It amazes me the way people think and react. I am amazed at the way people react to subjects they find uncomfortable. I suppose it would be easier to deny something than it is to admit it exists.
Instead, we hear things like not in my house. Or, not in my backyard. I suppose it would be easier to turn a blind eye or look the other way.
Over the years, I’ve listened to parents tell me how they know everything about their child. I’ve listened to this in emergency rooms too, —especially after being deployed to an overdose. In one case, the overdose was actually a suicide attempt. I listened to a mother deny this. She refused the information even after her son explained this. She denied that her son tried to kill himself and then argued that her son’s overdose was accidental.
There is a true phenomenon that takes place when we live in the conversations in our mind. First, we take on the energy of these conversations. Next, we take on the emotion of these conversations, and finally, we become these conversations. This can go in either one of two ways. Either we think ourselves sick or we encourage ourselves to become strong.
The thought machine is an interesting place to be.
See, all the positive affirmations in the world and all the intellectual thinking does not exclude us from emotional truth, which is thought uses energy. Our thinking can be like a loose thread that unravels and becomes haywire. Thoughts can cause us to have that emotional avalanche; in which case I mean, one thought can lead to another idea, which trickles into another and snowballs into something uncontrollable.
This is life while caught in the thought machine.
Please note that this is written with a heavy heart. I am sad to say the least. I am frustrated and frightened about what I see. However, I am a firm believer that our surroundings are contagious. The climate we share and the landscapes, the mood and the arguments we hear are absolutely infectious. What I mean is it is really easy to catch crazy. It’s easy to catch the madness and become swept away by public opinion.
The world really is an impactful place. And we hear the news on a daily basis.
We hear it all. We hear about the arguments over hate crimes. We hear the reports, like the ones from yesterday.
So sad . . .
A gunman openly fired and killed ten people in Boulder, Colorado. And next will be the analysis over what happened and why. Next will be the connection to a shooting that happened a week ago in Georgia. Next will be the blame and the finger pointing to find responsibility.
In order to step away from the in-group and out-group bias, there has to be an understanding that difference does not always create enemies. The truth is there is no “Us versus Them” and there is no reason to “Other” someone. There is a word for this. Ever hear of it? It’s called “Othering.”
There are interesting phenomena that can be seen all around us. Take a sports team. Take the hometown favorite. Take the best player on the team and see them get hurt. See them fouled or mistreated in any way possible. The fans would feel empathy for the player. If the injury was severe enough to end the player’s career, the fans would mourn the player. The fans would hurt as if the player’s loss belonged to the fan’s themselves, which in reality, this isn’t so.
The truth is we have to be careful who we listen to. For example, as kids we learned never talk to strangers. We have been told to be careful when listening to the media. We are told not to listen to people that put us down or say negative things. But what about the voice in our head? What about the internal narrative and the self-talk that creates too many concerns or causes us to overthink too much?
There are words we use, which we often use without thinking because to us the words are commonplace. And to us, they’re just words. But words have meaning. Words mean more than what they say. Words tell a story. Words paint a picture and both define and describe a person, place or thing. I never thought much about the words I used because to me, the words I was taught were words I was taught. I never saw how they could be offensive to someone else. Plus, we literally live in a world where everyone is offended by something, somewhere.
Just so everyone is clear, the comparison between our lives is really no comparison at all. My life is my life and your life is yours. We all have our own history. We come from different ends of the universe or maybe we live on the same side, but still, the one thing we can never see is what life looks like from behind another person’s eyes.
I am a firm believer that most people cannot pass their own test. Everyone judges. I know this and so do you. We judge. This is simple. And you have to judge, at least to some degree. Who should I trust? Where should I go? What should I do? These are all judgement calls.
The truth is everyone has a life going on. Everyone has their reasons and their rationalizations. We all have our own opinions and biases, stigmas, as well as social and subconscious programs. We have been trained to think and believe a certain way.
A word is a unit of language. Words are the way we communicate. Words have meaning however, words that say one thing can often mean another. There is the connotation and the denotation of a word, which is the difference in the way we associate the meaning of the word.
The denotation is the actual meaning of the word and the connotation of a word is the association of a word in addition to its actual meaning itself. I know what the word happy means to me. I know what sad means. I know what the word love means to me and adversely, I know what hate means.
I know what the word family means to me, and still, I remember a class of mine at the homeless shelter. I asked the classroom to give me their definition of the word “Family.”
A mumbled voice from the back of the room spoke out and said, “Broken promises” because this is what the word family meant to him.
See what I mean?
There was a class I took a few years back about commercial energy conservation. The teacher was an older man, grayhaired, very kind, and with a voice that sounded like a grandpa reading a bedtime story. The class was boring as ever, which made it difficult to keep my eyes open, let alone pay attention and learn the material.
I will say that some of the information was interesting. I understood the premises of the class. I understood the information but less than midway through the lesson, the teacher would go off on a tangent and laugh with his quiet little bedtime story laugh. He would talk about something that happened to him or his family and then just like that, half the class would start to nod and fall asleep.