All my life inspiration and epiphanies have always been common place – but I’ve always been the one who rebuffed them as “tricks of the mind” or “flashes of a weird voice”.
So how does it connect to “connecting with yourself”?
It actually started out while I was watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. There’s a character called Lord Zuko who had by the end of the series hunted down the Avatar for almost 3 seasons.
Now Lord Zuko (who would at the end be the Avatar’s friend) was a very…emotional person to say the least. He was often hot tempered, quick to anger, sarcastic, snappy, and often disregarded help as a sign that personal weakness on his part. While searching for the Avatar he was often known to not thinking through with his schemes while “jumping before he looked” – a strategy which often led to his defeat at the hands of the Avatar and gang.
But then in the 3rd and last season of the series he later become very compassionate, empathetic, brave, outspoken, and while still snappy – a great listener.
How did this happen? He become connected to his true self.
You see, at the beginning of the series his whole mission was the capture the avatar, since he was ordered by his father to do so after being banished by his father for disobeying an order.
Yes, his father banished him and sent him off on what was essentially a wild goose chase. After many trials and tribulations – and long and complicated story short – he finds the avatar and releases him because of a epiphany.
Being the new fanboy that I am I realized something from watching the series and from some of the forums regarding him.
He’s basically a man raised to be a prince – an unsympathetic one at that. From his father and a sociopath of a sister he was expected to be merciless, cutthroat, to crave power, unemotional, and ultimately destructive in the name of glory. All of which he was notAs mentioned earlier by the end of the series he is shown to be the opposite of how he was raised – very compassionate, empathetic, brave, outspoken, and while still snappy – a great listener.
Which got me thinking…
What would happen if someone was raised to be something they were not, what would be the signs that they were suffering from extreme conflict…like me?
In two words I can describe a life like that: self destructive
You basically are fighting yourself, your own nature that was is meant to be free, honest, and self actualizing but is limited, even constantly destroyed by a nurture that is constantly telling you that you are wrong and that you should do this to impress this. When your nurture is hurting, even trying to destroy your nature, the person that you are to the public is – to put it mildly – off balance.
One defining aspect of Zuko before he came around was his self sabotaging ways. All of his schemes to accomplish anything (avatar related or not) always failed – by themselves!
What I’ve noticed in life is that while there are always aspects that we can’t control – but if we keep on self sabotaging ourselves, then it’s no longer an outside force – it is the inside.
Watching Prince – later Lord Zuko reminded me of myself growing up. Basically raised to be one when it actuality I was the complete opposite. It only took me 20 years to come to the conclusion, but I’ve embraced (for the most part) that it is better late than never that I have actualized my nature.
As for Lord Zuko? After he convinced Team Avatar that he was on their side (after helping them in various trials and tribulations), he helped bring down the Fire Nation leadership (his father and his sister), later becoming the new leader of the Fire Nation and becoming life long friends to the Avatar.