Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A Little Tough Love

Listening to: Pink Floyd, Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Tonight's Tuesday group got the beginnings of my "Fear-based life" sessions, sessions where we discuss the mental poison that is "fear". We'd kicked around ego-disollution vs. self-centeredness for the past few weeks and tackling fear is the logical evolution of those sessions. Living out of fear makes us self-centered.

In my experience, fear reduces to two motivations: the fear of losing what we already have and the fear of not getting what we think we deserve. Think about that and it makes total sense. I constantly challenge my clients to find another motivation and no one has ever come to me with an alternative. In the dozen years or so since I discovered that bit of truth, I have never been able to gainsay that apparent fact.

When describing fear and its effects, I always use the example of the bully because bullies are so simple and their motivations are so simple-minded. The bully is clearly in fear of not being respected, fears a diminished self-image, and really fears everything because it is a threat to a narrow view of the world (and the bully's place in that world). In response to that fear, the bully beats up on others in a futile attempt to gain validation and eliminate the anxiety arising from those fears.

I mention all of this before I indulge in an apparent bit of paradox as it may seem that I aim to bully the bullies, quis custodiet ipsos custodes. However, if you know anything about logic, you know that my bullying the bullies is sound and valid. As an act of tough love, Aristotle and Dr. Phil would give me the nod.

Fear, as I tell my clients, prevents us from growing, evolving; the fear-based life is a static, miserable life. Look inside a miserable, angry, dissatisfied, repulsive soul and you'll find someone afraid to love, afraid to be loved, afraid to learn, afraid to open up to all the joy in life.

In all my blogging days, I've never felt the need to slam another blog. First of all, what's the point? If I don't like a blog, I don't have to visit it but I'm sure as hell not going to waste energy writing about how much I hate it. My life is full such that I have more than enough material to blog about without having to demean my talents by taking potshots at people I don't particularly like. Talking shit about another person's blog is a tiny-minded endeavor suited to an emotional adolescent, an act of creative constipation.

Thus it will appear that I contradict myself when I point you to this tripe, a post taken from a singularly repulsive blog by someone so consumed with self-hate he feels it necessary to poison the rest of us with his negativity. Fortunately, the blog has not been updated since early February and I can only assume that the author comitted suicide or went back on his medication. Whatever happened, the world is a better place for the silence.

The sad thing is, the post (and blog) is entirely devoid of wit, humor, or intellect. It's merely destructive, bilious, a reflection of a twisted and deformed soul. There is no redeeming quality - none - merely misogyny and racism passed off as an adolescent boy's idea of snark.

What clued me into that little slice of hell was BusyMom's comments regarding an attack made on Genuine by a woman whom I would assume would know better. I say "assume" because at first glance, you'd think this was a thoughtful, compassionate person with a mind to bring more love into the universe.

Uh, no, she only plays one on the blogosphere. Briefly reading her supercilious posts, you see she's the kind of Country Club liberal who firmly believes the world would be a better place if only everyone was more like her. The hag in the Volvo with the "Visualize World Peace" bumper sticker who just cut you off and gave you the finger. Beneath her is the rest of us and she hates us for not being smart and well-off enough to be on her level.

Do I have compassion for these people? Certainly, if they came to me and asked for my help to mend their broken little psyches, I would not turn them away. I'd tell them that, with some hard work on my part and commitment to change on their part, they just might become half-way likeable people. These are, after all, obviously damaged and confused individuals deserving our pity, if not some of our patience. However, sometimes a therapist needs to turn off the client's tape, "Shut the fuck up, I'm tired of your bullshit. Shut your stupid mouth and maybe you'll give yourself the chance to listen and learn."

At this point, I'll defend my motives by saying that these are examples, case-studies if you will, but you can judge for yourself. I often tell my clients that we need to answer negativity with a positive act of kindness. However, kindness is often difficult to define (and easy to over-simplify) and sometimes the cruelest cut is the kindest.


Mamacita said...

Nino tells it like it is, and tells it well, and tells it right.

TrueJerseyGirl said...

I'll never get why people have to down other people's blogs. Its a personal form of expression, and if some woman wants to talk about her nails all day, that's her perogative. And its our perogative not to read it.

Sounds like he does need some psych help from you.

Charone said...

Here's what I think. I think that this blogger throws a lot of barbs at people for not writing interesting stuff, but her reviews are beyond boring to read.

panthergirl said...

A woman who does an "ABC of URLs" has the nerve to belittle another blogger?

A woman who reads "Dooce" calls *Genuine* SMUG?

uh oh... am I doing it too?

vicki said...

Great post, Jim. I worked my way ALL the way through, checking out the other blogs and then "judgmental's blog." It's been striking to me, just getting started, how many people are TRYING in the blog sphere. Maybe not well, often trite, silly, downright ignorant- but trying. Blogs that are just trashy are easy enough to blink out of. But a couple of those were blogs by people, who because of life circumstance, are still stumbling around practically illiterate- but trying. To communicate,share,expose themselves. I may not hang around long or re-visit but sniping away is just lame. You're correct-bullying.

Nino the Mindboggler said...

Sad how "I Speak of Dreams" answered my criticism with a snippy "He calls it an ATTACK?!?!" update and then posts something that's supposed to boost her liberal creds (while gloating on her chi-chi community in an indictment that just rings false). I'll stick with my initial clinical diagnosis. A truly enlightened individual would have admitted, "OK, that was dumb and I shouldn't have done it. I'm sorry."

Healthy grown ups admit their mistakes.

Michelle said...

"The hag in the Volvo with the "Visualize World Peace" bumper sticker who just cut you off and gave you the finger."

I like how you put that.I don't know about that blogger in particular, but gawd there are a lot of these folks in Austin! Not just women, either. They need to be in a class by themselves and not pollute the word "liberal." ;-)