In preparation for the Divine Masculine art event that Pampi and I are preparing (http://bit.ly/152zvhG), we are asking friends and family to answer the following four questions. Please answer them for yourself and post here or send me a private message! Thank you 🙂 Your words will help inspire and shape the art installation.
People were having a hard time coming up with a contribution to the event based on the theme. This reaction was not surprising. Last year we focused on the Divine Feminine, and artists and audience members alike rallied around the theme, raised their arms in joy, and sang/painted/danced celebrating women, the female, the goddess.
However, the Divine Masculine? What is that? How can we celebrate men, the male, the god? Pampi and I wrote our intention with this proposition (http://bit.ly/152zvhG ->SEE INTENTION), and we knew that the answer to how we might encourage each other and potential collaborators to address this idea could lie in looking within ourselves at the people and experiences that have helped define us, whether as man, woman or however we define or not define ourselves. These questions are helping distill feelings about “how do you define the Divine Masculine?” by addressing our roots.
1. If you could convey anything to your adolescent self, given all the experiences you have had since then, what would it be?
2. Looking back, what are some people, advice, events – anything – you are grateful you had during adolescence? Why?
3. Looking back, what do you wish you had had in adolescence to help you transition from childhood to adulthood? Why?
4. What is something you are going through now that you think additional guidance in adolescence would have helped figure out earlier or make easier for you now? What could that guidance have looked like?
Here are my answers. Please contribute yours!
I must mention that underneath everything in my life is my OCD and social anxiety that were diagnosed in 2005. Both were treated. The social anxiety is almost gone except for the fear of speaking on the phone (I feel that I am interrupting and bothering people and that what I have to say is silly and unimportant). The OCD is also mostly treated except for the “checking” of certain things and little tolerance for people closest to me (when not on meds). But over 20 other symptoms are pretty much gone, so hooray! With OCD having been a part of my life since age three, I cannot discern where it ends and I begin. So, with that in mind:
1. Loretito: Play an instrument, and do join that ballet class mamá said you could take. Who cares if you are not the best? You know you will work hard and become at least pretty good. Do it because you really want to do these things. Also, do something physically active – doesn’t have to be a competitive sport, since I know you don’t like those; that ballet class would be good here too.
2. People: I am thankful for my mother, grandmother and uncle who brought me up together since birth to age nine. When I think of “parents” in that time period, the three of them appear in my mind as a whole unit. I am also thankful for Rob, who came to my life at age 11. He married my mother, who came attached with this judgmental, difficult child, and raised me openheartedly every day since.
Events: I am thankful I moved from Chile to the US at age nine. Even though the three years that followed were among the most horrible in my life (compared only to my years at MIT and dealing with my OCD many years later), the move taught me everything I know about tolerance. I would not be the person I am today if I had not been uprooted and replanted.
3. I wish an adult had spoken to me softly and suggested, backed by flawless logic, that I should go out of my comfort zone and study an instrument and dance (or do another physical activity). I was hard-headed and did not respond well to threats, yelling, or rolling of the eyes. I ignored most advice with which I did not already agree. Also, I did not respond well to humor AT ALL. However, if someone had managed to enter my brain in a kind manner and repudiate my objections, I probably would have listened.
4. Right now I am learning that personal relationships with friends are important and need nurturing; they don’t grow by themselves. Someone taking me outside my thoughts and into the physical world to interact with peers and adults beyond transactional exchanges would have allowed me to create a template and pattern for building relationships on my own without fear or bashfulness.
I learned some years ago – after college when I was teaching – that I need to ask questions, be inquisitive, and that it’s normal not to know things. In the same that I was willing and happy to help others, I should be willing and happy to receive help. An exercise that showed me how important it is to push myself beyond what it comfortable and that is OK to show ignorance and make mistakes would have saved me much pain.