Posted by: scintillatingspeck | March 3, 2015

Slovenly freedom.

I just realized that the whole story I’ve been telling myself of “I’m going to die so I had better make the most of my life at every moment” is a set-up for anxiety and just buys into old Achievement bullshit that I can’t stomach anymore.

—me

I wrote the above two days ago.  The realization is still turning and settling in a deep, dark nest in a hollow, as I’m surrounded by a tender being who is grooming, nosing, and containing my little, tired, animal self.

I used to think I wanted hyper-awareness of my mortality at all times as a sort of inducement towards Living Fully.  Having rejected the artificial, destructive goals of industrial civilization in favor of Living Fully, this seemed sensible.  I thought: Look, I’m defining success for myself, now!  Look, I see that I’ve been living in a vast sea of lies!  Now with this awareness, I’ll live authentically!  I’ll live the most kick-ass life I can possibly live!  Now I see that I was swapping out one set of perceived punishments/rewards for another, with precisely the same self-whipping dynamic.  Precisely. the. same.

The dynamic is:  I’m not good enough as I am.  I must strive in all moments to be acceptable.  “Acceptable” means “brilliant, productive, gorgeous, kind, and patient at all times.”  I must have high expectations of myself, and harangue myself with constant anxiety to keep myself on my toes, otherwise I will fail the ultimate test of arriving on my deathbed and feeling satisfied with my life.  If I’m self-flagellating enough, I may beat my lazy, procrastinating, self-indulgent, pathetic self into actions that I can be proud of.

Do you see the problems with this that I do?  I see them, now.  I see how much my psyche has been colonized, constantly weighing and measuring my worth according to external measures that I can’t possibly control.

I want to take it all for granted.  Does that sound strange?  I’m supposed to be grateful, supplicating.  Yeah, whatever.  I don’t want to feel contrived.  My whole life has been contrived.  I don’t want to beat myself into shape.  I don’t want to strive.  I don’t want to be acceptable.  It feels like the only alternative is a great, overwhelming, stunning mess, but it’s a lie.  One alternative is curling in my soul-nest, receiving soft strokings, not attempting to Do Anything.  If I am moved to action, let it be motivated by curiosity, playfulness, and love, rather than my supposed obligations to myself and others.

The truth is, I don’t have to do anything, ever.  I don’t have to have a brilliant life.  I don’t have to accept a default setting from the factory that insists I should be relentlessly monitoring myself for quality control.  I don’t have to save the world.  I don’t have to save anybody else.  I don’t have to save myself.

I could just take a nap.  I could go for a walk and listen quietly.  I could receive love-baths that soothe and inspire, demanding nothing.

I could waste time, daydreaming, writing my ravings, or simple gestating the ravings until they desire release.  I could listen to my loves, simply listen, absorbing, empathizing, holding tenderly.

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Responses

  1. Once again I feel that you have heard the rumbling agonies of my heart and mind, this very morning, and have given them voice and wise counsel. I find comfort in that. Thank you.

  2. Beautiful.


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