Quick question : Who are you in the absence of validation?
I have a weird complex, beloved readers, where I struggle to write when I'm happy. Part of me feels like its because of the fact that I've always been compelled to feel and experience those moments as they meet me. Writing takes those moments into an internal realm. A realm almost inaccessible to the moment because words are a poor citation of human emotions - writers can only ever hope to mimic a moment, illicit an emotion that holds a murky mirror up to what felt perfect. Words are but a soiled mirror, trying to depict a scene, set the stage and hope the actors in the readers mind inhabit the space in a way similar to that precise moment. I mean... unless you write about something droeg like science. Nonetheless, I struggle to write when I'm happy. I like to let happiness wash over me and if i'm lucky and there's enough of it- I like to drink it in.
But sorrow? Well sorrow I can bathe in, but we all know the dangers of falling asleep in a bath. In the past I have made a cold and lonely home out of sorrow, I set it up so perfectly wrapping myself tightly in the coldness of trauma. Relishing in it really, but in recent months I demolished that dark alleyway in my mind. Bulldozers driven by my friends decided to occupy the land with sweet sounds of this very moment - my blog is back.
I won't lie, I don't know if the same SANKOFA is back, but my blog is.
So here's what actually happened...
None of your fucking business.
That's what this moment has taught me - that people don't actually care. People pretend to - when its convenient for them. People who had never taken a serious interest in my blog when I was racking up views were suddenly very interested in my blog - well rather its absence. And that speaks volumes more than this blog ever has. People aren't interested in baring witness to prosperity and abundance and here's why :
Prosperity and abundance in the lives of others is a shinning, florescent change room light on our proverbial lives ; it leaves nothing for the imagination and illuminates everything we'd rather hide. Much like a relationship, prosperity in the lives of others holds a mirror up to us of the things we dislike about ourselves.
What am I talking about?
For example; right now there's someone in my life who reminds me a lot of my ex (for lack of a better word to describe an emotional terrorist cc: Perplexing Pegasus). This reminder is somewhat relentless lately and has rubbed me up the wrong way because its forced me to question :
- Does he remind me of my ex because I have unresolved trauma from that relationship on a subconscious level?
2. Does the fact that he reminds me of my ex bother me because I keep attracting men who are emotionally unavailable, but comfortable with pillaging my intellectual and emotional resources to their benefit? Have I really not gotten any better at establishing healthy boundaries with people who are unwilling to give me what I want?
An ugly mirror.
Which in all fairness has everything to do with me, and borderline nothing to do with person X. But this relationship is a mirror, and looking into any mirror when you're insecure about how you'll respond to what you see, is painful.
Prosperity in the lives of others forces us to re-evaluate our own standards for success or what we conceptualize as success. In a society founded on this vicious machine called capitalism, what else could be expected but intense insecurity routinely grabbing us in a choke-hold?
Baring witness is a burdensome role, we live vicariously through others but when their prosperity exceeds the bounds of our understanding are we willing to fall into that auxiliary role? Are we, as people, willing to position ourselves outside of the orbit of that wondrous trajectory. Are we able to lament our apparent short-comings and still participate in the joy of others?
Not only are we able, but are we willing? Are you willing to assume the burden of baring witness? Because bearing witness means we become a repository for the wonders of others. Perhaps, you hold the belief close to your heart that your blessings are on their way, but a heart embittered by envy and jealousy? Well, that makes baring witness borderline impossible. It makes sending a congratulatory text a painful experience, and it makes silence an easy option.
At least... that's what I've seen.
Radio silence when I was successful. People closing their eyes instead of baring witness and walking quickly away from the mirror of our relationship.
And suddenly, the cavalry of mediocrity, having mounted horses of hypocrisy rode into my life giving unsolicited advice when I lost this blog. The tree of my life had begun to whither and die, and people tore off branches to light fires of their own. My grave became a stepping stone.
As I lay silent in my coffin, I realized I have no choice but to Kill Bill myself out this bitch. My knuckles are raw, but as I type this post 'Death Be not Proud' has been tattooed onto my spirit.
My fingers have been stained crimson in the last few months. I have spent all my spare time sowing up wounds picked open by peoples callous words and unsolicited opinions. You'd think these wounds were a counter top in a bar because they have been littered with salt and fresh alcohol by bystanders. In Visual studies we were taught about a group of perverse people who would arrive at accident scenes, when cars were first made popular, and they would begin to perform inappropriate sexual acts in response to the car crash, in response to the trauma.
Those people still exist.
Except now they're not random civilians, they're trolls on the internet, people too insecure to understand the meaning of friendship and weirdos from high school who lurk on your IG. There are people who get off on you being put down. The power dynamics of our civilization are complex and riddled with intense inequities - so what's to be done?
How much access are we giving to people? People can't arrive to jack off at the car crashes that happen if your life if they're unaware of the fact that you own a car in the first place. Not everyone is worth your energy. Not everyone is deserving of your time. Horne in on your discernment - it's a gift. Someone once told me that your gut is the Holy spirit whispering to you - listen. Perhaps you don't believe in the Holy Spirit, believe in energy, believe in the way you feel - believe in your visceral response to someones energy. Your intuition operates in a realm which we have no access to, but it takes the time out to speak to you - let your actions speak back. Your intuition reads situations for you - speak the same language. Synchronize your energy with your spirit because it's in that disconnect that chaos is bred.
Chaos is the result of not curating intention.
'Do nothing without intention'
It is in the absence of intention that chaos is bred.
Stop inviting ambiguous energy into your life and hoping it will take form in a way that's pleasing to you. Energy and intention are malleable to our will - so will it. Be assertive. Ask energy to manifest into your desires and stop doing things in the absence of intention.
You only have this one spectacular life to live - live it intentionally.
This intention will attract energy that's compatible with yours and then maybe we won't have to exhaust ourselves into deeply emotionally demanding situations which require the establishment of boundaries. Nonetheless, for those moments where you need to establish boundaries :
- Mind your business.
We live in a culture that is so saturated by vicarious access that we're consistently bombarded with content and information. Information that we often forget has been curated with the intention of eliciting specific emotional responses from us - be mindful of how you allow yourself to participate in this cycle. Be mindful and mind your business. Minding how you participate in trauma consumption, idle gossip, specific famous peoples feeds are all simple ways of establishing boundaries. You're consenting to specific emotional transactions and the accompanying emotional labor. You're not aimlessly or unconsciously allocating intellectual/emotional/spiritual resources to bullshit which is of no benefit to you. Learn to be mindful and this mindfulness will help you to :
2. Take accountability for your actions
The common denominator between certain patterns reproduction and your life is you. Everyone else cannot always be the problem. In mindfulness you will operate with a heightened awareness of your role in creating situations and entertaining specific interactions or relationships. This heightened self-awareness and mindfulness will help you be able to discern where your problems start and others begin. Being able to delineate between the two will help you to be able to establish boundaries. Operating in a mindful fashion will enable you to :
3. Articulate your boundaries
You can't articulate your boundaries when you're unsure of what you yourself desire. Being mindful of how you operate in the world, owning your decisions (whether they're shitty or not) and just like... thinking will help you to be able to articulate your boundaries. Boundaries used to terrify me, or rather actually communicating them instead of being the passive aggressive icon I used to be, which would result in control or manipulation and my being able to achieve the boundary that I wanted. Boundaries used to terrify me because I thought they were synonymous with conflict. (Now please let it be noted that I am not averse to conflict - if we need to go there we can go there, but I don't smaak it unprovoked). Until about a year ago, a friend of mine who I routinely disagree with and I were about to get into another disagreement and I began to retract from the conversation.
I said " ugh, I'm really not in the mood to fight"
and he responded "Not every disagreement is an argument".
Deescalate things in your mind.
Not every disagreement is an argument.
Establishing boundaries need not be done in the midst of conflict. What am I saying? Boundaries don't always need to be reactionary. Stop trying to establish boundaries after things have gone to shit, when preemptively your intuition told you a shit storm is brewing. Be proactive. Establish boundaries in a preventative capacity.
Your boundaries also need not be negotiable, but they need to be respected.
Give yourself permission to want more for yourself, and give yourself permission to see establishing boundaries as a means of accessing more.
All of that being said, do not ask people for what you are not willing to provide. Do not ask for respect for your boundaries when you are unwilling to respect other peoples boundaries. It really is that simple, and again the need to undermine others boundaries via negotiation or "forgetfulness" is a symptom of not minding your fucking business.
Take your business and mind it. You mind it and you mind it.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
All of this will help you to curate your space and balance your energy. Boundaries are despised and yet exist as the indispensable step-child of self-care, one facilitates the other. You can't claim self-care when you refuse to have or respect boundaries.
At the beginning of this article I asked "Who are you in the absence of validation?", and I ask this because boundaries sometimes negate validation that you may be used of receiving - are you prepared for this? Please understand healthy people will, and ought to be okay with your boundaries - regardless your boundaries need to be establish and function. That being said - this is also something to think about.
Who are you in the absence of validation?
As for me... LIzzo said it best :
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