The Inner Map

If the map doesn’t agree with the ground, the map is wrong.

~Dr. Gordon Livingston~

 We are our own mapmakers in life.  However, we’re provided with so much faulty information during those early years during which we make our life-map, that once we reach a certain age in our lives, the maps are no longer accurate.  I would say that even by the age of twenty, we should have a new map by which we live our lives.

Why do some of us continue to use those early maps to guide us through adulthood?

It took me an inordinantly long time to begin realizing that the map I drew as a child and was still creating into young adulthood was based on information that was false and horridly faulty.  No wonder I felt so lost for so many years.

I learned to trust adults who lied pathologically, and therefore eventually formed friendships with people who lied.  Even in intimate relationships, I continually found myself in a deep woods without a compass.  Most of those relationships ended badly, as did my relationship with those who thought lying to a gullible young man was a display of some kind of diseased integrity.

Nearly a decade ago, I withdrew from forming new relationships other than the ones that were forced upon me by society; co-workers, bosses, public servants, and those I came into contact with by default or necessity.  But that no longer serves me.

Over the past year or more, I’ve detected the echoes of a shift taking place in my universe, kind of a remapping of my inner terrain and geography.  Like the ripples from an inner Big Bang, like the fading notes of a favorite song.  Like the dying sound of crying from another room.  It’s like wandering into an undiscovered country; frightening and wonderful at the same time.

With the drawing to a close of this year, may it also end an internal era in which I distrusted many and loved few.  I have learned whom I can trust and how to tell the difference.  I no longer tolerate false friends or fake sincerity.  I do not do things to keep up with the proverbial Joneses.  I have learned to ask questions of those who make demands that, on the surface, make no sense.  I understand the workings of my personal solar system, which planets are habitable and which are cold and formidable.

All of this has not come about on its own accord, but through eons of heavy lifting and sweaty labor, for when one is refurbishing one’s soul, what is time but a theory made up to control our perceptions of it?

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