God, that last blog post was pretty deep. But, I think it was a good exercise in what I am trying to do. I am currently reading Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules For Life; An Antidote To Chaos”. I am not only reading this book, but I am listening to it on audiobook, and it’s simply wonderful. In the audio book, Jordan actually reads the book to you, which I think is very valuable, cognitively speaking. When an author reads their own text to you, it translates the message in a way that any random narrator couldn’t do. Like for instance, if I read all my blog posts out loud to you (which will never happen thank god), the emotion would be more palpable, and the guttural feeling that I felt while writing, would be communicated in such a way that you probably could not look me in the eye. I often times find it hard to look someone in the eye when I am in emotional overload. So before I go too deep in to that, do try the audiobook honey, just for kicks.
I am also currently listening to his Biblical Series on YouTube during my workweek. This is proven to be interesting, because you can understand how he is working on his spirituality when he speaks. You can hear the internal questions in his statements, or at least I do. I think it’s a wonderful thing, to always be questioning and learning.
While I have been reading this book though, I have found myself being regularly struck with the whole “Stand up straight with your shoulders back” concept. I feel like I have been doing this very thing my whole life.
If you have read back to my other blog posts, then you know I was born in Florida. The area I grew up in there, was in an urban area of poverty, but I can remember being a happy child there. When we moved to Kentucky, we lived in a very rural and poverty-stricken area, in a 3 room house that did not have running water. We had an outdoor toilet, and very little money for two years. It was not for lack of want or will that we lived this way. I believe it was economic suppression, along with the ever growing drug crisis in this area, that caused the poverty I remember. I still remember being happy there though. Being poor does not mean you have to be miserable.
The economic issues have of course improved over time, but the drug crisis still exist today, and is in my opinion, the worst it has ever been. Both my parents have always been hard workers, but my dad got cancer when I was young, and my mother had to work three jobs just to be able to afford milk and bread. She did this until I turned 14. Then, I got a job at a local restaurant in town, washing dishes and waiting tables for cash. I worked at this place until I was 18 years old. I paid for two cars, bought my own gasoline, insurance, and pagers (LOL), and always helped my parents pay the bills. I think every teenager should know this kind of need to work. It builds character and respect for what you have. I then started a very long college/working career.
I did all this while trying to retain a feeling of pride in what I had accomplished so far, with the very little that I had been given. I built on my posture and on my spirit, and learned to embrace the hand I been dealt. I still help my parents, and I am still doing this thing, trying to stand up straight. According to Peterson thinking; when you do this, the opportunity to do great things will arise.
If you read this book, or even listen to Peterson’s YouTube videos, be ready to see yourself and others in your life, in a different light. The “you” that you thought was great for helping others when they fall, may have a lot of room for improvement. The people that you may have once held in such a high regard, maybe don’t look so fantastic anymore. You may see your giving ways to others, are actually more harmful than good; they just may not be aware of it because you are enabling them. This is one of my great downfalls I think, enabling. That and codependency. I have also been thinking of Ayn Rands theories on relationships with others, when I am reading. From reading Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead, I think her ideas focused around how the relationship has to benefit for you, or you are only wasting your time. But then I struggle with this, sometimes maybe we don’t know what we are getting that is of benefit to us, maybe it just feels good and maybe in the long run we will see what the benefit ever was. But Jordan also makes a very good point that we should take care of ourselves first; get our shit together. Just because something feels good, doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Self-care is really important.
So what have I taken from this book so far? Stand up straight, be good to yourself, and be friends with people who want the best for you. I’m just holding in rule three right now, because I am a notorious journal writer.
I have been making a schedule every Sunday, of what I will do that week. I am trying to stick to the schedule and not get sidetracked, by things like social media and random crap, but damn it’s hard. I was talking to my friend on the phone earlier today, about what social media does to your brain. It creates physiological effects in the brain, similar to a drug addict. It feeds the part of your brain that lives off emotional processing, getting attention, and decision making. Your brain almost rewires itself when you scroll through social media, like it does when you are on a drug or trying to get a drug. Dopamine releases into your bloodstream, and boom, you are hooked. Those of us with addictive personalities struggle more than others when it comes to “staying off Facebook”. I know it is a constant struggle for me, simply because I kind of want to be out there, but then maybe I don’t want to be either. I also have people in my life that want to chastise me for not being on social media, almost making you feel bad for not posting. It’s a sickness in them though. That is another thing I am taking from chapter 3.
I am off here to work on this little online class I am taking. Yet another thing to add to my list of “stuff to do to stay busy”. Happy Saturday!
*my bedside table on the weekends is a messy place, better clean my room too*