Capitalism sells and rewards the ego. Those who are not ego-driven cannot be directly reflected by capital, since capitalism reflects the project of a value, not the value itself. Capitalism is a mirror of dreams, plans, goals and thus of the external images of those who are capable of realizing those dreams. These people are not themselves people but what we think of them from the panopticon of society. Their external image is valued by the power they represent or do not represent. The image is the result of the evidence of their race, gender, age, economic capacity, social network, visual impact. As a society we create standards of beauty that do not produce fear in us, people who are self-confident or have a lot of “value”, i.e. social recognition or money. We don’t want to be afraid and so we look for people with their own autarky. Autarky becomes the focus of that person’s inner work. They know that they depend on that auterkey to be valued and thus obtain resources with which to survive. 3D reality is about this exchange. For example, one type of autarky is the social network that the person generates and maintains around him, becoming important axes of that micro-society. These are usually actors, salespeople, or the most charismatic people within a family group. Another autarky is physical beauty and awareness of the impact of a person’s presence. No one has a single autarky; rather, one’s autarky is a unique and unrepeatable web of many types of autarky. Our self-worth is directly linked to our personal autarky. We seek to validate the construction of our autarky by others who share a certain part of it. Identification with the social group, political-economic-social ideology, Faith, sexual taste, interests, etc. And so, we need each other to value and build ourselves.
In a superfluous and erroneous way I could say that whoever is built in love will have or will seek to have a loving and kind relationship with people, and whoever prefers pain will seek to establish painful bonds. Modern psychology is summed up in this – to my taste very erroneous – judgment. This can be quickly refuted by alluding to the fact that “love” and “pain” are constructs. One person calls something bad “good” and the other calls something good “bad” What is bad and what is good? It is more possible that the person who believes he gives love to himself might not know that he is locking himself in a structural prison and that the person who inflicts pain on himself might not know that he is partly keeping himself free of something by doing so. In the good there is always something bad and in the bad something good. Everything necessarily has the two opposites in order to exist and to be possible. In short, we all live in a cage and we are all free.
We “Latin women” (sorry because to say that is a very big generalization) are taught from a very young age that valuation lies in the acceptance and desire of men. Whether it is our father, uncle, brother, friend, friend’s brother, or the most beautiful guy in the group of friends, we Latin women look at ourselves beautiful through their eyes and flirt at every turn of the line with it.
As a woman I expect a strong external influence of approval. Then, the primal feminine sensibility with which we come into the world is guarded from staying a little softer, kinder, helpful, sweet, good… than the crossings to which (male) boys are almost instantly invited. Girls are princesses, boys are Shreks.
So, far from having wanted to start with hetero-normative-capitalism, I find myself as a woman and as a person with a trauma related to the perception of my own value, which not only relates to my personal trauma, an education and a low stage of the concept of the “value” of humanity. I liked to hear in the presentation of his book “The wisdom of trauma” by the writer Gabo Maté that he himself woke up in his life at the end of his 30’s, entering his 40’s, and that only at that moment he found himself with 8 types of traumas that shaped him. Looking at it this way helped me to see that thinking of my problems as “a single foundational trauma” gave it much more presence than distinguishing within the autarky of my life small black balls, or red spots, or however one wants to visualize it, that are seen in the distance present in some places as part of the conformation. By looking at it as several traumas instead of a whole traumatized life I can perceive more air in between each one and thus diminish the mace of the trauma. The perception of the problem ceases to be so large, hindering, and lapidary. The problem is minimized to distinct parts that originally occurred at different times and different ages, and that can be dealt with at different times as well. Each encounter with a trauma is a revolution, we cannot treat them all together, but we can gain tools to treat them. It is no longer an emergency cancer.
Today I was thinking about what generated my psycho-social trauma that I seek to work on today in myself and then I asked myself what other primordial element there was at that moment that made that kind of fear fix itself so strongly in my being. The fortifier of that trauma had been, in my case, the Latina woman format. The environment made me absorb minute by minute how society molded me for itself. The same would happen to a girl in China, or closer, to a German girl. Every culture shapes its people to sustain itself. One of the most fascinating things about traveling is getting to know different cultures and thus recognizing that there are other constructions about issues that we take for obvious, such as the relationship of attraction between two people, or a woman and a man. By being in a different territory one can begin to distinguish the different cultural forms that imagine the encounter prior to the mating of the human animal and discover that the way in which one thought of it is another construction – finely woven over many generations.
We are social beings and every bit of our individual autarky is being validated by the society we build around us. We evaluate each stretch of autarky and distinguish its “states” into strong areas, weak areas, incredible and lush areas, areas with corpses, screams and fountains of grieving blood. That which we feel at fault, the hurt or broken areas, are structures of autarky imposed by society that did not really fit us so well. In reality, what hurts is only telling us that it is not for us. If we have compassion for ourselves and understand that we are never really attacking ourselves then we will see that those areas may not fit us and we can remove them at will. We can remove a block of autarky like someone who wants to remove a rectangular lego piece from a whole wall of Legos. To remove that tile we will have to break the wall into two or more pieces and then put the pieces back together. This can be done without leaving any trace, but the collective unconscious of just supposing this makes us feel a terrible fear in our bones. Just supposing it makes us feel the pain radiating around the piece of lego we want to remove, because it is true, pain is felt where it radiates and rarely at the focus. Since we fear the tearing of ourselves we decide that that is just fine sitting there for a while longer, without anyone questioning it. And so we continue to hold on to different parts of our autarky, whether functional or dysfunctional to our true essence.
The fear of breaking the framework around a trauma is a valid survival reaction related to the social bonds that we will break. The process affects the psyche putting the mental stability of the person in a weak state. Everything is socially validated. It is a delicate process to carry out that could leave a person socially disconnected from that which previously validated him/her, either because when he/she encounters other options it takes new structural forms or because the social environment does not offer a link with his/her new autarky proposal, thus leaving him/her disconnected forever from the environment. Nobody wants to face this. It is usually very scary to change one’s persona and this fear is a healthy reflection of mental health.
I look in front of me at the form that identifies me (gender, culture, ideology, class, etc). I see it as a suit floating open in front of me. Then I look in front of it at another suit that, following its silhouette, also stands at some distance. It is the form of external social power. Two shells before the formless essence. Josie the one on the outside (the one who knows how to transform trauma/anger/chaos/chaos/pain into her best ally) and Josefina the internal one and the first form that the essence will take (the artist who tells her own story). Then there is the one I am, perhaps this intelligence through which I see the world. There was a very recent change in these outer forms and they have just come out of their restoration after the recent reset of my own configuration system, my own software.
I had to travel to the heart of my autarky configuration to change one element to affect my entire perception of reality. I can no longer see life in the same way. It all started with a letter to myself that I wrote one day under the command of an inner voice. I read this letter only a couple more times over the next few months to always be amazed at how accurate the message had been… which I still don’t understand. Still going through the process of change I can see how each change alters the whole and how each layer of my sustenance reconfigures itself. My own forms of containment await me renewed, they carry new designs, new forms, much of the old still more intact than before, more light, less pain. In the presentation of Gabo Maté’s book, the specialist mentions that trauma is a perception that we choose as a reaction to an event that occurred as the best escape and the best solution to it. In this way, trauma is our positive interpretation of how to solve a need. Recognizing trauma is not to eradicate something, but to understand with compassion how we help ourselves.
I contemplate these two external forms. The more external one is still healing something…there is something about self-worth that I am still analyzing before I put them on again. I believe in myself. The trauma I am working on now is linked to not showing who I am. In my childhood I hided who I was for the sake of others but kept it and nourished it inside. Being this way gave me great strength from the soul, but it also generated a great self-disvalue towards the outside. A friend recently told me something that I really liked: “If birds could talk everytime you go outside and hear them singing you would hear instead: “It’s me! It’s me! It’s me! It’s me!”. I found this beautiful as it expresses that it is part of nature to self-manifest.
In my case I forgot to self-manifest myself. I accepted to forget the outside and submerged myself in my inner world from which I used art as an encrypted code that would allow me to find those who would know how to interpret me, that is to say, to know my truth. To paint is for me to talk to my own kind. But forgetting is also another form of ego attack and where once I let it win a war I lost important tools that today I seek to recover. I continue to contemplate the inner restoration, I see the threads weaving and unweaving where this trauma emerges, I look at the layers of my inner self, I arrange my energy close to them… I contemplate still before the assembling of myself.