Wrong Side Of Paradise

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Radical Honesty.

Life goes on, the truth changes. What was once true is often no longer true later - Brad Blanton.
I didn't really understand that quote until I read it a second time and then it made perfect sense. I may hate you now, and adore you later. The truth, inevitably changes. Although for some of us, this gets hard to accept. Blanton a psychotherapist eloquently refers to the mind as a jail built out of bullshit. Essentially, most of us are stuck in the jails of our own minds. And in being stuck, we fail to recognise when the truth changes and hold on to concepts of what was once true in the past.

So in short, we are lying to ourselves. It's no surprise, we live in a beautiful but confusing and messed up world. And it gets at its most confusing during our adolescence. Most people think of adolescence as occurring between the ages of 13 to 18 or spanning on to our early twenties. But in most cases this lasts a lot longer and a lot of us stay stuck in some sort of perpetual adolescence.

Even in adulthood we try desperately to attach ourselves to a number of self-images we create, any self-image is better than no self-image. Be it the artist, the fashionista, the girl/guy who married their childhood sweetheart, the geek, the poser etc. etc. This is common blindness to the changing truth, and results in rigid thinking. Take this hypothetical example, Bob and his friend Sally, they've been to the same school, college and university together and see each other every now and then. One day in primary school they were asked "What would you like to be when you grow up?".

Bob’s answer? ‘’A power ranger’’. 

Sally’s answer; ‘’A doctor’’.

Over the years Bob’s answer slowly changed. However, Sally’s stayed the same. They took science classes together in secondary school, they both loved it. But...over the years Sally became interested in books. Classics, Shakespeare, Twain, Heller.  She became less interested in science, but kept up with her classes because as she reminded Bob "she wanted to be a doctor".  Bob was baffled, she looked miserable in those science classes when they went to college. And she was less enthusiastic about the whole doctor thing.
And when she failed a few science exams in their final year of college, Bob was sure she would switch to English lit, which she loved and could pass with her eyes closed...But no, she retook the science classes until she passed. Sally’s still studying to be a "doctor" now, Bob saw her on the train recently tapping her foot and chewing on fluorescent bubble-gum, she managed to put her copy of war of the worlds down long enough to blow a bubble at him.

^ that's a mild example of rigid attachment/thinking. She's trapped in the role of doctor. 
Even though what was true yesterday, is no longer true today. And most of us cling to what is no longer true. Be it our career goals, values, morals or even the people we surround ourselves with.

We often make friends with people who we believe fit with our self-image. Our self-image which we may have lived by years ago, which is no longer true today...But we live by this now untrue image anyway. 
Despite our unconscious denial, we may no longer be...or at the very least no longer want to be the people we once strove to be. And believe me when I say, there is no greater loneliness than being surrounded by people who will never know who you truly are. Having an open mind is more important than most of us will ever know.

I'm not a religious person, but one truth I'm sure of is....

Veritas vos liberabit: The truth shall set you free - John 8:32.

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