By All Means

Sometimes a thought doesn’t land where you thought it would. That’s the main take of the last few months. Change, like the kind you get from recovery practices, is nuanced, obvious, hiding in plain sight, and at times like this one for myself, it is elusive. There has been a great shift occurring in my thinking patterns for the last six months. It left me believing that I had lost some portion of my writing abilities, that I had changed into such a different person that my ability to convey these changes had left me permanently. So, with twenty drafts of the same story piling up, it is clear that that piece of the puzzle is just going to have to come into focus in a different manner. The size of the thoughts too large to fit through the doorway of a single post.

So, in seeing that I can’t seem to fit the entirety through the doorway, the next indicated thing to do is start taking it apart. For purposes of clarity, mostly for my own need, the beginning looked as good as anywhere.

It started when speaking with a close acquaintance I have known for years, the subject of politics arose. I suspected that this person didn’t share my political mores, but the truth felt brutally sharp against my sensibilities. In the past, and recent past especially, those beliefs that were counter to my thinking would have been met with indignation, and an immediate termination of contact in all forms. The amazing thing that occurred was an opening of the tolerance door, a step into the bigger rooms of acceptance. I didn’t cut ties or contact with this person, I didn’t see him differently than before, I saw myself as the one who had changed. When these things happen in such an obvious manner, it’s hard not to notice.

Photo by Kehn Hermano from Pexels

I am a sensitive creature, and hold high ideals, whether my hypocrisy holds me to them or not is another matter. When emotional subjects present themselves, my usual and historic behavior had been reactionary, whether externally, or internally. That’s the part where I just walk away, or the part that people don’t see, where my resentments pile up into a huge internal middle finger. Neither of those things occurred, which was in itself a bit debasing, odd, and being made apparent to my consciousness. The emotional entanglement I would play with like a kitten with a ball of yarn in the past, was unwound and strung nicely into a pancake of un-playfulness.

Which is difficult for someone who likes to point out the little changes, often, and with wonder. This was a bigger change happening and it is not going to avail its mysteries easily. Sure, I didn’t react the way that I did before, I didn’t judge, I didn’t feel the vast wedge of indifference being sledged down hard between us. I was going to point out this acceptance, this newfound circumference of tolerance. It was comforting, it was also not the place I was supposed to be apparently. The emotional balls of yarn I have been using to are no longer the points of interest. The need to speak out about my opinionated beliefs more insignificant among the backdrops of noise, division, and life itself. Finding myself parroting others voices, repeating the overall message, and trying too hard to look for a story, or thought that wasn’t ready, hadn’t cooked all the way through. I was trying too hard to write, to be creative. I could see the pattern in rereading my earlier pieces.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Maybe this is just maturity? Something I wouldn’t recognize as such because of the utter void of it throughout my life. Maybe it is just the final straw broken of giving a rat’s behind about anyone else and their stinkin thinkin? No, I still care, even though I describe this state as something like a harmonic apathy, I do care. In the case of my friend I learned, no accepted, that those political beliefs that were offensive to me were not any point in which I could possibly judge someone. It is intimate, it is their truth, it is their pile of life experiences and beliefs. As much as which God to believe in, what things turn them on in bed, and what their favorite color is… It wasn’t the same anymore, a bigger room opened up that day, acceptance. It shocked the heck out of me so much, that I couldn’t tell what it was. When I found myself vastly less emotional than before I knew that this was now normal, the practices stuck, the change happened without my direct knowledge of it.

That was just the very start of long weeks of searching. My eighth year of sobriety behind me, and a vast amount of insights gleaned. The acceptance is bigger than ever before, and the tolerance came along for the ride. There is much more to this story though, it contains a discovery of purpose, of rewriting a history, and finding oneself lifted, by all means.

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