Freedom, joy?

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Daily, I struggle in this world of narcissists and the ignorant. I am not perfect, no where near such. But it would be an absolute pleasure to hear realism expressed. When I ask you: ‘How are you doing?’ and you say; ‘yeah, I’m good”. When what you really mean is: ‘I really don’t know, things are pretty rough right now’. We are all living in some kind of fantasy… every day is exactly the same the same when we are are in reality seeking something else. But we keep behaving the same way, pushing our fear down enough to exist but not enough to become more than we are.

Trauma.

It owns us.

Freedom is not simple.

Challenge the gods within yourself and choose to believe…

but, is everything around you exactly as it seems?

Is who you see in your reflection too hard to see…

That is where we start.

Looking in the eyes we see daily.

Loving them, no matter what.

No matter what.

Love them, no matter what.

No matter what,

love them…

an example of joy in life

Words errant

image courtesy of Michel-Lag-Chavarria

Ear parcel: Gods gonna cut you down

 

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Loss

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I dreamed last night that one that has passed was still with us and that one that is passing was angry. I cannot assist either, except to love them both. To accept them both and offer to hold their souls.

Words, errant

Image courtesy of bliXX_a

Ear parcel: Nine Inch Nails, Something I can never have

Shine bright, like a diamond.

“Our image of perfection is the reason we reject ourselves – the way we are – and why we don’t accept others the way they are.” Don Miguel Ruiz

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Attaining ‘perfection’ is a perpetual journey. Yet the word perfection is misleading and a potentially devastating trap. The quote; ‘Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without’ highlights that there is no perfection without flaw. It suggests reaching for the most magnificent version of our selves while knowing the flaws; the ‘negatives’ help to create a whole version of ourselves. The concept of perfection can be a falsehood that leads us to constantly feel lacking or not good enough. It potentially denies our core self by seeking to uphold an image of perfection. Whereas attaining holistic balance is a very real and honest process of being, or rather becoming. This describes an active process of growth and attainment where we accept ourselves as we truly are yet seek growth. Our flaws lead us to growth. I see no separation between light and dark, no duality only unity with moments of friction and dissonance providing room for change within our selves.

The first time I read the diamond with a flaw quote I was stumped by it. A humble yet perfect pebble seemed a greater achievement than something ‘grander’ but flawed. I soon found that maintaining perfection was dissatisfying and limiting, I ached for challenge and growth. I was exhausted by the constant effort to avoid my flaws in order to appear the humble perfect pebble; always happy never discontent or hurting. Yet when I embraced my flaws and moved through the discomfort of facing them I became something stronger, more durable, more beautiful and more real. Diamonds are formed through high temperature and massive pressure, this process creates the most durable and beautiful gem on the planet*. This process suggests discomfort. Humans tend to shy away from discomfort or suffer through it by rejecting ourselves because we are not perfect, but through accepting ourselves and gracefully working on our flaws we attain love for ourselves not self-inflicted suffering and rejection. Then we become open to the possibility of a greater version of ourselves that can live in the moment, without the devastating and painful voice of the inner critic shaming us, and we can shine bright like a diamond.

Words errant

Image courtesy of cichutko on DeviantArt

* India is the place where they were first thought to be mined perhaps 6000 years ago and they were revered as religious icons.

Intimacy

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To begin to describe another real human being, one would need to dive into the abyss, their abyss. It is so hard to find someone who may get who you are, even with the barest descriptors that can hardly reach the depth of the point. It is an almost unfathomable occurrence. When we do, it is so easy to compete, or misunderstand. Why is it so hard to hear and be heard? Is our ego as, or less, important as the comfort of being understood? Or is our need to be heard more important than our ego? What stands in the way of our ability to navigate the concept of what measure of risk of feeling the discomfort of vulnerabilty equals or outweights the potential reward of experiencing intimacy?

It might be, that those that raised us inadvertantly taught us some behaviours that are not conducive to productive relationships, be those intimate partners, or friendships or other relationships. It may well be that those that raised us inadvertantly provided us with some bad habits because we were vulnerable and impressionable children and our experiences coupled with the cultural expectations of our society became oddly mixed messages in our inner-most selves. It really, actually makes sense. As does knowing yourself as well as you can. Because being honest with your self, genuinely is the keystone to all relationships. Know thy self. Know, thy, self. We change, we outgrow ourselves faster than we have the chance to figure out who, we, are. And there is no other person on earth that you should know better. That is the ultimate failure in all relationships; not knowing oneself, yet expecting the other party to know who you are.

But how do we start an intimate conversation? Either with ourselves or others? I suggest we start with Arthur Aron’s list, lets use his list in an completely unintended way and answer the questions for ourselves… just for fun. I’ll go first:

  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

Oh my, doesn’t this depend upon sooooo many things!? What music is playing? What I have I had to drink? Whose company am I in? What are the rules? Must they be living or are the dead ok? I will answer from the right here, right now…

I would invite Iesous, I could invite Persian or Eastern philosphers or later philosphers, but in all honesty I would like to speak directly to Iesous, better known as Yeshua or Jesus. I have a lot of questions for him. He seems to have genuinely existed as an historical person, he obviously exists as a person of the highest Christian regard. I’d like to ask him how he feels, comparatively, about being called a Judaic rebel and all manner of things under the post-crucifixion sun. Yes, I’d quite like to have a chat with the man himself.

errant.

Ear parcel I: Alone Together, Chet Baker

Ear parcel II: Little Talks – of Monsters and Men

Image ‘intimacy vol.2’ courtesy of dorry on deviantart

 

 

Slip by

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I want you to slip past my defences. But this isn’t a storybook fantasy where you know what I need and I allow it all to happen because it is perfect. In order let you in, I must first know, really know what my defences are. Why do I block you with apparent indifference or casual aloofness? When that reaction does not reflect my desire for you to be as close as close can be, nor reflect my need to understand why you might want something that doesn’t sit right with me, that I have, oh so aloofly agreed too with questioning words burning in my throat. Questions that I turn over, this way and that way, finding bitter acceptance without risking the asking. I want you to slip past my defences but for that to happen, I need to be honest with myself, dismantle my defences that stifle me rather than keep me safe, then I can truly begin to allow you in.

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My past gnaws at me in my dreams, dancing histories repeating, hinting at a path to change, if only the courage can be roused within.

Words: Errant Satiety

Earparcel (and explanation for said earparcel; the song, according to the writers, is about vulnerability, “It’s a song about an imaginary friend who’s gonna come and save you from yourself.” Noel Gallagher)

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Daring Greatly

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So, a while ago I wrote about the dangers of, or concerns around, striving for perfection. I don’t think I made clear that I believe, think, feel that recognising our imperfection and striving to be authentic and continue the active process of becoming ourselves is the key to our ability to enjoy our lives to the fullest and express who we are with meaning and therefore satisfaction. I think these are the things that lead us beyond Maslow’s hierarchy of needs into a new realm of more holistic needs that are better suited to humanity’s way of being, within the current culture, and may well lead to a revolution, perhaps even enough of one to start to change our evolution.

To the evolutionary biologist, evolution occurs over a long periods of time (millions of years kind of time). The smallest amount of time most are willing to suggest this has measurably occurred in humans and other species (referred to as rapid evolution, contemporary evolution or evolution within an ecological timescale) is within 50-100 generations. In today’s worldwide culture we tend to use the word ‘evolution’ rather loosely when what we often mean to reflect is a paradigm shift in an individual’s experience (as opposed to an entire species genetic direction). Yet, there is increasing evidence that species of many kinds are passing on learning to their young which is enabling them to enter their world with greater advantage and adaptation and, depending on your definition of evolution in biological terms, this is starting to influence the scientific worlds take on evolution. The recognition that evolution is not just genetic adaptation but is beginning to be seen as 50% genetics and 50% environment (or some similar measurement) is becoming more commonplace.

Returning to the idea of ‘perfection’, in terms of evolutionary biology homo-sapiens have never been perfect. There is a bit of a trend currently to idealise different periods of our evolutionary history such as pre-agriculture or the paleolithic period. The truth is that there is no time in human history that humans were perfectly in harmony with our environment or perfect in any particular way. “Humans are not at the pinnacle of any evolutionary ladder… Evolution is always working from existing parts… Organisms are not in ‘perfect harmony’ it is more that evolution just has to be good enough.” (Prof. Marlene Zuk, 2014). How many of us feel that we are ‘good enough’? I wonder if we started to think that we were just good enough if that might help many of us fill the void of doubt, fear and shame that drives us toward worthlessness, self-loathing, overthinking, over analysing, anxiety and depression…

In terms of religion or philosophical belief, without getting into great depth across multiple belief systems, there is a strongly familiar repetition that we are moving towards rediscovering, finding or reaching for perfection. Do our religious beliefs ever suggest that we were born imperfect? That our road leads us towards authenticity and that this is the greatest honesty we can achieve? It is easier to lose ourselves to a saviour that will cleanse us of our imperfections than to take the more honest and seemingly harder road toward just being our imperfect selves. It is easier to succumb to addictions, be they substance or material based, than accept our vulnerability. As researcher Brené Brown asks, in her infamous TEDex talk, how many of you see vulnerability in yourself as weakness yet when you see someone else expose their vulnerability you see courage.

The road to happiness, it starts with allowing yourself to be vulnerable. To be yourself, not who you think others think you should be but who you really are. It takes great risk and potentially terrifying honesty. In a world where we are told to ‘harden up’ or buy into the consumerist/capitalist idealism, and swallow the culture, politics or pseudo-psychology that is sold to us in bite size nominalisations, what we might really need to do is allow ourselves to be courageously vulnerable so that we can begin to accept our imperfections, feel worthy and experience innovation, creativity, real connection and happiness.

 

word errant satiety image courtesy of alltelleringet on deviantART