Understanding How Resilience Is Not Learned But Extracted
“The word education is derived from the Latin educare, literally translated as “to bring out of” or “to lead forth.” Therefore when we educate people, if we use the word seriously, we do not stuff something new into their minds; rather, we lead this something out of them; we bring it forth from the unconscious into their awareness. They were the possessors of the knowledge all along.” ~Peck, 252
he pieces that I am, are they of only me, or of who I have been time and time again on this earth? Is this my first life, my second, maybe my hundredth? Through the complexity and unparalleled journey of who I am today, I must wonder if my awareness about things beyond tangibility was conceived in this lifetime or in an agglomeration of many. Since childhood, I have felt deja vu at the oddest moments, gut-feelings that have told me things before they can be known by others, and experienced unexplainable epiphanies that send shivers down my spine. You see, I can read people’s eyes, deep down to their souls when I speak to them one-on-one. With even more wonder, I see numbers everywhere, and they tell me what I need to know. These phenomenons remain a mystery to me, and yet throughout my life, I have come to realize that I am indeed reborn, unaware that the souls of my other lives are buried deep inside my unconscious, just waiting to be remembered.
I believe that the world is made up of a significant numbers, all interacting with each other endlessly. This branch of knowledge is known as numerology, and something I have come to understand well through my aunt, a Reiki master. All my life I have found interest in understanding the interactions of souls and their meanings, which numerology in a sense focuses on. Everything about us is made up of numbers and combinations, and so with my struggles and undying persistence through both pain and hopelessness, it did not come as a surprise that my Life Path Number was calculated to be an 11, also known as a Master Number (McCants). This number is the most intuitive of all the numbers and the most aware (McCants). In a sense, it explains my possession of extrasensory perception (ESP), and my ability to empathize and subconsciously alter the people around me.
I have tried to fathom why I understand death so well without knowing it, romantic love without having ever experienced it, and life without consciously having lived it in its entirety. The only answer I can see is that I understand them simply because I have indeed known all of them, not here in this life, but in the many before this. In a sense, everything that I am is simply me extracting what I already possess. We are all able to do this, most unable to consciously recognize their potential. It is only when we allow ourselves to open our eyes that we see what lies beyond just our physical bodies. Sometimes just seeking out an understanding of our past lives can help us to fully embrace who we have chosen to be in this lifetime.
When I was around eight, my mother went to a psychic. Even at that age, I had wondered if she already knew that we were connected far deeper than just a mother and daughter. There in that room it was revealed that I had not only experienced a physical limitation in another life, but that in that life, my mother was indeed my mother, just as we are now. Our souls had loved each other long before this lifetime, and so when I was brought into this world, I was not meeting my mother–I was reuniting with her. Maybe I had not “learned” love, but simply remembered it. Maybe my resilience, therefore too, had been extracted from what I already understood. I fought my battles as if the fighting had already been bred into me–already known. How could a child have resilience if never knowing that such a concept exists?
In Numerology, it is said that a Life Path Number 11 is spiritually aware, a visionary, inspiring, charismatic, a dreamer, idealistic, and a deep thinker (McCants). It seems all my life, I have been led to interpret life in its most convoluted forms, and to change and be changed. I have known turmoil and struggle because I indeed have the ability to handle such struggle with a grace that others–and even sometimes me–cannot fully understand. My resilience is from an unconscious will that has experienced life many times already, and knows what to do. When I let go and allow it to surface, my struggles are no longer struggles. When I relinquish, I hand myself over to the parts of me that know how to handle it. These parts are not of the conscious, but every once in awhile, in a dream or in an episode of deja vu, I feel them, and therein my fear of pain and struggle dissipates.
Nothing about me is normal, conventional, on-point, or done in a way that most others would choose. My neurosurgeon laughs because my spine confounds even him. He has no explanation for why things are the way they are, or why that last operation for combatting my ailments failed. You see, he never goes into surgery with certainty or confidence in my anatomy, because no matter what he believes he will find, by some miracle it is always something completely outside logic. I am unique in that way–always being the only one in my situation to have these moments of perplexity, often and without fail. My body enjoys fighting against me, trying to prove that logic is a theory with many loopholes. Although I consciously fight my unconscious, it is remarkable that I even know how one can possibly fight an invisible force that resides within them. It is in this that I realize that I was gifted with a remarkable awareness of self, but cursed with the dread of being one of the few to comprehend such enlightenment.
This cognition met me on a warm September day in my twelfth year. After celebrating my grandmother’s birthday at the mall, I had the oddest sensation fall over me as we parked in front of her retirement home to drop her off. Never before had a feeling gnawed at me with such ferocity, and in that moment I came to the sad acknowledgement that this would be the last time I would ever see her. My soul ached, and yet I knew that I was being given the blessed opportunity to really make the most of such a heart-wrenching moment. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do, and to be the only one aware of what was to come felt almost as agonizing as the goodbye. I walked back to the car completely drained of life, and as we drove away, I stared back as if trying to memorize that last moment I had had with her. Indeed, it was the last time, and indeed I was both cursed and blessed with the fact of foreseeing such pain. Her demise was slow and painful, and my mother went to be with her during the process we call death. Luckily, I never saw my grandmother in her agony or in the state that took away the woman I knew. I only remember her as she was on that day in September, and for that I am grateful.
Maybe in my next life I will be welcomed into a world that is free of struggle and pain, but in this, I believe that such enlightenment would be taken from me. In an attempt for understanding, I realize that my gift is resilience, but without struggle the resilience atrophies, and with it, we lose our connection with the souls buried deep inside us. Without my pain, I cannot be enlightened; I cannot grow as a person or as an immortal being. I am blessed with the honor of enlightenment in this life because I chose to suffer in this life. I chose to band together with my mother to fight and to inspire. I am here because I have an unconscious vendetta, still a mystery to me, but one I will no doubt extract from within someday to understand. The answers are here with me, but I must grow enough spiritually to unleash them. Yes, we come into this world as extraordinary beings, but many lose sight of what being extraordinary means. It does not require oddity–it requires enlightenment: to think with our many souls, to listen to them, to pull knowledge from within, and put simply…to use this knowledge to change the world.
Clary, Chris. MBTI packet. 2015. St. Michael’s College: Colchester, VT.
McCants, Glynis. Glynis Has Your Number: Discover What Life Has in Store for You through the Power of Numerology! New York: Hyperion, 2005. Print.
Peck, M S. The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978. Print.
Posted July 5, 2016