No eye candy picture to go with – I churned out way more than 1,000 words, that grew in length, despite attempts to edit for short – so no need to add more words via a picture…. 😀
As long time readers & pen pals know, I have HUGE stories conceived in Bias over the “Think Positive” world of gurus, followers and activists.
On various fronts, I label, immediately, in my ‘all too human’ brain, some works/statements in the world around me and in cyberland as:
And I often hear that phrase run through my mind, totally on autopilot, upon hearing/reading/ingesting things, here and there, I truly feel I really know and own my biases and prejudices, for better or worse.
And yes, easier to just close myself off to any interaction with any forums where I might get subjected to such things –
Me? Well that’s the easy way, but, in the end, is it the best way of going about being the change I wish to see in the world, in myself first?
My current answer is “No – cuz somedays it feels as if I’m surrounded by folks who just listen to what they want/how they want and close out any other information – positive or negative. I don’t want to add to that storm – really…”
It’s NOT As If I’m totally ignorant on…
The various fronts in faith, science, lore, hardwired survival/physiological fronts that all rather contribute to our love of, desire for and NEED of positive thinking…
I just think whole sale, delusional optimism, always, on any front, is dangerous – for us all.
Thus, I choose to Label/Introduce myself First, as possible/likely ‘pessimist, cynic, realist’, just to save me and others, time, while we each assess, if we might be a good fit for each other, for awhile, while walking through life, just now.
This works for some and not so much for others, and really, is rather my personal resting point that quit moving much, about 13 years ago.
Venturing into Different World
I’ve gone into what I label as ‘enemy territory’ via reading a book, that a friend/mentor is reading and asked if I would read too, so we could do a one-on-one ‘bookclub’ to discuss.
I’m struggling to read it – and fully be open to it –
My mind quickly serves up ‘justifications’ for why, and here’s the list, of my mind chatter, that shouts loudly as I read, and I catch myself thinking,
“I’ve zoned out for nearly 4 paragraphs – distracted by me own mind chatter”:
- “Why is this sucker 200+ pages long? Why does she repeat the same few concepts so often? This wasn’t edited for conciseness very much….”
- “So what? Don’t you write too many words and give too many examples, too? Well that’s just the Pot calling the Kettle Black, so get over it….”
- “Well, okay, I agree those things listed as ‘negative behavior’ to spark ‘chemicals in our body’, we are hard wired, through evolution, to have/desire, makes sense, but she doesn’t list all of ’em – just the same 3 or 4 over and over, thus, guess it’s apparent where her biases lie – “
- “Her biases?? Her’s???!! OMG! You are not paying attention to your OWN, very much, are ya??”
- “Maybe not, but where, exactly, has she yet mentioned the ‘addiction’ of delusional optimism and the untold harm THAT can wreak?? Hmmmm???
- “Well, if you’d shut up and just truly read the book, you might see she did so in later chapters…”
Sigh – thus a book length I can usually whip out in a short order, has become a slogging, long journey while I try to read, and simultaenously, hold Brain Committee meetings that I’m paying more attention to than I was the last page or two of her work, I supposedly ‘read’ but, truth be told? I didn’t really ‘ingest’ with an open mind….
If nothing else, either her book and/or my relationship with my friend is getting me in touch with my never-ending mind chatter – to observe it and try mightily to not be ‘attached’ to any of it….
ALL while Pretending AS IF I’m really open minded….
I read the ‘free peek’ of the first 27 pages of the book before I purchased
(Mind chatter insert* after learning I can’t get at local library or within the library district of 4 libraries or couriered in via 184 consortium of rural libraries in the state- there’s a clue, right there, that the book sucks…was my immediate reaction, but, overcame my initial desire to give a ‘hard no, not your gal for this’ to my friend, after reading the first few pages, because, over all, I was very slightly intrigued, and figured, How bad can it be? I can give it the ‘good old college try’ cuz it appears to based on chemical/neurological studies/work of a lifetime by the author… and don’t you read stuff you don’t agree with, to try to see ‘the other side’ of things’, all the durn time?? Why say not to this request?”)
The Things I Willingly Subject Myself To….
Yup – I do this often. If I were to assess my behavior and subconscious motivations for doing such things, based only on the information held in what I’ve read in her book, thus far, here’s what this ‘body of work is telling me, about myself’:
“Well, you are being cynical, and doing this to yourself, so you can get dopamine reward, by feeling superior to the ‘others’ in your world, – and also feel ‘safe/secure’ in the herd of the virtual/them group of cynics. See? You are behaving in a competitive, addictive way and you are too dumb to even see it, all while you judge others for doing the same thing…”My paraphrase, given what I think I’ve read thus far – or…what my lying to myself ego/brain is telling me ‘I’ve learned about me” thus far –
I may finish reading/sorta reading, and learn something new, or I might not –
I confess to already having a draft email that may/may not be sent to my friend, informing him of my ‘mid-way through reading it…and…struggling….’
I’ll try one more day – then decide whether to send or not.
I might just hit “Publish” button here, and send him the link – which he may/may not read.
I could just lie…. It would be easier …on me…
Simply send a missive and say, “Done reading! Ready for bookclub phone call” and just have the book in front of me, and say in response to his statements/inquiry, “What page are ya on? I’ll read, cuz I didn’t get that message….”
Sometimes, I tell ya, ya can ‘get by and low risk’ to engage in such lil ‘factual, but easily misinterpreted by others’, statements, that in the end, are really a lie….that you might get caught in….”
I know so – I’ve done it before! And Got Away with It!
Rewarded by being a Sinner, that I am….
Me? I prefer not to risk lies- lies beget more lies, but once in awhile? I’ve engaged in such things – worded in a way that is factually true, but I know damn well, it will not be ‘interpreted as I really meant it’ by the one I’m saying it to.
“That’s totally understandable”
is often interpreted as
“Tamrah Jo thinks I’m RIGHT!”
when really? I don’t, but they are fighting with themselves and I’m just the wall they are bouncing their ball against – for now…. and doesn’t matter what I say, it’s still for them to choose…
My preference is just telling/speaking my truth, best as I understand it, over and over in myriad of ways, so as not to confuse others – If that makes me a blunt, harsh, arse-wipe?
Well, so be it.
On the other hand….
“Done Reading” means, really “I’m Done Reading this (not finishing it)” – and, given Happy-Wappy Super Successful mindset advice?
NOT my FAULT how another chose to interpret what I said/did –
‘They’ only heard what they wanted to – which is Not my problem! is what I see repeated, over in over, in this world of Positive Thinking advice.
Just until, it is my problem – and then? Well, the only core root answer from these gurus & followers is, always, “Well, you obviously haven’t adjusted your attitude, thus, your problem alone, because you brought it on yourself through your negative attitude.”
All while I’m asked over and over, to be a follower/financial supporter to those who are helping to SAVE the collective world of Life on Earth, who also tell me if I’d just adjust my attitude, my life would be better, but when it’s not?
Well, my fault alone, has nothing whatsoever to do with the collective world and why would I dare ask for or expect support from them?
The inherent contradictions of the dogma expressed in the Positive Thinking crowd continues to fascinate me…
I Am, Overall, A Fan Of Positive Thinking
I truly believe, when we ‘think positive/have faith/cling to hope’ our various brain portions are all set to see the moments of true beauty, always – no matter what is going on around us.
We train ourselves to see the Light within the Shadow, the beauty of spirit, in the horrific moments of life.
The helpers who show up when many are running away from disaster.
While I also see over and over, examples of when ‘delusional optimism’ hurts not just the individual, but often? Collectively? Many, Many living things.
This too, seems to be labeled as my ‘subconscious, stupidity in ‘seeing patterns’ that aren’t really there – via this book, so far…as I can tell….
I’m a fan of Whatever Works (my label for it) for ‘right now’ but always re-assessing, and understanding, overall, for ourselves and the reality we live in, right now, the story of “whatever works” will change – at some point.
This is one core point, where the book’s author and I appear to agree.
Her version is:
“It’s a never ending series of choices, based on chemicals and triggers and moment-by-moment assessment for mammals to choose the option to pursue, with greatest promise of reward, and least risk to survival…”paraphrase of multiple examples in book thus far (ad nauseum examples… see? My bias is showing up again…)
Yup – I agree –
How she manages to get from multiple examples of studies done on mammals, and link it the ‘cynicism/negative thinking’ that holds humans back – continues to sometimes leave me rolling my eyes and my inner brain committee shouting/screaming at me, on various detailed points.
Again, I remind myself, I willingly signed up to do this to myself…
Because I Love
The friend who requested I read, and ‘is curious to hear my thoughts on’ is a long time teacher, mentor, friend.
He’s also the one I call and “whine” too, when I struggle with various relationships & choices in my own life.
He’s also one of the few folks in my circle that has the patience to sit beside me while I wrestle with my ‘dark side’ and, with less judgement of me, personally?
Let’s me know when he’s not up to wading through the swamp with me.
Which I appreciate.
He’s been there for me, over and over and over, when something came onto my radar and I was in desperate need to ‘talk it over’ and hear feedback from something OTHER than me own brain committee…
He also knows how to keep his mouth shut and not divulge ‘state of me, secrets’ to enemies or frenemies – 😀
AND! I don’t pay for ‘counseling/coaching’ services – either….
So, in my mind? Now he’s asking me, about things important to him, right about now, and really, it’s not like he’s asking me to crawl through a battle worn region and risk my physical life –
Such a simple request to just read a book….Low risk to me, really…
He who requested, rather DESERVES me truly reading it – not just repeating what “I think I know” and learned long ago, no new info needed, opinion.
AND, I want to finish it, so when we discuss, I can honestly, with full candor, answer the questions he’ll invariably ask me, which, our shared history indicates to me, will be some version of:
“I was really intrigued by this portion – I thought that really rang true, what are your thoughts on it?”
I do believe he expects AND I, in me own little kingdom of ‘one’ find him worthy and deserving of something more of me than taking the easy way out and replying, verbatim, the same answer, I would have given him had I never read the book …
Or, even if I give the same answer, I want to KNOW I personally wrestled with my own biases/labels/judgment and after pondering the concepts presented, still believe the way I did, before I ever read it.
I expect it of myself, and our shared history of relationship tells me, he expects nothing more of me than I expect of myself –
A history that also includes him expecting way less of me than I demand of myself, too….
The Crux of the Matter
What really, is this slogging through to complete this task, doing for me, our relationship, his benefit? I ask more of myself, than he consistently demands of me….
Am I growing? Could have a chance to grow? Am I simply showing support to someone I care about, in the manner they requested?
Will my honest effort and our discussion of the book, truly be useful to him? or not?
I arrive at the Answer, for Now, at least…
After ‘writing it down and having a chat, with you, dear reader’ – as I often do….
It’s SOOO easy for me to drop everything and be there for ’emergency’ – death, illness, un-expecteds that REALLY upset someone’s life/worldview – and they, themselves, aren’t at their best right now – to me? That comes easy for me –
It’s where I shine, where a long, long line of experience, history and various folks are very grateful I was there, just as I was, at the time.
Such labeling of my own ‘self-identity/ego/narcissism (pick your label of me) is reinforced by the many times I walked alone through the hard times, or didn’t get the support I so desperately needed, in the manner of which I needed and figure, hmm… I’ve learned, here and there, via the kindness of strangers, how much of a difference it makes when one feels ‘not totally alone’.
It’s HARDER for me to love someone through quality time, acts of service, in forums they deem important/request, than I prioritize as really important, even while I understand, on some level, that it’s Important to THEM right now.
It’s HARDER for me to bite back words of caution to those who, for whatever reason, are gung-ho on committing to blind optimism via what I find is ‘action that may not work out they way they hope it to”
Part of this, I confess, is my way of trying to lower risk to myself – and don’t I know it! Why?
Cause when it DOESN’T work out as they hoped, for those I truly love and who count upon me, here and there?
I often am called to come in and help fix/pick up the pieces when despite their optimism and faith and hope, it all turns to shit and leaves them blindsided.
Ah, yes, dear reader, I’m often aware of my OWN lil manipulative ways, in hopes I don’t have to be a full jackass in the future and say, “I tried to warn you and No, I’m so sorry, but I don’t have the resources to help you with fallout clean up, right now, on your requested time frame…So sorry…I tried to tell ya, cuz I KNEW if it went south, what you would need/want was unlikely probable for me to meet/do for you”
Some label this part of me as inability to say “No” –
I’m fine saying “No” – To my mind, I do it ad nauseum, over and over, often it isn’t heard – no matter how harshly, bluntly I say it –
Others accuse me of negative mindset and if I just adjusted my ‘thinking’ I would have all the resources demanded of me, in short order, the moment the ‘ask’ came in –
And yet over and over?
It seems, as if, in all my glorious unenlightened and sinner ways?
Often, what I say, what I slog through doing, for Love of a soul, when and where I can? Makes a difference for them – at least for that moment in time….
Sometimes ‘being there’ for another is incredibly ‘hard’ for me, and yet ‘easy’ at the same time.
Sometimes, doing what is easy for me, and I don’t given another thought to it, seems incredibly hard for someone else and they believe my contribution to be more worthy/worth more in valuation, than I label it –
But sometimes? I just do hard things I really would rather let go of –
Just for a tad longer, because let things go well for those around me?
I need to be in ‘shape’ to walk the ‘hard times’ all by myself, and well, updating the story lines of my various Brain Committee personages is where I often choose to invest in my own resources, for me – that might also have future side benefits for another –
I may not choose NOT to do a lot of things experts in the field of exercise nutrition, self-care often say I SHOULD, but yes, I often ‘exercise’ and do hard things, such as this, because I can and I don’t resent spending the time to do so …
Until I do – and then? STILL takes me a while to walk away from such ‘exercise’ plans….
Such a little thing he requested of me
And in light of all the times he has shown me love, just as I am, where I am, over decades -why wouldn’t I just give my best effort to this attempt?
And really, I might just learn and grow during the journey of this – if nothing else than recommitting to our bond of friendship, in which hard topics and perspectives are discussed/shared and if we disagree with each other? Doesn’t mean we are now enemies.
SO WORTH Fighting To Preserve!
AS IF it were life and death –
I spend time, on doing my part, to keep such relationships alive, for as long as can, even when it isn’t really life and death.
Because it’s important to ‘that one’ and well, they are important to me – and, at end of day?
Such ‘exercises’ might, also, be really important to me and how I navigate the next time “Oh, CRAP!” that shows up in my world….
Thus, it must be done I declare.
As always, after journaling, meditating/praying? And still struggling?
Writing it out, KNOWING I’ll hit the ‘publish’ button?
Has brought some relief and clarity to the matter, for now –
Blogging here? Is part of my “Whatever Works” tool kit, for now –
Even while I’m surrounded by many worldviews/opinions around me indicating I’m ‘addicted to social media” or am, at heart, a mean, nasty bad narcissist”
And I realize, in the end, the friend that requested? Will believe me and hear my truth, and see how he is loved, by me,
I give up and say, “I struggled with it, skim read it, have the book, and want to hear your perspective and discuss, if you can bear knowing, I tried and failed in overcoming my internal biases to read with an open mind….”
Cuz, um, yup – that lil ‘factoid’ continues to come to my mind.
When I remember our past history, sometimes divided in opinion, on many fronts – and silences in between when we were rather ticked off at each other? Busy on other fronts?
Yup – that history, I do not forget, ever.
Which reminds me…why do so many Positive Thinking tomes include the ‘forget the past’ admonitions???
But that is another too many words, too long of a blog, for another day….
P.S. The more I edit for length and concise? The longer this post grows – thus – if ya hung in there this long? Well, my, aren’t you a peach!??
I’m done editing – if I keep on I’ll just end up saving a draft and being to lazy to go back and edit, again, later, and yet, someday in the future, I’ll be reminded of the ‘storyline’ of my life, and I’ll think of a similar time, in the past, and I’ll want to copy/paste, one section, of this tome, of mine, that still rings true – and I’m too lazy to type it out anew – cuz, stubborn or not, wise or not, I still feel the same way – perhaps….
3K words, published, now, for free and no one has to pay to read them?
My lil way of reminding myself, of myself, later –