Jun 22, 2016
This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.
Hey there, welcome back. It’s been a while but I’m glad you decided to stop on in. It’s important to keep going. Last time we talked about what the daily grind is like, and some about what a good day feels like, but mostly what it is about to live in fear of those good days.
Today I’d like to talk about what we know to be true. Are you okay with that? Some of it may be Buddhism, or Taoism, but these are universal truths. The universe itself is zero sum, nothing is given without something being taken somewhere else. If you are burdened with something great, you have something equally great somewhere else.
Hope to me is very powerful and dangerous thing.
People like Van Gogh. Beethoven. Picasso. Einstein. Churchill. FDR. Eleanor Roosevelt. You. Me. It’s karmic. Life giveth, and life taketh away. The burden we carry for being sick, sensitive, and everything else, is hopefully offset by an equally great gift. Be it art, music, science, math, whatever.
I think I know what mine is; do you know yours? This gift may manifest itself in various forms depending on your stage in life too, so it is important to watch for the shiny thing just out the corner of your eye. The shiny thing that catches you and compels you.
This is where I struggle. With hope. Hope to me is very powerful and dangerous thing. It leads people to believe in things that are nigh impossible, and hopeless people are truly capable of anything. This is fundamentally what I would like to discuss today. Gifts and hope.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like I can have hope. Hope for the future feels like mania, and is terrifying. Hope in the present feels fraudulent, and unearned. Hope is always forwards looking, whereas so much of my thought is past focused. I wasn’t good enough at this, I’m needed to be better here, I should have done/seen that. That internal criticism of self drives me to be great at things I do, but it also stops me from taking credit, accepting congratulations and accolades. There is always better. No hope for the future.
It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I don’t know about you but this has cost me pretty dearly over the years. I have lost a friend to suicide, and while I can logically respect that it was his choice I wonder if I were a better friend when they needed, would they still be alive? I routinely demolish relationships with statements like, “I don’t deserve your time/effort/love/care,” and eventually they start to believe me. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because of this pattern that has existed in my life, I have no hope for myself, no hope for my future.
That’s a lie.
The only hope I have is that I leave an example of what happens when it goes wrong. When the gift becomes a curse.
I feel like I will be alone forever, because no one really “gets it”, and those that try, I push away, because I feel like if I let them and I let them see the monster I really am, that they will choose to leave and run away screaming anyways. So it is safer to not let anyone in. It is safer to keep the monster caged. I won’t hurt people when the monster accidentally gets out, because there is no one around. It is safer to have no hope.
Ultimately this is my truth. That I am that monster, and that the monster is me. That the gifts that that monster entails in strength, leadership, intellect, are equally offset with depression and thoughts that the monster would be better slain. But I haven’t surrendered to the monster yet.
“Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.”
“Temba his arms wide.”
“Darmok and Jalad on the ocean.”
You don’t get to surrender to your monster either. We do this together. Thanks again for hanging out and we will sail the ocean together.