Part Eighteen – Thinking More Slowly (Explicit Content)

The conclusion that I reached as a result of my past post is that I need to think more slowly.  I’m not in a race, and realistically I don’t win a prize or a medal for coming to a conclusion in record time.

Being honest, my thinking at warp speed, and generally reaching conclusions faster than most people can comprehend, was something that I could ultimately hold over other peoples’ heads.  It made me better than them.  Basically, I was in a position to treat people how I’ve been treated on far too many occasions.

The more important point is this – I rarely held the fact that I could reach conclusions faster than most people over other peoples’ heads, I kept it up my sleeve so that I could throw it in the face of someone who I felt slighted by.  But the fact that I chose to not use it further reinforced my belief that I was better than most people.

Ultimately, these things added yet more layers to the complex mess that is my defense mechanism complex.

In case there is any confusion as to what I am getting at, virtually EVERYTHING that I do is defensive.  Virtually EVERYTHING that I do is to protect myself from other people and the world at large.  Virtually EVERYTHING that I do is about self preservation, and because of this, there is basically no room for anything else.

There is basically no room for anything else in my life.

Why?

Because I’m too busy protecting myself from people and a world that I see, and have seen for a very long time as sinister.  I’m devoting close to all my energy to my defenses.

It’s no way to live, and never will be.

If there is only one thing that people who have tuned in take away from this post, I want it to be this – you can’t live your life if all you do is protect yourself and keep the world at arms length.  Yes, the world is many things, and people are in many ways more lost than ever, but if you have tried to shut the world out completely, as I have tried, the world won’t improve, and you definitely won’t.

I think that I have known this for a while, but I was too scared to admit it.  I was too scared to admit it because I have devoted too many years and too much of myself to something that hasn’t achieved anything except bring more misery and sadness into the world.

Trying to get back on point, for those of you who aren’t convinced about what I am suggesting – opening yourself back up to the world, and asking yourself if I am out of my freaking mind, I do get it.  Even though I will never meet you face to face, and even though I will never have any idea about how your life has panned out up until this point, I do understand.  I understand far better than most because I lived most of my life in pain.  I have lived most of my life in pain, and on many occasions I have inflicted that pain on others, and on some occasions I have enjoyed inflicting that pain on others.

I am outing myself, and putting myself on display, as imperfect as I am to show my sincerity.

I am both saint and sinner, hero and villain, a good person that has done bad things to other people, and a bad person that has done good things for other people.

I hope that proves in some way my sincerity – I am with you, in my own way.  Question my methods if you must, but I implore you to not question my intentions.

Getting back on point, decide for yourself how much or how little you lower your defenses, it is not a decision that I can make for you, nor do I presume that I have the right to decide for you.  As someone who has spent most of their life running their defenses flat-out, I do get it – you have your defenses up for a reason, just as I do.

I would never ask nor insist that you drop your shields and strip off your armour on a whim.  I have no intention of doing that myself, I won’t ask you to do it either.

However, if you’re in any way like me, or your situation is similar; in spite of limited information you have about me; consider the possibility that your resolve on living your life defensively and shutting the world out is wavering.

Mine is.

For those of you I haven’t convinced, I get it.  I appreciate you taking the time to read this far, but you’re free to go, I don’t want to take up any more of your time on something that you’re not going to be receptive to, no judgement on my part.

In the case of those of you who are going to stay, it’s appreciated, and I do hope that this is worthwhile to you.  If I help but one reader with this post, even slightly, that I will consider it a success beyond working things out for myself.

At this point in time I would like to mention how invested I actually am in this particular post.  I generally don’t invest myself in anything, for obvious reasons.  I guess it’s a relief that I can lower my guard even a little and the world doesn’t come to a grinding halt.

Moving forward, you decide how much or how little you will be lowering your defenses, if at all.  One of my biggest gripes; among many; that I have with the world is this fake and false sense of openness that is blatantly promoted and encouraged at the expense of people.  Free speech purely at the expense of people will not drive our society forward, but in truth, holds it back.  It’s for this reason, among others, that I run my defenses flat-out.

Does our society need to have conversations on many subjects.  Absolutely, and it is well overdue.  But for those conversations to occur, and more importantly to have a successful outcome, there needs to be an element of good faith in doing so.  What this means is that while hard questions need to be asked, and hard answers need to be given, surely there is a better way of going about it,  Yes, in a free society people have a right to free speech, but the right to free speech doesn’t give you the right to act like a cunt or an arsehole.  I think that recent political campaigns, the rise of the ‘Alt-Right’, and those who have stood up against it is proof of what happens when free speech is given greater importance than actual people.

Getting back on point, decide for yourself how much you will open up to the world and people in it.  Yes, the world demands so much of our attention these days.  For me it is totally out of control, and unfortunately it is most likely going to get worse before if it gets better.

Decide for yourself how much of what the world thinks that it has to offer is actually worthy of your time and attention.  Even though the world at large can be relentlessly pushy, you have the power to decide for yourself what is and what isn’t worth YOUR time – including this post.

Lowering your defenses is a scary proposition, I’m terrified at the prospect of doing so myself.  But to make the transition a little easier; I am finally getting to my point; slow your thinking down.  I challenge anyone to stand up and say that they can think one hundred percent clearly when their mind is racing.

By slowing your thinking down, I’m hoping that it will be easier to process the world around you, not only for myself, but for you as well, if you feel that it is needed.

Talking about myself, I have always had incredible difficulties processing and dealing with my emotions – it’s one of the reasons I run my defenses at full-tilt.  My defenses are there to not only keep people out, but keep me in.  My emotions make me feel like an out-of-control lunatic.  That is simply how it is.  That is how I feel about it.

That aside, I am close to a completely different person when I am being rational and thoughtful.  I feel like I am in control, and in many ways my emotions don’t even factor into the process.  It is in those instances that my incredible mind is actually useful, as opposed to being a part of the problem.

When I am emotional, my incredible mind joins the party and makes things worse.

I’m hoping that in considering lowering my defenses, that my ability to think more slowly will fill some of the gap left open by dropping my guard, even slightly.

Essentially, I’m considering a switch from an active defense; keeping my guard up all the time; to a more passive one – thinking more slowly, which will hopefully encourage me to think more rationally and clearly.

To that end, I actually have an example of this at work – I hope it is useful.

In many ways my most recent departure from Facebook was inevitable.  But in the past couple of weeks the actual catalyst was my trying to organise my twenty-year high school reunion.  Without going into details, it’s scary how little some people have changed in twenty years, myself included.

Boiling things down, I was too heavily invested in making the night a success to ultimately overcome any resistance that was thrown in my way.

If anything, I am still surprised how invested I actually was.  I definitely wasn’t expecting it, and it wasn’t until I started trying to think more slowly that it came to me.  It was actually while I was writing this post that it dawned on me.

I’m not about to take a victory lap over this, but there are times when the small victories are just as important as the big ones.

The other small victory that I need to mention is that I am more capable of not losing my temper than I think.  Yes, the argument can be made that my bailing on Facebook is akin to me chucking a tantrum, I get that.

However, I counter that argument with this – I didn’t hurl abuse and the kind of foul bile that I know I am more than capable of doing, I did manage to keep it contained for the most part.

Like I said it’s a small victory.

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