A Brain Dump

Brain dumps are therapeutic, if you do it right. It allows a release, an unstructured release of the clouds that trail you through the day. Life demands structure, and structure demands discipline. Both have their place, but did you notice how beautifully random the structure of nature appears? It has probably the most complex system of checks and balances we’ll ever encounter, yet it thrives if appreciated, especially where such appreciation simply demands that it be left to find its own way.

People can’t function like that. If left to find our own way, most are inclined to believe that no one cares. Hardly anyone recognises the freedom in that. I find myself caught in a health cycle that is unfamiliar to me. Having had an acute focus for many years now on the physiological impact that our emotions and thought patterns have on us, I lost sight of what keeps us above ground when it comes to navigating through that space. It’s so easy to get pulled into the quicksand that we’re always warning others about.

Recurrent failures at building relationships that are not optional can create gaps in your soul that you don’t notice until the possibility of filling those gaps erodes almost completely. The decision on which relationships are optional and which are not is a simple one that is tied to our value systems. My need for authenticity will not allow me to be selective as to when I accept and embrace my responsibilities towards others, or when I set it aside for convenience’s sake. I am perfectly capable of abandoning or morphing my value system into one that is more convenient, but I know that the moment I do that, I will lose any legitimate claim to cry foul when others do the same.

Optional relationships are the ones that hold no yoke over us if we neglect it. If there is no tie of kinship or contract, we are not under any obligation to care for or contribute to such relationships. Communal obligation, that is. Strange though that it seems like optional relationships tend to get the most investment these days. It seems as if these they provide us with needed distractions from the relationships grounded in responsibility and compulsion. There seems to be a demand for attention or reciprocation at every turn, mostly out of obligation rather than passion or purpose.

It seems I’ve even forgotten how to do a brain dump. My health has been less than satisfactory recently, and almost all of it has been associated with a collage of duress that has coloured my life for a long time now. Each tile in the collage stems from an investment I made in others, some in a personal setting while others in a professional setting. Watching trust replaced by loyalty to the prevailing authority is commonplace these days. I’ve had to remind myself often in recent months that more should not be expected from the ones that worship titles and pursue labels and acronyms. But it’s the contagion of human nature. The moment we see beyond the superficial gusto that people present as their armour of confidence, it’s difficult not to sympathise with the child within.

Too many times have I witnessed people reaching an old age while still not yet having achieved the state of being a fully formed adult. The difficulty lies in the rarity of adults. Most are overgrown children waiting for some childhood need to come to pass, while grudgingly accepting the responsibility that accumulates with the years. All the while, the essence of our lives are spent in waiting for others to do right by us. It rarely happens.

Those that have crumbling spines suffer from a deficiency of bone density because they lack the courage to build what only they can build. The more we tell our bodies that we’re not good enough, the less our bodies will respond favourably when we need it to. If it is true that the soul is the seat of intelligence and the body merely a vessel for expression, then it stands to reason that we have the power to enable our bodies for good, or to turn it on itself in order to express the weakness we harbour within.

I’ve been waiting with warranted hope that some relationships would have finally blossomed into the beauty that it once promised, but I forgot along the way that I was not the defining influence in those relationships. What contaminated it from without, I assumed to be a deficiency within the relationship, when in fact the only deficiency was that I held others to a standard that they did not subscribe to for themselves.

The contention built up within me, slowly sapping my clarity of thought, then my energy, then my creative expression, gnawing away at my memory, and finally imposing the weight of its imbalance on my body which eventually caved in under all the pressure. It sounds like a dramatic description of the flu, but the reality is that it takes a chorus of failed expectations to wear me down, never just a single one.

Those that succumb to a single betrayal have invested too much in a single part of their life. Worse than just the investment, they divested from their own lives. They assumed that entrusting another with more than their affection, in fact with everything they needed to breathe seemed like the ultimate expression of commitment to an outcome desired by both, but invested in by only one.

Ill health is a sign of imbalance in the way we live our lives. Disease stands a greater chance of invading our bodies when our immune systems are focused on fighting the disruption we’ve created within. When we live under duress, we become easy pickings for our enemies. Be they disease or spineless creatures, the net effect is the same. We succumb to circumstances that would otherwise be opportunities for growth. The answer is so simple, yet so elusive.



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