Grace

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the roles of regret, remorse, guilt and related topics in my life.

In extreme summary they are different and each have a use in my life and can also be abused.

Of course you can’t think about those topics without thinking about Grace. I came across this quote from Kathleen Dowling Singh in the context of a spiritual (auto) biography;

Grace has enabled whatever healing we’ve experienced thus far, whatever degree of inner peace and freedom we feel in this moment.  We can gratefully acknowledge the grace of our heart’s yearning that led us to begin a spiritual journey to begin with.

Liked it. I’m a striver so it’s a gentle tap to stop and smell the roses and go forward with gratitude for the lessons so far.

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I’ve been scared to come back

Some of that fear has a greater basis in “legitimate” concern. Some of the fear is far less practical and that fear is getting worse the longer I went.

First about the practical stuff.  I felt that for safety reasons I needed to take myself offline for over two years. Those fears and their basis probably still exist.

I guess I figure that  one can’t live one’s life in fear and if I do suffer actually real world consequences for being back “out” (as in online) I’ll deal with them then. I have dabbled in YouTube but didn’t really have the courage to continue. I think it also had a bit to do with my second fear.

I lost my voice. I didn’t know if I had anything to say anymore even to myself, much less to anyone else. I didn’t think that in all this time blogging I had much of a following. At one level I get that how popular your blog is doesn’t or shouldn’t matter. But I did hope to be relevant. I get that consistency is the key and that as a result of my neglect any readership  beyond my real life friends I did have I have possibly lost. But I’m willing to try.

Because…… I’ve missed it.

Over the last little while as well as feeling far dumber and more insular than I want to I’ve said to myself a few times “Oh I could write about it on the blog….. umm but I’d have to explain where I’ve been” and then the fear and embarrassment of one more I’m back post sets in and I would just give up.

I paid both the domain and hosing fees in the last week, bills I could ill afford this month with other bills needing paying but I had put it off too long and finally needed to because a friend has email and storage on my server. It had already been archived.

In a strange way that difficulty getting on here was the final push.

I’ll try again then.

I’m still not going back on Facebook. For the moment comments are off, but I’ll respond to twitter or email in my time. Postings will hopefully be more regular, but unlikely to be live. I’ll write or post when the mood takes me and schedule them to go live after the fact. I might try batch writing.

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The other race that stopped our nation

In Australia, we have an idiom for the big horse race, the Melbourne Cup. It is known as the race that stops the nation. It is run annually on the first Tuesday in November. It is, regardless of whether you live in Melbourne or not, more or less a national holiday. Offices hold sweeps and long lunches breaks, women who wouldn’t normally wear a hat become fascinated with fascinators and even normally fairly serious news presenters and politicians are dressing up and talking or tweeting about their tips. These tips are often based on very random criteria, rather than any sort of history with the form guide. After all the fuss, the people who can and do stop to watch the race do so for the 3 minutes or so it takes to run and then return after a bit of celebration to merry-making or work.

In years past, the US election has been held in the same week as the Melbourne Cup. I recall 8 years ago, watching the horses one day and Obama’s speech the very next.

This year it was the week after, and more so than any other election “over there” that I can recall, ordinary Australians were glued to the news channels on Wednesday as the news came in. I was at an airport way ahead of my flight and everyone was talking about it among themselves and even to complete strangers. It was shock and disbelief. But we were glued to it for a good couple of days later. Friends who I don’t normally talk politics with were expressing shock and degrees of discomfort at the idea of Donald Trump as the leader of the free world and what that says about our global mindset and future. I’m sure there are messages there to be examined even before he takes command in January.

The last time I remember seeing Australians glued to the tv for events overseas like they were a week ago was when the World Trade Centers went down. Seems we tend to be the onlookers to the crashes we can’t tear ourselves away from.

My recovery method has centred around becoming hooked again on the West Wing. I know it is fiction but it has to be based on some degree of reality or it wouldn’t work as a drama right? I want to use my intellect more and use it for good .

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Something to aspire to, or perhaps explain me

I like this explanation of self-sufficiency . It’s interesting too that Taylor talks about the differences between self-esteem and self-sufficiency. Also the different scales, as well as the positive and negative sides to these traits, like all traits.

My highlights though…

‘Self-sufficient’ people are authentic. They tend not to play roles, or to be dishonest or misleading just to please. Their inner stability and wholeness means that it’s not so important for them to gain affirmation or respect from others, so they may be prepared to risk being disliked by speaking truthfully. If you show them a poem or a painting and ask them, ‘What do you think?’ be prepared for them to give an honest assessment. Fundamentally, they’re not so interested in trying to impress other people, and so it’s possible for them to be more authentic.

I don’t think I can personally say that I am one size fits all on this. But I do tend to give my opinion with varying degrees of candour depending on my courage, energy, audience as well as occasion. Some people though I do have disease to please though. I do like the aspiration of authenticity.

And this makes sense….

And in terms of their lifestyles, self-sufficient’ people are happy with their own company. They may be social and sociable to a normal degree, but they also enjoy solitude. Whereas some people find solitude and quietness difficult to endure, and use diversions and distractions (like the Internet or television) to avoid them, self-sufficient people are perfectly happy to be alone with themselves.

This aspect is stronger now than it used to be. Mostly deliberately.

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Music for today

I’ve done a lot of writing for personal projects and as usual by the time I get here I’m not in the mood to write more. But there is a sense of accomplishment, so that’s good

 

So instead for now; this sums up my mood. The lyrics especially.

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Plato on the knowledge of death

Reading some Plato: as ya do:

Not commenting on this, just putting it out there, from the Apology: defence of Socrates

After all, gentlemen, the fear of death amounts simply to thinking one is wise when one is not: it is thinking one knows something  one does not know. No one knows, you see whether death may not in fact prove the greatest of all blessings for mankind; but people fear it as if they know it for certain to be the greatest of all evils

 

 

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Cross post: Menthol, Sunshine and the possibility of human potential

Cross post from my other blog.

So the other part of my birthday gift from a friend of mine was enough iTunes money to buy myself Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I bought it to prepare for one of my exams for uni and then watched it last night.

I missed the class in which the movie was shown and yet on being shown that the biggest question (worth 40%) centres around philosophical reflections on this movie, it jumped to the top of my “to watch” heap, which to be generous is not that long.

I watched the “trailer” on iTunes a few days ago and worked out this was what I would term a gritty movie; and deep content (fine), ensemble cast (fine, though I didn’t recognise the two actors in the trailer) dark lighting to go along with the dark themes.  It was going to be a word film, a concept film. Great. Being a wordy thinker in a philosophy class that works well. Psychological shows you leave thinking about.

I tend not to read much about films before I see them. I like to see if they can absorb me without preconception playing a part. Besides, in this case, I had to watch it for class and I hasten to add I like my lecturer and the way she thinks so would trust her judgement. This was just as well.

Apart from films like The Green Mile, or the early Harry Potter movies , where the science fiction is more conceptual than visual, as a rule I don’t like science fiction. I think I was traumatised early by watching one that was out of my age range or something. I don’t know. I think I also really really get how scary some of that stuff could be for human existance if it came off. Ask anyone that has tried to watch tv with me, any sort of  morphing, even cartoon mophing of any sort, or the butter menthol ad below where even after treatment she still makes that noise have me hiding in the nerest armpit or pulling the face of a 2 year old!

This is where the idea of walls disappearing as you walk around your memory as you’re trying to notify distracted medical professional that you changed your mind about getting your memory wiped really gets icky. But hey that’s the point, right? That stuff should be icky. Yet I can happily watch reruns of the gory bits of medical docureality and not bat an eyelid, even though that stuff does happen to me!

Maybe that’s the thing. Maybe it’s the unknown potentiality that freaks me out. Particularly the unknown potentiality of human beings. In many ways potential is meant to be a positive. But if mere carelessness can cause the heartache and trauma it causes, much less Hilter, ISIS or the like, then what else is the potential is others are not just being  careless in their neglect.

The other reason I’m glad I didn’t pre-read on this movie: Jim Carey. I have not been a fan. At all. For me, his slapstick is hard to watch, even in Bruce Almighty.  Although I would have watched it anyway, I’m so glad I didn’t recognise him in Eternal Sunshine until 25 minutes in. The humour was much drier and to my taste

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Just quietly

So while laid up I've been reading, thinking and researching. Whatever took my fancy really. Plus dealing with a couple of bits of people related drama

In preparation for resuming study next week I've been trying to build-in some routine and allow specific times for reading and writing especially which is good. Hopefully unlike when I first started studying I won't be alarmed by how much extra I suddenly had to do along with the disability and time wasting “very important stuff” that a teenager out of home for the first time has to deal with. Of course very little of that very important stuff was actually very important but that is very much the perspective of youth.

I'm trying to consciously read more. Speak less. Listen more. Solve less. Be quieter. I'm not finding this hard at all. In fact it is as if the peace that passes all understanding has landed. I'm leaning back into it and myself. I'm less exhausted in one sense because I'm not giving away so much. I'm calling stuff as I see it, if not aloud then consciously but silently

I have decided I don't like Sydney. Too busy and way too aggressive.

I'm learning to like myself I guess. Again, or for the first time at this new level I'm not sure which. Another stage of the getting of wisdom perhaps?

 

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on economy of various sorts

I’ve been reading and hibernating mostly. Just being quiet and trying to battle technical dramas of one sort or another.

I’m feeling more naturally able to be quiet and a bit smaller. Not in terms of stature but in terms of the footprint stuff. My own footprint and the extent to which I let other people’s footprints on me and never find out about it.. Not entirely of course. But certainly with strangers I’m better than I was. I’m remembering the need for boundaries, if not always remembering to apply them. As I said to someone yesterday I’m now remembering to include myself on my radar of people to care about the preference of. Even if i then don’t choose not to apply my preferences, as i often don’t, (preferring others needs to my own), I usually resent the sacrifice less because it felt more of a choice. Which I’m less likely to “automatically” repeat if the costs to me are too high or the return on investment is too low.

My quest for personal economy is heightened as well. Saying less is a beautiful thing. Not only wise in terms of social matters, but better resource management for me. I am learning to embrace my inner introvert, instead of fight her or merely tolerate her thanks to Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. In summary I understand myself better. I now have a clearer idea about why loud random people and noise not only causes spasm but annoyance and almost a different sort of pain.

I’m still also on the minimalism track from a bit of a different angle this time. Among my reading on my iPad is also Walden. There’s a lot in there, but while I don’t fancy myself ever becoming a subsistence farmer with arguably only one or 2 sets of clothes, I do wonder how much money and more energy I could still save. I also wonder how extreme I would be ready to go.

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Quote from Facebook

I choose to live by choice, not by chance;
to make changes, not excuses;
to be motivated, not manipulated;
to be useful, not used;
to excel, not compete.
I choose self-esteem, not self pity.
I choose to listen to my inner voice, not the random opinion of others.

I’m learning this one in a deeper way at the moment and it’s working.

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