Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Biggest Fear

     Elusively, I mentioned that I had "changed" a lot, since I stopped writing in my old blog.  Not only were these changes the reason I ceased writing publicly, they made me ashamed of my old thought processes and words.  More than shame, however, they made me uncomfortable.  Reading through the words of my past life, and it feels like just that, the ramblings of a girl I can't even feel any more, it scares me to realize how confused I was.  While I wrote a few things I was proud of and still feel bubbling up from within my soul, the love I have for my brother for instance, several posts are chock full of religious cliches and explain longings to know the god I sought after for seventeen years, the god I no longer believe in.  I was so desperate for depth and connection to the universe.. and I know now that I tried to convince myself with my own writing... that the god of my childhood was the answer to my guilt and disapproval of myself. It was as if I believed that by repetition of thought and accolades for my writing, I could convince myself to be a part of a religion in which I found no comfort. I couldn't even read these posts anymore as I tried to develop into who I knew I was supposed to be, and I wanted no one else to know the old me.. for fear she would hold me back from evolution into myself. 
    However, I know now that these recordings of my spiritual development are nothing to be fearful of.  Sure.. while reading them I will always be reminded of the maelstrom of guilt and deceit that was my true mind at the conception of these saccharine pieces of literature; but I have come to realize that evolving into the person you are is a process, in which every step is valuable.  I was a girl desperate for acceptance, and using the name of God was the quickest, surest way I knew to get people to love me.  
The internet will now hold record of Crosby Damron begging for the approval of her friends and family with a high school blog, and I'm thankful.  Perhaps part of my life's purpose is to serve as a reminder of the human need for acceptance. 
    I have come to know that next to food and shelter, rests the inherent human longing for acceptance.  Every decision we make, every word we say, every attempt at success, boils down to our relentless need to be loved unconditionally.  I need to know I am loved not only in spite of, but because, of what I  believe honestly, what I live for, and the mistakes I make.  I am working on giving this grace to others, because I know the detriment to the psyche that is caused from living an untruthful life.  I vow to never inspire others to live a life dishonest to their heart in order to win my acceptance. I thank the universe and am reminded of the inherent goodness of the human heart every time I am reminded of what I have come to know... that I have a mother, father, brother, and friends who convince me everyday that I am accepted.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Humanity's Story

     Recently I finished reading a disturbing novel by the name of Ishmael. It was small.. in length only... so I had no reservations in selecting the single copy from the shelf of my local Barnes and Noble.. thinking to myself "this will be easy".  However... it was the most uncomfortable reading experience I could have ever imagined. But I simply could not set it down. I say disturbing with the utmost passion... to claim it as life changing would be an understatement.  If I could force it in front of the eyes of everyone I know I would... If I could set up a podium and read every word aloud with the utmost clarity I would. While describing the book to a friend of mine recently, her face went pale and she recounted an anecdote of an acquaintance she encountered who had simply resigned from life after reading Ishmael... feeling so inspired, yet so inadequate, that he decided engagement with society was simply not worth the effort.
    I feel silly even trying to summarize Ishmael, as I feel doing so diminishes its power or spills some kind of divine secret, but I vow to try.  Ishmael tells the tale of a disenchanted man who responds to an ad in his local newspaper, "seeking a pupil trying to save the world".  He is then called to the address of an abandoned office building and reluctantly enters, only to find an eerie room occupied by a full-sized, fully intimidating, talking gorilla. Said gorilla, Ishmael, proceeds to teach his pupil what is wrong with our cultural story, why it will fail, and what society must do about it.  The novel then, is essentially a non-fiction dialogue, set within the bounds of a fantastical tale. Yes, I realize, a talking gorilla sounds silly, and when describing the plot to my peers I felt as though I was letting the gravity of the book fall through the cracks of my dialogue.
     The rantings of this fictional gorilla however, have breathed their way into my everyday life and have made me see things so differently, in a way I really didn't sign up for. But I'm so thankful. Perhaps humanity's hope is dependent on my generation starting to feel discomfort creep in the back of our minds.
     As Ishmael has taught me, each human is taught a cultural story upon which to base our lives.  We begin our schooling the very day we enter life on this pale blue dot. We are taught things even bigger than religion and political ideals. We are taught what to value, we are taught how to live, we are taught how we got here, and we are taught who we are.  There's no one to blame for the story we are force fed, because our parents were taught practically the same tale. We are taught, sometimes subtly, that our lives are a competition. No one escapes. We are taught to conquer our environment, nature included, that the whole world is ours for the taking. We are taught that "success" is our highest goal, in its many variations.  What I am asking whoever is reading my little blog to ponder is "what if"... what if I teach my future children a different story?  Even slightly.
     What if I teach my children that life is not a competition, that they are blessed to be a part of nature and it is their obligation to cherish it, that their goal in life should be to nurture their spirit, to become exactly who they feel they should be?  What if my generation taught our children a story slightly different from the one humanity has inherited for hundreds of years?
     We live the story we are taught. Our human "story", our society if you will... is not instinctual... it is taught. Entirely.  What if  the next generation learns something even a little bit different.
     Take it a step further now. Imagine what they could teach their children.  The story will evolve over generations. If humans are taught to simply become who they truly are, perhaps mental illness will stop plaguing our societies.  Perhaps if we teach children they are dependent, not dominant, to nature... our environmental catastrophes will dissipate, and we will take up our rightful role as lovers of the universe. Perhaps if we teach them they are not trying to win with their lives, poverty and war will cease to exist within the next few centuries..  because we will absorb the truth that we are dependent upon one another.
     Stories are a powerful thing.  We live and breathe by them. We raise children by them. We base economies on them.  We start wars fueled by them.  What if the story changed?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Here we go again...

     I love to write.  I do.  I live, work, and play within a three mile radius, so I struggle occasionally with feeling lost within the humdrum rut of a daily, all too small, routine.  However, amazingly.. whenever I write, whenever I pour out my thoughts with a pen or a keyboard onto a blank paper or screen, the depth comes fumbling right back in.  After a hiatus, my sentiments may be unclear, or my vocabulary unelevated, but I can sense it coming back.. my love and supposed affinity for the written word. 
     I used to have a blog and while I wasn't a very prolific author, my words seemed to be well received.  My blog got a lot of views and at one point I was approached by a few advertisers; however, the little voice in the back of my head assured me that writing was vain. "Who do you think you are?" it asked... "why do you value your own thoughts enough to make them public? Keep them in your head where they belong." Furthermore, I changed a lot. My belief systems were in a process of evolution. Reading back over some older posts I didn't recognize my own thoughts, which scared the crap out of me. So simple as that... I stopped. One year ago. 
     However, inspiration has struck and the only option I have is to write about it. Typing is faster than handwriting and my thoughts are moving at a pace that even my typing hands can barely keep up with. This blog, then, is a result of my stumbled upon passion for life, and perhaps this fervency will be enough to keep me writing. I'm desperate for it. This past weekend I had the profound opportunity to meet one of my favorite authors, humanitarians, and philosophers... Tom Shadyac, who convinced me that my life changes when I change.  He asked me simply "What do you love to do?" I said "Write." He said something along the lines of "Then that is your duty to the world." I truly believe that the world's redemption lies in the hands of those who have come alive, who seek what they love. 
     Now to the voice of my doubt I say "leave".  Simple as that.  I want to be a writer and I am confident that the written word has the power to be a weapon for positive change on the small blue dot we call home.  Humanity is the most highly evolved species, gifted with the divine task of literature so write I will. I vow to use my words and my little corner of the internet to spread compassion and provoke thought... even if my mother is the only reader. I love you universe.