History isn’t the only thing which repeats itself. Why did I write that, that wasn’t at all what I was thinking about… or was it?
I was thinking about waves. Waves of consciousness. How awareness seems to flow.
Rushing forwards into conscious awareness, like a wave rushing onto a beach which makes us notice it…
Perhaps we notice it because we don’t want to get our shoes wet – why are we wearing shoes on a beach? Or why are we wearing shoes we’re afraid of getting wet?
Perhaps we don’t want to get our feet wet which is why we’re wearing shoes, but why don’t we want to get our feet wet? Will our feet melt if they’re touched by water?
Is the beach made of sand or pebbles?
Is it too hot to walk upon?
That reminds me of a beach I used to go to in Italy. The sun would turn the sand into lava. You’d see people trying to look cool while rushing across the sand… hot hot hot coals! I used to test my mettle and see how far I could go and how long I could stand it… it was something to do when I wasn’t attempting to swim as far away from the shore as possible while wondering if I’d get eaten by a shark or drown first.
People rushing on hot sand.
Waves rushing onto the beach.
Thoughts rushing in and getting our attention, splashing us with information, suddenly that’s all we can think about… but at some point it’ll recede. Will we forget about it almost as though we never knew about it?
That’s what I was thinking about – How the same information seems to repeat itself. Each time it does we treat it as a brand new thing, often giving it new words, terminology, because it’s new and therefore needs words to describe it, so we can talk about it with others.
Oh wow! Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before!?! This is amazing! This changes everything!!!
It becomes very popular. The hot trending topic of the moment! Hashtag it, share it, spread the word! Get on the bandwagon and play that tune loudly, again and again on repeat, we’re never going to get bored of hearing this song and its message.
But then it recedes. The wave returns to the ocean. Taking the information with it, and we gradually forget about it.
Perhaps we picked up a shell which it brought with it, put it on a shelf and every now and then we notice that shell, but slowly we can’t recall where it came from, why we have it, it’s pretty though… until it isn’t and we’re having a clear out because the new In thing to do is clearing things out (Wow! What a new and great idea, why didn’t someone think of this before!?! This changes everything!!!) which don’t serve you, serve a purpose, which clutter your mind with their meaningless clutter.
It was a keepsake to remember… but of what was it supposed to remind us?
This train (it’s a water train…) of thought started when I read an article which discussed how mothers inadvertently affect and infect their daughters with body issues.
Consciously a mother may do her best to give her daughter a positive body image, such as tell her daughter not to worry about her weight because she doesn’t want her daughter worrying about her weight and getting caught up in a vicious cycle of weight watching, body measuring, calorie counting, dieting, of hating her body because it’s not the size and shape which is being advertised and idealised by society at the time…
But then the daughter witnesses her mother constantly checking what she’s eating, worrying about her weight, critising herself for not sticking with her diet and exercise program, getting upset that she’s not physically attractive enough, being concerned about what others will think and say about her…
What I found most intriguing about the article was when the author pointed out how a lot of these issues were created or at least promoted by companies which make loads of money off of people hating their bodies. The human body is a big business, and businesses get more from us when we’re body-shamed by ourselves and others into buying their products and systems.
Today I read another article which again touched upon how big business is invested in us having body issues, self-esteem issues, and other issues for which they can offer us a magic pill for money. They have the perfect solution for our problem, for a price they can make us better, be better, think better, feel better…
But do they actually want us to get better?
If their magic pill works properly and solves our problem, then we’d only buy it once – that’s not profitable, is it? That’s bad business, isn’t it? They need us to return over and over, keep buying their product, become addicted to it, reliant upon it, desperately seeking but never quite finding what will make everything better.
Here’s the link to the latter article – Psychology Today: When Self-Care Becomes a Weapon by Whitney Goodman
And here’s an excerpt from it for those who don’t want to click the link, and because it’s an excellent observation:
“Something has to be done, and the wellness industry is convinced they can solve the problem with new products and captivating marketing. Their version of self-care is expensive and doesn’t work very well, but wow, we are eating it up.
We want to feel good and we want to care for ourselves. But is self-care making us feel worse?
Self-care has become another item on our to-do list, something we have to do in order to feel loved, worthy, healthy, or respected. Sometimes this item doesn’t get checked off, and then the shame cycle begins. “I can’t believe I didn’t make it to the gym this week. I am such a failure. I never follow through on anything.”
I know. I’ve been this girl. The girl who picks an activity that is supposed to help me and then uses it as a reason to punish myself when I don’t follow through. I don’t think that’s how “self-care” is supposed to work.
Self-care is supposed to make us better in the long-term. It’s not supposed to be a quick fix or a punishment. Somewhere along the way, the term “self-care” sold its soul. Now we use self-care as a measuring stick for success. Maybe you compare yourself to the girl who does yoga six days a week or the vegan blogger whipping up gourmet meals.
We’ve been sold a lie that self-care comes in the tube of the latest lipgloss or is at the bottom of a glass of wine. It has become exclusive, elusive, and so expensive. Self-care is officially a commodity and women are buying it off the shelves in order to prove that they care about themselves.– excerpt from Psychology Today: When Self-Care Becomes a Weapon by Whitney Goodman
Please note that the author doesn’t just point out what’s wrong with self-care and the self-care industry, and then abandon the reader to figure out what to do, she offers some great tips further along in the article for self-care and making it work for you.
As I was reading the above article, I kept being reminded of the Mother Daughter one (I don’t have a link to it to share as I read it about a week ago while browsing and I regularly delete my browser’s history, cookies, trackers, cache, etc as it seems to clear up certain glitches), and it struck me that the conscious wave coming in at the moment is one which is making us more aware of the role big business plays in our sense of well-being… and how much it is invested in our not feeling good about ourselves and keeping us in that state of being.
That awareness seems to come and go in waves. Suddenly people become very conscious of it, and then it gets forgotten again until the next time. Why? Why do we forget things which seem so important to us when they’re brought to our attention?
A couple of decades ago, before the internet, I recall it being discussed using the terminology of mass hypnotism – the mass hypnotism of the media, product placement, sponsorship, advertising, etc.
I remember that because it drew my attention to what or who influenced my desire to have something, do something, be a part of something.
There was this one incident which became a personal reference point.
I found myself seized by an intense and obsessive need and want to own a pair of Timberland work boots. My mind was a total brat about it, nagging me to get them. But I couldn’t figure out why I wanted them. I didn’t actually need them as I didn’t do anything which required that type of footwear. They were expensive. I also thought they were ugly. I didn’t want them and yet I wanted them, why?
At the time they were the very In, must have, popular, hot trending item. They were everywhere I looked, everyone was wearing them.
Usually I avoided anything which was that popular, even if I loved it and wanted it, because I’m very contrary, prone to nonconformity… if nonconformity became the In thing to be, I’d probably become a conformist (this bit was inspired by reading an article the other day about the 10 danger signs that you’re a conformist which was advocating nonconformity as the way to be and was written in such a way that it sounded like the author wanted to pressure people to conform to being nonconformists).
I eventually couldn’t take the nagging from my bratty mind anymore and bought a pair.
After wearing them a few times I regretted having given in to my must-have-ism. They hurt my feet – the top of the toe area pushed in and created what felt like a blunt toe-guillotine.
I continued to wear them – use it up, wear it out, make it do because you bought them and have to take responsibility for your action, live with its consequences. I wanted to punish myself for being an idiot… until I stopped doing that because it made me an even bigger idiot.
The stopping doing that happened when I wore them with shorts while walking the streets of NYC on a sweltering Summer day. My feet overheated, rubbed, screamed at the insanity… those were stupid shoes to wear on baking concrete and melting tarmac. A thunderstorm broke loose – rainwater poured down my legs into the boots, filling them with water, making them heavier than they already were when dry. I slosh slosh sloshed as I walked. My feet were thoroughly wet, but at least now they were cool.
The other day I noticed a few bloggers writing posts about pet peeves – they mostly seemed to be about what bothered them about others… others don’t bother me anywhere near as much as I bother myself, and the things which bother me about others are usually things which bother me about myself, so I try to take a shortcut and look directly at myself rather than take a detour through someone else to eventually get to myself unless I get lost along the way.
I make a lot of mistakes – it’s part of my skill-set. I use to be terrified of making mistakes (a side-effect of growing up with narcissists), and thus I’d try not to make them, which for a long while led to a psychological form of paralysis. It got to the point where I was afraid of saying or doing anything… and I saw everything I did or said as a mistake.
I would try very hard to only make a mistake once, learn from it, never do it again… but that only worked as long as I kept the mistake firmly in my conscious mind, stabbing myself with it.
If I didn’t do that and let the mistake wave recede, I’d forget the lesson learned, would make the same mistake again and have to learn the lesson all over again.
I got better at remembering the lessons learned once I stopped being so afraid of forgetting them and of making the same mistake over and over again… I became more at ease about making mistakes.
My motto for life, living, being atm is – Mess It Out.
I’m going to stop here for now…