Monday, February 1, 2010

Facing Myself

I can’t even write a word, without disagreeing with it. I analyze to the nth degree, and then analyze some more. I try to plan my life out, and then all these fears start getting mixed in with the plan, like when I think about what will happen after I get my degree. I don’t know If Ill be able to find a job, but is that really something I should worry myself with now…of course it isn’t. But for some reason my mind wants to know ahead of time that the future will be ok, well mind, get ready for disappointment. If the past is any indicator, things aren’t going to be smooth. They won’t be OK. But….all of it together, the good, the bad, ups and downs. The worry and the assurance…somehow all of them create a beautiful dynamic picture. Precisely because the bad times are so bad, the good times can be appreciated for what they are. All of our perception is based on oppositions. The opposition of light to darkness, heat to cold, fast and slow, hard and soft, good and bad. The journey is about learning to balance the opposites I think. “Worry” in a sense can be useful, if focused, for instance on anticipating the future for some goal, in which case it would more accurately be described as forecasting or predicting. But it must be balanced with a healthy sense of peace, a quiet inner feeling that though the future is uncertain, we will make it through. We all have this feeling to some degree otherwise we could not sleep at night, or do anything functionally. We must ruminate on this idea though, that come whatever may, it nevertheless is going to come. We may as well make the most of it, and enjoy the ride. Fall not too far to either side, one extreme being worry, the other complacency. Worry is a misuse of imagination; complacency is a misuse of rationalization. We rationalize that things aren’t likely to change so nothing really matters, we believe the future is determined. This leads to quietism, to defeat, to death. I must take responsibility for myself, as if my choices did matter, and to the utmost degree. They are creating the future I will live. I need to stop treating them as if I shall always have another day to reform. As if for now I shall slack off, be lazy, but tomorrow, I will whip myself into shape. I don’t know how I feel about the bible lately, but I recall a story about this dude who had a vineyard, and he liked to nap instead of work. Eventually, of course his vineyard was overgrown, and nothing was being produced. The moral being that a little folding of the hands, a little slumber, can eventually lead to ruin. Not to say of course we can’t rest, but only so much as is needed for us to get back at it. We are goal-striving organisms, and without goals we have no direction, nothing guiding us. We follow the winds, obey its beckoning, and are tossed about by a happenstance dance orchestrated by random choices we make on a whim.

When will I learn that I cannot run from myself. Wherever I go, there I am. For far too long I’ve been in a state of suspended animation, drifting along aimlessly with no real goals, except to make it through the day so I could go home and dull the pain. The pain of not living life fully, of being afraid to be hurt again by having hopes and seeing them dashed. For a long time I mistook the numbness for peace. It’s a deceptive alternative to peace, and lately it has been my only semblance of security. I must not fall into the despair and self loathing that I find so tempting when realizing the time I’ve wasted. The past is done, it cannot be undone, but the next choice can be different. The past doesn’t have to predict the future, at least not where my will is concerned.

I am so quick to accept defeat, to give up without a fight. I’ve failed so many times after telling myself this time would be different. This time I would be determined. The moment you think you cannot be vulnerable, you are indeed most defenseless. But we must, after failure, stand back up, dust ourselves off, and continue to fight the parasite within..the one who would have us destroy ourselves, waste the potential we‘ve been given….where does this instinct for self-destruction come from? It seems reasonably tied to the fact that we don’t accept ourselves. We are always trying to make ourselves better, always dwelling on our faults, telling ourselves we are no good, that we don’t have what it takes. That one day we will have fixed ourselves to the degree where we can accept ourselves. Where does this ubiquitous lack of self-esteem stem from? Maybe that isn’t what matters, as much as how we come to terms with ourselves. I guess it is a process, I feel as if my journey has at least begun. I have made progress, and I have given up ground. But that is no reason to retreat, instead its reason to fight harder, or let all the rest be in vain. If I can accept myself now, if I can begin to alter my self image, I can reach great heights. I know it. I just believe it. I don’t want to be famous or rich, I just want to use the potential I have been given. I’m tired of wasting time waiting in the wings. Waiting for some divine inspiration to hit me on the head and give me the big picture. As that isn’t likely to happen I have to act on what I have now, and continue to learn along the way. Who I am now isn’t who Ill be when I get out of school, so the fact that I’m worrying about that shit now, is like me worrying incessantly about someone else’s future career.

“The torpedo accomplishes its goal by going forward, making errors, and continually correcting them.” Psycho-Cybernetics

“...your creative mechanism operates below the level of consciousness, and you cannot “know” what is going on beneath the surface. Moreover, its nature is to operate spontaneously according to present need. Therefore, you have no guarantees in advance. It comes into operation as you act and as you place a demand on it by your actions. You must not wait to act until you have proof--you must act as if it is there, and it will come through. “Do the thing and you will have the power,” said Emerson.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. You covered so much of what we go through, and grow through, on an emotional/spiritual level. I think we all at some point question ourselves, our purpose here, worry about whether or not we are fulfilling that purpose, stress about the future, and doubt everything.

    "Worry is a misuse of imagination; complacency is a misuse of rationalization."

    I agree on both accounts. I also think that the beauty of growing “older,” as they say is that we grow wiser (hopefully). We come to terms with things, ourselves, our lives. Not in a complacent way—I don’t think. But in a way that allows us to separate ourselves from our inherited judgments and perceptions about what it means to be “successful.”

    Success becomes simply about living fully. About enjoying each moment, as it is. About enjoying ourselves, as we are. I think at some point we stop waiting to start living and we realize this is it. Here and now. Fucked up or not. This is life. It will pass. No way around it except in it. And we either embrace it and enjoy it gloriously, or we go on waiting for it to “begin,” for this or that or the other thing to come and save us, or liberate us, or fulfill us, or complete us. The truth is, as long as we’re waiting, nothing will.

    The older I get the less I know. But I believe this to be true: this moment, here and now, is all there is. Everything else is a hope, a dream, a maybe. Living is creating. I don’t always create text-book masterpieces. But my creations are my own. I learn from them. I love them. No matter what.

    Awesome post RO! I hope you always question, create and write because you do so beautifully. Your words paint a masterpiece.



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