Morning Thoughts

September 16th, 2017by Mordred

This morning I woke up with a couple thoughts. The first was a memory. There was a boy in highschool…I remember he would go around asking girls out. He probably asked every single available girl out. But he never had a girlfriend. I met him at a highschool reunion a few years ago, and lo and behold he was in a relationship. Found love. He was wearing a necklace, and he saw my necklace and commented “oh we believe in the same religion” (I wear a simple, small yin-yang necklace).

I asked him what the engraving on his necklace meant, and what religion he thought we both believed in, and he responded, “it says ‘Om Mani Padme Hum'”.

Being a buddhist at the time (albeit a fallen one), I asked him, “…and what religion do you think I follow?” I certainly was not part of the cult of Avalokiteshvara, whose symbol that was.

He replied with a grin. “Oh, some asian religion, I guess,” he replied. “My girlfriend gave me this necklace, and I did a little research about it and thought it was pretty cool, so I converted.”

Something strikes me now about that conversation. This guy, he wasn’t really following the cult of Avalokiteshwara (that was obvious from the get-go). But more interestingly, in a way the religious meaning of that necklace changed the moment he put it around his neck. He was paying tribute to his girlfriend with that necklace, not to Avalokiteshvara. If we claim the definition of religion to be ‘a belief in something you put your absolute faith in’ (which is a bad definition, but perhaps not as bad as it initially sounds), then really, the primary deity he worshipped was…in a sense…his girlfriend. It was a hierarchy. His girlfriend worshipped Avalokiteshwara, but he worshipped her.

I started thinking about myself, and about how the women that had been in my life had affected me. In a sense, this guy was nothing special, I decided. I idolized three of the women I dated (call them P, R, and S). These three were all similar and yet different, but yes, at the time we were together I did work my absolute best to make myself in their image, personality-wise. Each of them had something I desired. I wanted P’s desperation, I wanted R’s courage, and I wanted S’s dedication, devotion almost. Among other things, those were the main traits that stood out to me.

Among the rest of them, there were a couple that I loved (versus idolized). These two were different. I didn’t blindly follow what they said, like I did with P,R, and S. But they consumed me, like a religion does. At times, I lived and breathed for them. It’s embarrassing really, but it’s the truth.

I wonder who I am. Without the influences of any of these people, I don’t think I would have been anyone. P made me a fighter, R made me a buddhist, and S made me an academic. Before them…what was I? Just a kid with a lot of aggression and no way to channel it, I suppose.

It’s sad. It’s so, so sad. I guess I’ll never find out who I truly am. Nearly 8 years have passed since P died, and she still influences me so greatly. I will never be able to be myself.


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