On Purpose

We like to find meaning in what we’re currently doing. Abdicating the responsibility of determining purpose and intent to the situation we’re in. It’s why some are comfortable to stay in a job they hate for far to long, while others are happily moving from company to company with no particular concern. Both can be carried by inertia, but their intention is different.

In the first example, why would you stay in a job you hate, well that assumes that the purpose of your employment is to enjoy it. If no job would satisfy you and you only work for your life outside of it, then your purpose would be the maintenance of your material needs. The nourishment of your desires is your purpose and as such any job is acceptable so long as it does so. A job that pays you enough and is undemanding enough suits your purpose. That you hate it is irrelevant.

The latter example is a little trickier, why move from a job you love and makes you happy? For so many that seems like a dream but again, if your purpose is to achieve something different, or to have more, or be somewhere else than no matter how happy a job makes you it can’t satisfy you.

Which is where we come to the point of it. Our purpose is to achieve our own satisfaction, to attain happiness. Yet we’re also terribly designed to do so. Happiness is such an undefinable concept, and applies so hap haphazardly across us all that it’s attainment is a chaotic mess. Should we even be so fortunate as to know what we want it isn’t usually a material matter in how to acquire it.

Happiness falls within our own minds, as much as any other emotion, so using it as a meter stick for measuring our external accomplishments is folly. Purpose is derived within our selves, and confusing it with external desires is disruptive to achieving it.

Discerning your intentions and desires, to see what you want and need is good. It can help you uncover why you want what you want and understand the nature of purpose that you are employing. Rather then measuring based on titles, accomplishments, or wealth instead look at how you act and what directions you push yourself into. Often our mind pushes us towards what we need and if we don’t understand that then we’re haplessly following a shrouded path.

It’s not enough to want, want can lead you down dark paths. To bring light you must uncover your purpose, not let it be a by-product of your actions. Understand your desires so that you may fulfill them if they’re healthy, or deal with them if you’re not. Simply believing you can conquer your every whim is impossible, find common ground with your intention and strike purpose into your intent.

On Consideration

I’ve tried to take a more considered approach to life. Not just the visceral brand of introspection I’ve tended to use, but to actually thoughtfully consider things.

There might not be much of a difference between those two statements at first glance, but let’s dig in. Introspection is looking inward to yourself, which, is not a bad practice, but it is centered on the self. I think it’s incredibly important to be thoughtful about your actions, to be honest with yourself about your motivations, and to understand who you are.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the consideration with how that self interacts with an external world. I’ve often thought that deeds and not words are what matters. I’ve come to understand that consideration of words is important as well.

Something with good intentions, said poorly isn’t likely to be received positively. There’s value to how you say something, and not only what you do. I don’t say this as a means of manipulation or to influence. Your deeds must still stand on their own, but the reality is that there is an entire social framework to how information is processed.

There’s multiple layers of bias and belief that follows around your actions. Considering these layers is exhausting, and it shouldn’t be your responsibility, but yet, it’s still there. Ignoring an issue does not remedy it.

Taking time to consider the impact of how you comport yourself, not acquiescing to the masses, but holding your head up as a positive influence to those around you. A good thing said cruelly isn’t good.

On Contentment

What does it mean to be content?

I think contentment often gets muddled in as an off branch of happiness. As maybe a general good feeling. That does contentment a disservice.

Contentment is so much more then just the absence of bad it’s a state that is often strived for but misunderstood. There’s nothing wrong with being happy just as there’s nothing wrong with being sad or angry. All are emotional states and are neither worthy of praise or scorn. Contentment is the same, it embodies a state of acceptance.

Acceptance of your current state and your past and future. There’s a tremendous amount of validation that comes from acceptance. To be accepted is something we strive for, for good or ill. To accept ourselves can be as simple as opening ourselves to the idea or a life’s work.

To accept yourself, truly and unconditionally, can be empowering. To understand yourself truly and accept your flaws alongside your strengths is a dangerous journey but often a worthwhile one.

Contentment isn’t the absence of strong emotion. It’s the fulfilment of your own emotional state. It can be fleeting at times and difficult to hold onto. Yet holding that calm in your mind makes the challenges we face a little bit easier.

Remembering Without Wallowing Pt. 3

Practicing Gratitude is a phrase that would have made the first two parts of this sound less pretentious. They’re Here and Here if you’d like to get caught up.

Yet the point stands. It’s hard to overcome the negative feelings from your past, while also trying to sort through them. Which brings me to the next scary step I’ve had to reconcile.

How does it feel to be comfortable currently, but also carrying trauma.

I don’t mean completely financial independent or perfect emotional stability or anything crazy like that, but how do you reconcile the negativity in your life when your current world, your day to day living, has dramatically less negativity in it then the previous parts.

I won’t say things are perfect, but I’m in a position where things are far easier then they used to be.

My problems are far more, nuanced and difficult. Less existential or survival based but some are even centered around thriving and healing.

Terrifying stuff.

The position I find myself in now is one where the ongoing trauma generated by my current situation is less then my capacity to handle trauma. Which actually means in net terms, healing. Which has really helped in the practicing gratitude thing.

Being able to appreciate your past and the trials and tribulations that go into it is a complicated question and it strikes into the very core of your being. It’s hard to dislodge the hurt in your heart that comes from a time of utter dependence. Especially as I’ve gotten older and I see kids now and you can see the potential trauma they’re walking either into or already carrying and it’s hard to watch. There’s an inherent lack of responsibility for the trauma we face from our childhoods. It’s not our faults, which makes it all the harder to deal with.

Rather then being a freeing idea I think that shows the roots of it. Begrudging your lost innocence, feeling regret at a life not lived. It’s a theme I’ve talked a lot through these, and having come back and reading through them I’m somewhat shocked but what I’ve said.

Because even now that pain that I was talking about both feels real but removed. Which is a sign that it did start to heal. I’ve had an issue throughout my life where I’ve held those around me to the standards I held myself to. Ones I generally failed at, but was willing to accept my own failure at, but also failed to recognize how ridiculous it was to apply my own standards to other people.

Looking back is about dealing with the negative thoughts you continue to carry as much as finding a home in your psyche for the things that happen to us.

Sometimes things do get better and sometimes those better things start to stack up, when it comes crashing down from time to time it’s hard, but it does happen again. It’s okay to mourn what’s missed but not letting it blind you to the goods around you are more important.

I’ve had many things happen to me but none of the pain was anything that didn’t happen within my mind, and that’s the time and energy that was the worst spent.

On Feeling Again

It’s been awhile. A lot has happened, and a lot doesn’t change.

It’s a little ironic that the last post I made was about coming off hormones, because that would go on for another 6 months. There’s a story to tell there but one for another time. I am back to feeling again, and yes, that it’s hormonally supported.

It’s weird to come back to this, for the last, two years now I haven’t felt I’ve needed an outlet. The irony being it was probably the time I needed it most.

I started writing again yesterday. It’s not good, but it’s not meant to be, just the inkling of a silly story. It came out though, and it felt good to create something. I’ve often had a difficult relationship with creation. There’s something very vulnerable about creating something, and also very final. Once something is done it’s an enduring reflection of you in that moment. I would imagine being an artist is a little terrifying in that way. Your life is spent creating reflections of you to find later. Moments to cringe and moments to regret.

Probably also comes with a strong emotional memory though, times to remember, and times to share. That’s probably why I have such a difficult relationship with creation. Hell this blog is the closet I’ve come to any kind of enduring creation and it’s anonymous.

Which I guess comes around to why am I even writing this. I truly haven’t logged into this since I wrote my last post. It was interesting to see that some folks were still finding what I wrote. I hope what they found gave them comfort.

I started this out of a point of pain. Coming out for me was hard. I went through the hardest part of my life through that and this was one of the few outlets I had. Taking that pain and sadness and hurling it into the internet for someone else to deal with. I think I hoped someone would see it and save me. I was pretty desperate.

So I may or may not continue writing this, but even this has felt nice. Which is the point I wanted to make the whole time but kept getting distracted. Maybe I do have a lot more to say.

Feeling is the most wonderful and terrible experience of my life. Coming out gave me the space to feel, and in those early moments most of what I felt was pain. That was at least something more then anger. Out of that eventually came more space, and more emotions. It’s not easy, most of them aren’t usually pleasant, but I’ve tried to learn and grow from them.

I still have a complicated relationship with feeling. I very much struggle with expressing myself. I’ve discovered my emotions can be… strong I’ll say. I’m often caught off guard by the reactions to my feelings. If coming out taught me that I had emotions, then being out has taught me that I must guard them. That the openness I had dreamed about when I was young wasn’t as possible as I may have wished.

Just because i crave connection doesn’t mean the person I’m connecting with can handle what I’m feeling. It’s a hard lesson to learn. and one about boundaries and assumptions and all of that mess.

So for now, I’m back to feeling, for better or worse.