Monday, July 21, 2008

SL/RL Synthesis Note (15): "Repression, Depression and Second Life"

Song of the Moment: "You Can't Stop the Rain" by Loose Ends (lyrics below)

Recently I experienced what Chan calls Dejavu-Barzane Syndrome [grin]. One of those days when I felt a rush of emotion and began to question my purpose for being: RL and SL. It’s not the first time since becoming immersed in second life that I've had this experience and it is usually followed by a moment of clarity in thought. I discover something about myself that I had been living, but never fully acknowledged.

When I was growing up, my family had very little. My mother was not always able to give my siblings and I what we needed on many levels, so my grandparents served as mentors and guides. My grandfather, who had lived through many trying times, was adamant that failure was not an option. "Too many people (in the hood) get stuck there, but that won't be the case for you..." was essentially the message he instilled.

I feel fortunate that I succeeded in the way he said I should. Got the degrees, career, marriage, kids, house, cars...the American dream. When I found SL more than a year ago, I had come to a place in my life, that I realized this "dream" I had achieved was not mine. I realized that to achieve this dream, I had never succeeded at finding who I "really" wanted to be. I “had it all” and wasn’t happy. As I moved though life focused on achieving, there was no time to get hung up on sadness, fear, grief. They were distractions I couldn't deal with at the time.

We all repress thoughts, feelings, emotions. Our motivations for doing so (and the degree to which we do so) vary, but we all do it. Repression doesn't make it "go away" however. We store it up to be released at a later time, whether self initiated or spontaneous explosion.

Grief, anger, envy, fear, love... all natural feelings that fall within the polarities of love and fear (the two only true emotions, IMO).  These feelings repressed, tend to manifest themselves anyway…sometimes in ways we did not intend or expect. RL does not always allow us the means to express these emotions fully...but for those of us immersed in SL, on some level we appreciate that here, there are no boundaries. We are free to explore our true selves in a way that allows us to bring all these emotions into expression.

Accepting the significance of Second Life in all that is my life, is an ongoing process. I discover more and more about who I am living part of my life here. The doubts about being here at all?....perhaps my efforts to manifest a struggle which allows me to face emotions I've avoided for a long time.

Never-the-less, the love I feel, which enfolds the fear and pain, is undeniable and it is that which keeps me coming back for more.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination...Enjoying the "trip"

Peace and blessings...

"You Can't Stop the Rain" by Loose Ends

Seems to me
We're living a fantasy
Walking blind
We forget sometimes
To search beyond
There's no boundary

There will come a day when lightening will flash
...and maybe then we'll see
Everything we've known all gone in a flash
Is this our destiny?

You can't stop the rain
When it starts to fall
Noone else to blame
You didn't lock that door

There comes a day
When everyone will find
Who they are
So find your heart
Don't ever stop
Its our destiny!


Saturday, July 12, 2008

SL/RL Synthesis Note (14): "IN LOVE... with my AVATAR!"

Song of the Moment: "Bittersweet" by Siji

What is true love and how do you know you've found it? The fairy tales tell us the prince comes, prepared to rescue a damsel from all her woes and the takes the princess away on a white horse into the sunset. Most of us have outgrown that ideal for love, although the prospect of finding or being a knight in shining armor sounds romantic.

I remember when I first began customizing my avatar, I took special care in choosing her skin, eyes and shape. A true work of art, I thought, when she was finally complete. As she moved through SL, exploring and taking part in things not possible in RL (for many reasons), I found myself wishing I could be "Acu" in and limitless in what she could do. I remember the first time she wore black latex. How exhilarating!  Outside of SL, however, how guilty were my thoughts to have felt such a thing. After all, that would NEVER be acceptable in my RL social circles. So the battle within began as I confronted all the self-inflicted nonsense [SIN! (wink)] and engaged in an ultimate releasing of self judgment to make way for acceptance! True LOVE...of Acu...of ME! How much easier, was it then, to begin to reject the judgments of others and feel the love ever present surrounding me?

Isn't love more than just the romance in our lives? Sometimes we are so lost in the pain of our romantic relationships and doubts about ourselves that we miss all the other expressions of love around us: friends and family who are there when needed, random acts of kindness we experience as we go through our day (a smile, a returned item we dropped while dazed, a warm "have a nice day" from a stranger) Many of us are willing to give love freely, yet are so resistant or distrustful of the love offered by others. Its difficult to trust and receive from another when we are unwilling to give/receive it from ourselves.

Love is... unconditional, nonjudgmental, acceptance. Romantic relationships help us feel this more intensely and passionately, but this often fades as we feel judgment from our partner or begin to place judgment on ourselves for being or not being something "other" than what we believe we should be.

Does true love exist? Why not ask yourSELF?

With love, peace and blessings...

"Bittersweet" by Siji
This bittersweet feeling
I have inside
I can't deny it

You're gonna go away
and I'm wishfully thinking
You're here to stay
Deep on my thoughts
Girl you stay
Even though I deny it
For you alone I crave

The very arms that hold you close
Said I
Ought to trust and obey

This bittersweet feeling
I have inside
I can't deny
This Bittersweet feeling
I can't describe it
So pleasing
Do or Die

Although you are miles away
This joyous feeling
Still remains
The better I stay away
I'll be forever tempted, yeah

Come whatever what may
Yet too great a price to pay


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