Tag Archive: Honesty


Stage 2 Medication

Where I am we have stages in medication.  I have just been put onto stage 2, which means I have been given a strip of four bubble wraps, one for each medication time, and my medication is in the bubbles appropriate to me.  I take it away with me at the beginning of the day and I take it, or not, on my own terms.

This is the perfect opportunity for me to not take my psychiatric medication.  I thought about not taking it and took it anyway.  The other stuff I have is anti-inflammatory for pain and stiffness in my upper arms, anti acid to counteract the effects of that, and multivitamins and minerals and omega 3-6-9 oils (vegan, bang the drum and be clear.  Made by a company called Vertese and available at Holland and Barrett).

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Good Point, Melvyn Bragg

Why DID Jesus tell the disciples to take a sword and say ‘it is enough’ when they said they had two?  What did they need them for?  We aren’t told they used them.  I heard that and thought my whole anti-war argument was demolished.  I felt really embarrassed and wrong.  So did Jesus’ teaching contradict itself?  Did Jesus require obedience, or did he teach by tests and by allowing people to discover themselves to themselves?  He said ‘if you love me, keep my commandments’, so what commandments are we to keep? ‘Render to no man evil for evil but overcome evil with good’, or ‘take a sword’?

On Thursday morning I felt I had a moment of painful but completely cohesive understanding.  The writer of Hebrews (who I thought of as Paul, even though I know many if not most scholars reject that, but I had forgotten, so most of what I was thinking falls in regard to Paul) says in Hebrews 6:4-6 that it is impossible for someone who has tasted of the heavenly gift, if he falls away, to be renewed to repentance, as he has put the Lord to an open shame.  On Thursday morning I was thinking that it would be better if that had never been said or written.  But I was thinking of it out of context.  Its context was the return of Hebrew Christians to the old sacrificial system.

But I was thinking that verses like that as they are often understood and feared are the reason  for so much bandstanding when it comes to disagreements between Christians and insisting that we, really, love God.  I think so.  I think it is verses like these, coupled with some of the more heavily directive and dogmatic teaching that can be heard in church, that make us afraid to embrace ourselves and our thoughts and experiences and trust God that, if we face and handle and accept who we are, as and when in every aspect, that God will bring us through.  Rather than saying, ‘no, no, no, I love God’ without even allowing the thing we fear in ourselves to fully present itself.  We try to push it away rather than let it present itself fully to our perception to be ‘naturally’ rejected by us as Christians, recognised after a good long look, after exposing our inner eyes and ears, and just expelled by the whole person as foreign, rather than battening down the hatches and nipping even the thought and perception in the bud before it can develop to be understood and recognised.  If you don’t understand what you are rejecting, how can you REALLY reject it?  Is that why we so often struggle over and over with the same thing, because we won’t let it manifest in the first place to our recognition so it keeps coming back, because we are not rejecting it in the first place but closing our eyes in stubborn fear?

And the bitter arguments and the fear of each other, the denunciations, overtly or covertly.  It seems to me they are born of a fundamental fear, rather than a trust in the love and faithfulness and goodness of God.

For years I stopped telling God I loved Him.  I believed it was an assertion of something which was barely true.  Sometimes I would tell Him I obviously DIDN’T love Him, or I couldn’t do or be as I was.  I affirmed HIS love for ME and refused to lie, as I saw it, by saying I loved HIM.  Consequently I think pleading and asserting our own love for God in a discussion, conversation, disagreement or confrontation, or even in a public act of individual worship, can be an act of abuse and manipulation and a hindrance to humility and openness.  I think focussing on our love rather than His is a hindrance to deep and lasting change, more often than not.  Change is about more than performance.  It has to be initiated from outside of ourselves and should be something we submit to, not something we try to produce as an angst-ridden proof.  That is what I think.  Lasting change is a response to a truth which we know won’t move or change.  The truth puts pressure on us and we yield.  We don’t need to invoke God.  He is in the process and reveals Himself in the process.  In the process itself He draws us into relationship, with Him and with others.

I’m thinking a lot at the moment and having conflicting thoughts, but at the moment I would say I know this much is true, and that is where I will stop in this post.

Loose paraphrase:  Which would you rather receive, a comment saying ‘great post!  check out my blog at (www.suebarnett.wordpress.com, in my case)’ or one saying ‘well said!  I know what you’re talking about because . . . and I think . . .’?

While the forum, if properly, fairly and legally run, is useful and sometimes feels helpful, I for one would rather not be nagged and patronised and treated like some sort of a great-niece or child or student in a classroom in this way.   As far as I am concerned, we comment the way we can at the time, and those of us who are sincere in our comments and appreciation might well be using that shorthand to say, ‘I am so impressed with what you have to say here, there is nothing I feel able to add, but I would appreciate you looking at my blog because I think yours is an opinion I would value’.

Some people, like me, sometimes read and blog in distress, or very focussed on their own thing and they are desperate to have someone else aware of and concerned about the things they are concerned about.  I don’t think we need to sanitise and make anodyne the way everyone should leave their comments, or that anyone should see it as an insult or somehow inadequate if a person says, ‘great post, please check out my blog’.  It might be all they are capable of at the time, and it might show more appreciation than launching into an opinion.

While I understand exactly what is being said and on the whole agree with it, there are times of desperation or recognition, for me, when I can’t say what I want without it being as short as possible and straight to the point.  I’m thinking, maybe pretentiously, of the difference between a diver, say, at their most polite and articulate, saying something like, ‘honey, would you mind getting the air cylinder out of the car?’ and a woman in intense labour pains screaming and swearing and snarling like a savage at her helper who insists on going by the book to shut up and give her the mask.  Something like that.  There are other situations of pain where the same would apply.  Or the difference between someone swimming yelling ‘hey, great to see you, come on in, let’s play ball’, and someone else in the water drowning doing their best while trying to snatch air to attract the attention of someone to help them.

Etiquette is for the adequate and sometimes even for the indifferent and self-absorbed, to get what they want with as little friction as possible.  Many people are inadequates who accept that about each other, and don’t want to be told they should emulate the adequate, bright, happy, switched on people in order for their contribution to be acceptable.

And while I’m thinking about it, someone said that most people live lives of quiet desperation.  But we have been taught in the past, if not now, to be completely hypocritical about that fact when applying for a job, for instance.  I can’t theorise on why that is at the moment, but if a person is desperate for a job, and also capable of doing it or of learning to, why should they be advised to rely on such self-negating and relationship-sabotaging dishonesty and subterfuge right from the beginning, and why should anyone be taught that it is not acceptable to show desperation if it exists?  I’ve never employed anyone, so I don’t know if employers are advised to despise desperation, or if the advice is based on the belief that, if someone sees you are desperate, they might take advantage of you, but it seems to me that no honest and honorable relationship can be based on an initial dishonesty of that kind.

It also occurs to me that the kind of comment WordPress is presenting as less desirable might be nothing more than the expression of an internalisation of that advice which allows for nothing more.  Keep it light, keep it casual, can easily translate to, ‘hey, that’s great, come and see mine!’  We need permission to become honest again, not instructions on how to become presentable and acceptable to other people in order to compensate for and not address the fact that experts in communication have told us to steer clear of some kinds of honesty.

So thank you for your advice, WordPress, and I hope this post might be in line with the kind of comments and responses you would like to see.  And please check out my blog at www.suebarnett.wordpress.com. Thank you for reading and for letting this pass the moderation procedure (which I personally find also inhibits and tampers with my ability to communicate as I would wish, sometimes.  If I’m not even sure I am going to get through the door or have my existence acknowledged or welcomed, why should I and how can I lay myself bare, as it were, in my response?  Often closed doors and rejection make desperate and battered people who can hardly hear you anyway, even with the impecceable (and expensive) etiquette of having a butler to hold the door wide open).

Oops, here we go!  Back to me.  If you go through a butler, you have probably had to go through other levelsof protocol as well, and how you handle them might determine whether or not you get as far as the butler.  In church I was taught that this procedure is a way of reveaing a person’s heart and whether or not ‘they are ready’ for access.  They never, to my memory, said anything or much about any inadequacies or unreadiness expressed by the person requiring such protocol.  Is it right that the person expected to go through it should be the only one expected to fit? In reality does it even work that way?  Some people want the challenge of the protocol because they want a process of validation or change.  I happen to believe that in some situations I am one of those people.  But if the people imposing or handling the protocol don’t respect that about me or even respect the protocol itself . . . .  protocol is a mutual thing, isn’t it, not just from the top down.  I’m sure it should be and that really that is how it should work.

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