All this ‘good’ and ‘bad’ labelling of things is causing mucho problemo. It is not that a thing or an action is ‘bad’, it is that we need to understand through knowledge and information how to navigate it. Every single thing has an upside- but if we encourage people to label in black and white and not be able to be flexible about the entire package, when slips, blips or the spectrum is moved out of perspective, the inevitable feeling of the person involved is one of lack and negativity; of never being able to be ‘good’ or reach unmaintainable expectations; from themselves and those around them. That they too have been sucked into the label and are now categorised as ‘bad’. This extraordinary display of self, peer and societal pressure is crippling.
A good example right now is the 'war on sugar', (although 'war on ............' can be inserted in here)- urg even the terminology makes me shudder as it sets us up in a brace and fight mode. The media has an enormous part in spinning storms of terror; pinning people against each other; igniting and fuelling panic and suspicion into our most sensitive individual and societal issues. Most people aren't strong enough, or invested in seeing through this bullshit, but the effect this is causing across any issue that can cause anxiety is criminal. If the mind is filled with thoughts and images that correlate with prejudice and anger, this WILL be reflected back. You ever noticed how when you want something you see it everywhere, well flip this and work it from the opposite and you get the same outcome. There is no difference to this being a possession, a person, a feeling or a situation. People don't understand that this type of attitude emanates off them and that others can sense it. It is inevitable there will be more destruction and terrorism, more and more it's all we can see unless there is active change towards personal behaviour. I say this because holding media outlets accountable is impossible. Stoking peoples drama is pure incitement; the kid on the edge of the sandpit, lighting it and standing back watching while others burn.
When it came to sugar I was a garden variety junkie. Absolutely no different to handing a loaded syringe with heroin to an addict, with exactly the same mental and physical fall out, but with far more accessible dealers. To add to the complication though, we all need a little food love in our lives once in a while. I am already filled with lots of passion and emotion, I don't need to be jacked up any further, especially when I am feeling sensitive. Feeling guilty, shamed, hyper anxious and that the range is 'bad' is not constructive, and doesn't validate being able to enjoy a life pleasure in moderation through being educated about what option is best. Seeing 'health star ratings (of like 1/5) doesnt make a person feel great either- has anyone stopped to think how this is effecting our abilities to validate enjoyment??! I focus on matching what I need with what I am feeling and not skirting around the issue- If my brain is really needing chocolate- that that it shall have, but what variety & proportion I endorse gifting myself is very important. And gift I do- I make a proper deal about it being a beautiful and deserved award.
Sugar was my drug for comfort, to ease loneliness and give self love, but because of my mental and chemical make up, it used to have disastrous consequences. It took an inordinate amount of courage within this society as a woman to say 'I love and hate my food' and just like any passionate love affair, it was a bed of roses. Unwrapping the shame associated with the behaviour and digging out the essential good thing I was trying to help myself with by wanting to veer off and reach for a stress filler, was the nucleus in being able to accept and learn how to live better. I make better mistakes tomorrow. I accept progression not perfection and prefer to train my focus on the perfume, not the thorns. Training by choice on the positive as a survival method to information overload.
Finger pointing and disgracing through high-moral snobbery is how shame grows. This is the gift a lot of humanity is burdening each other with when there is nothing to fear or be disgraced about, no matter how icky it is on the outside or inside.
Shame is very different to guilt. Guilt is the productive movement of shame; where the person has realised something is amiss, is not comfortable with it, and is making a manoeuvre in order to better the situation. Shame is a much darker, festery and evil demon and this lurks, morphs and destroys from the inside out. It is a tremendously elusive and deceptive creature to trap and is bundled in layyyyyyers of camouflaged situations, behaviours and feelings.
Shame comes from getting the behaviours associated to love messed up, and it is why it is so hurtful. It solar flares right on our Heart. My greatest loves had for many years impenetrable barracks around them made up of disesteem, but as I made headway I realised the actions were of the best intention. They were coping strategies in order to maintain protection and they were not to be feared or used as a whip upon myself, but it also was my duty to control lashing out in fear towards others that saw this pain too. Unfortunately, it is the ones we love who have the ability to see these flashes, because they are a reflection of their own sensitivities and in order for most to feel they are in control of their world, they can belittle, demean and act with anger and persecution upon those who outwardly display, what they inwardly dislike and fear. Yes, coping strategist and addict are one and the same; we are all addicted to, or using something for comfort. Yet, by taking a positive spin on the grey, we can unburden shame and replace it with hope.
The freedom that comes from relinquishing persecution of ourselves and removing these labels brings true liberation and joy towards the human psyche as a dynamic entity, rather than a tagged and boxed collection of qualities that need to be ‘fixed’. Nothing is ever broken. But neither is it another's ‘fault’. What happens, happens from the accumulation of components that create the environment for a perfect storm and all of these qualities can be rationally unpacked. It is how we personally continue to roll with the individual and collateral damage that is important. It is absolutely essential that we have those around us who without judgement; without alarm and panic, can listen to us while we divide up and work through these thoughts and feelings, not getting stuck on the behaviours and etiquette.
It is so very, very important that as a society we maintain the ability to think for ourselves, question what is being shown to us and scrape off all this unnecessary fear mongering and fill it with logic and methodology. Truth is not given to us, it is something we must search for because it is different for each of our stories. OUR truths; our exploration into finding them, affects our entire community in a positive manner because in order to live like this we interact. We are now digging through falsities at a level that has never before been seen by man; getting information is not the issue, learning how to select and filter truth out of this barrage is. Good comes from this, but not from avoiding the opposite and inevitably what is intriguing. Shaming the curious is at epidemic levels.
This system does not build and create a virtuous environment, it undermines and erodes it. Creative humans are built curious and obsessive and so unavoidably step into unusual and challenging waters. Please re-read that. The nature of expression means we have a unique ability to have an unusual idea, hold onto it and make actions to develop it; culture in all forms being the productive manifestation of this. Yet this very same pattern can go into hyper drive and into not such great outputs also; endeavours which more often than not, are actions seeking comfort and release from the productivity; the racing-head-state that 'creativity' in it's nature compels us to undertake. Expressive output is therapy, but the process or motivation can be anything but. 'Creativity' being an attribute and thought pattern that every human has in varying amounts.
It takes a huge amount of courage to put your heart, soul and thoughts out there; taking those up in honour and then delighting by smashing them down in shame when slips happen is abhorrent. A particualry reactive scale by where a very small action can be made into a momentous indignity. Training and driving humans to delve deeper into this ability to procure and make requires as much, if not more attention to the other colours of this type of wildness, because to be frank, the propensity can be to excel at the more humanly deferent negative calibration. We want to teach people how to become more 'mindful'; but the more conscious you are, the more complications that arise from that also. Information is power but without the strategies, ignorance can be bliss. People fear what they don't understand and often desire what they don't have the skills to cope with.
We need to grow and flourish through encouraging less ignorant appraisal and more encompassing education. Fine can be poor; and ‘good’ comes from processing and loving, not fearing ‘bad’. Living, in it's essence is not about being 'good'- no-one is keeping a marker sheet out there. Sure karma, but that is a wheel that turns though light and dark, not avoiding it. We are all unintentionally hurting each other with worthy purposes; and then making amends and progress by modifying our conduct. It is not through the strengths, but through our weaknesses and insecurities that we are useful and can help each other.