Have you ever stopped…
taken a break from the flow of your life to contemplate that flow.
To travel backwards along the trail you leave behind, retracing all the twists and turns, bends and straights, to find the source of it. To rewind consequences to their starting point. To discover why you think and feel the way that you do. To reveal the history of your life story, the threads of separate sentences which woven together make up the tapestry known as your story.
Why are you where you are, why are you who you are… and are you really where you think you are and who you are.
Have you explored all the possible alternate yous which could have existed (if something in your past had been different) or which may exist… have you ever considered that when others see you, meet you, the reason they don’t see you as you see yourself isn’t just because they’re projecting their hopes, dreams, or negativity onto you, or being fooled by the socially acceptable facade you’ve glued over your face, or don’t care because you haven’t yet proved to them that you’ll be useful in their climb up some imaginary ladder, or can only view you from the opposite side like a mirror, is because they’re meeting one of your alternates.
One of those alternate yous which is still a real you but not the usual real you which you’ve come to see as the only real you… perhaps you’ve forgotten a portion of your life for a moment in the now time, the past is not part of the present, and therefore you aren’t saddled for awhile with the story that keeps your usual you in place, so another real you can step in and meet the people it meets during the time that you continue not to recall your history which make usual you the usual you.
Have I lost you yet… did I ever have you… if you’re still here…
Have you ever noticed how so much of our identity relies upon us remembering and reminding ourselves that this is who we are.
On any given day we make a significant amount of I AM statements.
Sometimes we do it directly, as we do when filling out a form, creating a CV, introducing ourselves, or in general social conversation where we might add flourishes, embellishing our shape with swirls and colour.
Sometimes we do it indirectly through gestures, actions… like offering to be a listener when someone else needs to talk, or being supportive when someone is in need of propping up. If our instinct is to say something funny when confronted by the serious… this is us reminding ourselves that we’re the light entertainment shining through a grey day or maybe we’re showing ourselves how cool we are in chaos because we don’t care, we’re a rebel who wants to stand outside of the norm (and proudly complain about being a misfit who makes things awkward).
Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to change yourself even when you really want to change and are committed to making that change happen because you see that change as one which will make you a better person in some way, perhaps healthier, happier, wealthier, more successful or whatever form the dream you you’re chasing has taken on…
And have you ever made the connection between how difficult it is to change yourself even when you consciously want to with every fibre of your being with why it is so difficult to change other people even if they really want to change and have opened themselves up to it (rather than digging trenches, building walls, or reinforcing existing ones).
If it’s hard to stop eating all those delicious things which are unhealthy and stick to the diet which you have willingly imposed on yourself for your greater good…
well, then it’s going to be hard to stop arguing with each other over all those issues which both sides want to resolve, but…
Which brings me to another kind of challenge:
excerpt from The Daily Post: Speak Out by Erica Varlese
When someone asks me the kind of questions which Erica Varlese has asked in her post for WordPress’ own blog, and requests that I share my talk with her…
I suddenly become mindful (the new buzzword for aware, conscious, etc) of having alternate selves with alternate versions of reality existing within me, around me, in the here and now…
this post was interrupted by a call from my internet provider… only it wasn’t from my internet provider at all, it was from someone claiming to be from my internet provider who cared for me (even asked me how my day was, so they must be a caring person, right) enough to warn me of an issue with my router (a warning issued like that could be seen as a display of how ’empathic’ corporations are, they’re not sociopaths at all… although a sociopath knows that asking how you are with faux-interest would make you, the ant, perhaps not notice the foot about to squash you because you were distracted by how much it cared about you… it cares about you so much it scares you with its caring)… my actual internet provider wouldn’t call me personally about issues with my router, they never warn me when stuff happens to it, nor do they give a toss about how I am (which is strangely reassuring!?!). As I hung up on this person I heard them say – Don’t hang up…
Should I feel guilty, ashamed, or something along those lines for cutting someone off in mid-conversation which they told me was all about me and protecting me from imminent danger or something like that?
Should I feel angry, insulted, or something along those lines because I’m being treated like an idiot who is going to give all my personal information which can be and will be used against me over to someone who will use it to rob me of some version of dignity or something like that?
Should I join or start a campaign against this kind of treatment, behaviour, scam, greed, humans against humanity… my internet provider has just enabled a system to block these sort of calls (I guess when the scammers started pretending to be the internet provider things got personal for an impersonal company and they decided to do something about it… but you have to sign up for it, for free… it’s free for now anyway)…
Should I do something because those who do nothing are considered worse than those who are doing terrible things… but who is the judge of that, who decides that your something is a nothing or your nothing is a something?
What do I feel shame or stigma about? The answer to this is different when I am alone versus when I factor in the fact that even when alone there are other people here creating alternate realities because of their own version of reality.
Alone I can accept myself as is, bit by bit, and slowly feel good about all those things which… I end up feeling bad about when with others (it does depend on who those others are… and how well I know what their version of reality is) and may end up being unaccepting of myself if the exposure to others is prolongued (yep, I’m one of those people known as Introverts who need a lot of time alone to recharge from the drainage caused by exposure to people even when it’s positive), if their version of reality is more vociferous than mine, considered more ‘normal’ because they have more voices supporting and backing their voicing of – you should be ashamed, you shouldn’t be doing that, you mustn’t say that, you are a freak please hide that immediately as it is disturbing the norm, my norm, my garden of how things and beings should be, et cetera.
Recently I read about that ‘heated debate’ between Salma Hayek and Jessica Williams (this is the LA Times version of it – there are plenty of alternate versions online offering other perspectives, alternate versions of whatever really happened which is now lost in the past)… a discussion which occurred during one of those gatherings of women which are supposed to be in theory about women supporting each other but often end up in practice like this one did… where hell is something we keep feeding, growing and making into a monster we keep fighting, seeing ourselves and those on our side as the heroes and the others as villains but which devours us all as we fight it.
Recently I heard a woman who was celebrating the Women’s March in full on female power roaring lay into Melania Trump using all those words women demand that people stop using when referring to women… apparently this woman was fine with herself as a woman who promotes and supports feminism and the empowerment of all women calling Melania Trump a whore (and more and worse). This was okay because this woman is fighting against a big evil and those aligned with that big evil… so anything goes… and she got a lot of ‘likes’ for demeaning another woman. How did this woman justify supporting women while throwing rotten eggs at a woman?
Recently I saw a woman claim her life was over because she’d passed the age when women are considered attractive thus useful or worthy of consideration by others. She rued the day she’d decided that such a thing didn’t matter and she’d rebel against it, fight it with noble intent, create her own reality, because she’d made that decision when it didn’t matter, when she was young, when she was attractive and thus useful and worthy for consideration, but now she was old… she’d changed her mind and it was too late. What made her change her mind? And had her mind really changed or was it something else?
I’m a woman (not sure if I’m still allowed to say that but I thought I’d mention this just in case you are as confused about my gender or whatever it is as people sometimes say they are…), a woman of a certain age, an age that is viewed in many alternate realities as being old… in my particular alternate reality my age is often something I forget when alone, but when I do remember it I’m reminded that it has given me freedoms which previous ages I have been restricted me from having – I get to be measured by other parameters and it’s up to me to… figure out what all those alternate parameters in alternate realities are and continue ignoring them and do my own thing (one of the things age has taught me is… might as well do your own thing even if you have no idea why you’re doing it or what it is).
Recently I saw someone use the word ‘dyslexia’ as a synonym for ‘moron’ and do it repeatedly with relish (they used dyslexia to promote their own smarts to themselves, to prove to themselves – I am better, clever, et al)…
I have dyslexia, I hide it well most of the time, rarely tell people I have it (except on my blog where I shout it from the… are there rooftops here?) unless I deem it relevant information for them to have (and even then I hesitate) because… many intelligent people seem to think that dyslexia = stupid, and I really don’t want to be the bringer of a ‘you’re wrong’ to their living in an ‘I’m always right’ world. Intelligent people do not like it or you when their stupid shows and is pointed out especially by someone they once might have thought was a peer until the word ‘dyslexia’ was introduced as an identity marker for you and now… their minds are more scrambled than yours… so… you hide yourself to hide things about others from them which you see because someone has to be functional… or do they?
I wouldn’t and don’t need to start anything to get people talking… people talk, it’s something we seem to do, why we do it… we all have our alternate reality justification for why we do it as well as why we think others do it… is anyone listening?
That’s far more…
why does the idea of someone listening tend to conjure up Big Brother, the sinister, the secret found which we didn’t want to be found… the chink in the armor, the weakness to be used to make us less strong, the button to be pressed, the trigger to get us to shoot… whoever someone wants us to shoot, including ourselves…
and yet when someone really listens and hears, really sees and notices us…
suddenly we have a moment when we’re here, now, alive and…
then it’s gone…
Grabbing bits and pieces out of your blog to answer. I DID read the whole thing, but I doubt a comment that long would be appreciated OR read, so I’ll parse it down to a few bullet points as it were.
I recently ordered an (amazing expensive to ME) DNA kit to find my ‘true roots’. I’m interested in genealogy and in my particular religion (Mormon) I have a lot of fodder about who came before me. I’d like to know more about the ethnicity of it all, that’s why I got the kit. But we have books and books full of charts on different people who begat (eventually) ME. A name doesn’t tell one much does it? You can read the highlights about the person, but don’t KNOW them. Were they honest? Did others instinctively like them or avoid them? Were they miserly? A good host? A good housekeeper? Things like that aren’t apparent in a NAME on a piece of paper. And their traits (miserly or not, ethical or not, good at domestic arts or not) will be passed down generation to generation, with dilutions from other added lineage. This makes us partially ‘who we are’.
Second bullet point: The telephone scam artist. To me? DO NOT EVER feel guilty about hanging up on an obvious scam artist. However polite or nice they might seem. They (personally) might be the nicest person you’ll ever meet, but they earn their bread and butter from doing a job that is not nice and work for people who are definitely tending toward being evil on a large scale. I have no compunction about hanging up on them (IF I answer the phone at all), usually if I see the number and it’s not one I’m familiar with, the call won’t get answered. The latest scam is apparently to call up your victim and get them to say “yes” to something (like Are you Mrs so and so? Or did I call >insert phone number of choice <) and once the victim has said 'yes' to record that as 'proof' the victim has accepted whatever product or service the scammer is offering.
Third: I recently used 'dyslexic' in a post of mine and I fervently hope it didn't come across that I thought dyslexic people are stupid. Might have though I suppose. Erg. I don't think dyslexic people are stupid at all, I'm amazed at how well they adapt actually. In my instance I was using it as an indication of someone who couldn't read (which in itself is profiling and is nasty). My apologies !
Thank you very much for sharing 🙂
Again I like this one- lots of twists and turns. i recently saw a film about time travel where a person came back from the future to warn themselves about an imminent danger that lay ahead of himself- the person tried to avoid it but never managed it. I mostly try to avoid such future happenings but then the universe seems to have more say in it than me. C.est la vie!
Thank you very much 🙂
My favourite time travel film is Timecrimes (Los Cronocrimenes).
I’m going to listen out for those “I am” statements popping across my mind today … thankyou. #freedom #awareness #respect
Thank you very much for sharing 🙂
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I am 😉 of a certain age too. I do try to notice the flow – the strength and demands of the current. Right now, it feels more like I’m in tune with it rather than just keeping my head above the water.
The “I am” statements. They do pack a wallop, in more ways than one.
Thank you 🙂
I’m a bit splintered at the moment, so I’m in observation of self and others mode.
I’ve been thinking about you and wondering how you are. You haven’t seemed like yourself in your posts. As you so often remind your readers, be gentle with yourself. Have a good weekend. 🙂
I’m fine. Just feeling my version of what I think a lot of people are feeling right now. A global wtf and then trying to figure out the personal within the global.
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Yes. Definitely a wtf. I’m glad to hear that you’re fine. 🙂
Kids these days that are dyslexic have access to so much more to help them out. Have you heard of Orton Gillingham? My daughter who struggled learning how to read was seen by a tutor specialized in this approach to reading. My daughter is not dyslexic but I know lots about it and its multi-sensory approach to decoding words and reading. I have referred many friends to this one tutor that does this- she is reasonably priced and very good and in the end it is lifesaving to be understood for the true dyslexic child that tries so hard but just can’t stay afloat. My one friend’s son who is dyslexic has a photographic listening memory- he can listen in class sooo well and has relied on this to cope with his inability to read well, that if he has a good teacher that actually teaches the test material, he can ace it without much studying at all. Goes to show these people are the hidden smartypants of the bunch, if you don’t squelch their confidence in the early years and make them feel dumb for not being able to read a short sentence in 1st grade. It’s pretty fascinating stuff really.
I would imagine you are a very good listener in real life conversations. Maybe too good. I know you listen well when reading also, as you respond so right on the mark to people’s comments- some of which I don’t really have a clue as to what the heck they are really saying. But you always do. Once you respond I nod and then I finally get it 🙂
I understand and feel similar about being alone and self acceptance with that versus being with people and then feeling out of place or different etc. I think we all struggle with that to varying degrees. You are exceptionally insightful into yourself. I feel like I am more insightful since my experience with a disordered person. Lots of positive has come from that but there will always be a negative to it also. I’m more paranoid about myself and others and I question peoples motives with me. I didn’t have that before. Realistically I don’t think it will ever leave me but it has muted over the past 3 years since going no contact. I have a before and an after life that I can draw comparisons from and see clearly the change in myself and my outlook. You also have this after going no contact but it is in reversal from mine. I had a self and it was in many ways taken (not completely ever) and then post no contact I got myself back (mostly but different). You on the other hand weren’t allowed to have a self (well you did but in a different self scarifying f’ up way) and post no contact you are finding yourself- something you had but not really to the full extent. Do you think that’s kind of true or not? Guess being dyslexic makes sense for you- you don’t go the typical route and sometimes work from the end and make your way back to the beginning. I love that about you.
I still read your posts weekly- interesting and thought provoking. You’re one of a kind ❤
Thank you 🙂
One of the things I find fascinating is all the diverse versions of reality which exist and which are available to us at any given moment, and how much we have a choice in it – on any given day we are constantly choosing which realities to adopt and which to reject. Even when we think we don’t have a choice in the matter because – it is what it is – we still have the opportunity to choose our approach and attitude towards it.
Reality is always in flux. And yet we keep trying to make it a solid and stable entity, something we can affirm – this is real, this is a fact, and will always be as it is – but it isn’t always going to be as it is. You’re standing on solid ground but if it rains that ground will change, if it keeps raining that ground will keep changing, if it freezes after years of rain that ground will change, if there’s a drought that ground will change, if the drought continues that ground will continue changing, if there’s an earthquake that ground will change, if a meteor hits it that ground will change, if you keep standing there and nothing happens that ground will change because time passes and as it does you will change and as you change so does your view of the ground upon which you’re standing. Once you were a child standing there but now you are an adult and your experience of the ground is different, and as an adult you have experiences like aging and age changes you thus changing how you feel the ground beneath your feet.
Something similar happens when we become aware of things of which we were not aware before – like narcissists and their effects, actions and consequences.
What if the dyslexic brain was the norm and the non-dyslexic brain was the abnorm – what made us pick one as being the normal brain and the other as being the one which had something wrong with it?
Why do we now think shop is spelled s-h-o-p when not so long ago it was spelled s-h-o-p-p-e, and which one is the correct version of spelling reality?
“No remedie there was but I must helpe to furnish him with monie, I did so, as who wil not make his enemy a bridge of golde to flie by.” ― Thomas Nashe
That’s what makes life hard, when you said- “reality is always in flux.” It sure is and I want to run away at times because of this. More than I’d like to admit. It’s tiring even when you have it pretty good.
I liked that Thomas Nashe quote, thanks, made me smile 🙂 I’m gonna look him up.
I can relate to the desire to run away and to the tiredness even when the going is good – in some ways the good is tiring because you know it could turn bad in a blink of an eye and you want to hold onto it, don’t blink, but when you try to hold onto something or someone… there is an equal and opposite reaction. They or it wants to run away… even if things are good as is.
We want things to stay put but when things stay put we want them to change… we are strange waters 🙂
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