Signal Fire by Tyler Knott Gregson
Signal Fire by Tyler Knott Gregson
Refuse To Look Away | 2.5.23

Refuse To Look Away | 2.5.23

The Sunday Edition
Camera Obscura mirror selfie, October 2022.

Some truths are pills tougher than others to swallow, some are dry and get lodged in the deepest part of the throat, sideways and even once down leave the strange sensation of their presence behind. Some take hours to fade away into memory and digestion, some leave the taste of disappointment behind on your tongue. Here is one:

The closer you get to self-actualization, to truly knowing who you are, the lonelier it can be.

Yes, this is true, yes it an unfortunate side-effect of learning more about yourself than others will bother to attempt, yes, it is worth it. I have been noticing over the last few years of my life, that we are all mirrors to one another, each and every all of us. Others see in us, different things in themselves. Most of the people in our lives, and perhaps even most of us from time to time, are a dirty mirror to others, and when they look at us the soft focus and hazy glass, the specks from not being cleaned quite often enough obscure the flaws in us, hide the things we may really want to see or achieve, they paint our world in a grainy reproduction where what we are looking at doesn’t excite or repel, it just, well, is.

Here’s the strange thing, where things get a bit odd the further into this analogy we dive: those who are more self-actualized, those who know who they are and have known for years on years, maybe always, those who suffer no fools and worry less about ego and embarrassment, oof, those people are SuperHiDefCrystalClear™ (not a real trademark, chill) mirrors and my goodness are they dangerous to our precious and protected self-view. The SHDCC (remember, the trademark above?) mirrors show people exactly who they are, exactly what they are, and what they are missing in themselves, the flaws, the cracks, the wrinkles Botox couldn’t iron away. These people are important, these people are also very, very, lonely.

I know this, because I am one.

For better or for worse, since I was a wee-one, I’ve been this. This person, almost exactly. That isn’t to say I’ve not grown, evolved, learned, and morphed as I aged, no, but the foundations of me, have always been the same. The motivations, the same, the predispositions, the same. I joke that my Autism made me a soul born devoid of any ego, but it’s a joke I’m not really joking at all about. I know who I am, for better and absolutely for worse, and I’ve never shied away from being that, from celebrating it, from picking it apart if I feel it has more work to do. Because of this, when I meet people, I do believe that without intending to, they see in me things that scare them. I think there are many people like this in our lives, and I think I am one of that plethora.

A good friend once told me “you intimidate people,” and for the life of me, I could not understand why. I think this is the why I didn’t know how to ask for, I think this explains why loneliness comes when we are a person that doesn’t sacrifice those foundational bricks for the ephemeral bliss of fitting in.

Please note, in no way am I saying that I, or any of the other lonely self-understanding souls, are an ideal you should aim for. No. I think we all fight our own battles, we all take our own journeys, and sometimes what looks one way to one, looks completely different to another. There is no wrong path, if we’re all walking with kindness. I do believe that. What I AM saying is, these SHDCC mirrors are important because while it can be often painful, eye-opening, or disruptive to truly see yourself, sometimes, it’s good to wipe the mirror clean and take a good hard look. I think that’s something these mega-clear mirrors do on a daily basis, and that is why their are so clear, so clean, there’s a constant wiping that takes place whether they know it or not.

All this is to say, the round about theme of this entire Signal Fire, when you’re on a path of truly loving yourself, there will be times you feel lonely, there will be times where you’ll be admitting hard truths about your own nature, and this is ok. Only a month into this new year, I think we’re all looking, constantly, for ways that we can feel better, enjoy more, be better, and why not? Life is short, it’s worth fighting for, it’s worth trying more, if your end goal is a deeper enjoyment of all things.

We are all mirrors to one another, some dirty, some so beyond clean you resent them for it. I’ve noticed an oddity in my dissection of this truth too: You can be the SHDCC mirror to some, whilst being a dirty mirror to others, and I think this is a much longer story that has everything to do with your own connection to those people, as I do believe deeper connections foster deeper truths, but nevertheless, it’s cool and strange. Either way, the clearer you are feeling, the more resentment you may find, the more loneliness that could eke in, but please, do not shy away from this.

Be the clear mirror for yourself, and deal with the repercussions when people see themselves in you, as what they find has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them.

If you get lonely, come to me, we’ll set our mirrors to face one another, and grin back into infinity. I promise.

Wipe clean the mirror,

through the dark eyes staring back.

Refuse to look away.

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Signal Fire by Tyler Knott Gregson
Signal Fire by Tyler Knott Gregson
Tyler Knott Gregson and his weekly "Sunday Edition" of his Signal Fire newsletter. Diving into life, poetry, relationships, sex, human nature, the universe, and all things beautiful.