Not Bad

I’ve not written here in a while, and I think it’s down to a case of retreating from the world and myself. To paraphrase Malcolm Tucker, it’s what we in the dark arts call a blip. A blip medicated by meditation, Red Bull and vodka and a singular focus on future planning. It’s time we all go through, in my experience anyway, talking to people. Caused in my case by a movement towards acceptance of what will be will be evolving to this too shall pass.

It starts off very dark but not angry darkness, just a total sadness. A helpless sadness is the antithesis of stoic philosophy, where everything appears totally nihilistic and meaningless. The only thing that kept me going was the underlying faith I carry with me regarding the divine forces beyond my comprehension – all of our comprehensions. If anyone tells you they understand eternity in its entirety, they’re lying to you. That energy suddenly became directed and fixated on material pursuits. For some, its a hobby. For others, its work. In my case, it was a bit of both: writing my novel (over and over because of perfectionism) and going back to university to be able to teach English. While the novel is at a standstill at Chapter 5, the city of Leeds is beckoning, and my interview is imminent, so I can’t complain about that front.

Can I complain about any front? It could be much worse. I could be experiencing this exact same situation yet in a cellar in Mariupol with soldiers levelling the building over my head and the society I have known all of my life collapsing around my ears. It’s a problem that exists entirely within my own sphere of influence, which is myself and only myself. I am the only one affected by my own emotions, and thus, the responsibility to deal with them has been entirely on me. Which I think is something a lot of people need to think about. When we feel hard done by a situation that is wholly Fated, a problem of the heart, for example, the onus is not on the world outside of the individual to make them feel better. It’s my job to take a moment to take stock and move forward, no one can do that for me and neither should they.

Where there was sadness now there is only love. I suppose it’s quite mushy and irritating to read about, I’m sure. It’s about as useful as this too shall pass being told in a way that’s trying to not sound patronising to those hurting. But, it’s true. Sorry. It does pass. It does get better and there is only love for those around us. Even in work, while we may despise our co-workers we end up loving them in our own way like Professor Snape and Harry Potter. Harry is and always will be a little shit but we love him anyway begrudgingly.

In my situation, it’s a case of loving someone who does not love me back and that’s okay because, in the end, I want them to be happy. At first, it was a difficult process, as I’ve spoken about but it’s not an unpleasant feeling in the end, is it? Love is not unpleasant otherwise we would hate entirely. But then, I ask, would that mean we would love to hate?

I was watching Bill Bailey this morning. He was talking about the very British phenomena of saying, “not bad” when asked how we are doing rather than saying “good”. Our happiness is measured on whether or not things could be worse rather than actual happiness itself. In the world we live in, in the world you or I live in within ourselves and our own energies, I’m happy to take that as a victory. So, in taking this moment, I can say, I’m not bad.

How are you feeling?

Observing Destruction

In my job I often see people actively self-destruct or push people away. Now in these circumstances, I find myself apathetic to the causation and entirely focused on minimizing and keeping the peace from the reaction. It’s not as if it’s an active apathy or one of malicious intent, it’s the kind that is a habit born from practice of distancing from someone else’s problems, allowing the actor to do as they will with agency, being there when it is right to be there. Sometimes, we can see these events coming and intervene as a preventative measure with the fallout from instances of harmful behaviour but often they come out of nowhere and nothing can be done but react and adapt.

“Adapt. React. Readapt. Apt.” – Micheal Scott, The Office, “The Fire”

Yet when it comes to the personal realms and not strictly professional, things get a little closer to home and apathy is a luxury. Of course, acceptance of another’s distance is something to expect but often its a harder job than we first think. While we may not respond in the moment with immediate efficiency identifying when we are being pushed away or when someone is cutting themselves off from you, the clarity of realisation is like a breath of fresh air. It’s comforting to know almost that something is changed or changing rather than experiencing a limbo of uncertainty without equality of transparency or feeling. All things change, I’ve said before that leaves grow, die, fall from the tree and new ones grow in their place. That’s ok, it’s a part of the great cycle of things and to expect to hold on to something that was never yours in the first place is a delusion. In the end, no relationship, whether that be romantic or platonic belongs to anyone individual as it is a shared responsibility. There is no blame in the failures of each other’s character, only room for more growth and changing of the states.

“All things are the same: familiar in experience, transient in time, sordid in substance. Everything now is as it was in the days of those we have buried.” – Meditations 9.14

It’s a kind of death to be expected in life. It’s a part of our existence and will continue to be a part of existence for eternity. Why shed tears over something so inherently unoriginal? Of course it boils down to the primal fear of a loss of tribe but are we not evolved further in our society and philosophy to be able to understand and cope with the changing winds? Even as we watch someone pull away in real time, make mountains out of mole hills to test and push and destroy, what can upset do to change the actions of a stranger?

“If the choice is yours, why do the thing? But if it is another’s choice, what do you blame – atoms or gods? Either is madness. There is no blame. If you can, put him right: if you can’t, at the least put the matter itself right. If that too is impossible, what further purpose does blame serve? Nothing should be done without purpose.” – Meditations 8.17

Be clear with your intentions and see if the other actor meets you half way and if they can’t then it’s something to leave where it lies. It’s a kind of acceptance we all need I think as a part of life that we can only meet people half way because when we overstep that, it becomes a co-dependency rather than cooperation of equals. And it’s not to either fault or blame its just something that is and will continue to be. Likewise the sun will not shine because we will it, neither will a person reach out to you with the same blind hope. Of course we can make a case for manifesting, this is the summer solstice after all, but at the end of the day, only time and fate will know the outcome of whatever is decided. We can’t expect change from someone, to better bring themselves in alignment with our own wants and needs as individuals, it just isn’t a reality. The only thing we can do is be honest and open in ourselves and firm in our own convictions and truths. What someone else does is inconsequential to what you do and can do. Will you be an actor for the balance and peace or one of similar destruction?

Take a moment, observe and breathe.

“Be like the rocky headland on which the waves constantly break. It stands firm, and around it the seething waters are laid to rest.” – Meditations 4.49

Z3N0