We often associate the word ‘authority’ with someone else having power and control over us and our lives and through that, the word ‘authority’ can in itself be associated with a form of disempowerment and inequality. But if we look at its etymological origins, the word ‘authority’ itself comes from the Latin auctor that means ‘leader’ or ‘master’. The word auctor is related to the word author that literally means ‘creator’ or “one who causes to grow”.
So within this context, what does it mean to be the creators of our own lives? What does it mean to be the ones that cause things to grow in our own lives, rather than us being controlled and directed by others?
Let me share an example from my own life:
I grew up in the city, in a world virtually without cars. As a child I didn’t even know that my mother had a driving license because for as long as I can remember I’ve never ever seen her drive a car. Later when I grew up she revealed to me that she had been terrified of driving and that she would never get behind the wheel ever again.
So growing up, taking public transportation like busses and trains was normal. My mother loves riding bicycles so already as a small child I was placed in a child seat in front of my mom and we would go for long bike rides together. I remember her placing a pillow on top of her bag in the basket hanging from the steering wheel and I would lean over it and fall asleep as the motion of the bicycle soothed me. I learned how to ride a bike when I was 4 and already by the age of 5 I started riding my bike to a kindergarten situated across town. It didn’t matter whether it was snow or rain or stormy weather, my mother would always take me on bike rides. So you could say that riding a bike became second nature to me, something that is almost as natural as breathing.
Throughout my life I have had several dreams of driving a car and in all of these dreams I never have a license or know how to drive a car, but somehow manages to get it started and drive around. So I always had a desire for driving a car, but it simply wasn’t necessary with the life I had or in the city I grew up in where there were excellent public transportation and bike roads.
Then a couple of years ago when I moved to another country, the prospect of getting a driving license suddenly became a real possibility. My partner and I talked about moving out to the country side where a driving license is a must because there is no public transportation available and the nearest city is too far away to reach by bike.
So we decided that I should get a driving license and I began the arduous journey of learning how to drive. I started in the middle of winter right when the first snow had started falling. I would go for lessons with a professional driving instructor as well as drive privately with my partner a couple of times a week.
I remember how daunting it was the first time I got behind the wheel in the parking lot and I had to learn how to coordinate multiple limbs at the same time without bumping into other cars or hit a wall. The first time I drove on an actual street, I was so scared that I couldn’t even imagine that I would ever be able to drive a car in the middle of traffic.
But I kept going and I kept taking lessons and at some point it seemed like nothing was happening and I wasn’t getting any better at driving and there were certain things I kept getting wrong no matter how hard I tried learning how to do them right. I became frustrated with myself and I lashed out on my partner and we had many conflicts about how he should teach me to drive. I’m sure he learned a lot during this process as well.
Eventually I realized that when I became emotional and started reacting, I became a danger to others and myself around me. And that is never more clear than when you are sitting in a car in the middle of a traffic light and suddenly get a temper tantrum or a panic attack and hit the breaks and stops right in the middle of the intersection.
So I learned that I had to remain calm when I drove, that it was literally a matter of life and death.
I remember that I several times during that year thought to myself how odd it was that I was driving, like it wasn’t anything I had ever really expected myself to do, so it was kind of like seeing myself from the outside – and I several times found myself worry whether I would ever be able to pass the test to get the license. It seemed like I kept making mistakes and just couldn’t get it right.
I remembered how my cousin failed her test 3 times and that the instructor eventually told her that she was one of the few people who would never be able to learn how to drive. Lol – so I started worrying whether that was some genetic discrepancy that runs in our family and if I also was one of those people.
But I kept at it and I kept going to lessons and asking my instructor to give me assignments that I would then practice on with my partner. Eventually when I had been practicing for about 9 months, I decided to take the driving test.
Everyone around me kept telling me how normal it was to fail your test 2 or 3 times and I kept fearing that maybe I wasn’t good enough. It was also very expensive every time you had to take the test so I felt quite nervous and pressured when I was about to do it.
See, the test has two parts to it, a theoretical one and an actual driving test. I was mostly nervous about the theoretical test because I knew that I would be taking it in a language that is still quite new to me and that it would have a lot of technical questions about cars and traffic that I wasn’t particularly familiar with.
I studied for the test for about 2 months through reading a book, but I must admit that it was quite half-assed because when I took the test the first time I failed. But I passed the driving test on the first try – which everyone, including myself was surprised about. So now I knew that I had to study harder and push myself to past the theoretical exam and within a few weeks, I had my driving license.
I have now been driving more or less every day by myself for nearly a year. Driving has become something that I thoroughly enjoy and that is slowly but surely becoming second nature to me.
When I look back before I got my driving license, I could almost not imagine that I would one day be driving around in a car by myself, in traffic, on the highway, in snow and in all kinds of situations that requires quite advanced motor and perception skills. But through continuous practice, through listening to and learning from others, I slowly but surely became more and more skilled at driving.
Obviously I am not an expert on cars or even an authority on driving. I am still learning and I still make mistakes. But slowly but surely I am becoming a self-authority as I am becoming the directive principle over the car as I learn how to navigate it.
Often when we are new at things, they seem chaotic and overwhelming and like we are never going to get it or understand it at first.
Another example that I know that a lot of people struggle with is for example when you start learning how to use a computer. It seems so enormous, so complicated, so intricate and confusing that you almost do not dare venture into it.
But if you start at one point, like learning how to open a word-processing document or learn how to operate an Internet browser, slowly but surely you start getting the hang of it – and the ‘world’ that is the computer suddenly don’t seem so big anymore, but instead become rather familiar, an intimate acquaintance if you will.
If you have ever tried moving to a new city or even a new country you know what I am talking about, because at first the area surrounding your neighborhood is completely foreign and you have no sense of what is where and how to get to where you want to go. So how do you learn? You study a map of the streets; you ask people whenever you get lost. And slowly but surely, this neighborhood becomes YOUR neighborhood, the more you become a part of it; it also becomes a part of you. And eventually you will be able to start exploring further out and find hidden spots that you didn’t know existed and it will be a joy to be a little bit lost and having to find your way back.
What before seemed like an infinite mess, becomes more finite, more demarcated. You start understanding the structure and the rules that applies to it. You start mastering it. But this is not something that will happen automatically, just like when I was learning how to drive. You have to practice and perfect your skills and asking others for assistance is always a great way to learn. What I’ve done when it comes to learning computer skills is to allow myself to play around with it, try pushing buttons and opening things and see what happens – without being afraid of breaking it. Something else that I do is that I go online and search for articles and tutorials whenever something happens with my computer that I do not understand. And 9 out of 10 problems I have been able to solve on my own, even if it involved getting into the DOS (back when I was on Windows) or using the terminal window on my Mac – something that to me is quite advanced when it comes to computer skills lol.
So although you may not want to be a computer expert or know all the ins or outs of how a car works, you can still become a self-authorized user of a computer or a car, where you have sufficient skills to be able to navigate the tool or machine that you are working with. It is about taking responsibility for one’s learning process and not being afraid of that first phase where everything seems so infinite and big and chaotic – and understanding that; as I get to know this new world and familiarize myself with its surroundings, its structures and vocabulary, I will be able to navigate it – and even direct it effectively.
Investigate Desteni, investigate the forum where one is invited to write oneself out in self-honesty and where any questions regarding the Desteni Material will be answered by Destonians who are walking their own process. Visit the Destonian Network where videos and blogs are streamed daily. Suggest to also check out the Desteni I Process and Relationship courses as well as the FREE DIP Lite course