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Joy is an Inside Job
15 thoughts for the first Sunday of Ramadan
1. Separation is an illusion–energy is neither created nor destroyed, there is only one source to all, everything is connected. This means you are me and I am you and when you hurt me you are hurting yourself and when I hurt you I am hurting myself. There is no other. We are individuals and the individual is sacred and we are one and the we is affected by each human unit. Balance guides nature above all else.
2. The purpose of life is to remove the obstacles to love residing within you—you. Pluck the plank from your eye first, put your air mask on first—before you remove the sliver from someone else’s eye, before you help the others.
3. Your character belongs to you, this is true empowerment. Character is a thing no one can take from you and it is the way you can keep your parents alive even after they leave you. This is my current reality, staring at the long goodbye to my parents, the great loves of my life and this is what I have found helps me for anyone who needs to hear it. Character is the way you love yourself. It is how you warm yourself when the world feels cold. Character is how you warm the world—and you will be delighted if you just take a bit courage and try to smile when you feel like you are dying inside or encounter someone who is sour and maybe needs someone to ask, sincerely, how are you, without needing anything. We are humans and we need other humans to co-regulate and we don’t have to like it that’s how we are built, like we need to sh1t and that’s icky, it’s like that maybe. The discomfort you feel at needing others is called humility and you can think of it as social sandpaper. Ask a wood working master craftsman about the importance of sandpaper and sanding tools in his craft.
4. Rage is an invitation to repair a boundary violation. Rage requires tenderness to dissolve. Rage requires attentiveness also! You don’t plunge a burn into hot water! And you don’t heal a burn by ignoring it and hoping it will heal on it’s own without any first aid! And you ask for help if you cannot deliver the first aid the wound requires, you don’t destroy the one with the wound because you cannot treat him/her. Humans exist for a reason, we have emotions for a reason. Existence and behaviour has a purpose. WE ARE PURPOSEFUL CREATURES. Your failure to grasp does not mean it does not make sense!
5. Grief is a response and also a messenger. Like rage, like sadness, grief does not conform to your stupid DSM constructs and there is no such thing as pathological grief, only stuck grief. Being stuck does not equal being sick. Let’s stop pathologising human emotional responses! Grief does not go away if you pretend it doesn’t exist, it simply seeps into your anatomy and shows up as disease and pain. Grief needs a soft landing spot, the grieving feel like they are drowning or have survived a near drowning.
6. Emotions are messengers, they are nervous energy, greet them as such and move through them and let them move through you—don't build monuments to them and don't make them your homes either. Imagine yourself a landing strip for these emotional sensations. Receive them, send them off, resist the urge to tell stories about them, stories have a way of staying and then you have to carry them and they get heavy and messy and sticky. Reject any attempts to impose constructs onto your emotional terrain. Treat that like hostile explorers trying to colonise the terrain of your heart—guard your heart from society’s predators, they are not here to save you. In fact, treat with skepticism anyone who claims to have come to save you would be my advise to you, dear reader. Self appointed saviours have massive projected identity issues and you serve them by agreeing to serve as their victim.
7. Forgiveness is for you and not for the offender—it is for no longer needing to exact vengeance, it is for putting down the poison. Do you want to drink poison? By all means then forgiveness is not for you. However, if you want to stop poisoning yourself, then maybe you might find forgiveness worth exploring—it is a continuous process not a one time static event FYI. Some days you don’t meet your target and the next day you just keep at it. There isn’t a secret, if there is it is consistency and endurance and believing in yourself and believing in hope when you can’t see or even feel it. The secret is mercy beats all. The secret is despair always is a liar. That’s the secret. It’s not really a secret.
8. The only one you need to seek validation from is yourself and no one outside yourself owes you validation and their refusal to validate you on demand is their choice and you must respect that because you have the same right when it comes to validating others on demand.
9. Disagreement and criticism aren't hatred, certainly neither is rage. Both are healthy and necessary, in fact, for progress and growth.
10. The failure of others to affirm you is not hatred, your demands for validation can be bullying when you abuse others in the process. Manipulation and coercive control are abuse BTW.
11. Most accusations are confessions—we project what we cannot accept about ourselves onto others.
12. Parents know their children best, children are best served by the community supporting their parents, you are a child abuser if you seek to compromise or in any way undermine the most foundational and primal relationship humanity has to offer itself, the one existing between parent and child.
13. Mocking, derision, and bullying aren't effective ways to motivate people to change their behaviours or win them over intellectually. Medical or scientific professionals currently engaged in a campaign of evangelical social justice firebrand to coercively control the populace do need some kind of cult debriefing intervention. Also these people are emotional abusers and why are they entrusted to care for others. Emotional abuse is an anathema to DO NO HARM, isn’t it?
14. If you live in an echo chamber you will become intolerant and rigid and fragile, your need to live in an echo chamber is a symptom of your low resilience and high fragility. You can build yourself up at least try for you, depriving yourself of opportunities to build resistance is a form of self contempt, the opposite of love! Love seeks to challenge, love has a fierce and exacting nature.
15. Sadness and discomfort aren't diseases, they are physiologic responses and messengers and invitations to ourselves to examine our inner lives. Pain can be a portal to yourself, to discovery of joy around you. Sometimes I stand in my kitchen and, in a moment of clarity all the impending grief of everything appears in all it’s heaviness and I just put my hand on my head as if to hold my head from flying off of my body and I feel small and insignificant like I did when I was 5 and these emotions are super giant and this stuff feels really heavy to carry how can one person possibly hold all this stuff? And you know what? I keep breathing, my heart keeps beating. My body knows what to do, I follow along. I do just fine. Even with the cyclical vomiting syndrome dysautonomia thing, I still do fine. My body knows what to do, I follow along. And it’s ok and joy lurks everywhere and does not wait for me to see or discover it.
And that’s my Ted Talk for today. Find joy. Every moment. Find Joy.
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