Loses Itself In The Sunset

I've been pondering a fictional dialogue from a Madeliene L'Engle novel that still resonates with me (I wonder sometimes about how my most significant conversations seem to be with dead authors or their characters). But the seeds to germinate on are these: when are we most ourselves and when are we happiest. When we are caught up in who we think we are, introspection, self-consciousness and a slew of other things we aren't being natural/organic. When we are able to relax or pour ourselves wholly into a task that consumes our attention then our true natures come out--we aren't thinking about our posture or if something we say is going to sound stupid--we simply are. Likewise, I often feel happiness is best found not by seeking to please ourselves through a series of indulgences (although I do like donuts for breakfast), but once again when we're able to empty ourselves of expectations and perhaps focus on someone else. Like the high after a service project or some other selfless act that doesn't fade, but adds to our overall sense of well being and accomplishment. When you put someone before yourself and act with genorosity, you are helping someone but you're also gaining a positive definition of self--unlike an indulgence that feeds a temporary desire but only gives a fleeting euphoria and leaves one empty (or full of sugar). It's like earning girl scout badges, but not needing a sash to display them on; the real change is how you perceive yourself (conscious or otherwise).
Of course, running in opposition is self-preservation. As necessary as doing good for others and focusing less on ourselves, self-preservation keeps us from wearing ourselves to the bone, becoming locked in unhealthy relationships, and being downright reckless. It's hard sometimes to figure out that balance. When are we neglecting very real needs (instead of just wants) and when are we shutting ourselves off from the world and other people through a desire to feel safe?

Outfit details:
Tulle coat (similar here)
Seychelles booties (old)
*pictures by Jon


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