Let’s pretend that everything is okay. We can look out the window, watch the news, hear or read the words being spoken and understand that people are unhappy. But if we reverse that–if we lie to ourselves like we are so prone to do–we can justify our sadness and turn it into triumph. It is only we who truly get it–that is the way of thinking. It creates easy scapegoats. It makes us feel better about ourselves–we are not to blame! This makes us think that everything really is okay.
Now my general theme, I have discovered, is lying. But lies are multifarious and can take on any face. Sometimes the lies we tell ourselves are so ingrained that we no longer realize that what we’re saying isn’t true. This works for sports memories thirty years later, or a childhood meeting with a celebrity, or even seeing something momentous you were never present for. We can run with the story and make ourselves seem far more important than we actually are and change the whole dynamic of our past until we believe it–we truly believe it, have convinced ourselves that history is malleable and facts can be tweaked or even changed.
But we wanted everything to be okay and even if it isn’t we will tell ourselves that things will get better, things will be great and nothing serious can ever really go wrong. And while this makes us unprepared for the occasional hard times that do come, most days will seem positive, things will look all right, if we just keep telling ourselves that nothing is as bad as it seems.
This is the talk of an underlying depression–or at least dissatisfaction, with the made up realities we declare is the truth. We can take our frustration and mete it out in innumerable ways, diverged based upon our different tastes and personalities. We can get angry, try being creative, drink, use drugs, kill ourselves or focus this rage entirely on one thing.
For some this may be family, or an issue (abortion comes to mind); the church, some made up faith or even a self-destructive political ideology that overwhelms everything you do, say or are capable of believing. It is the same sort of lie that we tell ourselves when we need to feel all right, the same illusory convictions that we convince ourselves matter far more than they actually do.
I get that people are angry and this, as it always does, makes people unhappy. We can see desperation in the boil-bursting splat of shouting irrationally over public issues on which we all slightly disagree and somehow it becomes a battle royal–a professional wrestling spectacle that is certainly entertaining, but in the end dissolves into a memory of our own making. And this disagreement on reality is what ultimately leads to all the violence, all collapse, and is so trapped in the present that nothing of value, really, can ever get done.
I am tired of blaming ourselves for all the troubles in the world, and the crimes against a truth of our own making. I am sick over this day after day after day after day, our mindless debate over what is right and what is wrong when nothing is ever truly right and everything is always, in some ways, wrong.
People want things to get better. People see a future where everything is okay. Acceptance has always been the road to peace. Why not just accept the bleak realities and acknowledge that people are allowed to believe different things than you? It certainly does not make them right. But does it make you any better?