Some psychology, some sadness, some funnies.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Love It Like You Mean It

What was it that never let you down? What filled you with connectedness and love when things elsewhere fell short? I'm thinking of people who read two to five novels each month or the fanboys who pledge everlasting love to a story line and its creators. Then there are the pet lovers of course; animals are living, breathing targets of affection and thus closer to justifiable thing-romance...but also subject to wider instances of creepy excess for that reason. And how about the tree huggers? They've got scientific backing for sustainability, widely accepted beauty and semi-aliveness on their side. I'm one of those, and I fully recognize how my emotional needs have influenced my political leanings in that regard. Nature was peace. Nature was me with my dog...and cognitive processing and no one shitting on my ideas or my character. No one ever ruined nature for me, and I thank God for that.

Often I wonder how people can pursue a love that affects other humans while being self-aware about its origins. For example, if you know that you came to love politics because talking about them was the only way you felt like you could connect with your father, then why doesn't that kind of arrest you, stop you in your tracks? Sure there must be a genuine sense of justice, or what have you, sprinkled in there but those are the kinds of emotional motives that truly drive people. As I write this I'm beginning to think it may not make sense to some...I'm not sure why knowing about a passion's origin somehow negates it for me. I guess because it makes everything we do feel selfish. It all feels like one big effort to repair ourselves in a world that keeps breaking itself and repairing itself repeatedly, while the humans inhabiting it are able to feel good about their existence because there are things to fix.

Things have gotten better though, haven't they? Women's rights, human rights, slavery, technology, child things do progress over time. And in my field, psychology, where the hell would we be without all those milestone psychologists who were driven by shit that happened to them when they were younger?

But to address my lingering doubt, what reason would be sufficient for me to feel good about going forward with a task or career? Pure, unadulterated altruism? I'm not sure there is such a thing. I have a sense that most other people don't hold themselves back because of this worry, and I wonder what wisdom they have? Ultimately, I suspect my over-focusing on this stems from fear of failure...or, similarly, impotence in the face of the community woes I'd like to heal. The same goes for this increasing "What's the point?" attitude I've been latching onto more and more as of late.

All these thoughts are the kinds that keep people from doing great things...loving wonderful people. To borrow a term from Quakerism, I expect to reach clearness on this issue some day. Particularly because it's equally...OK, more selfish to sit inside all day and not use one's gifts in an effort to help others.

Monday, January 2, 2012

What ho, Sir Ventalot!

Things that piss me off:

-Being completely misinterpreted, spoken to harshly because of it, and then not having the calmness of mind to redress the misunderstanding in the moment.

-Couples, married or otherwise, who have bought big, beautiful houses together or spend holidays in warm cozy cabins.

-People who want to change your mind and don't realize that showing respect for where you are is the first step in that process.

-Yoga studios that cancel only their night time classes "for the holiday" when the holiday was yesterday...and don't send out an email to their patrons about special hours. I'm talking to you Bikram Yoga Baltimore.

-Myself, when I'm flighty and forget stupid things.