How to “pass” the past. In 12 steps.
Step 9: Touch
(This excerpt is from an article I read on The Huffington Post about the film “Walking Contest”.)
‘Walking Contest’ Makes Us Face Life Questions Like, ‘What Is Human Connection?’ And Stuff
We’ve all experienced it — you know, that awkward moment when you’re on the street, walking next to a stranger, going the same pace, same footing, same direction.
What do you do in that situation? Do you turn it into a competition? Who can walk faster? Look busier? More important?
In this short film directed by Vania Heymann and starring Daniel Koren, we are faced with the larger question of why this moment feels so awkward to us anyway.
What is it about basic human connection that make us feel uncomfortable? Perhaps we should all just slow down and take a moment to appreciate walking next to someone. Maybe we have something in common with them because if nothing else, we share direction.
-Written by Sarah Barness
The Huffington Post
Here is the video that the article is written about…
I read the above article this morning as I was preparing to write Step 9 in the “pass” your past process. It was a very brief blurb but a few sentences caught my attention that I feel strike a daring connection to what I was planning to speak on…
1. “… That awkward moment…”,
2. “…What is it about basic human connection that make us feel uncomfortable?…”,
3. “… Maybe we have something in common with them because if nothing else, we share direction.”
I found it relevant to look up the word awkward for clarity-
causing difficulty; hard to do or deal with.
synonyms: difficult, tricky; More inconvenient, inappropriate, inopportune, unseasonable, difficult
antonyms: easy, convenient
deliberately unreasonable or uncooperative.
causing or feeling embarrassment or inconvenience.
“No present is inherently awkward. The past does that. YOUR past recognizes connection with isolation and abandonment or pain and thus a given moment becomes “awkward”. Because no moment in its present is aware of success nor failure, without reference. Possibility is the ambitious consciousness of life. Until that belief is met with obstacle or instruction contrary to its nature, it will thrive and thrust forward to symbiotic relation with elements, environments, and individuals, that share in its aim. An inability to adjust to the idiosyncrasies of former events, emotions, or energies, will greatly divert the paths of clarity and comfort that should be the guarantee of any “now” that is available to the human existence.”
– an excerpt from an essay I wrote about dealing with the past.
Step 4 in this process was about identifying YOURSELF and YOUR particular situation with the reality in mind that someone, somewhere, is dealing with something similar or far more severe based on what may be their advantages or disadvantages in their own journey out of the past. Identifying was also about recognizing and realizing YOUR specific state and place in an effort to more appropriately make the necessary adjustments or changes that will allow YOU to break forth beyond the stagnation and stoppage of life that holding on or holding YOURSELF in, the past, causes. Identifying YOURSELF is about making YOURSELF “known”. This step, 9, “Touch”, is about making YOURSELF accessible to the answers, healing, forgiveness, and peace, that are available to YOU, once YOU are known, or identified.
In the movie, “Walking Contest”, we are introduced to the dialogue of what we “all” know as that awkward moment when YOU catch YOURSELF in the instance that YOU and a total stranger find YOUR strides at a very second, in sync, and parallel, as YOU both move forward towards YOUR destination. Like he says, “…we have all experienced it…”, and at some point in our lives we have all felt a sense of nervousness as it seems kind of weird to be at the exact same pace of a total stranger. So either YOU speed up or YOU fall back a tad, so that YOU don’t feel awkward. After I read her article I went and watched the video, I believe that it is a great study and hypothesis to consider as we attempt to dissect the parameters of human relations. I found the video a perfect correlation with my perception of our core relation to the past.
The truth is that normally when YOU do that -walking contest as shown in the video- or someone does it to YOU, YOU do get uncomfortable. If they go past YOU too fast YOU wonder if they are implying that YOU are not moving quick enough. If YOU fall back, but within a noticeable distance, it appears that YOU are following, or stalking, and somehow a threat to, that person. Conversely, if YOU are the one on the set pace that is then interrupted by another person on that path, YOU feel these very things. And quite often react that very way. It happens almost everywhere. When YOU “bump” into people or encounter them on the unintended randomness of life’s journey it is almost expected to feel or seem “awkward”. And awkwardness sets the tone for discomfort, which is the impetus for disfunction and dis-ease.
And such awkwardness is the exact sentiment that we empathize in deference to our past. Thus the past, or failure to cope or deal with the past is able to betray the fluid nature of what the natural flow of life is to be. So our encounters along the way that come into the alignment and correspondence with other like-lived human becomes an uncomfortably awkward experience like the walking contest. We should just speak or “touch” and discover that we may not just be going the same way but coming from a similar place (past). But it’s often that we don’t. We internalize, introvert, and interpret that we, or the other “runner” is not worthy to share. YOUR inability to function or thrive beyond events and “stuff” that should have served as fertile experience instead of exaggerated, dragged out, or mundane exploits in YOUR is what stops YOU from living YOUR ideal life.
The past, especially a past that is unforgiven or unconnected or unresolved, creates a feeling and energy much akin to awkwardness. Like the definition of awkward, “causing difficulty; hard to do or deal with”, the past is much of an albatross and an inconvenience to the productivity of maintaining a balanced and stable living environment. And just as the above article states reference to the human nature of feeling this particular way in being met with other individuals in the spontaneous moments of interaction, we are so apt to distance and drive ourselves away from other people who too have “pasts” that are as turbulent or terrible as we imagine our own to be. Yet instead of finding it opportune to introduce ourselves or at least acknowledge one another, we switch speeds or trails or jobs or friends or states, all to escape the awkwardness, to escape the past.
YOU need to touch. YOU need to be touched. YOU need to feel and be felt.
This step is about testing YOUR challenge. This step is about breaking through the glass encasement that is the box that YOUR past has imprisoned YOU and YOUR identity in. This step is about allowing YOURSELF the benefit of a chance. Whether it be a second or a seventeenth! This step is about getting back the feeling that YOU have numbed YOURSELF to. Beginning to “touch” and developing a system of touch is the catalyst to allowing YOURSELF to being able to release the vice grip that the feeling or idea of isolation may have on YOU. This step is about “sharing lanes” with other runners in the “walking contest” of life. Stop and introduce YOURSELF, listen, learn something. The truth is that we pass our answers and solutions all the time, unknowingly, in the swiftness and naivety of dealing with our own selves. We are so busy with our own hurts and hells that we are unconscious to the healing powers of connection that a “touch”, the right “touch”, provides.
There really is viable and steady proof that touch and agreement is a particularly stable component of communication that fosters growth and relationship for people. It is pertinent that we connect with others, especially as we aspire to “pass” the past. The awkward isolation that delays, distracts, and sometimes destroys our lives in the aftermath of tragedy and trial is most often an automatic reaction to our own imagination of how to deal, or not deal, with things. And we get scarred, we get scared, and we get scarce. And then we walk, in contest with others who have the exact same feelings, or issues, but never engage. We instead just keep on walking. Not so much as eye contact. Until that becomes our habit. Then it becomes our way. Then it becomes our technique.
And then we’re in a contest to ourselves, racing alone, with no connection to the finish line, untouchable, unreachable, in a losing fight to the finish.
©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers