News, Updates, Musings
The very idea of healing and growth points are repulsive to many, who, for whatever reason, are unable to do the work that healing requires of them. Much of what one finds online is a kind of vacuous, textureless, vapid chatter with no animating or vitalizing spirit behind it. People who eschew Augustinian self reflection and soul searching, who've yet to bet and battle with their own Pascalian wagers. It can seem, at times, as if the ratio is heavily titled towards those who prefer to perform the simulacrum of soul over the range of deeper vulnerabilities that we each carry.
But never you mind that. Do not feed other people's emptiness. It is because they are not doing the work that they feed off of yours. Sometimes seeing someone else be vulnerable and open about their human process is repugnant to those who are not yet equipped to digest their own life's core. Our focus on their lack of soul only lends to them things that they have not earned. We cannot resuscitate anyone who is dedicated to withholding the breath of life, of sincerity, of charity.
And theirs is a work that cannot last. It is not what people will remember a thousand years hence: the crafting of viral insults, cruel and cheap memes, cruelty bonding, bullying, making light of what is heavy, and acting as if when one has yet to truly and sincerely give themselves to this life with everything that is in one to give. What will last is the work that we do with the little time we are given to do it, a deep vulnerability owned and shared, a tending to, that requires of us a stronger will to dig than to be deterred by the emptiness of all that is around us.
There has always been this will to not know. And it is not what we remember of the past. No. We remember Augustine, Pascal, mere names for the digging process. And so too, the future will remember the ones dedicated to healing and transformation and self reflection. Do not let the fact that it is the loudest and crudest and cruelest who inevitably take up the most space convince you that your deeper work is somehow for naught. It is the only work there is.
And when people can't do that work, they resent those who can. Deflective humor and chatter becomes a way to cope with an inability to bear the weight and scars of the self. They degenerate because it is the only option for them at the moment. This is not to say they will never get there. And though it can be exhausting and humiliating sometimes to watch such vapidness on display, when we feed into it, it only makes it stronger. Because they do not have the will or desire to do the work, they must borrow from us, by nibbling at the edges of our vulnerability. That kind of thing comes from a place of pain. How painful, to not be able to be real or sincere. To need to build community around the very ethos that broke us: high school cliques and water fountain gossip and party invites that purposefully leave out those who are just doing their work.
Twitter is a place where people go to not grow. It is an anti-growing tool. And yet, there is a softness that is willed and tended to there, also. That softer side is not meant to be large. Growth has to be dosed out. We cannot take too much of ourselves. We nibble at the edges of our wounds, we try to digest what we can. It is humbling work. Low to the ground, ear to the track. And then the train that delights in steamrolling. But never you mind that.
Just do the good that you are able, and try your very best not to feed other people's emptiness. Know that it cannot last or matter in the end. Authenticity, inner digging, vulnerability, has never been well received in its time. Only after the fact. We can't take too much of it. And so, while it may seem like the most immature, selfish and inauthentic people in any community are the one's who get ahead, you must remember that they are really only ever just standing in place. Growth is movement. And it's hard. Extremely hard. It makes sense that people would prefer to make fun of those who are trying to grow. When we can't do something we tend to want to undo something. To tear a thing or person or process down. And yes, communities can often grow and bond around such empty pastimes. Because it will always be easier to joke and meme and gossip and strike out and go viral then it will be to self reflect and to grow and push back against these anti-growth tendencies.
Just remember, that isn't about you. It's all about them. That's their stuff. You are here to grow. They, for now, are here to show, demean and downplay the fierce gentleness that is required of us on our collective journey towards that "something deeper" than defines us and calls out to us.
There is work to be done. But it isn't found in the emptiness. It is in the fullness of our dug-deep souls that we find what it is we came here for. And to this work we must keep low to the ground, holding our hearts out when it makes sense to, protecting them when we must, but never pretending to be anything less than vulnerable and open to the never-ending work at hand.
To heal is to be real, and to be real takes time.