Blind.

This is less a post for other people and more of a reminder for my future self.

The last couple of days have been eye-opening.

I’ve been stumbling across example after example of the limits of my reason. Most of these examples have involved watching the run-on sentence of thoughts that elucidate on the risks vs. benefits of a particular decision.

Its also making me realize how many amazing (but risky) things I’ve avoided because my brain has rationalized the opportunity away.

The ability of my brain to explain why I shouldn’t do something is absolutely astonishing. I’m been blown away by how solid, how real, and how rational the explanations I’d been giving myself have seemed. I have also been realizing that if I sit with the emotions and try not to react negatively (and give the fear life) the emotional storms eventually fade away like morning mist in July.

woman with blindfold
Photo by Bruno Feitosa on Pexels.com

I’m finding out that in certain situations – it might be better to be blind. 

Finding out that my brain is capable of such subterfuge has effectively reconfigured the way I need to look at the world. Being that my brain acts as my primary sensory organ, this realization is the equivalent of finding out my eyes have been deceiving me.

If I was blind – at least I wouldn’t be fooled into thinking I was right.

Now I’m trying to figure out the best way to move forward.

How do you move forward when you find out your eyes are lying to you?

I’m thinking the answer may have something to do with Faith (and walking sticks).

Fly or Fall

OFO

 

 

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?

-Jeremiah 17:9

The last couple weeks I’ve seen wild swings in my feelings.

Wild Swings.

people riding on swing rides under gray sky
Photo by Isabelle Taylor on Pexels.com

It’s made me realize that I really don’t know what drives my emotions and even worse, in certain situations, I can’t really trust my emotions.

Fear can hijack my emotions and leave me moving in a direction that I don’t want to simply because I can’t see the underlying motive.

It’s crazy.

What’s been interesting is that in this particular sphere of life, I’m learning to live more on faith. I’m suppressing the voice in my head that seems to be “logical” but is really just fear parading around with my voice.

Instead I’m having to trust God/the Universe to guide me and to take anything out of my path that I don’t need.

I’m thinking that I’m going to try to do more of this conscious living by faith and stop depending so much on the logical part of my brain.

Lord help me.

OFO

Pressure.

I recently had a long talk with a good friend about some of my concerns surrounding commitment.

Something about having to spend everyday with someone for the rest of your life, with no route of escape, makes me shiver a bit inside.

He thought that some of my fear might be related to the pressure that comes with making a lifelong commitment to someone else. He says that pressure is going to produce some stress, and what it squeezes out of me may not always be pretty.

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So I’m trying to come to terms with the maelstrom of emotions inside and trying to tease out what is healthy and real, and what is fear.

It. aint. easy.

Also, there is this concept I just ran across – courtesy of this blog that talks about the limits of knowledge and thus the limit of reason. Being that logic operates on the back of our available knowledge – we must not forget how much we don’t know.

The fact that we actually know so little should give us pause as we try to “engineer” our lives.

For me this is super important because my primary sensory organ is my brain. I try to slice the world up into digestible pieces and avoid anything that doesn’t intellectually make sense. Not only that, I tend to be VERY dismissive of things or people who operate from a framework that uses anything other than logic as a basis.

This is perhaps short-sighted. Maybe not in the realm of things like Vaccines or breakfast cereals but perhaps in the wider world of human interactions, love, etc.

In those fields, logic may not reign supreme. You might need to lean on things like faith, hope, and trust.

working it out.

-OFO

 

B-HAG

What’s your BHAG this year?

And no I’m not talking about your momma.

BHAG is a term I think I came across when reading about Harvard Business School (HBS).

What does it stand for?

Big. Hairy. Audacious. Goal.

I’ve started (hopefully) a new habit of writing weekly priorities to conquer at the start of every week. The first week went swimmingly, and I knocked out my list before the end of the week. Now I’m here at week 2 and realizing that I don’t have a cumulative goal for this week.

Even more troubling, I don’t have an overarching goal for the year.

This is a problem.

Not a world-changing problem. Maybe not even a lose sleep problem but a problem nonetheless.

Not having a long-term goal that I’m applying daily pressure to is short-sighted.

I think it may be time to revisit some of the bigger goals that I’ve given up on in the past and see if there are ways to make something shake.

BHAG, Here I come!

-Okenna

Making it up (as you go) & Risk.

I’m approaching the mid-point of my thirties this year.

And I have no idea what I’m doing. Still.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve accomplished a good bit. And I have a semi-idea of how to proceed to make sure the lights stay on. To make sure that I can afford to feed and clothe myself.

Went to school. Got the doctorate. Did the training after school. Got the “dream” job.

And yet,

I look into the horizon and I sometimes feel like the thing that I most need is the exact opposite of what’s in front of me.

people playing baseball
Photo by Lino Khim Medrina on Pexels.com

The older you get the more that the world tries to imply that you should avoid discomfort and risk. We look down at people who are still figuring it out publicly at an older age. The 40 year old rapper is admired by exactly zero people. And while I can’t comment on the viability of that plan, I can say that I admire people who are willing to swing wildly, enthusiastically and intently at life.

I grew up in a immigrant household, whose whole life was built on decreasing the amount of risk that was inherent in their decision to leave their home country and build stable lives in America.

They tried to decrease any tendency towards risk-taking by encouraging all of us to take “stable” jobs in “stable” industries. As we are all finding out, the future is no respecter of the past. Change is happening so fast, there is no guarantee that the stable jobs of yesteryear will continue into the next decade.

Also, somewhat unrelatedly,

Risk is a part of life.

I think this pressure to avoid risk is what slowly kills men in relationships.

I’m not advocating for unnecessary and unsafe risk. But, I am confident that men die inside if the opportunity for adventure is stolen from them.

And it may not be actively taken, it may be something that we give up because we think the people who surround us are asking us to give up that part of ourselves.

There has to be a way to ensure that adventure remains a part of our lives.

Let me speak for myself.

I know I need to find ways to challenge myself daily, weekly, yearly.

fly or fall,

OFO

Love for me.

Love for me feels like:

What would you fill the blank with?

I’ve been thinking a lot about love.

About love and how my childhood shaped the way I look at love.

I grew up the first son of two African parents.

In African households (or at least mine) – the first son is often like a third parent. Caring for their siblings early as they can, doing errands around the house, being responsible.

So for me, love feels like responsibility.

Usually when people say they love me, it means they require something from me.

I’m working on figuring out how to redefine this for myself.

It’s not easy.

Wish me luck.

OFO

Relationships.

I don’t know what I thought relationships were for.

I thought they were here to make me happy. I thought relationships were a place of ease, of country comfort, and oversize fireplaces.

I used to think that relationships were a breakfast nook.

I’m starting to think that I was wrong.

Relationships are a breakfast nook in a blacksmith’s shop.

adult blur cable cord
Photo by Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com

If you let them, they’ll reach into the cranny of your soul and try to bring out the ugly, slimy, unseen parts of you.

If the relationship is good, they’ll hold these up to the light and place them before you.

Not judging, not shaming, just letting you know that you can do better.

That you don’t have to hide.

That you can be yourself and still be loved.

..

If you can stand firm, when the ugliness inside of you is being pulled out, then the relationship can do it’s work. If you can withstand the desire to run. To bail. To pull the ripcord and blame others for the world’s ills that have been deposited inside of you.

If you can stand firm.

It can let the sun into places that haven’t seen light in a while and open windows that have been wallpapered.

At least that’s my hope.

I’m still figuring out relationships.

OFO