Supporting the Insufferable – The Choice is Ours

I am disgusted by U.S. politics as we go into the election year, and the debacle of the impeachment hearings. So much so, that I just haven’t been able to talk much about it. And yet, I find myself thinking of a few personal incidents that have happened at home in my reading choices and drawing some parallels to the larger stage.

A while back, when we finally unpacked all of our books that had been in storage for years, I thought about rereading¬†The Mists of Avalon, a book I had picked up at a used bookstore when I was in undergrad along with The Firebrand and had read both one time through and had picked up the sequal to Mists at the library. Truth be told, I was less than enthralled with the writing style, and I felt a vague discomfort reading some of the scenes. But I remembered how much some people cherished the books and Marion Zimmer Bradley, so I was ready 15 years later to give the books another try. Until I read up on the allegations her children made against her, and I had to come to terms with how I felt. And I decided to donate the books to my local thrift store, because while I couldn’t bring myself to destroy a book, I also did not want them on my shelves any more. My husband, more recently, learned about an author that he grew up reading, David Eddings, being jailed for child abuse for a year, seemingly unapologetic about it afterwards. As my husband was in the middle of rereading¬†The Belgariad, he had to think long and hard about whether to continue or not. In the end, he did decide to keep the books and keep reading, in part I think because the specifics of the case aren’t readily available.

Apply this to all that has become apparent in both entertainment and politics. We, as consumers of both in this capitalist nation of ours, need to exercise our responsibilities more. We need to think critically about our choices. It cannot be about creating a cult around someone and following them forever. It cannot be about pouring our hard-earned dollars away to a horrible human being, no matter how talented or how much they appeal to you. The ends can no longer justify the means because that is not how we the people survive in the long run. One of the few ways we can exercise our freedom in this society is by choosing what we pay attention to, what we give our time to, what we spend our money on. We have choices, and we have to wake up to what those choices actually entail.

I don’t know how many political posts I will be making this election cycle. It’s hard not to get discouraged. We co-create our reality, and it seems like so many are still willingly to limit themselves to mere existence instead of actually living, and as long as their “team” wins, nothing else matters, not even how dead and numb they are inside. It is really sad. I maintain hope for the future, for my children. I try to remember that growing pains are really, really hard and painful, but I’m also anxious for the next stage to come to pass. I’m not sure I will get to see it in my lifetime though.

A Lucid Dream

I had a really vivid lucid dream the other night that is a great metaphor for some things, so I wanted to share it.

In the dream, I’m inside this massive mansion or palace with a huge group of people, all dressed in beautiful clothes, and in one large room there is piled a huge amount of food, but it’s all rancid and bad. I vividly remember entire smoked carcasses of animals, giant piles of vegetables and fruit, and elaborate desserts, but it was all putrid. And everyone was eating it like the rotten foods were rare delicacies and the best of the best. And then they’d go into other rooms and throw up, and then eventually come back to the tables and dine again. And I can remember the smell of the throw up and being aware at that point that I was dreaming, and I was partially aware of being in bed simultaneously. So when I realize it was all a dream, I suddenly burst out of the closed-in areas and find myself outside on a large semi-circle balcony overlooking a lush forest, teeming with freshness and life and everything that everyone in the party would need to survive and thrive and be healthy. And even though I was a couple of stories up, I knew I could easily go over the balcony edge, shimmy down some vines, and be in that forest, free. But I also knew that I couldn’t leave everyone to the fate of being inside that mansion, so I went back inside and started to attempt to convince everyone, anyone that they could go outside anytime they wanted to, that the fresh air would do them good, and no one would listen. But I remember thinking that the effort was worthwhile anyway. Then I woke up.

The dream has given me a lot to think about the past couple of days. About society, about our choices, about our abilities to control what surrounds us. It also made me think about the movie Zardoz. Have any of you seen it? “Penises are bad, guns are good.” It is, without a doubt, a ridiculous 1970’s film, but I feel like you need to watch this at least 3 times. The first time, you ask yourself what the hell it was you just watched. The second time (hopefully several years later to cleanse the palate), you acknowledge that there was a lot of interesting social commentary interspersed amidst the madness, and upon the third viewing (again with a few years in between), you realize that the director was brilliant and so many things open up. At least, that’s how it worked for me. And why did I watch it multiple times? Someone bought my husband the DVD in undergrad as a joke and I like to throw movies on when I hand sew and paint sometimes, and I cycle through ones we already own because in theory they are easier to just have on as background noise. Besides, how could I resist watching Sean Connery dressed like this? ::snicker::

zardoz_zed

Anyway, moral of the dream – we don’t have to stay at a crappy party that is making us sick and pretend we love it. We can leave and have fresh abundance. But we all have to decide to stop playing the game together.

Our Inner Compasses

I’ve been noticing this for a while… it is really difficult to operate as a human being in our society. For many reasons, but mostly because I think almost all of us have lost the ability to guide ourselves and trust that we’re making the right decisions. And because of the corporations and entities out there that prey on that disconnection.

We should not feel the need to justify our choices to anyone but ourselves and perhaps our family units because we should be making choices that are truly for our best and the best of that unit. But we’ve got this constant pulling between what we want short-term and what we need, at all levels, and we’ve got a constant stream of “not-good-enough’s” being shoved down our throats. And it’s from big decisions like what kind of job to take to small ones like what brand of clothing you buy. Or how we’re able to interact with one another. And because we’re insecure, we cling to articles and memes that support our viewpoint, post them on our social networks, and then make the people on our feeds who think differently feel bad about their choices. And that’s how the spiral of crazy starts on the Internet, I think.

By all means, if you find it helpful to finally identify as an extroverted introvert or believe your horoscope fits you exactly (and it is scary how accurate that can be when you factor in a full birthchart) or you find a belief system that is 100% something you want to integrate in your life, then use what you learn as tools for helping you make choices that are truly in your best interest to navigate this world. Don’t use the information as a means of putting down other’s choices or as an excuse to not grow as a person because “that’s just the way you are and always will be”.

It is extremely difficult to align yourself back up with your inner compass because society to a large extent really doesn’t want that to happen. But it is a vital and worthwhile self-improvement task to work towards.