Avoiding Dangerous Places

Schipbreuk by Claude Josef VernetSchipbreuk by Claude Josef Vernet

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“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” ― Vincent van Gogh

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What is a dangerous place to you?

The words ‘dangerous places’, what images do they conjure in your mind?

Do you look at those images with an unflinching gaze or do you avert your eyes?

Do you face the dangerous place within or avoid it like an inner plague with which you do not want to become infected?

Is it better to do one or the other?

Face the fear or avoid it?

There are certain dangerous places which are overt and obvious, which our survival instinct identifies and then encourages us to take a circuitous route around them. This is rational, logical and, probably wise. Certain types of uncertainty are best left uncertain.

There are other dangerous places which are covert and hard to identify. They appear safe on the surface, however something is amiss. We may not be able to put a finger on what it is which does not add up, we may not be able to explain our dis-ease, and we may even chide ourselves for being paranoid about something which seems so innocuous. We might force ourselves to dismiss our fearful feeling, feel the fear and do it anyway, go there anyway, and perhaps by doing so we realise that the sense of danger which we perceived was nonsense, a figment of our imagination which was being overactive, a ghost from the past haunting us because it has nothing better to do…

It can be difficult to tell the difference between a genuine inner warning and a fear-based fantasy. Sometimes we are cautious and choose not to gamble, risk the odds.

Sometimes we just know without knowing why, that we should trust ourselves. Other times we realise that trusting ourselves may be a dangerous place in and of itself.

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“Then I plunged the stake into his chest.

It wasn’t as precise a blow as I would have liked, not with the skilled way he was dodging. I struggled to get the stake in deep enough to his heart, unsure if I could do it from this angle. Then, his struggles stopped. His eyes stared at me, stunned, and his lips parted, almost into a smile, albeit a grisly and pained one.

“That’s what I was supposed to say. . .” he gasped out.

Those were his last words.” ― Richelle Mead

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There is a person whom I regularly avoid. They are not someone I know, but I have briefly met them, spoken with them… that’s why I avoid them. Or part of the reason. Yet not the reason at all. I am uncertain as to why I avoid them.

My behaviour puzzles me and makes me feel decidedly undecidedly awkward whenever I see them. Do they know that I am avoiding them? If they do, which I think they might, how do they feel about it? It is rather rude of me, but I can’t convince myself to stop doing what I am doing, and I am uncertain if I should make an effort to stop doing it.

Avoiding people is not particularly unusual for me. Those in the profession, or who do it as a hobby, of classifying others, might label me with an Avoidant Personality Disorder. They would be partly right and partly wrong. I am Avoidant. It does involve personality, as how I experience another’s personality influences my choices of whether to avoid them or not. But it is not disordered, it has a specific, considered, order to it, an order which I review and reorder at varying intervals. Some of my avoiding of others is for my own sake, some is for the sake of those others (but not in a saintly manner), and some of it is a bit of both with other ingredients thrown into the mix.

I usually know why I am avoiding someone, and although I may question my choice, check and double-check, examine new data, etc, the answer is often – carry on as advised by self, even if self has proven to be an ass at times. I am a mistake maker, I’m aware of this and accept it (because doing otherwise has been done and found to be undoable), and once in a while I can proudly claim to actually learn from these mistakes enough not to keep repeating the same ones. I level-up to making new ones, which to me is an achievement. It is the treasure found after a shipwreck…

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Monumental ewer from the Belitung shipwreck - photo by JackleeMonument ewer from the Belitung shipwreck – photo by Jacklee

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However as much as I may be willing to accept a diagnosis of Avoidant Asshole Personality Disorder… with only the word ‘disorder’ bothering me (seriously, my house may be a mess, but this bit is tidy! – the lady doth protest too much, methinks – stop using Shakespeare against me and don’t call me a lady! – O, but she’ll keep her word.)… rather than Asshole Avoidant Personality Disorder… I do try and regulate where I am on the spectrum of asshole-ishness. I prefer to keep the slider somewhere in the middle rather than at one extreme or another. But fingers can be shaky when they play with sliders, and the eye, especially the mind’s eye, can deceive. I tend to think I’m more beautiful than I actually am, even though I suspect I’m uglier than I actually am.

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“The most dangerous sicknesses are those that make us believe we are well.” ― Lauren Oliver

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I don’t like not knowing why I am avoiding someone. This to me smacks of lying to myself, worse than that (since that’s just a mild bad habit compared to some of my others) it hints at avoidance of a dangerous place within… one into which I should plunge. Throw away the halo, don the horns and dive into the dark.

To be honest (uh oh, dishonesty alert!), I haven’t spent much time on this particular ‘avoidance’ puzzle. I haven’t been avoiding the avoidance, I just only remember it when it occurs and forget it shortly afterwards. However yesterday I had a glimpse into the why of the what – This person is too observant – those were the words which I used when describing them to someone with whom I was discussing a similar puzzle which reminded me of this one.

Suddenly in my mind’s eye, a series of images flashed in quick succession answering the question – Why am I avoiding this person, someone whom I actually rather like and admire albeit from a safe distance?

Each image traveled back in time to other puzzles and questions, one of which was – Why is that person avoiding me? I am fairly certain that I didn’t do or say anything which would warrant such a reaction and action. And if I did, I wish they’d tell me about it, what it is/was, to enlighten and clear the dim confusion which I have about it. But they never do… so how am I supposed to learn if no one teaches other than through covert ways… which are twisty and often lead to other dangerous places within. Once I detour into those, the original quest is often lost.

So, in conclusion, I am avoiding this person because they remind me of myself, they are doing to me what I do to others… I can now see why others avoid me. However I already knew that… yes, but you had never experienced it first hand quite like this.

The problem is… that although it used to pain me when people avoided me, and I may have only been pained by it because I felt that it was the correct way to feel about it (according the the book of life’s should’s) rather than how I actually felt about it, and perhaps that conflict of should versus reality, the truth and heart of the matter, me as is rather than I I should be according to me, others, is what made the pain last as long as it did, it no longer pains me now, in some cases I actually encourage others to avoid me… no longer what the problem was. It has levelled up and I’m not certain that this is an achievement. Therein lies the rub…

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HAMLET: To be, or not to be–that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep–
No more–and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep–
To sleep–perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action. — Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia! — Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remembered.

 ― William Shakespeare

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*This was inspired by reading my Personal Daily Horoscope at Astrodienst:

Fierce struggles
This can be a time for creatively transforming the world around you, or it can be a time of fierce power struggles and disagreements. These are the two poles that this influence swings between. It arouses your ambitions and makes you want to get ahead. Your energy level is very high, and you can use it to get a lot of work done. But unfortunately you will have a tendency to go about your work in such a way that you arouse great opposition from the people you confront. Or you may have to confront someone else’s energies, which may result in your taking a different course of action from what you originally intended. The energies of this influence can also lead to being the victim of someone else’s ruthlessness. Therefore you should avoid dangerous places and violent people.

The interpretation above is for your transit selected for today:
Mars square Pluto,
activity period from 18 October 2014 until 21 October 2014

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