Comfort the Self Owner
I think being comfortable with yourself is the most important characteristic you can have if you wish to gain a measure of control (which is usually exponentially more than you possessed before you began this journey) over who and what you are.
In other words, if you are uneasy with yourself, you cannot take ownership of yourself.
Ownership, for me, is an unobtainable journey, but, like many other unobtainable journeys, the meandering advance towards ownership of self has its own practical rewards, one of which is having more control over your actions.
This might seem like a trivial point, to gain more control over your actions, but, if I’m right (or even in the right ballpark), our impulsive actions are almost always set to satisfy a sudden, immediate opportunity to satisfy a short-term preference, but one which might significantly damage opportunities to satisfy long, or even mid, term preferences.
I further theorize that the people who, generally, come closest to living the fullest potential of lives of their own choosing are those who have the discipline to limit, significantly, those moments when those sudden, tempting moments to satisfy short term preferences sabotage, in some instances, efforts to satisfy mid and long-term preferences that have consumed vast amounts of time and resources.
I will allow for a caveat here that it is possible for people to consciously choose more short-term preferences. If, for instance, they are fully aware of the cost-reward opportunities and risks for taking that approach, they can come to a place of comfort that allows them to claim a pursuit of self-ownership. Their preferences are aligned.
Getting to comfort is essential to knocking down barriers that allow you to own the parts of you that hurt to come face to face with. You may have to face the reality you are not a rock star. You may have to have the reality you really were the same kind of shitty father your father was, and you’ve been hurting people to protect yourself from that reality.
There’s a myriad of such stories out there with similar twists, ugly realities that lead us to further ugliness to hide ourselves from our own ugliness.
Facing yourself is painful. It can destroy some of us, if some identities are so core to our existence that we cannot face reality without them. But if you make it past a certain point (you’re never over), you start to settle in to a comfort, a comfort with yourself that allows yourself to face the difficult parts, the ugly parts, the not-so-brilliant parts, of yourself more resolutely, suffering considerably less pain when yet another identity must die.
Comfort means this (as I am using it in this context, and conceding I am adding patinas, if you will, to this word that are wholly invented by me, maybe):
Comfort is not being settled with where you are, who you are, where you are going. Comfort is being able to forgive the ‘sins’ (by your subjective definition) of your past.
Comfort means making amends where needed (by your subjective definition).
Comfort is being at peace with your deficiencies, even if you don’t give up trying to exceed what your raw talent says you can do.
Comfort is being at peace with lack of control, even as you strive to give yourself as many opportunities to control your own fate.
Comfort is not being owned by others.
Comfort is accepting the cost of being owned by others.
Somewhere in a murky grey blend of those previous two statements, I believe, comfort lies.
We can decide, for various reasons, to give a measure of ownership to people in our lives. My wife, for instance, has more ownership over my life than anyone else. My daughter is a close second. Everyone else is far, far down the scale in terms of ownership in my life.
I get rewards in return for that ‘ownership.’ But neither my wife nor my daughter actually come close to owning me. Yet, no one can affect my decisions like these two ladies can. And no one can offer the rewards in my life that they offer.
The further outside my circle of “intimates,” let’s call them (I think the word “intimates” covers a range of relationships, from spouse to good Facebook friend), the less ownership people have in my life.
But I am, to some measure, self-aware in my decision to allocate ownership shares in Paul. I am also, to some measure, self-aware in my understanding of what I presume to be the compensation for allocating such ownership shares in Paul to someone.
My self-awareness of my Paul share allocation enables me, I theorize, to make more ‘practical’ decisions regarding further allocation or retracting of shares of Paul.
I’m not describing a mathematical, highly logical, scientific process, though, at times these tools of evaluation might play factors in the decisions I make regarding Paul allocation.
There are plenty of preferences in my life that have no settled, certain ground. In other words, my access to my core preferences is no more or less clear than most anyone else’s.
Because of this, there are plenty of instances in which decisions are made based on feelz that have no practical explanation for needing to be fulfilled. Being comfortable means being ok with living as much with feelz as with the logics and the sciences and whatnot.
Being comfortable means being confident in near-certain, pretty-certain, while also not being afraid of holy-hell-I’ll-never-figure-out-the-facts-in-that-uncertainty.
Being comfortable means never settling unless you are truly settled (subject to your highly subjective interpretation).
Being comfortable means accepting the absurdity of a universe that can kill you with frozen feces dropped from a jet flying above your head.
Being comfortable means accepting you cannot make a person, you can only open doors for them.
Being comfortable means not serving ideas, but pursuing understanding that satisfies your preferences.
In other words, don’t be owned by your ideas.
Be ready to shift your assumptions if you learn new data that reveals a continuation of the pursuit of your ideas (which have now become fetal versions of yourself, versions you might have to metaphorically murder) may preserve your identity attached to reflecting those ideas, but it will take you further and further and further away from satisfying your long term preferences.
You’ll have to then decide to change your preference to align with whatever preference has now gained ascendancy in your life (through the identity attached to an idea) or you’ll have to reject the idea.
More often than not, no such choice is ever made, and the conflicting preferences are allowed to battle within you. You’ll invent spooks to justify indulging whatever part of yourself is unaligned with a deeper core preference.
The more you are owned by your ideas, the more likely you are to not face this dissonance if and when it should occur. If you DID walk in comfort, you would soon lose that comfort, and soon slip further and further away from self-ownership.
Getting to comfort is one part of the battle. Staying within the margins of comfort is an ongoing discipline, requiring you to be aware of your preferences (such as you can, allowing for the unknown, the uncertain), to not be afraid of the parts of you that are unaligned with who you want to be, and to face the honest cost-reward (such as you can understanding it, allowing for the unknown and the uncertain) of the shares of yourself you give to others, be they football teams or spouses.