Nothing is bliss

Haha look at me I am nobody
I sleep where I lie
I believe nothing is set in concrete
You’ll find that I am quite shy
I think of much deeper thoughts
That I’ll never speak
Life is profound, imagination, ideologies
I lack luster, taste and apathy
Most days I see, I hear and I feel
With the eyes, ears and heart of another
Confusing not knowing which emotions belong to me
Spirituality? No, psychology
I do not worry about an empty sky
No god above no devil below
Do not pity me because I cannot see the false reality
Or this love in my heart
No hate for the enemy
Your feelings towards my lifestyle show your handicap-never mind
It’s just as invisible as my minds interpretation of your moral interactions
This is meaningless
Yet we keep on, we persist
Form that line, find your place to stand
Read the signs
Your brain must be this small to fit in
In the world today who needs common sense?
What do I know? Do not follow my lead
Read above I am nobody
Because when I am nothing I feel bliss

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Be different, not indifferent

There is so much indifference in the world, throughout history and still very much today.  From war, the holocaust, slavery, women’s rights, lgbt issues, animals rights for just a few quick examples.

Indifference is the lack of care, concern of interest; it can be considered racism and an inability to understand.  It’s big and loud it’s here for everyone to see it has been as far back as the beginning of history but it is also silent, it is silently destroying the world, empathy, love and diversity.  The world is blind to what is really happening.  The lack of compassion, concern and care for the lives and well-being for people viewed as different (outside of what majority feel is normal) because we don’t all feel the same, there is nothing we can do to stop it.

Let’s get into a few examples here, start with the big one first, the Holocaust.  Jewish men woman and children faced starvation, brutal punishments, slavery, separation, torture and eventually death.  The Jewish community was not the only victims but they were the majority, Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah’s witnesses, the disabled and anyone who resisted the Nazis.

It’s clear that indifference is to blame for this, but we can’t just blame Hitler and we can’t blame the entire nation.  11 million lives were lost, there was countries, leaders and individual everyday people who did what little or big they could to help them escape and move to safer places, no it was not just one man it was a huge group of people who thought different was bad and never looked at an individual human being, who can take a child by the hand and lead them to their death? Indifference is dangerous.  “More dangerous than anger is indifference, indifference is not the beginning it is the end and it always the friend to the enemy.” -Elie Wiesel-

I am not going to get to far into other examples because that would turn this into a book but I’ll take a quick look.

Slavery, because the color of one’s skin, there was segregation, separation and slavery, the were outcast and labeled as unimportant, low-class citizen who did not deserve any rights but they should do the hard and easy labor such as cooking or cleaning because yet again different is bad.  Makes no sense but I am a caring individual.

Women’s rights, women were not considered low-class or unimportant but during that time period, no one cared about their voice or opinion we can’t know anything about politics or work, but please cook me dinner I’m hungry from being out all day supporting you.

Wars, usually the cause of a war is different religious beliefs, you think this and I think this so let’s fight about it, kill a bunch of people.  Because I guess whoever has the best weapons and the most soldiers are the ones correct in their belief, although soldiers are HUGE diverse group of people who don’t all share the same beliefs, religious or not, but they are trained to be indifferent to other lifestyles for the sake of whichever country they are fighting for.

LGBT rights, is a big one and is personal to me, but all these play in together the lack of concern for the happiness of people, for the color of their skin, religious beliefs, and who they fall in love with because it’s unnatural to love someone of the same-sex and we deserve whatever we get as long as it’s bad, Like a gay couple being attacked on the streets because they were holding hands in public, but that’s ok because obviously anyone who is different can’t feel pain so walk away and believe that they deserved it.  Right now we have the big transgender bathroom issue going on, something that no one put any thought into until they were told to, transgender people have been using the restroom of the sex they choose to identify for a long time, so why throw a fit about it now?  Let’s not take moment to think about the fact that real predators are in the bathrooms with us and can be completely unnoticed, sex offenders, abusive people and kidnappers go in unnoticed, or without concern because they look normal, or have been to prison and reformed? I worked at the biggest prison in my state, a lot of inmates learn how to be crafty to reach whatever goal they are smart people.

Indifference is not just these big events that will be remembered and taught for a long time, it also occurs in everyday life with everyone.  That homeless man on the street you saw and walked right past, when the neighbors alarm goes off and you shut the window, that kid you see all the time always filthy and crying with new bruises on their body and a parent with too tight of a grip, the car broke down that you drove past? I was with my sister and her kids one summer, her youngest still a new-born when her car broke down on the side of the highway, and it was a hot day.  We took the kids out of the car and moved them slight ways of the road, I remember watching all the cars drive past like we wasn’t there, like there was not a tiny car seat and a couple of kids 5 and 3 stuck out in this heat, we had help on the way but I sat there the whole time thinking has no one really stopped? Does no one care about these kids stuck here? What’s the cops excuse for driving right past?  No one cared, no concern for those kids.

Indifference is all around us and it is killing empathy.  Now I am not going to wrap this up here of course I have to look at the positive side of indifference.  Yes that does exist and should be more well-known than the other but people like to shine all the light on the bad, because in some twisted way it makes people feel better and it’s definitely every man for himself.

It’s no secret that I am a lesbian, stereotypical one at that with the short hair and the more “guy” approach to the way I dress.  I have heard a lot of hateful words aimed towards me for this, by strangers and family.  I no longer go into public bathrooms not because of the transgender issue I have not been in one way before that all started it’s because I don’t want the drama I don’t want the words and the whispers or someone running to a manager and me having to prove that I am in fact a girl before they kick me out or call the cops, I don’t care to deal with any of that.  The hateful words and actions from others I have dealt with I have before and I was a teenager been angered by them but never have I argued with a person about it, never have I gave into it or responded, my usual response to people who find it their place to try to down me walk away, I don’t care about their personal feelings of my life anyone’s judgment of my character is not important to me.  Someone judging your lifestyle? your choices? when you know that you are a good loving person remain indifferent to their opinion, nothing will aggravate a person more.  You DON’T have to defend you to anyone especially people who are unimportant and people who chose to down you like that are not the type of people you need in your life anyway.  Diversity is a beautiful thing, more people should embrace it because can you imagine a world where everyone is the same?

Another positive use of indifference is to be indifferent to outcome and by this I mean don’t stress about the big things happening.  Have a job interview coming up? Don’t care.  A big test? Whatever.  Dream date with dream person? It don’t matter or maybe a big game? Who cares I don’t.  Remain indifferent to all the possible outcomes for less stress, stress too much and hello there fear and nervousness.  What happens when you’re nervous? Shakes? Sweats? Urge to go to the bathroom? Babble on? or maybe a loss of words.  If you don’t concern yourself with how this may end, you’ll walk into this big thing relaxed, probably have more self-confidence just go for it with all you have, don’t act like you need this to end this way or your screwed, be you the you at your best is with anxiety and that’s enough to achieve anything.

“The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
― Richard Dawkins-

Stoicism, my ramblings and personal thoughts

When I started this blog I was extremely frustrated with the job I have, angry and emotional.  I have been here over a year, I have put a lot of effort and work into that building, and the company for it to be easily destroyed or ignored every time.  This anger and frustration over all the little and big things alike anymore, there is a dread that overcomes me before I leave home.  This state of mind I have at hearing the name is all too easy to get into while I am in that building.  On a real bad night I was venting and raging to a friend of mine, she works with me and we both know that this restaurant is only standing on one leg.  The owner has jacked up prices and cut back on utilities, just trying to hang on until its closed down.  Back on point here, short back story on my friend I will call captain, she works there with me, I live with her and she is also a writer who lost her own way for a while for reasons that differ from mine.  She has recently found her back to her passion and is putting the work and hours into finishing her books which are both close to being ready to publish.  Our differences are great she is an author, she can have a scenario in her head and turn it into a full length book, I am just a writer I have never been good at making up stories, having a small scenario and turning it into something bigger, I either ramble on about something or write poetry (it’s becoming a lost art but we can bring it back) but to focus back on the point here, she found her motivation and has helped me find my own again.

The goal for both of us is to accomplish things we wanted in the past; I spend way too much time thinking without action than dismissing the thoughts, with anger, regret and yes misery.  After that bad night and some words of wisdom I came home did some research and here I am now, fought my shyness, my anxiety and my doubt.  I made my first post instantly became addicted.  It is easy to just post but I needed a challenge, I need to write like I did once before, I want my carpal tunnel to worsen for a passion not a dead end job.  I decided to start doing the daily one word prompt and for more of a challenge I asked captain to give me a word a day to write about, it took her one question “any word at all? Noun, adjective? Anything?” and 10 seconds after my yes for her to give me a word.  Knowing her like I do I know the word would not be without a purpose and she would not it easy.  Captain likes to go on these learning binges where she will want to know all about one subject and learn as much as possible about.  Subject of interest right now is philosophy, so on a sticky note she wrote stoicism and handed to me.. Challenge accepted.

For those who don’t know or like me have a general definition if what it means to be stoic without any further knowledge, with a little research I discovered it is not just being stoic in a moment, it’s a way of life.  Stoicism is the acceptance of pain or hardship without objection, a restraint to emotion and a nonchalant reaction to pleasure or pain.  Patience, acceptance, and tolerance, a practical philosophy: self-control and fortitude as a mean of overcoming destructive emotions and impulses of self.

Stoicism is a school of philosophy with different principles, while I was reading the different principles, there was a few I liked the most.  Honestly I like them all but not going to write about them all I picked a couple I found relevant to what’s happening now.  I will start with this one.

Find someone you respect and use them to stay honest.

Self-explanatory right? well that would be cheating and to easy.  Being honest has never been difficult when it comes to other people, just telling the truth, what really happened, yes I did that, and owning up to a mistake or something you did wrong, that’s the easy part of honesty.  I’ve always struggled with the being honest with myself “I can’t do this” I am not good enough” I am a terrible writer” “I will never be good enough” “I have not done this because (insert some lame excuse here) “That guy or girl is better than me” If I were to be honest with myself the thoughts would be “I AM GOOD ENOUGH, I AM A WONDERFUL WRITER WHEN I PUT MY MIND TO IT, I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN GOOD ENOUGH,  I HAVE NOT DONE THIS BECAUSE OF ME THE EXCUSES AND SELF DOUBT I LET GET TO ME, AND THE ONLY PERSON BETTER THAN ME IS THE PERSON I HAD IN MY HEAD TELLING ME ALL THIS.”  Caps lock on because I really want that part to stick out to me, I am still fighting it.  Since I am on this being honest with myself kick I am, always have and always will be better than that loud voice in my head telling me all of that (acceptance) Some of this will tie directly into the second principle of stoicism I decided to rant about.

I have found that many people who you truly respect are not the ones with the most or the best, or even the richest (money can’t buy respect) they are modest and honest with what they have.  It is a person or people with goals close to your very own.  They inspire you, there is admiration there, when you see them working so hard for what they want how could that not become a motivation for you?  In a moment of weakness or a moment of failure when surrounded but the right people is obsolete, it means you watch yourself or you watch them come back at it harder, be stoic don’t let that moment of failure define you or overtake your attitude.  Always stay honest with yourself; it is easier to do with someone who feels the same.

I love this principle the hard part is finding someone like that who feels the same, the rest comes easy.  Basically someone with similar dreams, determined, passionate, a motivator, someone with stories about how they overcame those emotions, how they are working to achieve their own goals and someone who sees all of that in you as well, find that and it will keep you honest with yourself.

“Choose someone whose way of life as well as words, and whose very face as mirroring the character that lies behind it, have won your approval.  Be always pointing him out to yourself either as your guardian or as your model.  This is a need, in my view, for someone as a standard against which our characters can measure themselves.  Without a ruler to do it against you won’t make the crooked straight.”     Seneca the younger, letters from a stoic

The second principle of stoicism I have chosen to rant about for one reason, I have been self-analyzing myself lately.  What I used to do, what I used to love, what I used to have a passion for, and how I have passed my down time compared to who I have been for quite a few years.. lost is where I have been, why do I not do any of the things I used to? Where did that passion go? it was an easy answer, too many excuses, too much self-doubt and too much emotion from my experiences with others.

Acknowledge that all emotions come from within.

“Today I escaped anxiety.  Or no I discarded it in my perceptions, not outside.  -Marcus Aureluis-

When faced with challenges or hurdles in life that you feel you have no control over or you cannot make that jump, do not look for outside forces, do not look around, above or below you for answers, you will not find them there.  Look within yourself; look for your true nature.  When we give into the anger, misery whatever emotion occurs it can and will change the way we think and feel, we fight our own nature.

With stoicism you live with your nature not against it, so I know and am learning more of that is this emotion I am feeling and usually over react to, I feel like yelling, arguing, breaking something or walking away, in these moments I am fighting my nature, I am fighting myself.  I have a quiet inner voice and can feel an inner calm and I know the way I am acting or feeling is ridiculous but I ignore that whisper and I silence it, I am going against my nature. Looking back on moments like that I can recall those whispers and I can recall the way I acted so why can’t I change my behavior?  Stoicism has taught me that I am acting on my mood and not my principles.

In my teenage years whenever I wrote something, drew a picture, cooked or even photographed something that I shared with someone, I shared a lot because I didn’t  do these things just for me.  I would hear “You did not write that” “You didn’t draw that, you traced it” “Someone helped you cook that” “I never thought you would graduate” so 90% of the time that’s the reaction I got, negative and depressing.  Or someone would take something I wrote, said or  drew and use it for their own benefit and just brush me off, walk all over me.  I grew tired of that as anyone would and let the negative influences, the outside forces win.

I would get a knack to try a new recipe the food started coming out terrible, every time I get a spark or an idea to write about, I could have it all planned out in my head, this monologue, this reason for writing it but as soon as the paper came out and my weapon of choice was chosen (pen or pencil) I would clam up and associate the words and actions of others with this piece of blank paper, so when I shut the notebook the only thing in it were the lines the company printed.  It’s not because of the negative influences it was all because of me, I looked around, under and over but I never looked within.  I took the actions and the voices of others and I made them my own, they are not to blame I am, I could not acknowledge that emotions come from within.  Most of the people are completely out of my life and the others minimum contact I could handle them better because I am self-aware and I hear my inner self now more than ever, but I chose not to be around them anymore (surround yourself with people you respect people who treat you the same)

Before I started reading about stoicism I HAD figured out why I gave up on my passion, what had stopped me but as said before I put the blame on others.  Reading the principles of stoicism is when I figured out that it was me fighting myself the whole time.  The study of stoicism is insightful and can lead to fulfillment, a better life, and will teach me a lot, how to control my impulses, how I usually react to a situation, the thoughts that I have are they my own principles or someone else’s?   With self-control, a person you respect, and a full understanding of my mind and my nature I will remain honest with myself and I can and will change my life, I have already begun to but it’s a long journey.

With all that being said I will never be a stoic, it’s not my nature but I will continue to read about it, I will study and use it in my self-analyzing, I will learn a lot more from it.  Without some philosophy we give into excuses and distractions.

“Does what happened to you keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straight forwardness and all the other qualities that allow a person’s nature to fulfill itself? So remember this principle when something threatens to cause you pain; the thing itself was no misfortune at all to endure it and prevail is a great good fortune.”  -Marcus Aurelius-