. The sieve must be bored holier. The words we choose to describe the essence of the self and the unity of selves we encounter are perhaps the most difficult to string together—and yet the most important. This makes our search for inner truth and peace all the more necessary. Practice and thoughtfulness must be applied routinely. However difficult, struggling to reflect on what goes on within our hearts and minds is essential to finding comfort and happiness.
Try we must!
Self-reliance begins—as a factor within a composite of other virtues—at self-acceptability. Self-reliance is indeed the root of social acceptance. It is necessary to reach the point where the individual accepts who they are and how they will perform on a social stage. To have the potential to be accepted by others one must find a level of comfort in their own existence. Before the “something” happens within us—or at the very least before we are able to define the event, realization, idea, irrationality, or emotion—we must learn to listen to and record our thoughts and our dreams.
We must reflect, daily, on the interactions, however few or multiple, with those other than ourselves. A practice that has helped me remain at all times aware of my own thoughts and in keenly observing others is this: Keep a little notebook in your back pocket and a pen in the front. You may vary the locations of each, but lock their locations fast in your muscle memory. Be a person who jots down or sketches the things they see and feel throughout a day. Make the time to make your thoughts tangible. Your future self will naturally possess a heightened awareness of its natural and social surroundings in addition to understanding the walking ecosystem housed within its body. The words you record—however brief or incoherent—will become a gift to another version of your self. The virtues of those gifts are eternal.
In each moment, our minds interact with external stimuli as well as with itself. Be attuned to these interactions. Foster their existence by acknowledging their power. Sharpen your sense of being and embrace your unique ability to perceive. Along the way, the seemingly indescribable events happening within ourselves may become more aptly described.