Since the summer – I have been immersed in a new stage of personal inquiry/growth/exploration – and I needed to take time off from writing. I spent the bulk of 2015 working on two different blogs – one Survival in the 21st century – a spiritual/self-help memoir blog and Rip Roarin Rants – I took a long pause this past fall – to pull back and consider what direction I want to take in my writing. And I have decided that I need to share my experiences in a more formalized way. Possibly a memoir, a collection of essays, a mixed media ebook – I have not settled into the what of it, but this means that I will be writing “in the background,” and sharing bits and bobs of my writing, and every once in a while a blog entry.
The following was inspired by the following blog entry from Everyday Aspies- Self-Improvement List where the concept of self-improvement is taken to task when we use it in a negative way, as a result of self-hatred, rather than self-love. I responded at length in the comments, because that is the way I roll.
Essentially I believe that as humans – our mission is to evolve – and this isn’t a judgmental thing but rather the mission of humanity.
It is not the necessity of change and growth that is WRONG, but rather what is fueling that change and growth – the intention, if you will. I am both Asperger’s and bipolar – the first diagnosed, the second self-diagnosed. After 40 plus years of intensive study/research/exploration into human behavior – my own on my own, with others, others, others with others, public phenomena, etc … in my mission to “cure” myself – I have earned the right to say what I am and how I perceive life.
I don’t need an academic or a doctor to inform me of less than I already know. I do not like to identify with either label, because both names have very negative contextual cultural associations. I almost prefer Crazy for BPD and Weird/Eccentric for Asperger’s – Why because it allows for ambiguity and fluidity of one’s reality and experience. I have seen so many people forced into a victim status when they have accepted the medical establishment’s diagnosis and treatments … which approaches one as a freak whose behavior and experience needs to be controlled and monitored. These days I am looking at both diagnoses dispassionately, as a tools for self-understanding and compassionate management which runs counter to the cultural stigmatization of thinking and experiencing life differently than whatever is culturally agreed upon as normal.
If one is coming from either the Western medical approach of dealing with mental health, or reading the wrong sort of personal growth books that are very judgmental and critical of one’s essential being paths of personal growth can be psychically damaging and victimizing. But we should never forget that we are part of the natural world that is constantly changing – what makes us special as human beings – is that we can consciously change our external circumstances and our internal perspective, and this is a natural and beautiful thing that we can be truly thankful for .
We are not driven by blind instinct, we have flexible neural pathways-
And as long as we aren’t self-destructively moralizing the why of our necessary growth as human beings, then we are merely doing what humans are meant to do – USE our consciousness to evolve. Like computers we are garbage in and garbage out. If we have a consciousness that is corrupted, we will get corrupted results no matter what kinds of data or software we are taking in. So it is up to us compassionately investigate and explore our thinking and being systems, neutrally observing whether the results are productive and progressive, or whether they are destructive and regressive or a mixture. This is simply part of being a human being. We need to strip the morality out of it … in the sense that we are bad people or abnormal people if we think or do things differently or rebel against the status quo ….
I have lived a life dedicated to personal growth, that has resulted in an incredible life – but unless I was in a very dark depressive place – my personal growth mission was primarily fired by improving my experience of life, as an act of love, a way to save myself from myself at times.
I proved to myself that I was and am BOTH my best friend and my worst enemy at times,but mostly it is this struggle and dedication to live the best life for ME, for MY pleasure, and Legacy, to help those I love … that made me love myself even more.
You end up loving the things and people, you make a deep commitment to and that you dedicate your efforts and evolving self toward – whether it be career, creativity, family, etc. I made a mission to live a better life through personal growth practices because I KNEW that I needed to untangle the mysteries in my being that were crushing my spirit, soul, body, heart, mind.
We pursue personal growth because we love ourselves … it is the Cultural crap that tells us we shouldn’t love ourselves if we aren’t part of the mythological status quo. Over the years, I have to say, from my own serious commitment to personal growth and building healthy relationships – friends, family, community – that I look saner, and saner, and the “normal” world looks crazier every day. This is not said from a point of superiority, mind you, but a grim recognition that society prefers to pigeonhole people in order to control the way they feel about themselves in relation to the sick systems that this culture promotes – everything from valuing the rights of gun-owners over public safety; valuing political leaders who are cruel, callous and hotheaded over leaders that are thoughtful, diplomatic and considered; valuing a medical system that prioritizes profits to shareholders over actual maintenance of Health and PREVENTION of health; prioritizes agribusiness profits over public safety hazards such as pesticides poisoning ground water, killing the bee population; prioritizing trillions of dollars in the decimation of other countries and cultures so we can have free flowing low-cost energy from fossil fuels that will run out in a decade or two – rather than investing in trillions of dollars into our domestic economy via education, building up infrastructure which would include the GREENING of our Energy supply to sustainable and renewable energy technologies …. and this is just the TIP of the iceberg.
Those of us who are “crazy” or “Weird” are just intelligent or sensitive enough to be FREAKED out living during these times where we are being told every second that the Naked psychotic emperor is the next best thing in fashion. I believe we see the truth – Aspergers folks are typically very logical people, and it is really difficult to pull the wool over our eyes and have our brains go along with it. This creates cognitive dissonance, which is one of the greatest stressors that any human can experience. And for myself, growing up witnessing the betrayal of the Government time and time again (Reagan) against the people of this country, and being told at the same time that is was “Morning in America.” – and KNOWING that all of this was a lie! This depressed the hell out of me, and there was no one to talk to about it in that pre-internet age. Even, if one has the perfect family, living in wealthy circumstances, and so on and so forth – we still live in this crazy world.
So it behooves us – to evolve in a way that we become stronger, more resilient and savvy in dealing with the external environmental psychosis in which we are immersed …it is just what we need to do as humans to thrive and survive this twisted age of too much dis-information.