True Friends Might As Well Be Big Foot

When you stop to think about it, true friends are like family without the commitment to obligation to see them on holidays, birthdays, etc.  Family is mentally and physically draining for many reasons, many of which lead back to the fact that they remember how you used to be and have difficulty understanding why you would ever change.  Friends on the other hand, at least in my experience, go with the flow and embrace change as it happens as it strengthens the bond; makes the friendship stronger over time.  It’s this reason that for most the idea of a “true friend” is so foreign and unattainable because the level of trust required to be given is truly frightening.

Most people have a lot of what I refer to as acquaintances often mistakenly though of as friends.  These people are the ones that you see at work, on the weekends, hang out with at parties or catch up with over lunch every so often.  Acquaintances are definitely ones that you are connected with over social media accounts and rarely ever see in person.  The idea of calling up an acquaintance, out of the blue, asking to meet up because you need to talk to someone about something really important or need help is foreign and feels like wearing a left shoe on your right foot.  The fact of the matter is that we all have a lot of these types of friends but most will ever ascend to the pedestal of a true friend.

True friends are those lucky few that are allowed access to the inner working of your mind and soul.  They’ve seen the raw energy, the darkness and light, the wordless joy and crushing sadness, and the massive crazy that is your life for what it is.  In return they’ve shared the same with you, raw, uncut, unedited.  There is a connection deep enough that a mere glance can emote an entire conversation in seconds with no effort at all on either participant.  A true friend would give you their last dollar to help you out if they didn’t need it at that very moment.  These are the reasons that true friends are so hard to find and so hard to keep once you do find them.  This kind of connectedness isn’t normal for most people, certainly isn’t normal for me.  In fact, I go from full to empty in a matter of an hour or so with this type of person and have attempted to sabotage these relationships in the past.

What’s the point of all this?  That’s a good question.  I guess the point here is that I’m in a place right now where I could use a true friend and I don’t have one right now.  If you’re one of the lucky ones to have a friend like this, make sure to hang onto them and recognize what it is you’ve managed to capture.  Very few of us have someone that gets us for the true person that we are on the inside, the person that talks back to us on the inside that no one else can hear.  Once you find that true friend, grab on and don’t let go, it’s like holding onto a hurricane.

#connections, #friends, #true-friends

Learning journey for facts and truth

I’ve spent most of my life with the belief that I understood the world around me. A belief that our newspapers and television news stations delivered information that was worthy of us to know and wouldn’t alter or change the details to serve other motives or purposes. Several months ago I came across an article on a fringe news site (it was fringe to me at the time) that put serious doubt into my mind about the validity of the news that I had been convinced was truthful. My interest in the possibility that things were not as they seemed was ignited and I started on a learning journey that has helped me expose a lot of the misinformation I had previously thought was the truth. Call it what you will; fake news, misinformation, semi-truthful, etc., it wasn’t the whole story and I was starting to see the holes.

The path to learning started, for me, when I was opened to an alternative idea that questioned my current sources of news and information. No longer did I see what was being presented to me as the whole truth, further pushing me to find the details, information, and facts that I now desperately wanted to learn. Around this time I had started seeing posts from several people I followed that were having the same type of awakening of the mainstream media being not quite what they portrayed themselves to be. I decided to reach out, away from WordPress, to learn where they were at and sort of compare notes. I’m glad that I did, because what they were able to steer me towards helped accelerate my learning and I quickly became obsessed with the new sources of information presented to me. Each article that I consumed opened my mind a little more and pushed me to better understand what was going on around me that had been hidden from me by the mainstream media.

There have been missteps, incorrect conclusions drawn, discovery that a good source was actually biased and of course, most news agencies tracked back to one of 5 or 6 large corporations. The hardest part of seeking out facts, without bias or lean, has been finding sources that demonstrate they dont’ have bias or lean. Unfortunately, the truth is that every news source, regardless of independent or mainstream, has a little bias or lean depending on the authors and readers. I had to update my approach to find sources that were predominantly in the middle, or moderate, that reported with equal bias to both the left and the right depending on the story being reported. To date individual bloggers have been the greatest source of facts as there is an inclination of authors to support their opinions with the sources that led them to their conclusions. In Saner Thought, The Ripening Wanderer, Learning to Speak Politics, R.R. Wolfgang; all are passionate about their own views and will support them with their own sources. There are many more, and to those that I’ve had deep exchanges of comments with that aren’t included, I’m updating my blogroll over this coming weekend.

I don’t always get it right. Some of the conclusions I come to are off base, but not because I don’t understand or am blind to the actual facts or truth. Some of my conclusions are based on experience, of which, I don’t have a lot to draw from within my new reality. I’ve been privileged to have several followers, who aren’t afraid to speak their minds, leave comments that help me understand where I wasn’t quite right while at the same time offer an alternative. Helpful and intuitive comments that make me look forward to seeing orange dot in my WordPress application or get a ding on my mobile phone. Rarely do I get any negativity that prompts me to trash a reply, in fact, I’ve only had two in the 5 years I’ve had this particular blog. From what I understand, that is rare and uncommon, however with only 100-ish followers between WordPress and Twitter, it’s plausible.

Undoing 30 or so years of filtered news will take some time and I’m certain that I will continue to not get it right all the time. I’m hopeful that there are others going through the same type of learning journey that I’m on right now and thankful that the people I’ve come to admire online share my open-mindedness. I will freely admit when I’m wrong, and as demonstrated already, I’ve managed to get it right and offered an alternative to someone else that allowed them to change their own minds. This is an interesting community on WordPress, so many different types of people who, if in real life, I would probably not have ever connected with. I can honestly say to my family and friends that I have met people (online) that live all over the world and connected through words. My learning of the world around me will continue, and as such, I hope others will join me as we all find our own truth.

#friends, #learning, #mainstream-media, #online-connection, #politics

How perception defines our view of the world and ourselves

All of the time I’ve spent on self-reflection and inner feelings reminded me of a recent science show on how perception can change drastically with seemingly identical subjects. Take for instance the compelling example of Abraham Lincoln, which most people immediately recognize when they see the below picture. He was the 16th President of the United States and is credited with not only abolishing slavery (that took over 100 years to partially work) and winning the United States Civil War. His amazing ability to manipulate words in such a way so as to evoke emotion and passion in everyone that listened or read was second to none. Several former U.S. Presidents would use his speeches to craft their own speeches so that radio addresses could have the greatest impact in times of need. Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F Kennedy, the list goes on. Once television came into popular use, the need for powerful words diminished slightly, as now body language and facial expressions could convey what words typically would have trouble doing on their own.

ALincoln_World

Who likes to see a picture of themselves? I sure don’t, and I can bet most people all over the world have trouble or are uncomfortable seeing themselves in pictures. From the day we’re born, we get a sense of self-perception that defines us for our entire lives. That self-perception comes in many forms, such as our own voices, observable interactions with others to our own actions, even our image in a mirror. The reason we have difficulty seeing ourselves in a photograph or listening to our recorded voices, is that it doesn’t match our self-perception. In fact, it will NEVER match our self-perception as the circumstances that defined it just don’t exist. Below is the same picture of Abraham Lincoln as he would have seen himself in the mirror, which is a reverse image of our actual appearance. A camera by design will take a real world representation of how we appear to the world whereas a mirror is, well, a reverse image of how the world sees us.

ALincoln_SelfImage

Having written about introversion lately, this was fresh in my mind especially after I recalled the science show. Perception is in the eye of the beholder. It is a clear and simple truth that self-perception and real-perception, that is the case with physical/auditory appearance, don’t and will never match. Our voices, to us, have added acoustics of our head that add to the sound that exist our mouths. A lower range that others don’t hear that travels to our ears from our throat to our ears on the inside. As I can’t speak to other introverts, my own self-perception in the past was the reason that I avoided contact with others. I was unable to stand up to the potential scrutiny from someone elses perception of me if it were somehow different. What I didn’t understand at the time was that it would always be different. The pictures above show solid evidence of this statement. If you showed anyone the second picture, they’re reaction would be one of confusion as something about the picture is just “off”.

What I had to understand and accept for myself was that perception is subjective and involves more than just outward appearance or home someone sounds. Perception takes body language, actions, meaning of words, and facial expressions as well. The full range of human interactions basically helps us form a perception of the people around us. Knowing that my uneasiness was a result of unsubstantiated emotions was the key to learning to push them aside and rely on all the queues to establish a more logical and truthful perception. I don’t discard them completely, but no longer let the uneasiness stop me in my tracks to work on forming relationships with others. After all is said and done, it’s the intangible thoughts and feelings in our brains that finally decide how we form or don’t form relationships. I think this is the reason that online friendships, like the ones we all form through blogging, are so important to introverts such as myself. It removes the awkwardness of on-the-spot conversation until such a time, finally meeting in person, there is a base of reference to start and hold conversations with greater ease.

I personally have not met anyone yet that I’ve interacted with online through here. If given the opportunity to do so, and given enough online interactions, I would welcome it. That day is almost certainly well into the future though.

#friends, #introversion, #perception, #words

Three Things Thursday

TTT

As seen on Nerd in the Brain

1 – Listening friends

Hitting a rough patch this past week (see Where Am I?), I had the awesome opportunity and availability of a friend to listen to me, well, bitch/moan/complain. It was very therapeutic and certainly helped a lot. A few beers between friends helped keep the brain vomit flowing and they even joined in at certain points as well. Here’s to mutual friends helping each other out on a bad day.

2 – Arrow

I’ve embarked on another Netflix binge and am trying to control my “fires of hell” urge to call off work and rip through three seasons in under a day. After having come off watching Flashpoint, Primeval, and Leverage, I recovered enough to start watching Arrow. An amazingly dark and brooding type of show with just enough violence to make it interesting but not so much that it’s hard to watch. It’s also not bad seeing Emily Bett Richards and Katie Cassidy in almost every episode. Shout out to John Barrowman, who will be forever known to me as Capt. Jack Harkness (Dr. Who / Torchwood)!!!!

3 – Courage

I’m a private person, and have since 2012, run this blog as “private” and discouraged search engines. Having read through all the posts, and confirming that there isn’t a shred of personally identifiable information from my real life, I decided to open things up and make this a public blog. I’ve had several people stop by and start to follow, people I probably wouldn’t have found on my own. Discovered the long way that you can’t be found if you’re not listed in the first place.

#arrow, #blogging, #courage, #friends, #listening