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Nov 10, 2020, 03:19 PM
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Older not necessarily wiser

It's a strange trip we're on. We wake up and find ourselves incapsulated in this meat blanket. We spend an enormous amount of time trying to figure out what is what, who is who, truth from fiction, facts and reality. We delude ourselves with our thoughts and search for happiness in the possession of things. We chase after the money, to buy us things, admittedly we need food, shelter, safety and companionship and money can supply a majority of that but in the end as in the beginning, we are ultimately alone with ourselves, with our thoughts, our beliefs. There is a lot of investment in our thoughts, we look at the obvious like our gender and identify with that. We begin to believe what we are told as repetition re-enforces the thoughts. We should believe what our parents believe, we should be good little girls and boys and do as we are told without question. Girls were raised to be people pleasers, keep the peace, keep quiet, do as you are told. Boys were raised to have a stiff upper lip, take it like a man, fists and fighting, be tough or be eaten. It's strange to me that we want men to be loving husbands kind and thoughtful, caring parents supportive and nurturing but we praise boys for not shedding a tear and chide them when they do and give them toys of war. We tell them to solve problems with their actions (what are you going to do about that?) rather than with their words. We are a conflicted people and each generation, I believe tries to do it better when they have choices. But having choices is an entirely different conversation.

There was no direction from my parents to look at my thoughts and feelings to better understand myself, to realize that much of my own suffering came from what I thought, rather than from the reality of my situation. My parents believed in the power of prayer but the twist was they let the Church tell me how to do it, what I should pray for and what I should believe. Rather than to question, discover and think for myself. I suspect that how I was raised was how they were raised (more or less) and being absorbed by chasing a living and keeping a home in order (also another story) was the ends to their means.

Rather than seeing the 'problem' as something within my own power to resolve. We can only change ourselves, and only when we want to change. We can reflect on our experiences and try to make sense of them. And sometimes, it doesn't seem to make sense. There is a collective mental breakdown that says it's not me, it's everyone else. But it all begins with me and I am you, and we are one.
My sibling recently told me "Don't get so deep!" I had suggested to her that her judgments about her grandson and his struggles with life would be more supportive if she was more encouraging of his efforts to understand himself rather than to chide him for his choices and judgment about his choices. We are all struggling to make sense of a very complicated world. A world that is filled with mystery, what we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean.
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