Never fear. I meant I wanted to sleep in a very literal sense of the word. So I spent a few days doing nothing but sleeping and trying to come to terms with my new depth of depression.
Scared the shit out of my friend and worried my husband, which sucked, but I’m okay and I think they forgave me.
I think at least part of my bipolar disorder is less mental illness and more how I process life. I’d just read three books in rapid succession that confirmed for me things I’ve known instinctively since I was a kid, but also made me realize that what I know is the exact opposite of what most people acknowledge.
From an egotist’s perspective, I’m awake, but most of you are asleep.
From a realist’s perspective, I’m half asleep, half blind, and a little over half crazed, but a whole lotta people are more than half way there, so maybe I’m not the worst possible person to have insights I want to share that might be useful.
So here’s my thought for today.
There’s a lot more to life than I will ever know. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to learn it all.
There’s more to learning than just memorizing facts. Knowledge doesn’t do you much good if you keep it locked up in the musty attic of your thinker.
The coolest part is figuring out how to integrate the knowledge into your every day life. The bad news is, it often includes learning how to reprogram your unconscious mind, which can be slow, difficult, and painful, but is totally worth it.
It means realizing that you don’t actually live in reality, you live in a story that is a little bit what you tell yourself, but is mostly colored by conditioning you got before you could think.
Which is why it’s so hard to change. Most of your reactions have nothing to do with the situation you’re in, or what your conscious mind thinks is happening. It has to do with what you accidentally picked up from parents, siblings, in preschool, or where ever you spent your first six years of life.
So you do what you don’t want to do, and you say what you don’t want to say, and you don’t do things you know you should do, and are generally fucked up most of the time.
And from what I can tell, all the major religions began with people who figured out how to reprogram themselves. Buddha advocated letting go of attachments and practicing compassion. Jesus talked about loving god, others, and ourselves, and being merciful [compassionate]to all. [exact same concept from a different perspective…letting go of everything vs connecting with everything, but both with the same results: compassion].
And they both taught that it wasn’t easy to reach a point where you can love everyone, or love nothing, but be compassionate either way.
You have to systematically deconstruct all the false impressions, ideas, perceptions you picked up along the way.
I’m most familiar with Jesus, and he’s my favorite anyway, so he’s the one I’ll be expounding on in the future.
For now, though, I think it’s important to know that there are a LOT of programs in your brain. Some of ’em are good and make you do kind, compassionate things, and some of ’em are destructive and false, and make you act like a complete asshole.
So do you have more good programs than bad? I dunno. Are you an asshole most of the time, or just once in a while? And if you’re an asshole more often than not, does that make you a bad person?
I don’t think so. Even serial killers have people in their lives who matter to them, people they value as human beings. It’s just that instead of cutting people off in traffic or being rude to a waitress, they kill the people who don’t matter. The serial killer is what lack of compassion looks like when taken to its most violent extreme.
This is reality.
But it’s no excuse not to try.