Last week, there were a couple of heated discussions in my clinic, and, of course, I spouted off some of my unpopular opinions, and then marveled at how my classmates couldn't understand what I was talking about. I mean, how could they not see it the way I see it? And if they don't see it the way I see it, can they be trusted? Thoughts like these overwhelm me and make me want to shut down. I begin to wonder if anything I aspire to at all can be accomplished when I am clearly up against so much opposition. If it's true that nothing gets accomplished in this world singly, but only through the power of popularity, then I'm doomed. Why bother? That's when the analsysis must kick in, or else I'm more than doomed, I'm dead. I have to consider what my classmates think, figure out if it's a cloud or a ray of light and then either dismiss it or find a way to reconcile it within my own beliefs. And then I have to move on.
Perhaps those who grew up with a healthy childhood (yes, all one of you) engage in this process automatically. But as I previously mentioned, my childhood teacher, nee my father, did not engage in this process, and I've had to teach it to myself. Not an easy task. Until I made the process conscious, my life was a never-ending cycle of reaching out and shutting down. That's debilitating, and I eventually arranged my life so as to have as few people in it as possible, so I could avoid that constant shutting down process. Now I'm learning to move on, but I still need training wheels. Learning how to ride a bicycle was much easier - these training wheels will be on for awhile longer.
Why do I call dogma thinking an addiction? Because it's easier to live life unquestioningly. There is no fatigue, no shutting down. Addictions allow us to armor ourselves and ignore anything that requires struggle. In short, addictions take us out of the present moment. And who wants to live in the present moment when there's so much work and analysis involved in it? Well, I didn't always want to live in the present moment. Eventually, I learned that I had to. Otherwise, my life was going to be a cage, my thoughts and actions dictated by someone other than myself (like my father). In that case, why bother setting any goals or having any dreams, when it wasn't going to be me propelling myself towards them? If that's were the case, would they even be my goals and dreams? It's a tough call. I can commit to pursuing my own dreams, or I can have an easy life. Last week, the latter was beckoning to me as seductively as a glass of scotch.
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