You have overcome yourself: but why do you show yourself to me only as the one overcome? I want to see the victor: cast roses into the abyss and say, “Here is my thanks to the monster, because it didn’t know how to swallow me!”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Advertisements

Fear

Fear can be a motivator and it can be a paralytic.

You can either face everything and run or face everything and rise.

The choice is always yours.

Fear can be your companion or ruler.

Fear can keep you alive but it can also keep you from moving and breathing.

It can keep you from going for what you really want.

Becoming fearless isn’t the point, overcoming it is.

Moralistic Fantasies and Our Countries

CTV New Exhibit Looks To A Dark Moment In Canadian History

 

This is a great video I think everyone should watch. It is hard for me to fully comprehend how things in this world can possibly be going as backwards as they are because if you just read–pick up a damn book, look at a newspaper, or hey, even watch a ten minute documentary you can clearly see the past and the mistakes that we have made as a country, and more to the point, as human beings. And yet, look around you, look at what is happening in the world. What is starting again. Everything we say we abhor is reemerging, why? Because we keep ignoring the past, we keep refusing to see the wisdom we have gained, and we are actively hiding and lying by omission to people about our history. The thing is by ignoring the past, hiding it, pretending our country is better than any other, we are damning our present and ourselves. The state of the world today is volatile and to change it we have to realize that the answer lies in the past. This has happened before. And, it’s happening again. It is illogical and enraging that the world seems to heading down the same path we humans have gone down multiple times already. How can people not get it? How have we not learned?

 

Well, the answer is simple. Because we ignore the past, we are going to keep walking the same path. We haven’t changed enough. We like to think of ourselves as so much better than the past, than the mistakes, than our ancestors. We say we are beyond it. The world much better than it used to be, and to a certain degree, that is true. And yet, that doesn’t mean we are any better than those that came before us, it doesn’t mean we are somehow more morally sound, it doesn’t mean we should be ignoring and hiding the past. This is how we end up following the same self-destructive path that the world has been on since we emerged half-cocked from the primordial dust.

Anyways, this was a video by a local news station, and it’s worth watching. It shows how an exhibit of one of Canada’s “dark moments” impacted the lives of everyday people, but more than that, it manages to touch on much larger issues that need to be addressed. Namely, the idea that we need to hide our country’s mistakes and people’s atrocities for the sake of our children. Well, that is wrong. Children need to know or else you end up with a class of kids who stand up and give the nazi salute. But more than that, we need to own up to our own country’s major screwups. Canada is about as perfect as any country, meaning, it isn’t. It commit atrocities like any other country. When we ignore the past and stuff it down, I guarantee you it will come back with a vengeance.

There is not a country (or a person) that exists that is the perfect shining example of justice and morality. A country is run by people, or a person, and people not only have the striking ability to give into corruption, and to fail, to make mistakes, and errors in judgement. But, human beings are known for this. All the time, we make mistakes–some are simple, so simple they seem inconsequential, but they’re still mistakes. We all make mistakes. That is the freaking hallmark of humanity–the entirety of the human population is an example of this. And, as much as we may want to, we can’t get away from the fact that in order to learn and grow we often have to learn the hard way–and make huge mistakes. Royally screwing up is second nature to humanity. Some people, and by extension countries, are just leagues ahead compared to the mistakes the average person will experience. But the fact remains, we screw up more often than not. And hiding from that fact, glorifying a country, or a person, painting them as the paradigm of good–of what is just and right and moral, is a game for fools, children, and (a)moralistic morons.

Ignoring and/or hiding the atrocities and the grave mistakes of a country (or of people in general) is how we repeat the past. It is like signing an execution warrant without reading the name, and then finding out you just condemned yourself.

Hero worship is toxic and deadly. No one is perfect. And, I’m not just talking about the obvious example of twisted morally-painted injustice such as the excessive admiration and hero worship (to this day) of individuals in our history like Christopher Columbus, but even people we believe to be the living personifications of morality and peace, like Gandhi or Mother Theresa. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, even they are not perfect. No one is. Perfection is a misguided concept. And, once you make your peace with that you’ll be much better off.

People cannot be perfect, a state of perfection can only exist in thought, possibly in art, and maybe in some mythic unknowable afterlife, but here and now, perfection is a myth. There is only “perfect enough” or “imperfect”; so to conclude, no country can exist in a state of perfection. And every country, every community, every person who has ever lived, and will ever live, has skeletons in the closet and shadows behind them. The more we hide from this fact the faster we lead generations down the exact same toxic road so many of us have already been down countless times. It has to stop.

People are good and bad. You can’t hide from that fact. So learn to accept this, move on, and validate the good and bad–see both, as it is, and then work like hell to change the bad of the world, into the good. Being good, doing good, is as much a choice as anything else. And, we can’t hide the atrocities of our countries or humanity, and we never should have. We need to own up to the past and the mistakes and then learn from them. We don’t need to become them, we don’t need to let them destroy us; we just need to call them by name, see them as they are, and then work like hell to ensure something like it never happens again. In the video Anna Maria Gordon, the woman being interviewed says: “We can’t blame the present for the past” but we can (and frankly we have to) own it, accept it and learn from it. We have to open Pandora’s box. We have to be honest. We can’t hide anymore. We can’t keep living in this (a)moralistic fantasy so many of us have created-separating us from them, good from bad, etc, etc. It’s time to look to the past so we don’t keep screwing up our present, and so we don’t condemn the future.

And, it really is that simple.

Magic and the Good Days

On good days, a smile can come easily. But, then there are days where they don’t. Some days are bright and you feel so light. You feel and see the majesty of life. On the good days, the past stays where it belongs, but on the bad it bleeds into your present. Staining your world red. You feel cursed, alone and hopeless; caught and chained to what you can’t control and never wanted. Submerged in silence, branded by it, and fear; in a life, you have somehow ended up in. But, still cannot recognize. Some days, are too dark and they are bleached of color. And, as alone as you feel, it just gets worse. But, then someone takes your hand, and says ‘you’re not alone’. And you remember, only you know how to hold the cosmos in your hands, lifting it all higher. All while balancing the harsh and cruel reality of our world on your shoulders. The secrets you held for too long came creeping back into your present. But, then the stars are there, you find yourself beneath the moon, looking up to them. You choose to see. These precious moments of beauty. Of this majesty and magic where we meet art and love and hope. And they all live amongst the stars. This is always worth fighting for.

Ironrosewrites

Sadness Rides Shotgun

Sadness is riding shotgun. It is its own drug. One you don’t choose to ingest. Nothing seems to be curing it. I have had a few good days lately but yesterday it returned and I find it’s riding shotgun while I fade. It is so hard trying to take care of yourself while you are being buried alive by a sadness and a numbness–punctuated only occasionally by an anger, that supersedes everything else. So what am I doing? I finished my post-break-up viewing of the Gilmore Girls (I only had the last episode left–yes I cried). Two days ago I finished reading Brave by Rose McGowan. Amazing book. Today, I watched Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2,  The Fifth Wave (which was amazing), and now in the background I have Big Trouble in Little China playing. Old movies always seem to have the ability to make me laugh. Really though, I’m numb, sad for many reasons–so many. I’m so caught up in each and every loss–so many things are out of my control and I’m tired of it. I’m so very tired.

Here’s to holding onto the seemingly foolish hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

On Days Like These: Cry

You get pretty good handling everything; life, stress, illness, trauma….you sort of learn to smile and deal with your defective body, your screwed up past, the constant and debilitating pain and fatigue and dizziness you have. But then there are some days when things are just too much. Having chronic pain is like wearing a second skin-one made of lead and iron and blades. It is having multiple worlds on your shoulders consecutively which are prone to dislocating. And it is exhausting and some days, usually days between the middle and the end of a flare up, you are too exhausted to pretend life is anything but really hard and really sucky.

When days like these come you may find yourself alone, in bed, crying. Tears streaming down your face. If you are like me, you know these days are inevitable, they are going come. You are going to feel weak and beaten, and you need to know, on these days it is okay. It is okay to cry. It is okay to be tired. And sad. And frustrated. And fed up. It would is more than okay to cry and feel defeated as long as you know you aren’t. It is okay to give up on a moment or a day, even a week, or a month if that is what you need. The only thing that is not at all okay is giving up and not getting up.

On days like this, let yourself cry, there is not one ounce of shame in tears. In fact, it is the opposite, there is immense power in tears. They clean. They heal. Don’t feel bad for having bad days. Don’t tell yourself you are a failure. Instead, be gentle with yourself. As long as you are doing the best you can at any given moment, you are doing everything you should be.