"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Mexican Disco

It sort of boggles my mind that getting 36 free hours can have such a restorative effect on my psyche.

Of course it's not just that I got a little time off, it's also that I got to see my family (blood and otherwise) and see that Life Is Still Good outside my hexagram of stress. It's easy to lose oneself in the whirl of Important Things, projects and deadlines and commitments and responsibilities. It's easy to bite off more than you can chew; what happens then? Choking, usually.

The feeling of choking is a kind of panic, a freakout. Even if all that's happening is you've got a popcorn kernel down the wrong pipe, the lower reptilian brain will reach up and start strangling higher consciousness. Under pressure to survive, to breathe, everything else falls away. Welcome back to the base level of Maslow's Pyramid of Human Needs. This is why people who are drowning often drag would-be rescuers along with them. This is why waterboarding is an effective form of torture.

This same phenomena is operative at higher orders of consciousness as well. Intense and seemingly overwhelming pressure can come from peer-acceptance, from a loved one, or even from one's normally wholesome source of spiritual light and guidance. Luckily, the further you get away from bare physical survival purposes, the more likely this pressure can be dealt with via a quick bit of social or mental judo. Abusive relationships can be escaped or even mended, truly loved ones communicated with, etc.

Even better, if you're getting all fouled up at the highest levels -- which is to say confused or upset about purpose and meaning, as I have been -- resolution is just a matter of perception, perspective, organization, reclaiming the dignity of your own experience. Not that this is ever easy, mind, but it's more within my power than overcoming a physical lack of oxygen, or the like.

To wit, lately I've been taking on too much. It started out as a conscious choice, a big push, and in the way of things gradually took on a life of its own. There's only so much that any one person can carry, and beyond overtaxing my hours-in-a-day resources I more debilitatingly took on too much psychic weight.

This is part and parcel with my big personal growth challenge of figuring out how to lead through mentoring, organization and management rather than by inspirational example, heroic effort and personal charisma. It's very different, and figuring out just how much responsibility for other people to take on is something I'm only beginning to learn to gauge.

It's also very different for me to have to watch more carefully for appearances. Like any good human I've got my fair share of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, but of late I haven't had many outlets for expressing these things, or many peers to share it with. Being able to vent to my mom was great, restorative, cathartic. Mom is good for that, even if it probably does give her an unrealistically negative view of my life. Thanks.

Anyway, as someone who's been generally dismissive of tact, personal stage-management and the general social obsession with impressions -- but who conversely is professionally trained in the fine art of acting -- it's been difficult having this stuff bottled up inside. Doubts are like that: they tend to get stronger when they're kept inside. Once you share them, even if they're well-founded, they become much more manageable. At least for me.

So what have we learned?

  • Keeping perspective is critical. Don't forget that somewhere out there, love is happening, and you have good friends, and people care about you and want to hang out be have fun.
  • You can't take on responsibility for other people's lives. For one thing, this will probably give you a heart attack. Perhaps more importantly, this can keep other people from ever realizing their full potential.
  • Keeping nervous and negative feelings private only lets them fester. The truth always feels better, so find someone to share that with.

Yeah, so it feels good. Summer is upon us.


I like your honesty and transparency.