I have things to complain about. Things going wrong around me. At home. At work. In the social world. In the past. I see with absolutely crystal clarity what is going wrong, who’s responsibility or fault it is, and how it ought to be resolved. I almost always know that. So, I certainly have a thing or two to say about the state of things.
Sorry… wait… no not a thing or two to say. I have a book or two, a lecture or a dozen, to say about the current state of thing. The absolutely mountainous amount of writing I do in private simply in order to process my thoughts authentically could fill a room or two in printed paper stacked floor to ceiling.
But… I genuinely want things to stop being so horrible. I genuinely only want things to get better. I don’t want this to be our state of things. I don’t want to see this anymore. This, whatever it is that I’m looking at at the moment, does not need to be there anymore.
My impulse is usually to point it out, articulate it and complain about it to others so that they know that this is absolute crap and we need to stop allowing crap like this to pile on like this. It’s not so hard, we only need to do X, Y, and Z and the problem will vanish. Poof. But then, I think through how that would work out. I discover, once I’ve completely expressed it and let it out in articulated form to the others and everyone knows exactly what’s going wrong and how and why, then what? There’d be this silence. Everyone would have just received bad news basically, with no call to action so they have no idea what to do about it. They just look at me with a look that says “Go on.” But that’s it, I’ve already said all I had to say, there’s no more to go on to.
So instead of going through that, and being the bearer of bad news and bringer of troubling thoughts, I would take all of that awareness of the issue and my articulation of it and possible solutions, keep them within me. Until someone asks for them, I let out what was asked for. When I am able to do something about it, then I do something about it knowing full well what my efforts will produce, how much effort is needed, where, how, in what form, and so on.
This gives me character. Don’t ask how. It gives my personality depth and weight.
It’s when I do that that I discover many things about myself. I discover what in me is allowing that problem to exist in spite of my very clear awareness of it. It isn’t natural for me to fix the issues I’m aware of. I’d be quite the character if it were. But then I’m forced to inquire on what’s prohibiting me from naturally and authentically fixing the issue. There’s this disconnect between thought and action. Where is that coming from? How can I reconnect them?
For example, through one of these meditations (so to speak), I noticed that my work is usually overflowing with good will. No one who knows me well denies that. They truly notice it and appreciate it and cherish it. They also notice the lack of, basically all other skills. So for example, I might write an absolutely brilliant piece of writing. Everyone just loves it. But they also know that it’s lacking in a certain aspect. I’ve come to discover that aspect is realism. There’s this sense of idealism in me and my work. A sense of naïveté and wide-eyed idealism. And what frustrates some of the people who are hoping to see me truly flourish and thrive, is that I’m holding on to that idealism like grim death. I wouldn’t let go. They’re not doing a very good job of articulating that to me and helping me deal with, so they’re no angels themselves. But the point is that I discovered that about myself. I’m not showering my work in good will because I’m a moral person or because I believe it’ll pay off. I do it because I cannot, for the life of me, even if my life is at stake, stop. I just cannot stop. I just can’t. It isn’t a choice. I’m not choosing to work morally. I’m just tunneled in through it by forces I cannot perceive. But I’m starting to.
I’ve come to discover that the way we treat others is the way we believe we are/should be treated. For example, if we believe we have to be strong, then we’ll naturally treat others in a way that assumes they’re strong. Because within our believe that we have to be strong lies an underlying belief that strength is needed. Out of that springs our way of treating others, forcing onto them the assumption that strength is needed out of all of us. Sometimes we decide at some point in our lives that other people aren’t trying as hard as we are to meet this clearly obvious demand on us of strength, so we will be good people and forgive them for being weak.
You can see sometimes in some people that they’re trying hard to be patient with someone, and if you look a little deeper you can see under the surface the statement of “you are weak, that’s ok I forgive you, I will be strong for both of us.”
Hope that’s clear. I’m not gonna bother editing and stuff. Who’s gonna read this anyway?
That’s where my intense good will is springing out of. The underlying belief that I need an authority to conduct themselves with morality and good will. The belief that I need the authority figures in my life to be Good people. To do the right thing, to go the extra mile for me, to keep in mind not just my current self but my future selves as well. It’s very likely that that springs from experiences in my youth with neglectful authority, like teachers and the like.
Because I haven’t gotten over it in a healthy way. Which means to process it completely and make sense of it and understand the motivations of the people involved behind it. To understand how it came about and to be able to face if it ever comes back again such that it’s not likely to traumatize me again.
I’ve discovered that the effort spent in the good will behind my work is extremely inefficient. Most of it can be accomplished most of the time with a fraction of the effort spent. But I cannot allow myself to do that, or even attempt to do that, because I, the traumatized I that is stuck in the past, still believes I need help from people of authority who are morally Good, even if the cost is that high.
So I believe, in treating myself and healing, I can better control my efforts and be more effective in the world. Which, believe it or not, can end up in me doing more good than ever before.
Taking this back to what I was talking about at the start of this post. I got sick of talking about problems and those problems continuing to exist regardless of how much I talked about them, preaching for them to be gone. I truly wanted to see them go away. I discovered that talking about the issues didn’t help make the issues go away. It also made me sort of impotent. Meaning that it took away my potency. Which is power basically. Expressing my feelings in language took away the emotional energy that I could channel into productively and directly facing the issue head on. It was like a leak of energy, so I plugged it up, and the energy is channeled into deeper recesses of energy.
1342 words for this topic. Completely unedited. Almost at midnight at Caribou. sigh.