End of An Era. Start of Eternity.

Thursday, July 06, 2023

It's a goodbye. With respect to all my readers and my past self, this is the last post on Everyday Sway. Admittedly, what started out as an inclination toward the confluence of style, art history and pop culture bohemianism in university eventually developed into some form of a diary of my early 20s galivanting around pool, parties and studios. As good as my intentions were, sharing about my personal development, in hindsight, this was superseded with the narcissism of my youth and my pulsing need for validation. This prevented any real prevailing purity and true wisdom.

Since being born again in July of '23, crying in the backseat of my car in some random car park in downtown Sydney, nothing was ever the same. It was a beam of love so pure and hopeful that it led to instant transformation and is with me to today. Foregoing some details, that night that was a crossroad in my life where I finally said no in my heart to the darkness that was prevailing in my life. 

This poetic series is a exploration of that. Now that the veil has been lifted, I can see all of my past self: the addictions, the velvet rage and self-hatred masquerading as sexuality and sensuality, my covert narcissism disguised as altruism, the promiscuity, the hurt child, the vanity -  the compounding of all of these things resulting in the metastasis of my trauma and leading me down dark pathways (that looked like light at the time). Nonetheless, I look back at my old self with grace, forgiveness and fondness - I think I was doing the best I could with what I knew.  An experience of this a love so gracious, ever hopeful and pure will change you forever. I may have mused about it before in thought, but never truly had it in my heart until then. 

 In Christ, with hope and love for all - I draw a curtain on the last 15 years.


Retracing The Self

How far, and deep, can one retrace oneself? We all (hopefully) remember our last few weeks, the things we’ve experienced, the ways we’ve felt and how we’ve responded. Even in this short time, these new set of experiential data has added to the channels and modes of thinking in ourselves that over a lifetime continue to form the overall psychological and emotional algorithms by which we function (although we have less neuroplasticity with age).

But if one asked themself, how experiences in the nascence of childhood or during the uncomfortable balminess of adolescence added to the self in this way, how fundamentally can that be retraced? And don’t forget what, why and how these variables also influenced subsequent outer layers of the self that continually become part of one’s equation until death (like a factorial if I am going to continue with the data driven metaphors).

Trauma decontextualised over time can look like personality - i.e. there is no distinction and the trauma has become solidified with the self. Like how being ghosted could make one less likely to respond to IMs in a timely manner, and overtime this becomes a general (digital) aloofness that one feels is just their general personality but is rooted in an unhealed trauma that has sank into the unseen. Could this experience of trauma be in pure fusion or as a conglomerate with the self? I’d say based off my own experiences that proves me that trauma can be unravelled that it is the latter.

However, I don’t think these traumas ever truly disappear before they are untangled. They merely fade into the subconscious while our consciousness rationalises these things into a cycle of coping (that sometimes appears health on the onset) that I think is deeply intertwined the self’s great focus or need at the time (à la Maslow’s Hierarchy).

I’ve gone through a lot of grief trying to discover my own deep-seated trails that run from the top of my present consciousness all the way down into untouched parts of my subconscious down to the root of the spirit. Recently, I’ve made a breakthrough that has changed my life a profound way so I wanted to share it with you. I’m in no way saying that our histories are the same, but rather, showing you that the way the human mind and heart works has some universality to it, and so should be thought about as such.

The Entanglement

The Velvet Rage offered me lots of new ways of seeing myself. Not taking that as gospel, I sought a personal investigation into the conditions present at origins of my sexuality. When I was young, I suffered a big emotional trauma that consumed me with rage and self loathing. Lust, attraction, satisfaction and fulfilment were intertwined with a consuming rage and self-loathing that I felt at the time. Dominance (exertion of masculinity) came as the satisfaction of that rage, and submission (claiming or receiving of others' masculinity) came as the fulfilment that self-loathing.

The Subconscious

Over time, this faded into my subconscious, so consciously something could make me feel good but cognitive dissonance meant that very same thing could be a subconscious validation of my self-hatred. This self-reinforcing cycle is where my depression, anxiety and low self worth stemmed from for years, but I'm thankful that recently I've been able to break the cycle, clear out the beautiful lies that felt so good, and swallow the bitter truths of my life.

The following photos are an original poetic series about my journey into the intoxicating glorification of self-hatred, through the blue, and out into the light of (self-)love:

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