Archives for the month of: December, 2013

As a child and teenager I used to enter these periods and I would endure them for a short while and shake them off like water. I’d make a motivation and step through walls and climb mountains. The time I experienced the Long Dark Night of the Soul, I sincerely thought that I would not make it out alive. Until of course I shook that off also. It took years. Maybe 10, maybe 14. I still functioned, I progressed in many ways, in ways that were unexpected. And yet, on other levels, I was barely alive. I was moving through this world like a ghost.

Despite acquiring wealth, possessions, stability, a degree, a reputation as a person with integrity among friends and within my career… I felt like a fraud. At times I was angry and anti-social, at times I was classically depressed, at the lowest point I was 100% convinced that there were secret messages hidden in songs, which contained clues about how to resolve my emotional pain. Fortunately, I had an infatuation with a Muslim man who talked to his Imam about me. His Imam said I was seeking refuge in music, ever the Contrarian I said, “I’ll show you”! I wrote a poem and then silenced my stereo for the better part of 3 years.

These songs? This endless list of songs I play, they are just songs with lyrics or melodies that move me. They may be relevant to my current emotional state, they may not, they may be directed at one person, a group or solely at myself; they are all just songs. Audio glitter to sparkle dreary days and nights, there are no secret messages contained within.

There is an understanding that none of this even remotely matters. In my heart of hearts I know that I can unravel this life, right now. I could just choose to walk out of the door and disappear into the night. Thousands of people do it every year, some stay gone for days, weeks, months… some for years. Personally, I have always known that regardless of how far I travel I will always have to take myself with me. And so I ran away standing still; in comfort.

I used to engage in day dreams in absence of action. When I was trapped by my circumstances I resorted to my rich and fertile imagination. Sometimes, these fantasies bled into real life and I was dragged into a shared reality when other people strayed from my script. I hated it when people did not respond in accordance with my dreams. I used to mind read. That is to say, I used to believe that I knew what other people where thinking and feeling, and would rarely ask even reasonable questions.

Since my grandmother died, I entered a period of existential crisis. I am not depressed, I am not stressed, I am slightly numb, occasionally angry (I am not patient); I have chosen to experience this state of being as a period of waiting. I am waiting. What am I waiting for? The bodies of my enemies to pass me by? No. Sometimes our enemies have the most valuable lessons to teach us. What I am waiting for is a revelation.

I am waiting for a door, that once opened wide can not be closed, that will not be ignored. I’m waiting for the wisdom to recognise that door when I see it, rather than when I’ve gone so far passed it I’ve lost it. In the mean time I am meditating on my weaknesses and learning what to do with them. Accept them or develop them into strengths. I know that any time I can change this life, with a word, a thought, an action. I am not powerless. I might not be fully self actualising, or perhaps in going for refuge, I *am*.

These are dangerous times. The world is going crazy. We can only make it a better place by being as authentic as we can, with ourselves and other people. We have to learn that sometimes the people who smile the most tell the most damaging lies. We have to understand that other people sometimes have a vested interest in making sure we fail. It absolves them of having to take responsibility for their own lives and subsequently the consequences of their own choices.

We have the power to unravel this life, now. Sometimes all it takes is a change of perspective, sometimes it requires something more radical. But we, no one else, are responsible for our current realities. The only advice I have that is of any use is this: When making decisions make sure mind, body and soul are in alignment. A sense of calm will help you know when you have made the right choice, and you will be able to act with authenticity. Be kind. Yes, to yourself and other people.

Play Your Cards To Your Heart – Groove Armada

I had a fall a last Monday and hurt my left leg. I’m able to walk on it, but I have significant bruising and the pain keeps me awake at night. Combine this with ‘next door neighbours’ and some life issues and I am sleepless in Bradford. I’m a night owl, it has always been thus. They are larks, they have probably always been thus. I am in a lark sandwich.

There are other things on my TickerTapeMind. I’m thinking about communication and miscommunication. I’m thinking about if we can change who we are, and if we can, should we? I’m thinking about normal and what is expected of us by society and I am thinking about ‘Nothing’.

This could be a long post, already I am wondering how long, so I may take this in two parts. The primary thought is how I’ve been neglecting my men folk. My women folk are all genned up with my second hand knowledge, not so much the men; why is this? Any of the above for example?

I had to learn to communicate efficiently. I had to acknowledge that I could not change the people I love. I can get new people, but I am sure they will come with new communication issues. I am certain that I am being as authentic as I am able and have changed what I can from what I want to change. But my pathological cycles began to hamper my well being. I needed to move beyond, in order to make a new life.

I’m about 85% there. My most recent trip to therapy resulted in “Why are you really here?” The answer was to learn that I was in fact OK. That the only thing that was wrong, was that I had forgotten that I was doing really well and interacting with the people around me in much better terms. Not only had I progressed, but the people around me had noticed this and wanted to progress also. They had begun their own journeys. I myself began mine through observing someone elses.

How did we do it? I’ll tell you: AQA Listening Skills and CBT. That and allowing myself to receive love and compassion. By ignoring the permanent berating of my inner parent and by nourishing my inner child. I don’t mind if you think this is all bunkum, or pop psychology, you are obviously happy with your patterns and cycles if you think that way. Good luck to you!

Personally, I needed to know that what I said would be accepted the way it was intended. I needed to know that I could say something and felt heard and understood. I knew that something was wrong when I was always getting into arguments when I was trying to ‘make things better’. Of course, some people have a vested interest in deliberately misunderstanding, but if you take my advice you will know that it is not for lack of trying on your part. You can have your say and then feel completely satisfied when you tell them to “Go fuck yourself”.

AQA Listening Skills to learn how to listen properly. CBT to learn how to talk properly. I am certain in days gone by the community would have taught us how to do this is; via extended family, being receptive to the wisdom of our elders and having time to sit and receive. But this is not days gone by and they may never come again. Let me be clear, this is not going to take five minutes. If you take my advice you are signing up for a year or so of study and self improvement. Ask yourself this: “Can I live the way that I have been living for another 5 years?”. If not, take my advice.

AQA Listening Skills or an equivalent, involves practical sessions with a peer group. You may be able to do the course on-line, but if you need to learn how to listen, well then you are going to have to be with people. CBT is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This learning how to recognise our cycles and thought patterns and how to break them, it is about learning to identify our true emotions (independent to those around us) and it is about communicating authentically with the people we interact with.

You have everything you need. The best answers are the most simple ones, but do not think for a second they are going to be easy answers. Be prepared for your world to get a bit messier, be prepared to wonder why the hell you thought this was a good idea.

This is why you will need to allow yourself to receive love and compassion, because when you change the way you interact with the people you love, they fight back. They say things like: You’ve changed, I don’t know you any more, Why are you always so angry, You are pathetic… Just remember, this will pass. They will accept the new you (eventually) and they may even be inspired by you to make a change in their own lives.

Lots of love from your absent and distracted friend,
TickerTapeMind.