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Getting Real : Speak your peace

Just some thoughts

from Marc - Tuesday, July 08, 2008
accessed 601 times

These are just some thoughts after a friend of mine died.

I was thinking about life and "us". I often forget--as it has been many years since I left--how much I have lived these past years. There have been good times, bad times, and okay times. I have met many kindred hearts, people I once thought were "bad" but were, just like me, trying to protect themselves; they had a hard shell about them. They, like me, tried so hard to seem strong that they came across indifferent, cold, mean.

Looking over recent (and past) posts and related comments here, I see myself in the kind, the genuine, the willing-to-help, the simple or pure, the mean, the crude, the nasty. Afterward, I ask myself, "Is that really me? Have I become so cold and indifferent towards my peers?"

I have made many friends over the years; these are those from before leaving and after leaving (who were members and those who never were). But I seem so reckless with friendships. Why do I protect myself to the point that I become a cold person? Is it really that important that I "protect" myself from life and people chance brings across my path?

Why can't I give those of us who have moved on (or, for that matter, are still "in") the benefit of the doubt from time-to-time? Do I really need to always come across witty, cold, and indifferent to the various states all of us are working our way through?

I was raised to be a Christian; now I am not. This was because I thought a lot about it and chose reason over faith. But I could have just as easily chose a different path (well, maybe not). I am now trying to give people the space and time to find their own and I feel foolish (looking back) when I was so quick to brush them aside and try to appear "witty" at the expense of those who still needed time to figure things out (whatever they might choose).

Anyway, I am just ranting a bit here (and it has to do with the loss of this friend). I just thought it would be nice to remember that none of us really know what we are doing. We are just trying to find our own way in this world. I hope that, along the way, I don't lose my humanity. I hope that I will always have time for a former member . . . just to listen and be there for them; never to put-down or try to come across better-than-them.

Sorry for the rant. It was just a way to say I am sorry.

PS: Rest well, my dear friend.

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from rze
Monday, July 21, 2008 - 23:38

"I just thought it would be nice to remember that none of us really know what we are doing. We are just trying to find our own way in this world. I hope that, along the way, I don't lose my humanity."
Really eloquently put.

I hear what you're saying about being "reckless with friendships". If it's not being closed-off it's brushing others off far too quickly. Residual coping mechanism for all that constant uprooting? Regardless, it's comforting knowing that whatever context helped us form old habits is no longer an immediate factor in maintaining them (for me, anyway, which really just means I have no excuse).

It's the shittiest way to learn anything (yes, just stating the obvious, here), especially when we realize the ones who are gone were the one making all the effort & doing all they felt they could to connect ... and we offered nothing or even impeded it somehow. Our unspoken good intentions are certainly never what ultimately "counts"; I don't care who's going around saying otherwise. It's pretty basic stuff: don't let ourselves get too wrapped up in our own shit, try to develop a little awareness of what's going on outside us, etc. Still, It was a fist in my face to discover that, despite any good intentions, I was enforcing a colder and more detached environment for someone, making things all the harder while they simply fought for something to hold on to. Of course, by the time a friend is gone and we're forced to realize a few things, there's no salvaging to be done. Any newfound outlooks, values, and lessons learned are still no compensation.

That isn't to say they aren't worthwhile, though. I think they're worth a lot. It's even kind of relieving to read these sorts of organized thoughts, even if the situations weren't so similar (though were they, who knows).

I hope you haven't fixated on beating yourself up too much. I suppose it's only natural when we lose someone close to us, but I hear not doing so is, uh, healthier. Besides, I imagine it'd be a bit counter-productive to where you took that rant (which was somewhere very reassuring).
(reply to this comment)
from madly
Sunday, July 20, 2008 - 18:24

Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Maybe we are like this because everyone is still trying to figure things out and in their own way, fit in. Could it be that we are learning how to be real to ourselves, test others, our feelings, while coming to terms with what may be our true identity? It is not really that easy to grow up in a world that tells you how to be, and leave still knowing who you are.
I believe everyone is born a stranger to themselves and life is learning who that person is. Your childhood is supposed to be used to start learning about this person. For us, we were in so many ways prohibited from such self discovery. We found ourselves looking at a strange scary world, but maybe more scared of the stranger behind the eyes looking.
We always had to be so “nice” and well behaved even when people harmed and disrespected us. We had to love everyone and even pretend that we knew what that word meant. Now we only have to be true to ourselves. I think many of us are testing things out and trying to determine what is real for them. At least I know I am.
It would be nice if everyone was always nice, sweet and loving, but for me, this seems so unrealistic. I grew up in a world full of fake words and smiles that made me want to run and hang myself. I want to see and be a part of the real world, even if that means allowing cruel and hateful people.
Where is the truth in kindness when there is no meaning behind it? Tell me you hate me if that is how you feel. Don’t pretend to care when you don’t. There is nothing to gain in false pretenses. Brutal reality is beautiful to me compared to the dishonest pretense of a love.
I will take life as it is, painful and blunt. I want honesty and truth in whatever form it may come. If I feel like being nice then that is what I will be; but more importantly, I will be myself more and more as I find out who I really am.

(reply to this comment)

From madly
Sunday, July 20, 2008, 18:38

Just wanted to add: I got caught up in my thoughts, as I so often do. I didn't want to disrespect you and your feelings expressed for the loss of your friend. I am sorry for your loss, Marc. (reply to this comment
from Ian
Sunday, July 13, 2008 - 23:33


Deep stuff. I've experienced numerous "happenings" over the last few years, many were events completely out of my control, some...the opposite. All of them changed me, some changed only the way I think of myself, most just changed the way I think of others.

There is a book by Carl Jung called "Modern Man In Search Of A Soul", it deals with deep and profound experiences and how we as individuals might be effected by them, or how we might even become them, or maybe; how the experiences might become us. Read it, if you haven't already. I recommend it.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, glad i could read them.

......another fine post by ian
(reply to this comment)
From yung/old
Saturday, July 19, 2008, 02:14

Great book -- if only it were a bit *more* modern, and spoke not only to men.(reply to this comment
from rainy
Saturday, July 12, 2008 - 16:03

Thanks for this. It would be nice to see a little more love around here... :)
(reply to this comment)
from Falcon
Saturday, July 12, 2008 - 12:29

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
A good rant.
(reply to this comment)
from Mir
Friday, July 11, 2008 - 11:27

Sorry Marc, I didn't double check how you spelled your name! Slap wrist!! LOL
(reply to this comment)
from Mir
Friday, July 11, 2008 - 11:25


Mark, I think age makes us a bit more tolerant and not so "prickly". I turned 35 this year. My thoughts and feelings (which are hard to describe or put into words but I'll give it a bash...) were: "This is me. This is who I am.  I feel content and happy".  I know that I am very, very lucky to be able to say that. I think perhaps a contributing factor to this is that I've always tried to keep an open mind and I have always questioned everthing, even my own sense of what may be "right".

I think a life changing events such as birth or death or reaching a big milestone can change the way we think and behave. I believe that's a good thing. It makes us more interesting people to be around and makes us in some way happier...

I have most definetly softened up with age. I've realised that I'm not that fragile underneath so that I to need to protect myself with a hard outer shell. I love being softer. It's so much more interesting and fun!

Just my 2 pennies worth! :-)
(reply to this comment)

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