How do you turn off your inner superego-centric pessimist?

By the way, I’m actually asking the question,  not answering it.

I have a very stubborn inner pessimist. Negative thinking has taken me to very many places in my life and it’s been largely a cold and dark experience. Sometimes dark and dank are just what you need though, so what exactly am I missing out on?

I’m told by the media,  by my mother, by my therapist, by that labrador down the road that positive thinking is a good thing that you can learn, and that you don’t have to just (figuratively) shit all over everything including yourself. Though this is far more frowned upon as literal behaviour.

As it happens I am in the process of nominating someone for an award and so am having to overcome the cringe-inducing wince-fest that comes with open and borderline superfluous flattery. I recognise all these awesome qualities in people around me but I never tell them, and I’m unable to recognise them in myself. 

Fortune peeked over my shoulder and decided that my therapist should get me to focus on the good things as about myself cos I figure I’m pretty sucky in most capacities compared to everyone else. The single admirable property that I will openly admit to possessing is honesty. The rest of that box remains bare. Sorry doc that’s it, the thesaurus has been scoured and there are no more appropriate adjectives. But low and behold a far worse challenge lay ahead. Due to my utter failure to get with the positivity program, I was tasked with asking a few close people to tell me what they like about me. Apparently this is not just attention-seeking…

Have you ever asked someone what they like about you? It’s fucking weird. I mean in Britain, you don’t go gushing about why you love your friends or family, you just stick by them and they should know that if you hang around long enough then you probably like them some. It goes unsaid, like some mystery current underlying your relationships. You’re never quite sure if your pal secretly thinks you are a wanker but they bought you a pint at the weekend so you’re probably ok in their eyes. So why are we so repressed and inhibited that it feels plain creepy to go listing the things you like about someone? In theory it’s a perfectly pleasant thing to do.

 I’ve only got as far as asking two people, one of whom could only come up with one thing that they like about me and that is my nose, which makes me paranoid because I have kind of a big nose and is by far my least attractive facial feature. Sigh. I’m not going to list the things my therapist and other generous surveyee said because that would take this horrifying experiment to another level of unnecessary squirming to this most uncomfortable topic. 

I can’t quite explain the emotional reaction I have to being given compliments, it’s something deeply awkward and dismissive, because I suspect there is some species-wide delusion  psychosis or pity going on behind those positive words and I don’t want to be the one to burst the bubble. If you’ve seen the series braindead where people are being controlled by brain munching bugs? I imagine it’s something like that. On some level of course I really appreciate the comments even if I don’t believe them because it shows people care enough to try and boost my self-esteem. I assume others feel the same so I avoid dishing out compliments but maybe I’m the only weirdo who finds all this pretty nauseating because sarcasm has to be replaced with earnestness (real word) and that’s a damned big leap. I’m tempted to try reciprocity on this subject with my therapist as an experiment to see if she feels uncomfortable, partly because I want to give something back and partly to look for signs of squirming. Humans are bizarre.

I understand from old Freud’s theory that this kind of self-denial phenomena is due to a strong superego and weak ego.  Superego being the morals that parents bestow in the early years and ego being the logical decision-making mediator between your mind’s chaotic self-gratifying impulses (Id) and reality.This seems fair because a weak ego is also considered the cause of anxiety. So this deflated balloon of a personal aspect needs a bit of air, even if I think it’s just hot air!

Ironically without a highly functioning logical sector, this challenge seems utterly abstract and unattainable. Maybe I’ll start reading Jung again, he seemed to have it all sorted. 

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Everyone secretly wants to be seduced by a supernatural being and that’s ok

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I read a lot of science fiction, horror and fantasy books.
I watch a hell of a lot of trashy sci-fi / horror TV shows and films.
What I have learnt is that deep down, everyone has this base desire to be seduced by a very powerful creature – preferably immortal.
In some cases it is a human, one that seems unattainable and awe-inspiringly strong, brave or skilled, but then those are altogether too relatable as stories go. I don’t really like that in a fantasy story because it makes me think about real feelings and shit like that, I want to be taken somewhere that I can’t possibly go in real life.
So within the pages and vicariously we secretly wish that we could become the object of some mythical creature’s desire. Can you imagine if something so powerful and beautiful chose you over all others….That’s got to boost your self esteem some hasn’t it? Plus we are led to believe that those with supernatural powers are somehow exceptional lovers, so…
I don’t think the feeling of wanting to be the centre of someone elses world is particularly new or weird, it’s central to human nature…but to want that attention from someone or something with a fascinating weirdness, who could choose ANYONE in the world? It’s not something that people are going to freely admit because of the shit tons of pride and parallel fragility that such thoughts stem from. It’s something about proxy to power isn’t it? To be desired by a symbol of strength makes one feel strong, no? All this reminds me of something Tori Amos said about wondering whether Jesus would be a good lover. I think that the desire to be loved by an all-powerful God amounts to pretty much the same thing as wanting to be seduced by a vampire (psychologically speaking). There are ‘spiritual’ nuances that I’m glossing over, but its all the same to me.

So you fantasise about being whisked away by a Witch, by a Mystif, by an Angel or superhero? Hey, that’s ok, as long as it doesn’t come at the cost of real relationships – maybe you need to work a bit on your self-esteem (most of us do) but ultimately everyone else does the same thing in the privacy of their own mind, and I know what you are thinking but, no, the fact that these humanesque creatures in question aren’t quite human doesn’t mean we are talking about beastiality, which is pretty much universally not ok (even in Germany now). Imagination and the unknown are such potent ingredients, who could help but wonder?

Ps. If you have a partner or two in the real world, remember that they have the superpower of putting up with your annoying shit, so don’t take that for granted.

Incidentally the painting at the top is mine (from some ten years ago). It might not be very good but don’t steal it without asking ok?
(c) Accidental Tentacles

Fevers and Dust

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I have, at times been my biggest disappointment,
Expecting the superhuman, inside and out,
But finding the dregs of a lacklustre animal,
Rolling their eyes and then rolling on over.

I guess I rolled over for you too.

The fires were bright for some time,
Burning out the rot,
And the stars inside and out,
Almost aligned,
So that I was almost content with who I’d grown to be.

And there was always you, holding my hand.

I don’t know when the cleansing fires burned out,
And the mildew enveloped me once more.
An organic tide change when it all started
To come apart.

But you thought I chose it.

That content so sought was buried,
The assurance drowned in the night,
And nothing but fevers and dust,
Could live up to expectations.

Not yours, and not mine.

Am I your biggest disappointment,
Your one big regret?
Am I nothing but a constant reminder,
That you are tethered to something so frayed?

This dust just won’t settle.

And unless your words are sent to crush me,
And keep me in the shadows,
Then why don’t you accept my failures?
Please help me mould them into something new.

And If you won’t,
Or if you can’t , then who am I
To trap you
In this perpetual monumental disappointment?

I know I will never be enough

Fighting the decay

Failure is always there.

As long as we remain human, as long as we fall short of the 46+2 that would spark the transcendence from this limbo into another plane of consciousness, we are destined to fail.

Our limbo in-between beasts and gods plays havoc with the ego. So certain are we that we are each in control of our own destinies, that we are gods among ourselves, that we are worthy of self-worship, or otherwise investing our spiritual energy into someone else’s vision of a god, that we forget our primal instincts.

So quick are we to congratulate ourselves for meaningless social achievements, that we too often leave untended the parts deep within our psyche that are responsible for the tidal waves on which the ego floats. Every time that you choose to ignore your instincts, you starve your ability to sense through the ancient wisdom that we all bear. The part that does not see failure, that does not judge, that simply is.

Judgement can be a human tragedy, and we are all its victims, and in its eyes are nothing but a list of failures.

Maybe in your eyes I am nothing but a list of inadequacies, as maybe in time, you become to me, but how about lets go and take a stroll into a deeper forest together, where none of that matters and we can accept and be accepted?

I can’t bear this weight of such frailty, can you?

“Is there life beyond the sky?
Does it matter if we fly?
Or is it enough to be
Simply as we are?”~ heather nova, humanness