Monday, 5 June 2017

To Be or Not to Be....

Have you ever noticed that the doom-sayers; if representing non-other than themselves, proclaim: "at least I'm  realistic!" What pray tell is so "realistic" about chronic negativity? Before going much further I would like to say that I would prefer to speak in terms of humanity as broadly as I can; therefore even the term "doom-sayer;" in the opening sentence, is unfairly applied in as much as it severely limits anybody that might be caught in that categorization.

It should also be noted that at various places in time I have been made acutely and comprehensively aware of my "shadow;" so I'm neither across the board, operating "in denial" nor practicing Pollyanna-ism or spiritual by-pass. While I'm at it, neither am I trying to replicate myself by planting my head in the sand, nor practice self-proctology.

Do I always immediately see the silver lining? No I do not. Then again, I don't rush to shade every set of circumstances as ... well, shady! The pitfall in pigeon-holing people with such labels as: pessimist, optimist, nay-sayer, defeatist, conspiracy-theorist, even when what they are representing in the moment is truly such; there is every likelihood this is not "who they are," nor how they present all day, every day. Another consideration is that, given the complexity of being human regardless of what is being superficially expressed might only marginally reflect what is going on for that person. The other thing is they might be revealing precisely what is going on and are then being summarily dismissed and discredited.

Words, being symbols, that to some degree have widely agreed upon definitions; in many cases have a broad and varied enough meaning, they can be both ambiguous and can quickly be further limiting and create less, rather than more understanding!

Given there is something approaching an infinite number of different events happening world-wide continually; there will be something approaching never; a time when something that would be widely viewed as "bad," isn't going on.

So then, would the "realistic" response to that be - upon waking I must necessarily then adopt a mood of sadness, grief, despair, despondency? After all it's "such a fucked up world" I must attire myself appropriately. I have felt all these things at times; even for extended periods.

I'm not deriding anyone that due to experiencing clinical/pathological depressions, physical malady. or spiritual malaise often or continually feels poorly.

I have often enough, found myself in collectives of people - some with therapeutic intention, some with "recovery" intention, some with "spiritual intention.." I have been guided, coached, led through multitudes of "fearless moral inventories.." (which not for a moment am I suggesting gives me the moral high-ground) it was a effective and for me, necessary process. Not for the purpose of continual self-hatred and demoralization ... but as was stated further in the same process ... to recognize "the exact nature of my wrongs)... This I must distinguish means to me... how I went wrong ... not that I am innately flawed.

Does this mean that further living and life experience will not reveal to me additional previously unknown attributes? No it does not. What it does mean; to me anyway, is that I can feel good about myself, about life  - now! Not at some nebulous point in the future when I have all my shit together. My view is that day may never come; and, I'm going to continue to strive to be the best possible version of myself anyway!

I know there are monumental concerns world-wide - I feel the weight at times. Other times I'm doing what is front of me to do. I also know I can "feel" sadness and still contribute something positive somewhere in the day. Dwelling on what's wrong with the world doesn't change any of it and I don't believe for a moment that it's more realistic. Somehow it's been touted if you choose to focus on anything but tragedy, you're delusional. There are amazing people doing amazing things, all day every day. They might even get feeling down from time to time. They probably feel pretty good sometimes as well. They don't stop doing what they are doing, because the world's such a dismal place. And you can't tell me what they're doing is "unrealistic" because it hasn't vanquished all the world's woes.

For me it's all to easy to completely lose perspective. An awareness of the world doesn't mean an obsession with all that is wrong. I can volunteer regularly to a chosen organization; or just make a contribution in the moment, to make a difference right there on the spot. A refusal to dwell in the darkness is not synonymous with ignoring it. (yes.. it can be) I have been the voice for doing the "shadow work" in the midst of those incessantly touting the love and light. My experience is, the shadow cannot be addressed through denial (it doesn't matter how many verses of Kumbaya you sing). Conversely, that which comprises the layers of the shadow once identified, can be brought to Love and Light.

Those intent on ignoring their shadow, will continue to do so as long as they choose. My lesson was mind your own business, change what you can (in other words .. myself) realize no one invited me to bring my shadow theory, to their "like-minded" gathering (the beautiful thing about that journey was my "need to do so," gave me further access to my own shadow - so all was not lost.

There is nothing misguided about holding a vision of hope. In fact I would suggest that anyone that has ever been involved in ushering in any innovation, social change, personal evolution,  had to hold a vision of something else .. sufficiently long enough, that the change was made real.

Along the way ... laugh, cry, scream, jump up & down, pound the floor, sob, holler.... all at once if that's what you are feeling.... none of it affirms or denies the realism of whatever defines for you darkness.

Not for a moment am I suggesting that changing anything, is necessarily easy. I can also say that I have often found it easier to complain, than to do anything about, what I'm complaining about. Fear and resignation have no shortage of spokespeople. I have empathy for those (and myself) when those are the predominant feelings. I don't want to live there. Nor does it make me more realistic or in touch  or informed if I do. I might be feeling fear, or sadness even overwhelmed .. but my feelings do make my perspective any more valid than anyone else's.

I write this knowing full well I could most anytime be exhibiting behaviour or expressing feelings that seem to fly in the face of all I've said. I don't care, I'm saying it anyway.

To do what I decide I need to do and how I'm going to view the world, really don't require me to convince anyone of anything. I give myself permission to change my mind and focus my attention, energy and focus where I choose.

That's not denying anything... that is exercising my choice.

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