Updated: Jun 22
I was journaling today and I asked myself a question: "why am I like this?"
and by "this" I mean, why am I so passionate about certain things? Why is it so hard to keep me from speaking my mind on some things, while I'm so devastatingly quiet pretty much the rest of the time?
Speaking your mind is a good thing. I've come to the conclusion that although I do get some push back sometimes (very rarely actually) speaking up about the things you are passionate about is always a good thing!
I've been in deep consideration over this due to the pandemic, the riots over #BLM, the political divide in our country, and what I feel is a great selfishness that comes with being human.
Also the lies that spread like wildfire across our social platforms and news media, and yes it's very hard to figure out which truths/lies to believe as truths/lies. Does it really come down to what you believe to be true?
Is the science even real?
Is what we hear about the science real?
Is what we hear about politics real?
Is it really as bad as they say? Until we experience anything first hand, it's really easy to feel mislead. Lied to. Belittled. Scammed. Forced to do things we don't want to do. Whatever side you're on, I think we might all be feeling this way.
Getting back to my question though, why do I get like this?
Before the pandemic started I was OBSESSED with the opioid epidemic. Completely obsessed! Obsessed with my dead family, the books I was writing, the career I was trying to make around this horrible topic. I've gotten used to talking about it, to making it the center of my life. Everything I eat, sleep, and breathe.
Ultimately the question is really: why am I so obsessed?
The simplest answer I can come up with: Because I really miss my family.
So when the pandemic began, I started feeling really heated. I needed to share my opinion but I know I'm going to disagree with a large number of people in my personal circle. That baffles me, actually. I've learned things about people I didn't know before. Not to imply that it's bad to learn that we disagree, but it has come as a great shock to me in some ways.
What I know we are all feeling right now is that what we are each feeling is the right way to feel, and anyone who doesn't feel that way really needs to do their own research on such and such topic... etc. and educate themselves.
Everyone is angry.
This is the thing that keeps bringing me down. I'm also very angry.
Not at any one person, but at so many things, and when I feel this stirred up, that's when I feel the need to speak.
I'm really struggling to speak up right now. At least in a way that might be productive, and not just shaming others into my own beliefs of what is right vs. wrong. That never works.
I've always hoped that my words can spark a deeper introspection in my readers, and help them come to maybe a new perspective, or feel as if they've grown with the new perspective I've provided. Personally I like reading articles or books like that, and maybe that's why I've tried to emulate that.
When it comes to everything 2020 has brought down on us though, I'm struggling not to just yell at everyone I know because I think I'm right, and I just don't understand anyone else's perspective, and maybe I don't even want to. That's quite honestly a childish attitude to have, and I write now to show you that I recognize that attitude.
Your opinion isn't right.
Neither is mine.
I think one of the hardest things to do as humans is to admit that we might have a flawed perspective. That we might, in fact, be wrong about something. Wrong about our approach, our actions, our reactions.
I've never wanted to tell another person how they're supposed to feel. That's not up to anyone but you. You get to make that particular decision. In a world that is spinning out of control the one thing you get is to decide is if you're angry or optimistic, or both?! Both is an option.
I've struggled to know what to say because I have some seriously strong opinions on how this pandemic should be handled. From civilians, to politicians, small and large business owners, doctors... etc. These opinions come from my own life experience, and how I perceived each experience as it unfolded from moment to moment.
I want nothing more than to speak up and share that opinion. Although, maybe that's also a lie, because what I really want is to salvage relationships that are breaking because of differing opinions.
I live in fear daily.
My fear stems from what I experienced with my previous family and their deaths.
My fear causes me to become heated, angry, and overly emotional.
I could see this pandemic taking my son's life because he's high risk, and I want to hold the entire nation and world accountable if that happens. I want to hold everyone accountable for what already did happen to my family who's been gone a very long time.
We could be safer, for the sake of others, and yet we aren't. We are selfish in so many ways. This infuriates me. This mentally has taken things away from me in my own life, and made certain aspects really difficult for myself and my children. But I have to take a deep breath and recognize that not everyone will see it the way I do because they don't have the same life experience that I have. Maybe I should be happy that they don't. There are silver linings to just about everything.
I see that I might be sharing my opinions on this in all the wrong ways because of the anger I've felt for far too long. In fact I decided not to publish my next book largely for the same reasons. In fact in fact... I'm giving up my so called "career" as an opioid spokesperson for all of those reasons.
Realizing that I might be causing more harm than good was impossibly hard for me to see in myself. When all of my intentions over the years have been to change the world for the better, not to cause shame and heartache for those who are already struggling.
It's been said a million times before now, but the flip-side of that is that nothing good ever came from already being happy and content. Change only comes from needing something. Needing to create a new tool, needing reform in politics, the way we view ourselves and others, how we handle mass illness... etc.
Change only comes from hardship. And voices matter! A lot!
Right now it's all about priorities. For me I want to salvage relationships, not speak my mind when the world has already decided for themselves something my little voice will never sway them on. But I do know people who are willing to break ties for the sake of their message. If that's you, keep going. Stay strong! That's so difficult to do!
It will be really interesting to see where all of this takes us, and what change will ultimately come from it.
Personally, I want to change my approach and perhaps even be an example that way. I'm a timid, mild person. Yes I get angry, but usually it's hard to see if I'm not posting about it on social media platforms. I want to give myself and the world around me something different now, and I think each new approach has it's own value. I just have to figure out what that looks like for me, and I guess I want to encourage you, if you even read this, to also reflect on how you're sharing your message and beliefs. There's always room for improvement, and improvement is exactly what the world needs right now in every possible area.
What do you want to improve in your personal life/world?