As I explained in a previous post, etymologically, ‘weird’ means ‘fate’ and in the way I am speaking of it is also synonymous with the process of individuation; becoming one’s true and whole (unique) self. In this context, we might think of fate as a divine blueprint with which, to a certain extent, we can choose whether or not to align ourselves.
So far it may have come across that if we live our weird, we will have to face being alone, because nobody will ‘get’ us. It is true, I think, that we must be prepared to go our own way even if that means being alone, but in fact, the opposite is more often what happens. By living in alignment with ourselves, we are more likely to connect with kindred spirits and also feel bonded, not only to the human race, but with all beings and life on the planet.
When we create ourselves and our lives according to some image, a facade, we attract others who respond to that facade. The relationship is more like image to image rather than soul to soul and eventually the facades crack. As we make the shift from observing and evaluating ourselves from the outside (and attempting to create ourselves as art) to experiencing ourselves from the inside and aligning with what is authentic for us, it is true that we may indeed lose some peoples’ favour. They may even try to change us back and in some cases the pressure can be strong. If there was a strong bond to begin with, the relationship may weather the shifts, but often individuals who begin to live more authentically do find themselves feeling alone for a period of time before they begin to connect with soul mates. Here I am using the term ‘mate’ as the English and Australians employ it – meaning friend or partner.
I do believe in soul mates – both as friends and as partners - as I experience both. In my life, I have also met potential soul mates but wasn’t ready for them. This was the case with my husband, Ian, who I met in 1977. I had been living in a smallish working class town and at twenty-one was feeling like I was dying. Some of my friends were marrying and having children and others were working and drinking in bars and at discos on the weekend. I knew I wasn’t ready for the former and I had become bored of the latter. I had an image in my mind how I wanted to look and how I wanted my life to be (I call it my ‘magazine image’) but I didn’t know how to get there. Fate stepped in.
I knew a couple of people who had been in a three month program at a growth centre on Cortes Island called Cold Mountain Institute. I was aware they did body work and something called Gestalt there and everyone hugged a lot, and those kinds of things weren’t in my ‘magazine image’ but I liked the people I knew who had gone through the program and they seemed to be more confident after. There was some quality they had that I wanted though I couldn’t quite name it. I see it now as authenticity. I needed to make a change and the only option I could see was Cold Mountain so I signed up.
It wasn’t long before Ian and I connected there and found ourselves in a relationship. I was attracted to his mysticism, his knowledge of nature, and how he could identify the stars and constellations. He was more than a year younger than me but had travelled through Great Britain on his bike and gone to a place called Findhorn where the people connected with nature spirits and grew enormous vegetables. He meditated and listened to Paul Horn and had read books like Autobiography of a Yogi, Be Here Now by Ram Dass, and Siddhartha and others by Herman Hesse. He wasn’t much into drinking or discos. He liked doing art and pottery and he had taken Art History courses. He worked as a builder and was competent and knowledgeable about all kinds of things to do with construction. Plus he was just a really kind and fun person and I loved and liked him. When the program was over we moved to Vancouver, where he was from. But neither he nor I nor my life in general was fitting my ‘magazine image’. We parted (Ian had his own reasons for returning to Cortes where he would live on and off for many years) and I remained in the city.
I didn’t know it but I had already begun my journey of weird. I was soon in a relationship with a jazz musician and spent a lot of time in jazz clubs over the next few years. I went to art school and began working in front of house theatre where I would continue working part time for two decades. I studied the works of Carl Jung. I got degrees in Psychology and Counselling Psychology and became a therapist while alongside, I studied the tarot, Qabala and astrology, as well as mythology and world spiritual traditions. I also became a writer.
My brother had stayed friends with Ian since the seventies and Ian and I ran into each other occasionally at parties,etc., over the years. By the time he and I reunited thirty-six years after we had parted, I had long abandoned my ‘magazine image’ and trying to sculpt a life from the outside. Now I was embodying my weird and we came together as soul mates.
At our wedding reception, my brother (who was Ian’s best man) talked about how my nephew had once commented on how we are well suited because we are both the same sort of weird.