June 2022 Musings

Happy Summer! As I cruise through the month of June with two recent high school graduates under my belt I can’t help but think of the future. My children will all be living on their own within months and for the first time in a very long time I will be my primary focus. What will I do? Where will I travel? How will I take care of myself now that I come first? These are the questions that weave in and out of my day and appear even in my dreams. I am confident the answers are here inside me ready to burst out!

It has been an interesting exercise to look back and bless the past; and at the same time know that the seeds I plant today will bless my future. With so many “seeds” to choose from I can get overwhelmed and freeze. Then I think, pick something you love and if that changes that’s ok; choose something! However, I want to take any pressure off myself, go easy on myself. I’ve been running hard for a lot of years. I want to take a breather after a very rewarding yet busy 23 years of raising children. I want to rest some. I want to really think hard about what I want to experience next. One thing I do know is that I want to serve myself well and be of service to others in a meaningful way. I think it’s very common to feel this way at this stage. While some lament this change, I welcome it. I’m ready now!

The visionary, Peter Thiel has always been a source of inspiration to me and is one of my mentors (although he doesn’t know it yet). There are many reasons I respect and admire him. I’ve learned so much about how the world works and even how I work through his talks, interviews and books. He’s generous in sharing his wisdom; and challenges the world to think, act and be true. I’ve heard Peter talk about Mimetic Theory, developed by French anthropologist Rene Girard, and how it has contributed to his world view. Mimetic Desire: after the basic needs are satisfied (food, sex, safety, shelter), people move into the realm of desire in which there isn’t a biological “radar” or instincts to guide them. Instead, their radar becomes other people. People want what other people want, desire is social. Girard claims this behavior eventually leads to conflict and scapegoating. We can easily see this wanting what others want in what society calls trends. Remember when white kitchen cabinets, Sub Zeros, Viking ranges, Carrara marble, Mercedes SUVs were all the rage? One could argue that “I saw that look and it looked nice and so I wanted it too because I liked it”. But what if we hadn’t seen it? Or seen a commercial with someone telling us what others like? What if we were isolated and had no frame of reference and had to come up with our own ideas? What would we come up with? What could we add to the world? What unseemly behaviors, trends would disappear? How would we feel as individuals? Would we feel empowered, more creative, more trusting of our instinct? Would we feel isolated and disconnected?

I’ve been accused of beating to my own drum throughout my life and I’ll admit at times it can be lonely. Some people don’t understand my choices.Those people tend to criticize and make unfounded judgements, yet something always keeps me leaning into my truth regardless. And that’s where our power lies! Our uniqueness can fuel our desires and take precedence over the desires of others and/or the desires that others have for our lives. When I think of my future I want it to be my future not a cliched future, not one I’ve read about or seen somewhere. Sure, inspiration may come from others but my desires must be mine and only mine. And when you go down that path I believe internal conflict subsides and therefore the need for scapegoating too. I don’t have to make someone or something or someplace the scapegoat, the bad guy, in order to justify my needs, wants and decisions.

I have fallen victim to mimetic desire in the past; it’s human nature. The times when I’ve realized this, I would say, “Oh, this isn’t what I really want to experience for me and my family. I thought having what initially looked good would in fact be different than it actually is.” And then I’d think, OK time to pivot! Interestingly, although not surprisingly as children generally are closer to the truth without as many blocks keeping them from it as we adults have, my children are constant reminders to stay true to myself. Not only do they call me out when necessary but they too tend to take the path less traveled that feels right for them. So in the spirit of love and freedom (my two favorite words) may we all discover our true desires and may we have the courage to fulfill them!

Love always,

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