[identity profile] bearinmind.livejournal.com
(I meant for this to be longer, but ran out of time.  If I feel the need, I'll get more in depth later on...)
A few weeks ago, a friend asked if my nurturing nature and my tendancy to be very emotional when angered come from my ursine aspect.  I didn't really have a ready answer, and told him that I'd have to give it some thought.
I'm still thinking about it.  The truth of the matter is that it's becoming more and more difficult for me to draw a division between what's "me" and what's "Bear" these days.  When I first came to grips with my identity as an animal person some two years ago, I experienced shifts all the time.  I could easily tell the two of us apart and I would unexpectedly bounce back and forth.  This was after some thirty-odd years of repressing the "Ursine Within," mind you.  I look back now and suspect that the shifting was - at least for me - a result of my mind trying to resolve the apparent conflicts between what it supposedly means to be "human" and what it supposedly means to be "bear."  The two would seem to be mutually exclusive, at first.  You can't be one AND the other, right?  If I'm not a bear, then Bear must be a separate thing, right?  But then, it's a part of me, right?  Shifting became an inner way of resolving the apparent paradox.
Well, over the last couple of years, I've come to realize that the two aren't as mutually exc.lusive as I first thought.  I can be both without conflict or turmoil.  "Merf the Bear" is every bit wholly me as "Merf the Writer" or "Merf the Kitchen Manager" or "Merf the Philosopher" or "Merf the D&D freak."  I certainly don't shift between "food geek" and "Dungeon Master."  Why should Bear be any different? 
So I haven't shifted in quite a while, now.  But it can still be said that certain tendancies in my behavior do come from certain aspects of me.  The question now is how to tell what comes from where?  Upon reflection, I realized that when I've felt the most nurturing - like when taking care of a sick friend or listening to another whine about how life sucks - I"ve felt the presence of Bear in my head.  When I think of myself caring for my (now ex-) wife, I can see Bear curling myself around her.  Bear seems to mean "caring" in my head.  On the other hand, the same holds true when I feel the most angered.  The image of Bear whips around from calm and nurturing to angry and terrifying.  (Not that I'd ever purposefully harm another living soul...)  People have often told me that when I'm truly angry (and that takes a lot, folks) I'm the most frightening things they've ever seen.  That probably has more to do with the fact that they're so used to me being calm and fun and just aren't used to seeing me angry, but the fact remains that Bear does seem to be a strong influence on my angry image. 
So while I no longer experience shifts, and it's getting harder and harder to tell the difference between "me" and "bear" I'd say that indeed, there is still a way to say how Bear influences me.  It doesn't take a lot of thought.  I still wouldn't call myself a "contherian" or a "suntherian" or what have you, though...  I'm still just me, and that's all the label I need, thankyouverymuch.
[identity profile] bearinmind.livejournal.com
It seems a little thin in some places as I skim over a few things, so it needs some tweeking, but I wanted to get it up and out there. Comments and critiques are welcome, of course. thankyouverymuch!

Growing Up Beastly )


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Animal Quills is a creative community for animal-people to share and discuss their written works. Over a hundred essays are archived here (many of which in locked entries). We focus on the concrete "here and now" experience of being animal inside, and other related musings (see our About page if you want to post).

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