Facing Up To Myself

I’ve been on a jihad — inner spiritual struggle — the past few weeks to reconnect on Facebook with friends from my past who are no longer in my life.

Last night, I leafed through my 1983 and 1984 Placer High School yearbooks and friended about a dozen people.

Many times as I think about reconnecting with old friends, I wince. I wince at stupid things I did. Reconnecting with the past forces me to reconnect with who I was and am. It’s not always pretty.

I am single. I live alone. I don’t have to confront myself as much as when I am in a relationship.

Sometimes I’ll be shopping at the supermarket and I’ll see someone I used to be friends with and I’ll wince. At that Shabbat dinner, I thought I was being so very funny, but instead I was only needlessly provoking and losing friends.

In therapy, I’ll talk about stupid things I’ve done and my therapist will say things like, “Luke, you were only 12 years old.”

She suggests that when I encounter people I was a beast to, I can apologize and try to forge new beginnings.

* I need to find and apologize to that chubby girl from fifth grade at Avondale Primary School. She liked me and this made me feel nervous. I responded to her affection by placing tacks on her chair and even kicking her.

I’ll never forget something she said to me that year,– “One day you’ll find out what it is like to love somebody who kicks you.”

* Going back to Loma Linda University this weekend has enormous emotional meaning to me. It’s like stepping back into my past.

Not that I spent much time there as a kid. I think I was there only once and that was 18 months ago.

But Loma Linda University is a Seventh-Day Adventist institution. That was the religion in which I was raised. That was the host for many of my childhood sins. That was the church I was determined to flee.

Upon adulthood, I fled the church but found out that my essentially insecure self had not changed.

When I was a kid, I had to listen to thousands of hours of sermons. I hated most of them. I always thought that I could do better. That I would be sharper and smarter and funnier. That I wouldn’t waste time talking about righteousness by faith.

We’ll see how I do Saturday afternoon.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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