The leopard acknowledges her spots

Life-affirming is a good way to be, and I try to go that route myself. Though, to be honest, I fall short. Call it depression, call it melancholy — the label’s unimportant… People say you ought not dwell on the past, but what if you can’t help but do so? What if everything you do and try winds up leading right back to the same loop of thoughts and emotions? What if every heartbreak reopens old wounds that never seem to heal completely?

People say you have to talk about it to get it out, but I’ve talked and talked and talked, and still everything remains the same. I’m coming to believe that different people just have different breaking points or limits at which beyond they become fractured, perhaps irreparably damaged. Some would say it’s a matter of weakness vs. strength, and perhaps they’re right, but it’s a not a very helpful dichotomy. People like to believe that adversity builds personal strength and character, and it can, but it can also damage it, and no one likes to talk about that. We like to imagine life is some sort of race where we can prove ourselves in some way or fashion to be winners, champions, work-horses, because we persist. Something I wonder about is why so much glory goes to existence in and of itself, as if simply waking up every day and breathing is some major feat. It can be, but for most it’s simply the default position and not much more.

Seems to me strength of character involves so much more. And no human is an island unto him/herself. We all had lots of help in growing up and developing and becoming socialized, and we didn’t all learn the same lessons, nor did we start out with level playing fields in terms of our core personalities and “gifts.”

Consider this: how many bad people choose to die? It seems evident that throughout history many bad people are willing to hurt and even kill others, yet not their own selves. Some say it is because they are cowardly and selfish. Now, consider this: how many good people, through their deeds, wind up dying before their time? Think of those who put their lives on the line to protect their loved ones or even perfect strangers in need. Think of the decent people who fought in wars thinking they were doing the right thing — it’s sorely unfortunate how many good people are manipulated by bad people with covert agendas that have little to do with the welfare of the republic. Lots of smoke and mirrors in this game of life, sometimes of our own sub- or unconscious creation, sometimes sold to us by great marketers who really know how to pull at heartstrings and stir people’s pride.

Riddle me this: what does a leopard do when its spots are pointed out to it? Can’t remove them. A dye job is only temporary. How possible is it for one to transcend one’s own nature and/or conditioning? People say it’s all in how much you want change, but how can that be all there is to it when we see countless people mourning for change all over the globe and far back in history and going to their graves still clinging to those dreams? How does ONE change when he or she lives within a sea of others who do not share his or her ambitions?

Solitude can be both a blessing and a curse. As can social relations. Like with anything, it just depends on the characters and circumstances involved. And where does one pull strength from when they don’t possess it inside already? How do the weak grow stronger? How do the bad become better? And how can one infuse existence with greater meaning than going through the motions of simply staying alive?

People like to say you must dedicate your time and energy to helping others less fortunate. Go find a hobby. Go do some volunteer work. And do so while keeping a stiff upper lip. Basically lose yourself within collective ambitions that are bigger than any one person’s needs and wants. But what do we do when so many of these volunteer ventures support or at least do not effectively attempt to undermine or negate the new status quo? Does it not lead a person to feeling even more acutely like a hamster in a wheel, running to nowhere, keeping busy for the sake of doing so?

How does one make amends for exercising extremely poor judgment when the harm’s already been done? Beyond that, judgment is in the eye of the judge, and once again we’re right back to us not being created or constituted equally. Because the majority deems a way of being as wrong, does that truly make it so? Not necessarily. But if your loved ones share the majority opinion, then it becomes very real indeed. Can’t just buck back against everything and everyone forever, not if the goal is to remain sane. But what if you can’t seem to change enough to satisfy those you wish to be closest to? Some might say the world is wide and over-populated so there are many fish in the sea — just look for others. But then it’s a question of whether a person can just love any ol’ body, and I don’t think we can. We wind up loving who we do, not usually who we wish to, sometimes even those we wish we didn’t. How do you get around this without transforming into something like a psychopath?

A person may dearly want to do what’s right but not know what that is or how to go about it. So much factors in beyond just what we may wish were true.

Just a few thoughts for the evening…

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