Blurred vision

Have I been holding too tightly to my own point of view?

Have I been refusing to see what they were trying to show me?

Sometimes, pain constricts our vision – sometimes our field of view, sometimes our focus.

I think I’ve fallen victim to that of late. So now I’m forcing myself to look differently. And it’s uncomfortable, and it feels a bit wrong, and I don’t like it. And part of me keeps chanting don’t do it, you’ll just get hurt again.

But how much is it hurting me to continue as I am? And can I not trust myself to learn from my mistakes?

If we become too rigid, we begin to die. If we stop using our vision, it atrophies.

Learning to open up again is probably the most important and difficult part of healing. If you don’t eventually get there then, really, what was the point?

Our convoluted path

We all have our patterns. The cycles we fall victim to. The fallen logs in the forest we’ve passed a few too many times already.

It’s frequently said that healing is not linear. Learning is not linear. Progress is not linear. It’s more like a spiral. An upwards spiral.

Progress is earned by searching through our cyclical patterns for an opportunity: To make a change. To alter our trajectory. To aim higher. This usually means reliving the same patterns an interminable number of times, in numerous iterations, before we can leave them behind once and for all. Grandiose changes rarely last, so we’re looking for humble consistency. The effect may seem underwhelming, but it’s cumulative.

We tread the same ground so that we can keep seeing what we need to change. And then we tread it ’til we change it. And then we float over it, seeing it from new angles, so we can understand how to never end up back there, or anywhere like it. And then eventually, maybe, we fly away.

The importance of a spiral is that it is not a circle. If you look at it from the wrong angle, though, or without the appropriate vision, you can’t tell the difference. That can get disheartening.

But, trust me: If you’re trying, it’s a spiral.

Differential pressure

Over the past few days I’ve noticed with disturbing clarity the sensation that my smartphone is fucking draining the life out of me. It sucks up time, it sucks up energy, it sucks up memory…it sucks it all right out of my index finger.

I’ve known for long enough that I piss away hours scrolling Facebook and following YouTube treasure hunts, but lately it’s like I’m in one reality prior to picking up my phone to check a notification, and in another when I finally tear my eyes away to realise that forty-five minutes have passed and all I’ve been doing is blankly staring at a continuous feed of mildly engaging stimuli.

I wonder what would happen if I meditated as much as I looked at my phone. It sounds like an intruguing experiment, but also an infuriating one, so I’ll probably pass.

But I do need to address this problem. I don’t want to deplete my primary finite resource on pointless bullshit.

I think I’m scared. Scared of what I’d have to do with that time and energy and lifeforce if I didn’t sign it over to the devil. I’ve come to the saddening conclusion lately that I find it hard to live for myself. That’s why I’ve so habitually gotten myself into situations where I ‘need’ to devote huge amounts of my time and energy to others.

As I consciously strip away the opportunities for that tendency to endure, a vacuum is created, and I fill it with noise to make myself feel better. It’s a good sign, really – it means there’s space for me to clear and grow into, should I be brave enough to do so.

When I was younger, I’d put the TV on whenever I was alone in the house. Without it, the existential fear that was my constant companion would bloom and unfurl and cast terrifying shadows on the walls. It’s a similar thing. I need to turn off the TV and sit with the shadows.