My life, for a while now, has been defined by other people.
This revelation has been quite a long time coming: it began with an event that subsequently defined every other online interaction that’s taken place for what’s probably the best part of five years. Nothing can be done when someone decides to take offence at you: that’s their problem and not yours. However hard you try, not everybody will like you. These phrases are familiar on this blog.
A significant change has taken place in the last few weeks: however hard I try, there is never going to be the means by which such people will ever be effectively removed from my life. Even when you mute and block, conflict still exists. Choosing to ignore something is a world away from accepting that and moving forward: in the last week that revelation has become something of a redemptive force.
Letting go of anger’s quite a tough ask in the current climate.
Except, if kindness is allowed to come into play, an awful lot of harshness will simply evaporate into nothing. I can continue to burn with white-hot indignation at large organisational ineptitude, for that is a fight that’s really worth championing. Getting wound up over twats who won’t leave me alone because control is their thing is a waste of time. That energy can be far better utilised elsewhere, and should be.
To allow yourself the ability to detach from Fear Of Missing Out, especially in the modern world, is the life skill which defines everything else going forward. The focus then shifts to allowing true creativity a space to overtake everything. Some people will hate what you do and that is their problem, not yours. Let them burn themselves out in their desperate attempts to take over your life. Don’t let them win.
Instead, embrace the redemptive power of self-forgiveness.
Kindness needs to begin with you. If that’s something that you’re not able to achieve alone, there will be reasons why that’s the case, and it’s why this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week has sensibly decided to centre on the topic when so many people will need to understand how the concept operates, approaching from vastly differing directions. Help starts with the self, ultimately, and the enlightenment that can be gained by accepting that in any contentious situation, you are often part of the problem.
It’s not always true, of course: the innocents in such moments are often ignored and overlooked for the sake of expediency, making them the biggest casualties. I understand this concept from both sides, both as adult and child, and when you are granted such insights it would be a foolish person who chooses to ignore their significance. Reality is supposed to be hard. You don’t have to do everything well to succeed.
The truth of life for all of us can never be accurately or homogeneously summarised.
I will live with my curation choices, safe in the knowledge that before they controlled me, but now I am in control of them. My gut knows full well those people who matter most, who I should be looking out for, and those who only seek to derail the process of progress. I will however start being kinder to everybody. It’s something I lack, and it needs to be addressed. Crucially, if I cannot find kindness to give to someone?
I will not engage them or provide them an online platform any more.