The Perplexity of People

People baffle me.

What makes us believe the things we do? Or, what makes us unwilling to accept the realities that confront us, even when we know (or do we?) accepting them is what we must to manage and get free of  life’s more debilitating and, at times, deadly challenges?

If you find yourself hoping this essay will offer definitive answers, forget it. Honest observations for sure, but answers? Definitive ones? Not likely. Not from this pen.

While this is not a political column, some of the more baffling aspects of people show up in their political choices. Take Sarah Palin. First, she is blatantly dishonest. She resigns as Alaska’s governor to fight for Alaska (a confusing rationale to say the least) and takes a job with Fox News. The woman comfortably lies from sea to shining sea, says God told her to run for VP (I thought he liked us!) and yet millions adore her.

Let me switch gears now, or, better put, terrain.

Why, when so many recognize their opponent, I am thinking of alcoholism or addiction, brain injuries, along with other maladies, do they not choose to accept the reality of what they are facing (acceptance does not mean giving in) so their lives will grow the level of independence they deserve?

Let’s face it, when, on some level, you choose to surrender control to an addiction, injury, eating disorder, anger management issues, or similar maladies, including the wounding components of your history, the very last thing you are is independent.

The answer to the proceeding question may revolve around the person’s belief that they do not deserve their independence and, in some cases, their life. I’ve seen cases like this end in death – real death. Not the death of an idea or the death of a dream – death – end of breathing death. And, it is wrenchingly heartbreaking.

By the way, if you manage life by using dishonesty, you lose. Dishonesty breeds carnage in all forms and on all levels.  It is moral poison.  Without question, honesty is the most powerful weapon in accepting and managing life’s challenges.

Being honest requires stepping up to the plate and taking accountability for your own life, for managing your own life. Many use dishonesty to manipulate those around them, to get others to manage their lives for them. The tragedy is, when these folks reach the end of their days, it may or may not dawn on them that they never got to live life as themselves.

I wish I had the magical gift to help people recognize and believe, or dare to believe, that they are now and always have been valuable and worthwhile. That their independence rests in their willingness to accept and manage their own lives.

Independence is a state of mind, not a physical condition or physical level of functioning.

I’ve known and  know people resistant to taking medication or going to psychotherapy because they mistakenly believe if they do they are not handling things independently. Were that misguided belief accurate, then it has been many years since I’ve read a book independently because I wear glasses.

Wearing glasses is independence because by wearing them I am controlling the poor vision rather than allowing it to control me (and, by the way, rob me of my favorite pastime, reading). Taking medication or going to therapy or get free of some of wounds or abuse you suffered in your history is independence. Why? Because you are taking charge and you are managing your life, not the ailment or your history.

Now I am going to get some sleep. That would be me managing my fatigue, being independent, if you get my drift.

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One thought on “The Perplexity of People

  1. Well expressed Peter…I hope many others also 'get your drift'. Sadly I will share your words (if OK with you) with one so close to me, when I am allowed to visit him in jail next Tuesday. Soon he will go into an isolated recovery location for a long term period of time, to help to heal his diseased brain, where I pray he can find his peace and the strength to fight this addiction that has robbed him of all things precious to us as human beings…freedom, belief in the goodness and beauty of life, truthfulness, emotional/psychological/physical health, self-worth, and so essential ~ the ability to love ourselves and others…It is an enormous task to find one's way back to all of the above, so if it comes to incarceration and then a safe place to heal…to learn to breathe and live again, those who have true understanding and will voice it as you do Peter, must really be the educators for those who do not. There is so little understanding of the brain, and even less of the soul ~ When a brain has been injured, or debilitated by drugs or alcohol; when the soul is starving from cruelty and pain; when a person becomes dis-eased and so broken… the need to be loved and supported (not enabled~on a path of self-destruction, negativity, and non-acceptance)can be met…if we all just learn more to understand without judgement.Your blogs so often help this path Peter.Thank~you…be well ~Donna K

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