I feel pretty tired, but also an overwhelming sense of rejuvenation persists. Hmmm, perhaps it’s not rejuvination. Now that my fingers are upon the keyboard the word “determination” fits. What has been labor born from a weekend of soul searching is determination. This of course means it has also been a tearful weekend. Now that a work week has passed since my romance became silence, I have had several days of listening to my brain periodically remind me of all the other painful rejections during the last 4 years. There is other bad news as well, but my family and I are keeping it out of the greater public for now, which is, of course to a nigh-quotidian memoir blogger, a very difficult thing, as I process dumptruck loads of emotional torment on you, Gentle Reader. And as therapeutic as that may be, this second sadness will have to be carried for now. Standing one’s ground under this type of emotional barrage brings with it certain risks.
(1) The temptation towards anger. In the past this bugger came up a lot. In fact, I say this is my Achilles. When I make myself angry (because whose kidding, nobody can “make” you feel fuckin’ anything) there is a domino process in my head that is angry for being angry. This soon fills my personality to the point of spilling out and scalding loved ones.
(2) The passing of anger into sadness. While not as traumatic as anger, the depression that settles on us can last days, months, dare I say years. How do we not lament the potential loss or past losses of immense beauty. We try to understand, cope, and let go of those things which build us, which craft our elegant environments. I know I fear my sadness sometimes. When it catches me off guard my body goes cold with dread. Those are some of the darkest moments. Yet it all must be faced with courage, and compassion. Courage to know “this will pass” and compassion for myself to assure that it does.
(3) Blame. “I see as much misery outta those movin’ to justify themselves as them that set out to do harm.” (Deadwood, Doc Cochran) I worry this quote comes up every ten MMs, but I regret nothing. I have as close an emotional response to hate as personally possible for the despicable emotion we call blame. I’ve babbled much about the philosophy of determinism lately and today will be no different. This behavioral response to pain falls under that which is obliterated by hard determinism. There is such a thing as cause and causes, make no mistake. Yet, when one realizes that everything boils down to environmental conditions, then why blame the fire for its heat? How can we fault the alligator for its hunger? People hurt each other. Even when a Utopic society blows in like a welcome snow storm, people will still accidentally hurt each other. And while we perceive intentionality, and must use the perception of such to navigate, it is all just the physics of being. I don’t say “it’s an angry universe” because I believe that the universe is trying to kill us (it is), but I say that phrase because the emotional metaphor successfully communicates an emotional state to my audience, one that is especially easy to understand. It is just as easy to say that it is a loving universe, or a providing universe, or a gifted universe. They all apply; our environment indeed shapes us; the universe is in no way to blame, and neither are people.
The last five days have brought a daily dose of these three. There have been other emotional hurdles as well, but these three are a daily reminder of how our minds are not our friends; they are just our minds. Another dangerous part of the environment which must be kept in check and controlled to a certain point. True control is impossible, but conditioning the mind to make better emotional choices can be something we strive toward. This is always where meditation, the concepts detailed in Flow, and the dangers of blind faith comes into my life.
“Never depend on superstition to be the home of your solace.”
“Commitment to Mindfulness practices from both yoga and meditation will quite the mind and nurture the body.”
“A mind free of superstitious crutch and quiet enough to become aware of its own healing will physiologically be one which feels happy and more often makes good choices.”
All the data is out on this stuff, so I do plan on spending some time tomorrow, Hitchens Day, putting up a bibliography for any doubters or haters.
This moves me into another decision with the coming Hitchens Day celebration. I’ve decided to tone back with FB engagement to study a phenomenon within social media. I cannot discuss it just yet, but I have a feeling I am not the only scientifically minded person curious about the harms of this unsaid behavior. Sorry to tantalize like an ass here, but I thought this is as good a way to tell the world that I might not share memes much for a while, or comment all over stuff. But I will be reading and watching. Anyone who wishes to holler at me, message me at will.
And what will replace all this time not interacting on social media? I imagine it will be converted to writing and studying. Nurturing my mind and body for not only the coming winter, but this period of life which I now enter, when making good and healthy decisions will come at a premium. I don’t know if I am ready, but I plan to be whenever it comes time to be tested.