Denying the Self

There are two main expressions of the soul: joy and sadness (technically four, with love and fear, but I’ve covered those two plenty). 

The energy pours out through our cries and our laughter. 

These expressions are a necessity of wellbeing.

For so long, I denied myself expressing sadness because my family made me feel as though there was something wrong with me.

I hid behind laughter and was always the person to break the ice or cut through tensions by kidding around.

There was a time in my life where I felt so lost and alone. My heart ached in ways I cannot describe. I even lost that joy in joking around.

I realize now, that sadness is a release from pain, not the cause of it. Denying myself the sadness is what causes suffering.

In order to live life fully, I must embrace my own state of being–and that means feeling how I feel, taking in that sadness so I can also take in that joy.

Sadness isn’t suffering. Denying sadness is suffering and denying joy is suffering.

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Unfolding Into Being

I strip away the name, the gender, the place of birth, the color of skin, and I look for the most basic of truths.

When I take away all of the distractions, all of the stereotypes, expectations, and learned behavior which has been instilled in me through no fault of my own (socialization), there is but one rule to live by and I hold it close to my heart: 

Do not take what isn’t yours to take.

That one little rule covers everything. Don’t take a life. Don’t steal. Don’t rape. Don’t take a person’s trust (lie, take advantage of). 

That means don’t use or abuse other human beings. No slavery. No human trafficking. No abusing the work force. No exploitation. No one can take another person’s worth away.

This one simple truth of being feels right. I feel at home with it. It is a beacon which guides me through the foggiest of days and the darkest of nights.

Coping with Disability

First, I want to say, most people with disabilities probably don’t consider themselves disabled. There is a stigma of being disabled: it is seen as a weakness, a burden to family and society, and as though something is inherently wrong with the person. (But that is not how I see it).

Not all disabilities are visible. I don’t sit in a wheel chair. I don’t need a walker or a seeing eye dog.

To the outside world, I’m just like anyone else, except I have trouble holding a job that requires consistency…which is most jobs.

What outsiders don’t see are my sleepless nights. Flashbacks hit me hard at night. My body remembers things that even my mind has mostly blocked out. 

I relive trauma probably three or four nights per week on average. The effects range from full body episodes where I think I’m dying, to insomnia, to migraines, and bouts with IBS. I also get riddled with depressive episodes.

Mostly, I endure and keep fighting the good fight. But there are days I simply cannot function. Either body issues limit me or I am just a bundle of nerves on the verge of crying or running away.

It hadn’t even occurred to me that my condition could be considered disabling. I always just blamed myself and thought myself to be a failure.

Rather than have a defeatist attitude, I have been working odd jobs on my terms. I am able to set my own schedule and work as many hours as I’m able without overdoing it. I’m adapting and working around my own issues.

It’s been a long, bumpy road, but I feel like I’ve switched to an off-road vehicle and I can handle things better. Now that I am understanding my own state of being, I am able to adapt working conditions to me rather than forcing myself to do things that I know don’t work for me.

There is a sense of relief in knowing that I am not a screw up and that I can do very well in the right environment.

I’m sad sometimes that I won’t finish graduate school. I think I could have been an amazing researcher in the field of psychology. I am at peace though, knowing that I can still study and write, even without a PhD.

It’s funny that I get these ideas about how I should do something, but the reality is I can do what I want, even without the protocol and formal education. Quite frankly, I have found that institutionalized education sucks the curiosity and passion right out of me. I’d much rather follow my own curriculum and learn through discussions with professionals and fellow philosophers.

I am letting go of preconceived notions about how I should do things, and just doing things in my way in my time and there is freedom in that.

Being and Doing

For the longest time, I thought that being and doing were opposite sides of the same coin.

It always felt like I was being or doing, but I understood it in an ebb and flow kind of way.

Lately, I’ve been getting more into my own flow, both on my own and while doing things. It’s this clear space, where I listen, I see, and I honor the human condition.

It’s like I see things less as a duality, and more of a spectrum of possibilities. 

There’s a whole other dimension of existence within / without.

I’ll make a follow up post to this when I can find the words to describe what I’m trying to express.

Let Go

Another night, been up late

Feeling sad, can’t think straight

Staring up, gears are turning

Blood is hot, Soul is yearning

Want to break out of the machine

Take my friends from the scene

Of the greatest mass crime in history

Nine to five, and five to nine

Life’s constricted, loss of time

Busy liking and posting about things

Unaware they’ve clipped your wings

Samsung, Apple, Microsoft too

Terror, revolutions, military coup

Happening now, but where are you?

No need to fight yet, just pause for now

Find inner peace, ask yourself how

Brush yourself off and take a stand

Be a decent human and lend a hand

We’re in this together, you and me

Compassion and action heals society

Forgive, let go, and set yourself free

Blade of Truth

This is just a free flow of thoughts in reaction to some folks, also applying this to my own self. We all recognize ourselves in each other at some level, which is where a lot of frustration comes from (also where connection comes from, I suppose frustration is the dark / opposite side of connection).

It’s time to evaluate where you are in life. 

What’s your purpose? 

Your words are empty and your actions have no hint of love.

I’m tired of watching you rummage through the worst of life, like a sewer rat eating waste to survive.

Bad experiences affect us all. They leave imprints; they alter life courses. But they don’t define who you are.

You are who you are, and how you express yourself is YOUR choice and responsibility.

You feel what you feel, but that’s not all you are. There is so much more to life than suffering.

What you choose to do with your suffering is up to you.

The world is both amazing and dangerous, a place of duality, but also a spectrum of possibilities. How you view the world becomes your reality. 

You are the beginning and the end.

Mother Issues: Letting Go

Mother Issues: Letting Go

Context: My mother is a narcissist and addict, and hurts everyone she knows. She is always the victim and I’ve always been the scapegoat. I’ve been extending my compassion more toward my step-dad lately, because I’ve noticed he’s been drinking more and trying to justify being with my mom. (She’s been engaged a few times and married three times, so I can pick up on trouble).

Today, I felt comfortable enough to relate to him about losing a beloved dog. I shared my experience with him and my mom intervened to tell him that I’m wrong about that story. 

She denies most of what I say, whether it is good or bad, whether it even pertains to her. She has even flat out told me that she thinks I have false memory syndrome.

So I feel inspired to communicate this to her: 

Mom, 

Although.you do your best to undermine me and prevent me from having a healthy relationship with you and anyone else, I forgive you. I think if you fully understood how your behavior effects other people, that you would change your ways. You are self-destructive and take people down with you. 

My hope for you is that you pick yourself up and look in the mirror long and hard. I hope you choose to overcome whatever it is that eats at your soul, because no one deserves to be left in the wake of your destruction.

I will not suffer from you or for you any more. I am not the person that you say I am. I am whole. I am loved. I know myself more every day. Can you say the same?

I am the mountain and you are the wind. Do as you will, but I will always stand tall and strong in the end.