I’ve figured out what the grand pattern across and within all of my lives is.
I have been a profoundly fearful person, and I oscillate continually between total conformity and total rebellion when the pressure of total conformity becomes too much.
In my medieval life, total conformity had rewards but in 1915, total conformity came with an immense cost.
There’s a quote from my previous life that sums up this continuing pattern: “There’s two of me. There’s the ashen, obsessive endlessly-working Calvinist, and then there’s the other part of me that doesn’t give a fuck.”
And even in my current life, I’ve oscillated back and forth between the ashen, obsessive, endlessly-working Calvinist and the rebel who cares nothing for prudish ideas of conformity and productive living. At the heart of it all was fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of abandonment. Fear of being left behind in some way or another. Fear of being taken advantage of by someone stronger or smarter or with more authority.
In three lifetimes, too, I had long periods where I hid behind a gun and while this made sense on the Western Front, it didn’t make sense in Portland, Oregon in 2012.
I think, given the circumstances, gender dysphoria was actually the best thing that could have happened to me because it forced me to confront the truth of my nature on every level. My personality shattered into a billion pieces and the resulting mess gave me a chance to take inventory of just how much of those old accretions I needed. I found things in my metaphysical attic going back to medieval times.
But I’d be lying if I said I was done being fearful. In fact it was the emergence of that old fearful side of me a few weeks ago that prompted this assessment. When I am unable to do anything about a situation, I panic and I become fearful and direct my aggression outward, or hide my fear and lose myself in conformity only to break under the strain.
This is an opportunity to break a long-standing pattern though, and I believe I can. I believe we aren’t slaves to our past and that our nature is not fixed or determined. And when this life is over, I want to be able to smile and say to myself “well done,” not because of anything I produced creatively or any laurels I’ve rested on, but knowing that I’ve just broken one of the great barriers that has kept me from being as loving, peaceful, and wise as I am capable of being.