Monday, September 03, 2007

Our Soul's Yearnings

It would seem reasonable, to the rational mind, that a man in his sixty-second year if life (having completed his sixty-first year in April, last), would have it all settled, understood, and well in place. (“It” being the emotional “stuff” of life.) But, alas, it is not completely so. For, you see, I have been dredging the depth of my own pit of personal depression and discouragement for a bit of a while now. And … in that state, quite unable to detach myself from the numbing, disabling weight of the experience enough to allow for as much as a sensible defining of my malaise. My belief that I was containing my plight, was proven wrong when a loved friend wrote from New York a week or so ago. She asked why I was sounding so “down.” She could “hear” from that distance, what others in close proximity did not. So, today, I am responding (at some considerable length) to Susan’s caring concern.

I knew that something was “up” when I took my cornet out, and left its case open and the instrument available all day (as it is now.) This is something that was a norm for me during my high-school years. I would return home from a day at school … busy, being the campus “Jerry Lewis” character that I was known to be by students and faculty alike. I was engaged in making everyone’s every moment lighter and more pleasant, from my first step on campus to my departure for home, and my solitary hours enveloped in the playing of the blues on my trusty companion … my cornet. Those who saw me as the “wittiest” of my graduating class (or “class clown” … depending on individual definition) had no idea why I was so compelled to engage my environment in the role that I had assumed. Nor, for that matter, had I. Only now … in distant retrospect and through the lens of much study, reflection, psychological testing, counseling, and much experience … do I understand. It is for the same reasons that I have my cornet next to me now. I was … and am seeking some satisfaction of my Soul’s yearning.

Yearning is a word that I never used … nor heard used … until my discovery of the work of Bates and Keirsey. I was introduced to them through my determination to follow up and fully understand the results of my first Meyers/Briggs Temperament Evaluation. “Please Understand Me” by Keirsey and Bates … and subsequently, “Please Understand Me II” by Keirsey … addressed, for the first time in my personal experience, the matter of the yearnings of each of the different temperament types. I am writing today out of a refreshing of my awareness of those truths.

For, My Dear Reader, I have learned … and continue to deepen my understanding of, the truth, and significance, of my yearnings. And … most importantly … the power that those yearnings have in the core of Who I am created to be. What, then, is that power? What is the relevance, of our yearnings, to the scheme of our lives? This! Our yearnings are our “appetites” for the expression of our Spirits’ needs for nourishment and sustenance. Restated … our yearnings inform us of our particular needs for the strengthening, maintenance, and encouragement of our individual Spirits. And, the good news is that we all are not “fed” by the same aspects of life. We all have different “appetites.” Our diverse and particular personalities, temperaments, and characters require varied forms of nourishment for a healthy level of functioning. What may seem to be superfluous and extravagant “desert” to others of different temperament can be … and most often is, a staple of (and critical to us, as a basic fare for) our unique nature.

Thusly, when I learned that 39% of the world’s population is rejuvenated and restored by satisfaction of their yearning for belonging and another 37% find the same in making an immediate impact on their environs … and that achievement serves that purpose for 13% … then, well … it makes more sense to me to know that the 11% portion of those created with such innate inclinations (the group of which I am a part) find their renewal and restoration of their Self … in romance. This informs my rational mind and makes clear the impulse that I have been, of late, struggling with. That impulse to discount and negate the validity of my yearning for romance in my life, as simply superfluous “desert.” For the majority of the world about me would influence my thinking to be predisposed to the acceptance of Belonging, Impact, and Achievement as worthy aspirations whilst Romance is but a silly exercise in inconsequential foolishness. Not so! For, My Dear One, I have just been reminded that … while culture, religion, society, and politic may not recognize its value … romance is just as valid and crucial to my personal nourishment as the other three forms of renewal and satisfaction are to the other 89% of my world’s population.

So, looking back … and next to me now … that constant Friend, my cornet, has been a source of respite for a soul starved of sustenance as it cries out its need in the form of The Blues played with mournful expression not possible with simple words. But today (unlike those yesterdays) I understand that the making better of life for my friends does not bring the satisfaction that Jerry Lewis portrayed in those old movie roles. For, you see, he always found romance in the person of someone who responded to his loving of his immediate world. And, alas, that part of the story is but a fantasy.

And there you have it. The reason for my absence from writing in the blog recently … and the lack of responses to kind and loving Emails. The Person who does those things is, at present, a bit drained for want of restoration and nourishment. But give me a while … I’ll be back. I promise.

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