Can We Afford to be Innocent

The title of this post is a slightly altered version of a statement made in the lyrics of a song – Invincible by Pat Benatar (excerpt from lyrics posted below)- which I was reminded of the other day while watching – GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling).

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This song was typical of the 1980’s – a time which when viewed from the present gives a different perspective from the one had while it was the present.

It wasn’t all about big hair, big shoulders (thanks to shoulder pads and the new popular fitness trend of working out… in brightly coloured spandex), big statements (like Greed is Good!), big mobile phones (which first went on sale in the 80’s – they were huge compared to the ones which came later), big egos, big attitudes (the self-help movement really took off in the 80’s – and big personalities took it over, playing to win big), big arguments with big weapons of mass destruction…

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a screen grab from a big blockbuster of the time – War Games

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Computers in those days weren’t as sophisticated as they are now, the geeks hadn’t taken over the world yet and exacted their revenge on the rest of humanity by making us dependent on their creations, addicted to to their Apps, relying on their programs to program our lives, needing their machines to give us access to all those people and online communities which feed our self-esteem… or starve it yet keep us coming back for more starvation.

The Internet was also very different – it wasn’t something for everyone then (the World Wide Web as we know it was just being born), but it was slowly progressing towards what it is now…

a place where you can post your opinion in a blink of an eye, without even thinking about it, and at a click of a button you can either make or break someone else (‘s day, mood, life, etc) without thinking even about it….

a bit like those two truck drivers last night who were sitting in their big lorries (probably taking a recommended rest from driving due to being tired after an all night long haul?) with engines idling (perhaps due to the lorries being refrigerated?) in the lay-by across from my house (which is a rather nice and quiet place to take a break), who didn’t realise that their big engines were shaking the foundations and reverberating throughout the walls making it impossible to sleep… why should they be aware of such things, of their effect on others…

like one person asked the internet the other day – “why should i apologize for being heartless? nobody ever apologized for making me this way on tumblr” – that’s an interesting question!

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A few days ago someone shared some good news online… shortly after they did this… they most likely wished they hadn’t been so innocent about what they share online as they were inundated with people criticising them for their good news.

To keep things balanced – there were also many well-wishers, people happy to hear someone else’s good news… unfortunately the negative tends to drown out the positive, it’s more attention grabbing, it’s the naughty child who knows the only way to get their parents’ attention is by being bad… being good tends to get ignored, doesn’t have quite the same impact or effect unless it is OTT (like those people who formed a human chain to rescue a family caught in a riptide).

This person happens to be a celebrity, thus their private life is public (and the media thinks they own the rights to it)… so their good news would have been made public anyway at some point, and the internet criticisms would have rolled in anyway…

This person is Patton Oswalt, someone who has very publicly shared his experience of losing a loved one suddenly, been open about his grief…

and while a big portion of the public most likely aren’t interested in him and his business (they’re too busy minding and tending to their own business), for those who are interested, his shared grief has been helpful, touching, and inspiring… but some of those whom he has helped, touched, inspired are angry at him for moving on, moving through the stages of grief and finding happiness and love again.

For more on this story – Patton Oswalt Announces His Engagement — and Strikes Back at ‘Grub Worm’ Critics via The New York Times – within this article is a link to a random stranger’s passionate heartfelt reply to the critics of this man and his sharing of his personal good news – A Widow’s Rage Defense of Patton Oswalt’s Engagement via Erica Roman Blog – to me her post is what blogging is all about.

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It’s odd, isn’t it… or is it?… that someone has to explain that it’s okay for someone else to be happy after they’ve been sad, that someone has to explain that it’s okay for someone who has loved and lost their loved one to love another person afterwards and that just because they love another person afterwards doesn’t mean they erase the love for the lost loved one…

the past is not erased just because the present happens… even if we’d like for it to work that way.

While I agree with most of what was said in that post, I don’t think the people, whose criticisms of Patton Oswalt’s good news inspired her post, are “ignorant, judgmental, assholes”… they were being “ignorant, judgmental, assholes” but that doesn’t mean that’s who they are…

We can all be “ignorant, judgmental, assholes”…

[maybe that is an ignorant, judgmental, assholes (ian) generalisation to make… I should probably say – I have definitely been and can be an ignorant, judgmental, asshole(s). I’ve learned a lot from being that way (the hard way which is often the best way to actually get something through a thick head… like mine) and from learning to not be that way (bit by tiny painful shard bit).]

and the internet, especially social media, makes it easy to be that way… especially if we’re in personal pain (which most of us seems to be in, one way or another), it is also easy to be that way – pain, suffering, personal hell makes us prone to lashing out in confusion, anger, disappointment (due to perfectionism, idealism, hopefulism, pressures from societyism, etc), despair… and we’re also prone to thinking that our opinion won’t be heard, noticed, matter to anyone because we’re just one tiny voices in an ocean of shouting people… what does it matter what we say online!? No one is listening to us (or to anyone) anyway, everyone is talking or waiting to talk…

One of the things which struck me about the negative comments which were shared was that they were more in the form of questions disguised as judgments (or assumed by those reading  them from a place of defensiveness to be judgments) – it’s as though those people who were being ‘ignorant, judgmental, assholes’ were actually seeking answers for questions which they didn’t know how to ask any other way than by making ‘ignorant, judgmental, assholes’ statements.

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excerpt via Megsanity: “I Hate Him.” How To Make Marriage Work

also a relevant read for an insight into the workings and not workings of other kinds of relationships – including online ones where communication is key… often the key to rooms we really didn’t want to end up in.

The thing about ‘flooding’ was eye and mind opening… I tend to refer to this as being ‘overwhelmed’… and once your system is overwhelmed, you shut down and become stuck (and others sometimes get stuck with you).

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Can we afford to be innocent…

about others

about ourselves

about the world we’re living in…

and then blame others when our innocence slaps us in the face?

What if the enemy we should stand up and face is…us and not them?

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If we’re surrounded by narcissists… maybe we’re the real narcissist, and we’re the ones who need to look in the mirror… and stop bargaining with it to make us look different, prettier, smarter, less narcissistic… or maybe not, maybe we are truly surrounded by narcissists and it’s time for us to stop, pause, adjust…

What are we waiting for?

Perhaps for someone else to come to our rescue when we’re being attacked by internet trolls?

Won’t anybody help us?

What do trolls do when you get between them and their latest target? So, when someone else is being attacked by trolls, are you really going to step between them and their target? What’s in it for you? Are you hoping the person you’re rescuing by diverting attention onto yourself is going to be grateful…

if you’re DT jr… falling on a sword to save sr… hoping for a smidgen of love, respect (or something else you’re never going to get in the narcissistic love quest) due to your sacrifice… the person you’re rescuing will most likely think you’re not sacrificing yourself enough for them (you’re not the hero they were holding out for), you’re following your training (ACoNs must volunteer to die for their parents, to save their endlessly in peril of their own making children disguised as parents, even over a paper cut…) but you’re still disappointing them (it’s embarrassing for them, and other Narc problems), or that you’ve interfered in a drama they had orchestrated (perhaps without doing it intentionally) with them centre stage and you’re trying to steal their limelight…

Who is right, who is wrong… maybe neither, maybe both, maybe one and not the other… but which one is which?

Both ones will think probably they are the one which is right (and they’ll have others supporting them)… most likely due to their position and perspective which justifies their belief as true…

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The Gettier Problem… sort of explained

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For instance…

where I come from (growing up with narcissist parents)… you never share good news because your good news is bad news for others (for the ones who really matter, for your parents – you, as their child, don’t count… make yourself count and you’ll be in their list of enemies), and it’s rude of you to be happy (how dare you!) when others aren’t (that’s a very a-hole thing to be on your part).

Expecting others to be happy for you for your good news… is the kind of innocence you can’t afford to have if you live in Narcville – unless your appointed role is the happy one who keeps getting stomped on by the unhappy ones. They do like it when they can steal your happiness from you… what they don’t like is that stolen happiness only makes them happy for about six seconds (and that’s your fault, not theirs).

Then again, if you keep all your good news hidden (to keep it safe, to keep your happy) and they find out about it… that’s a critical shitstorm too.

If you’re dealing with narcissists… you’re going to have to go where human programming isn’t too comfortable going – that place where ‘winning’ is not an option, or at least not one which is useful or relevant.

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It’s that place where you do things because you need to do those things (and this could make you into the ignorant asshole of others – so be prepared for that and lose your innocence factor about it – unless you’re using it as a human chess move).

Share your good news but just don’t expect others to chime in with a – good for you – that isn’t sarcastic, caustic and cutting, intended to diminish your positive and turn it sour.

And try to focus on those who offer genuine, authentic, real positive input – but don’t rely on it, just appreciate it when it comes… notice it more than you notice the negative. The ones who give positive feedback are the good ones who really ought to get more attention than the bad ones… but the negative sings the song of Circe… did you notice the rocks you have to crash and die on which surround such a siren.

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excerpt via Frederick Woodruff: Turn Off, Tune Out and Drop In

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In a world where we’re so connected… we’re more disconnected than we’ve ever been before… at least in living memory.

We reach out but our hands are made of numbers which can’t grasp the numbers that make up the hands of others… no matter how similar those numbers are.

We don’t even bother saying ‘Hello’ to each other online anymore, please, thank you and other pleasantries have fallen away (they’re the stuff of our ancestors and we’re ghosting them). We don’t explain anything about why we’re interacting, we just launch right into our complaint, criticism, annoyance and rant away… then wonder why others think we’re “ignorant, judgmental, assholes”… if we even bother to think about it… our thinking may be too busy thinking that others are “ignorant, judgmental, assholes” to even consider that we might be one too…

Are we all just seeing in others what is within ourselves (and vice versa)… are we even able to see others anymore without drowning them out, flooding them with what is within us… and are we doing this because it is being done to us…

will a human chain save us from this kind of riptide…

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Recently in astrology there was an ‘event – a full Moon in Capricorn which connected with transiting Pluto and was supposed to be all kinds of intense, destructive and transformative…

the astrological degree for this aspect and event was exact with my natal Sun (and thus my ‘ego’)…

nothing happened….

at least not in my personal world…

however I have been restructuring things internally recently and maybe that had something to do with nothing major happening.

(and yes, astrology being BS could also be an option – this argument falls into ‘moot points’ for me)

I’ve been simplifying my life, my approach… shifting from one stance to another… in a natural way (without ambitious interference on my part), unlimited by rules of mind, ideals, dreams, and other thoughts (or thoughts from others) on what I think it should be versus what it actually is…

kind of like when you first meet someone and your strangers to each other status allows you both to be more naturally who you are when you don’t have to think about who you’re being…

Have you ever considered how much being time we use up thinking about being…

 

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8 thoughts on “Can We Afford to be Innocent

  1. Those shifts that we experience can be difficult or wonderful or both. It feels to me like yours is moving you into a really good place, maybe pretty whole – well, we’re never completely whole, but our experience and work on ourselves can give a great deal of contentment that way, I think.
    Oh yes – lots of time spent on thinking about being. 🙂 My being is being pretty good right now. 🙂
    Great post. 🙂

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    1. Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      I think I’m just more settled into myself, more at home in being as is, and pausing longer before reacting or jumping to conclusions, and comfortable with leaving things messy rather than trying to tidy them up. I don’t feel so driven to figure anything out. I do have the old itches, but not the urge to scratch them as I used to 😉

      Glad to hear things are good on your end – it’s been quite the journey to get there!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello. This was a really good post. It is strange how people on the internet seem to feel free to be quite cruel or blunt or sarcastic, isn’t it? Often these are people who would not act that way in person. It is as if all the human inner angers, frustrations and fears boil over in these posts. Sadly, I see the same a lack of self-restraint leaking out into general society. The right to be a..holes I guess. Loved your -isms. Reminded me of:
    “Everyone has an “-ism” these days.” (“You Can’t Take it With You”…I think)

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    1. Hi. Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      I think in some ways the internet has become a ‘safe’ place for people to release stress. It’s a screaming into a void. There’s a disconnect where people think the internet is a virtual reality, like a video game, and that no one online is really real, and nothing you do online matters or has consequences offline. When confronted people often say – but it’s the internet, everyone does it, you’re not supposed to take it seriously, it’s not personal.

      A week ago I watched a film, called The Circle, with Patton Oswalt in it wherein he played the part of a Tech guru who had complete disregard for the lives of others and his effect on them, who was planning on using the internet to take over the world and make lots of money out of it. It was a bit of a mess of a film, but some of the ideas and perspectives within it were interesting, especially with regards to how the internet has affected the way we live our lives and relate to other people both online and offline.

      There are many positive aspects to the internet, and it has been life-changing in great ways, so there is a balance, but when the negative hits it can be hard to remember the positive.

      The world has change so rapidly in such a short space of time, and we’re all adjusting, adapting bit by bit, learning as we get swept along.

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  3. I always like to read when its possible what you have to say and marvel at the time you spend putting some interesting comments together so again thanks for that or this…….I spend loads of time trying to be nice to people my favourite is to see how many people smile back in a day its amazing when I look at a person male or female and I wonder if they will smile back or not the majority of smile backs comes from females males are a little trickier but since I have tried harder they do too. I remember from years and years ago my first astrological summary of myself traits etc ( prior to internet days) and it said that I have a special way of looking at people Ive never really got to the bottom of that cos I just look at someone I guess like every one else does so that’s a lot of my time spent being as I am with what I got. I hope that my comment is not way of the mark.!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      The other day while leafing through a science magazine in a waiting room I skimmed an article about the evolution of smiling. One theory suggested that smiling at a primal level was a sign of subservience, letting others in a group know that you are not a threat to them, and that you’re not planning on challenging the alpha’s leadership.

      It’s interesting to note that in photographs men don’t smile as often as women do, and if they do smile they tend to do it subtly and show their teeth a lot less than women do.

      My guess about the astro placement which resulted in your reading telling you that you have a special way of looking at people is that it is most likely associated with something Piscean as astrologers tend to be nebulous about the sign and often give anyone with a strong Piscean influence the ‘special visionary gifts’ label.

      I would also say that you do have a different way of looking at people – your story about Francoise shows that, she appreciated that about you. If you have a natural ability, it’s natural to you and while others may see it as ‘special’ to you it will be ordinary because it is a normal and ordinary part of who you are… it’s very difficult for us to appreciate our ‘special’.

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  4. I love what you wrote! But that’s not uncommon. 😀 I had a similar conversation with the receptionist at a “little gym” just a bit ago. The discussion went: how an adult cannot be innocent anymore, but I thought adults can, be that raw, open, naked beingness. Back story: She was teasing me about something DD had said, child-like innocence, and kept telling me how they(her and the other ladies) would silently judge me for it. I thought it was really funny, there was nothing wrong with any of it(the comment DD said on my laundry skills, as well as the judgement, hey I’d probably think the same thing). She told me how adults cannot just “be” themselves, but I think it’s important to “be” unfiltered(aka no masks, or hiding of self…not the rude type of unfilitered). So omg, I spend alot of time thinking about beingness and quality of life. lol. In the end of the discussion, she found out she had her “innocent”(as she called it too) moments, but with “safe” people, her hubby and sister. 😀

    I also feel it’s important to mention, I’ve been in NC for 7 years now, I have forgotten just how bad it was, like waking from a nightmare. Though my foo, as I understand it, fell more on the sociopathic scale(NPDs don’t attempt murder, steal identities, or commit fraud, etc.), I love your articles, it gives me a good “map” on areas I need to work on/develop more insight.

    So thanks, and love all of your articles. ((safe hugs if wanted))

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    1. Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      That’s a good observation about forgetting how bad things were once you’ve been NC for long while. Occasionally I get flashes of memory of just how crazy things were, how it warps and twists everything and everyone… it’s useful to get those as it highlights the path traveled from there to here, and reminds you of the work you have done. While there are always things to do with ourselves, it’s good to take time to enjoy who we are as we are with all our quirks, give ourselves space to just be without analysing our beingness too much.

      I saw a film last night (called ‘Liberal Arts’) where a character stated that they had been spending so much time reading about life that they realised they weren’t spending enough time just living it. They would still read about it because they loved reading, but they wanted to experiencing life lived through themselves more than they had been.

      I think that part of being involves thinking about being, and also involves being innocent sometimes… it’s all part of the adventure of human 🙂

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