Something that’s ingrained in our psyche is this idea of self-discovery. There’s a whole section at Barnes & Noble filled with books aimed at “Man’s Search for Meaning” and “The Power of Now” and “Finding Your True Self.”
That’s the kicker, isn’t it?
Because, what is a “true self” anyway? Does that mean that what I am now is not true? That who I was yesterday, and the day before, and my entire history upon this earth was false? Is my previous (obviously false) existence now devalued? As someone who was under the false impression that who I had been was true (or some shade of truth), how can I trust that the person I am now is actually true?
These are the kinds of questions that send us scrambling to those bookshelves and picking out Oprah’s favorites, intent on finally getting answers. But then, weeks go by and we’re no closer to our true selves then we were before. We end up without answers, only a messy stack of books covered in coffee rings like a crumpled map thrown out in frustration.
I was one of those avant-garde explorers, a veritable Indiana Jones searching for the Grail inside my soul. I never found it’s resting place and was left disappointed and aimless at a desk full of papers and discarded dreams. It took me years, half-grown and half-mad, before I stumbled over my own feet and found the Grail right in front of my bruised face.
Truth is relative.
I don’t blame you if it’s not entirely satisfying. It’s not really an answer. But, that shattered cup in my hands was enough to call off my search. It was enough to set my weather-beaten hat and leather whip aside.
Because, I am always my true self if I am always true to myself.
I’m still a half-formed lump of clay, constantly molding into new shapes. But, every shape is deliberate, every detail is determined, and every decision is mine. I cannot ask for more than that.
Life is the last crusade, Doctor Jones, and that’s the truth.