The Art of Separation
It’s easy to feel separate. Especially this time of year. Maybe you feel alone. Or just not into going into the wild family gatherings.
The Art of Separation is something that everyone practices. We do it often especially as conscious beings. But is what we want to feel alone and separate? The Art of Separation takes us through a quick journey in being born to being an adult to become aware of how quickly we develop a long list of places in which we create thinking we are better, different or even elevated.
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Thank you for joining us for this podcast episode 032 of
True Connections with Weston Jolly
The Art of Separation
This time of year there are a lot of people who really struggle with thoughts of separation. This is because of lack, the season, families that aren’t playing nicely and or a whole host of other reasons. Just so you know you’re not alone. Pun intended.
We learn to separate ourselves at an early age. Most of the time, we are helped a lot along the way by our parents. Our earliest moments of separation must come as a shock as we are violently pulled or expelled from the womb. It’s as if mom doesn’t want us any more and we are kicked out of our room – permanently.
I can not say if this is the reason that all babies cry but I can say all babies feel alone. Better stated, all babies feel separated. This is natural and intended. Then, this practice of separation is repeated again and again.
We are all born with an ego that creates our identity. The ego is also responsible for all aspects of separation. This is normal for the conscious animals that we are but we are not limited to always feeling separate. We do have other choices.
Let’s have some fun with the art of separation instead of getting all tied up in our heads. I’m going to take this from a baby’s perspective and then let this viewpoint grow into an adult. And for the record, I put the quotes around the word “adult.” The purpose in what I’m sharing is to see how this separation grows until it spins out of control…
The six degrees of separation theory put forth originally in 1929 states that we are are six or fewer steps away from each other. In essence, we are within six steps of connection to anybody. I kind think this is a fun thought but has anybody given consideration to how we got lost in only six steps? Let me make this clear, if we’re able to connect in six steps who was it that got us walking backward and disconnected in only six steps?
Well, you might want to blame my mom. For purposes of beginning to dissect the Art of Separation we might as well start there. She’s the one that first held me and told me my name. I’m sure Dad was in the room but I couldn’t see that far.
Mom and I were closer but she kicked me out of my personal apartment that I was all too keen to have stayed in for the rest of my life. After all, let’s review the benefits; as a baby in my mother’s womb there was free food, I could eat whenever I want, and going to the bathroom … well let’s just say …that the plumbing was better.
I didn’t need a toilet or toilet paper. I could just go! I know all of you have forgotten through this art of separation but just imagine to just being able to go… whenever you want. Well, those days are gone.
So is sleeping whenever I wanted. Being inside mom was like riding in my own private lush apartment. Occasionally, Dad would come by and put his hand on the outside walls but he never bothered me. Mom was careful to keep everything outside of my space.
Mom constantly worried and I remember this because my food supply was adversely affected. This happened even more directly when she ate things that didn’t agree with her. In turn these things didn’t agree with me. We were one.
I didn’t mind. It wasn’t like she was eating for me. Oh, well, maybe it was. Anyway, I liked having everything prepared for me.
There was no shopping. No refrigerator. No looking up recipes to cook and most importantly no dirty dishes.
I’m back to the plumbing —I was perfectly set up. I had my own special tube, like a perpetual straw into a milkshake, whenever I wanted to eat, I could, anytime. I was growing exactly as I should be and then suddenly things started getting cramped.
I didn’t mind but mom started slowing down because I don’t remember traveling as often. Things were tight but I was getting used to it. I don’t know why I couldn’t stay there but suddenly there came this one day when I was forced to leave.
All the walls started contracting and the space around me became even tighter but she wasn’t inviting me to stay she was pushing me out! This was totally uncool. What would happen to my private apartment? Where would all the free meals and the bathroom service go?
GONE. The instant I came out I was forced into this body. They tell me it started while I was within mom but it didn’t feel that way. It felt like we, mom and I, were working together. Then, if you asked me, it was like she didn’t want me any longer and she pushed me out!
Once upon a time I had the whole place to myself. Then someone came up with the idea that I needed company. I don’t need company! The family had a dog called Tinker. A black Cocker Spaniel.
Our dog had a bell on it’s collar. Thus, the name Tinker. Tinker BelI. I thought the bell on the dog’s collar was a great idea but Dad and Mom wouldn’t allow me to get one. They said, I needed to have a brother instead. How is it when you really want a bell around your neck that rings whenever you walk gets translated into having a brother?
I don’t know and I don’t like it. Once, I had my own private apartment and then got kicked out and now he’s in there enjoying all the comforts of home I used to have. Now I have to wear diapers, the cloth kind, and well —they smell.
Even the Tinker takes a whiff of me and agrees that I smell. I know I do but I can’t do a thing about it until someone takes heed to the concept, “He needs to be changed.” Dad doesn’t seem to ever listen, or maybe he does, and he doesn’t want to pick me up because I reek.
I want to apologize to Dad as I wouldn’t want to pick up something that smells this bad either. But mom doesn’t seem to mind. It just me and dad. Then one day I learn how to take care of all this smelly stuff myself.
Suddenly, I have a brother. He’s pushed out too. I feel good about it. I feel vengeful.
Further, I gloat in the idea that all the troubles he’s having are the ones that I’ve already mastered. Well, by two whole years anyway. And that’s plenty of time to make me the boss. Besides that I came first.
This is the crown of crowns that I get to forever be the first born. It fits very well into my feeling separate. I’m not the same as my brother and I want to make sure he knows that. Because I’m bigger I’m going to take this advantage fact and run with it as long as I can.
It would be years later that my brother would have enough of all my bullying, which is directly associated with the art of separation, and he would actually beat me up. It would be our last official fight. I still remember it as I hit the tile floor and saw sparks. Besides that, somehow he grew up to be an inch or so taller than me.
Go figure that? Well, by the time I’m eighteen I’m a guru of separation. Mom and Dad have spent a lot of time teaching me the people I’m supposed to like and the people I am supposed to hate too. Dad hates Jane Fonda because of her political activism around US, the United States, about her views about US not being in the Vietnam War. Dad thought everyone should fight who was called on to go.
Weirdly, even though I was taught to hate Jane Fonda, I don’t. I didn’t understand the idea of having to be drafted, and fortunately for me, all of that ended before I was old enough to actually have to make a draft-dodging decision. Dad insisted, by his commandments in the Art of Separation, that anyone not doing or saying what he said was a Communist.
I didn’t know what that really meant until I studied government. These different ways of living sounded all wrong — well, that’s what dad taught me anyway. I am with him my way, his way, our way is best. Besides that, I like being free.
The part that we need to go to war to protect our freedom still confuses me. Either we’re free or we’re not. I guess there are a lot of people out there that don’t feel free.
And there seems to be an incessant need for governments to be created to encapsulate the thoughts of the people in one area versus another. Another huge attribute of the Art of Separation. For me, I’m a simple man but I fear I’m a little too much like the Tom Hank’s character in the movie Forest Gump. I’m simple but I’m not stupid.
I didn’t realize I wasn’t dumb until I was about 45. Mom kept this secret, that I was smart, from me pretty good. She insisted that everything I was or did came from her. I wasn’t really allowed to be intelligent. Again, I didn’t realize this about me, in the same way I didn’t consider myself a good looking man. And I’m again remembering the earliest of times when I thought mom and I were one? Huh…
Oh well, there are worse things to learn in the Art of Separation but I wasn’t too happy that I’d been hoodwinked all of that time about my intelligence and looks. I guess mom needed to feel superior. Is superior and separate the same word? Technically, it isn’t but it is if you really think about it.
This is the point isn’t? That we are thinking that we are better or different than anybody else. Suddenly, these six degrees of separation which supposedly reconnects us are forever lost in 101 ways that we choose to think, be and and act separate.
Let me be definitive about listing a whole bunch of things and places where we can create separation. I remember when Southwest Airlines rewarded standby passengers with the same boarding rights as paying passengers, all you had to do was show up early. That will prove to the person you always said, “What’s the hurry, we’re all going to the same place anyway.”
Clearly, not only did I feel better than that other person but I didn’t have to pay for my airfare due to a very loving friend that often spotted me free standby tickets to travel. Those days are gone and I’d hope so would be the Art of Separation that states that anyone is better than anyone else.
You know there’s a lot to the Art of Separation in Church too? Or at least there was once upon a time for me. I attended a least five or six different kinds of religions and you know what? All them them thought they were best or the one. I believed this for a while and it took me on a wonderful ride to fear God and those that administered His word. All men, I might add.
In all my years of going to Church, I don’t remember one time going to a congregation, mine or even another’s, where I saw a woman priest. They talked about them being priests but everyone knows that women can’t be A priest any more than they should work in the workplace. This part was confusing because Dad was pretty strong about this viewpoint of separation but I remember mom doing a lot of working outside the home in business.
Mom was actually a good entrepreneur and executive; so, I am a little unsure how mom got to work or do things when Dad and other men like him, set so many rules that mom and other woman were separate. It didn’t make sense but oh well, I just went along with it. It didn’t feel right but I did it any way.
Actually, I forgot a pretty big part of the Art of Separation when growing up. It’s kind of embarrassing so I can understand how I’d like to forget about it but since we are discussing the Art of Separation when might as well talk about all this primary stuff too. I was four when Dad taught me how to fight.
I’m sure there must be a reason but I distinctly remember being told how to clench my fists and hold my hands up in the way you see boxers do. I’m sure I hit somebody once because Dad was real proud of me. This encouragement must have set a tone because I remember being a bully.
I went to a rare school when I was in Kindergarten through fourth grade. I was tall for my age and I found that my being bigger, was like my being an older brother, it worked well for bullying. It wasn’t just dad and mom who taught me all these attributes of being separate there were plenty of teachers and even kids at school that did so too.
I remember well, Greg Luther and also Vicki Greer. Both of these kids had disabilities. They’d came to school just like the other kids. Even though I had a mentally retarded Uncle, he had to go to a special school and lived in a special place. Even mom thought Greg and Vicki shouldn’t attend my elementary school even though her own brother was special – in a disabled way.
Since I wasn’t aloud to pick fights with girls, not physically any way, I would pick a fight with Greg. He was small and had a thumb and his first finger on both hands that looked like robotic claws. I’d tease him about that. He would swing at me in the same way I learned to create a fist and try and hit somebody.
It was funny watching him try to make a fist with only a thumb and one finger. I’d tease him and he’d run after me trying to hit me. I thought is was funny and I don’t remember being stopped or punished by mom, dad or any of the teachers. Maybe I was but I don’t remember.
I do remember being transferred to a new school when I was in fourth grade and almost breaking the nose of a kid that properly stole the soccer ball from me in PE. I hit him because I wasn’t as good as he was. I didn’t want him doing it again. I wanted him to be afraid because he tried to be more talented than I was.
Then the weirdest thing happened, I was called into the principal and I was told that I was a bully. A bully. What a weird thing to say. It made me question the meaning of the word and my actions. I asked dad and mom and they said I wasn’t a bully.
Retrospectively, I learned that I was a bully. This was the start of me seeing things in a different way. In tearing things apart from how I was taught by everyone around me I began to see how all my differences were used to position myself as better. I was always better. We were always better. Whether that was “we” the family, or “we” the nation, High School, College, whatever. Whenever I became a “we” it was because we untied to support and fight for our position of separation.
I guess there are other ways of uniting but I didn’t learn those. Well, I did a little bit, but it was mostly to look good for someone.You know we started this whole thing talking about the Art of Separation this time of year and how a lot of people create loneliness. It kind of makes sense now but you know I don’t want to practice being separate any more. Instead, I want to practice connecting.
But if we’re really going to do this thing, we need to become aware of all the ways in which we perfect the Art of Separation. With this in mind, can you take this dialog and list the things that you’ve noticed where the Art of Separation is being practiced? If it helps, come read the entire transcript on my website and print it out.
You can even take a yellow highlighter or a red pen to highlight all the places you can observe the Art of Separation. I think you’ll be surprised. Some places you’ll get it and yet you may miss many other places because the Art of Separation is taught to be normal. In the same way, that I was once taught to be a bully. It didn’t feel funny until I became aware.
Once you’re done, write me your comments on Facebook or even on this specific post on my website. How many places can you see the Art of Separation being practiced? You’ll find this opportunity truly valuable. I do know it’s uncomfortable. Imagine having to speak about it as I just did.
I can’t say I’m happy about how I’ve practiced the Art of Separation in my past but I do know that this division is the very opposite of what I intend to create in going forward. I expect you’re like me and you want to make a change even if you weren’t a bully. And I really hope that you weren’t. But there is plenty to discover in your awareness of the Art of Separation.
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