I'm Writing a Book

I've been writing a book for over 5 years now.  When I first started writing I would only go in spurts of manic typing followed by months of nothing.  Looking back on what I had written was always interesting because I don't remember what I wrote, and I am generally surprised at the insight and elegance of what I typed out.  I find old writings of mine all the time, and some of them I still get so anxious about sharing, but I noticed that comes with a theme of prior personal judgment of self.  One self in particular.  I have no faith in my inner teacher.  I am not the most confident person when it comes to sharing new ideas or my perceptions of situations.  Oh I'm definitely a bold and thoughtful person, but I don't want to discuss my reasons for my choices.  When I do, afterwards I get anxious about how others felt about what I said or how I said it.  I will tell myself I don't have valuable insight, everyone already knows what I know, no one wants to learn what I learned, no one wants to hear what I have to share.  This is especially obvious when I enter a situation where I speak to actual teachers.  I don't know who I am in those situations!  I feel like I have no control over how inferior I feel around them.  This past year all I have all day long is teacher after teacher being thrown at me.  They're all amazing.  I talk to all of them.  I'm finally feeling less like an underling, and more like a peer.  Slowly I am overcoming the inferiority complex.  No idea where this complex came from, by the way.  But, now I know most of my triggers and the personal behaviors that perpetuate it.  Now I can treat most of my emotional reactions the same way I treat cold symptoms... accepting them as part of the process and dealing with it until I heal up and they go away.

I have spent a lot of my life feeling like an outcast because of how differently I see the world.  Many times I feel very isolated and alone.  It's difficult to believe in your thoughts when you feel like you're the only one who has them.  Over the past 5 years I have realized I am definitely not the only one who has these insights or perceptions!  People I speak to do not feel like my perceptions are harmful.  I was isolating myself and the loneliness was in my head.  So, as I work on correcting that behavior (which is super difficult as always) I'm blogging and journaling and writing about how I see this process unfolding.  Confident that when the time is right, it'll be bound and shared and go out into the world to help others figure themselves out too.

Much of my thinking lately revolves around the concepts of authority and personal responsibility and how they relate to one another.  I realized that the presence of an authority removes the need for personal responsibility.  Who are our authorities?  When does our expectation of personal responsibility begin and parental authority end?  When is a child no longer a child and can be held responsible for their own actions?  When is someone with mental illness responsible for their actions, and not their psychologist?  When is the individual responsible for standing up for themselves, or the crowd's responsibility to stop a fight instead of waiting for police to arrive?  When is it the student's responsibility to learn, not the teacher's responsibility to motivate them?  When is it our responsibility to consume less, not businesses to regulate more?  When is it our responsibility to help our communities, not organizations?  When is it our responsibility to facilitate dialogue, not the media?  When is it our responsibility to choose our path in life, not our religious leaders?  When is it our responsibility to maintain health, not a doctor?  People look to professionals/authorities to fix problems.  They don't feel they have a role in the issues anymore, and I think that's dangerous.  We all have personal power and responsibility, and our choices can change our surroundings.

The word authority has different meanings.  Let's think about the duplicity of these definitions and what is linking them all together.  Because there's a message here. 

Does being an expert on a subject grant you power over others?  Yes, and I think freely sharing your expertise gives them back that power.  These ideas of knowledge, power, authority, and responsibility and how that plays out in our world... I find it an interesting idea to kick around.  How about Spiderman's "with great power comes great responsibility".  Or Jesus Christ taking on the responsibility for all sins of mankind to give them back their power?  Or the rise of citizen science, and the rejection of traditional media and politics.  There is an upheaval based on who is the authority and should be given control, but we're still not looking to ourselves as much as we could be.  Are we freely giving our power away because we don't have (or want to have) responsibility over ourselves?  The crisis of addiction leads me to believe we are.  Are we only listening to our victims, confusing having experience with trauma as expertise on what to do to prevent it or heal from it?  The way we're dealing with gun control, and the stage we set for child victims to run the show concerns me. 

Is knowledge something we can own?  Does knowledge really belong to one person/people?  How is it transmitted?  Can it be measured or observed?  What is it made of?  We obviously understand the power of knowledge otherwise we wouldn't be obsessed with national security, non-disclosure agreements, copyright laws, information security, and privacy agreements.  If we think someone knows too much, we know they can exercise power over us.  The shadow side of secrecy also comes out in our culture as the elimination of personal boundaries, or the concept of transparency.  Transparency is our rejection of traditional power and authority that were exercised over our boundaries (aka oversharing aspects of ourselves openly with everyone).  Neither extreme is healthy, as is the case for all extremes.  But, the extremes have to exist during moments of our progress as part of the process of finding balance.  It's the cultural version of Newton's Cradle

Image result for newton's cradle

This obsession with secrecy and transparency is a red flag indicating our own personal issues with power and how it relates to our personal boundaries.  If knowledge is power, could we know ourselves well enough that we become our own personal authorities, and cannot be manipulated by others?  Yes!  Can we stop empowering the victim to stay sick, and start finding ways to heal?  Yes!  How well do we know ourselves?  My goal is to re-empower people to fix their own problems.  I want to show people how to become the authority on who they are, and take personal responsibility for where they are.  Anyone currently  looped into a victim cycle likely hates this.  I get yelled at any time I address personal responsibility issues with scared victims.  No one likes to hear they are choosing to stay unhappy, but it's the truth.  We are.  All of us... in some area... are denying our role in being miserable.  There is so much denial and looking outward to fix internal issues.  Change is difficult, but it's our personal responsibility.  This doesn't mean governments and authorities don't have a role in society, I'm just ready for everyone to acknowledge their part as well.

I noticed I stopped sharing my blog posts on facebook again, which means I want to avoid the possibility of judgment.  But, honestly... I gotta get over that shit.  There will always be judgment.  There will always be acceptance.  The existence of one is defined by the existence of the other.  That's just how the universe functions.  I'm done being a coward (cue the anxiety! lol).

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