"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive boy who often thought he should have been a girl - -

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Never Good Enough

Lately my sweetie has been reminding me more than usual of how laid back I've become in so many ways. There is no doubt I was very much a perfectionist up to the past few years. These days, when I do something well, it is not a race, or a competition. Perhaps the differences are subtle, but they are real and noticeable. 

It is not my intention here to highly analyze OCD behaviours in general; just mine. It might seem that way, and of course, those who know about such things either from observation, or personal experience may be tempted to chime in here. Please, as always, do add your thoughts. I love learning... but perhaps that is part of my obsession?
While on the subject of caveats, this post might sound a bit like bragging, and I want to be really clear that part of my problem over the years has been my lack of pleasure at being thought good at anything. It is hard to take pride in one's defence mechanism. 

How is it that obsessions become connected with pleasure centres? Maybe they couldn't be obsessions otherwise. I have always found great pleasure trying to be as good as possible at everything. "Always" is not quite accurate actually; I can pin the full development of my obsession to the same time, my late teens, when I became determined to demonstrate myself as a real man. Hatred of self can be a powerful motivation. 
I have had people ask me "Is there anything you aren't good at?" The answer varied, but in truth, "There are things I've never tried." was the best one for most of my life. These days, the answer is one of encouragement to others. Pointing out that they do complicated things well too and never give thought to how complex those things are.

Finally, inner peace found through a process of self-discovery over the past four years, and yes, chemical intervention too, has permitted me a glimpse of another me who might have had a full life being so much more than 'good as possible at everything'; a person finding pleasure in things beyond her control. A person happy to simply be herself helping and encouraging those around her. 

Thursday, 25 December 2014

O Holy Night

It may be the words that matter for some, but when I heard this the first time, and every time I've heard it, it gave and gives me shivers. 

Love yourself.                    

             Love each another!


Monday, 15 December 2014

Creatures of Light

There wouldn't be much going up here lately if I tried to rely on my own words, or tried to write so that others would like what is here. So today, two reminders to self:
First I can do whatever I want to do. My blog. 

Second, knowing that I get really bound up sometimes and fail to make the very best most loving decisions, something I need to remind myself, not just for times when I have feelings of disappointment, or loss and despair, but also when life is good:
Whether victim or a master ~ my ego is just that, and who I truly am, ... Reality is amazingly different. 

You are creatures of Light.

From light you have come,            
        to light you shall go, 
and surrounding you through every step
                    is the light of your infinite being.

By your choice dwell you now in the world which you have created.
What you hold in your heart shall be true,
and what most you admire      
           that shall you become.

~

You are life, inventing form. No more can you die on sword or years than you can die on doorways through which you walk, one room to another. Every room gives its word for you to speak, every passage its song to sing.

Monday, 1 December 2014

A Kind, Forgiving, Charitable, Pleasant Time

This time of year has always been a special time I love. Perhaps strangely, since the nativity narrative is not an important part for me; likewise the presents under the tree. There are in fact many events that occurred around Christmas that could make this time of year one I dislike.  

Last week, Joey asked readers "so will you be attending church at Christmas, or will you be staying as far away as possible?"

I told Joey in a comment that I would not be attending a church, yet a full answer would be too long for a comment. Here is the text I originally included but removed:

Joey, I hope my answer is taken for what it is; my belief and my answer. I don't want to sell anyone else my own particular spirituality, but you asked.
I won't be attending a church at Christmas or any other time that I know of. I studied Christianity extensively, and was convinced that I should attend and learn as much as I could for a long time. In the end, staying and going through the motions made me a hypocrite.
While my belief in God and the spirit is strong, I have not found religions useful; actually quite the opposite. I feel there are already too many things that divide humanity into "we" and "they". 
By the way, the Christmas Story is an ancient myth, predating the birth of Jesus, that the "church fathers" decided to adopt centuries after the crucifixion. It is a lovely tale, but then so is Dickens' A Christmas Carol. 
We need better, kinder people in the world. If going to church does that for you, or others, I encourage it wholeheartedly.

Perhaps for me, nobody ever said it better than Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol,
“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -- apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that -- as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.



Sure On This Shining Night

Sure on this shining night
Of star made shadows round,
Kindness must watch for me
This side the ground.
The late year lies down the north.
All is healed, all is health.
High summer holds the earth.
Hearts all whole.
Sure on this shining night I weep for wonder wand'ring far
alone
Of shadows on the stars.

James Agee (1909-1955)