I am indebted to Harvey Herman who inspired this conversation, and to
who contributed material.
Every so often I become aware I'm in a moment of diminished aliveness
and loss of power. When I don't examine and tell the truth about such
moments, the closest plausible explanation I have for them is they
simply come about by themselves, a so-called mood swing
beyond my control - kind of like the
Unexamined, I say these
weather changesjust ...
... and the best if not the only way I can deal with them
is simply get through them ie wait for them to pass.
Actually that's not a bad way to be in such moments. It even has a
flavor to it if you will - which I like.
But when I get off it enough to tell the truth about such
moments of diminished aliveness and loss of power, something becomes
really (and at times inconveniently) clear. It's this:
what appears (on the surface at least) to be diminished aliveness and
loss of power, isn't that at all. To describe my aliveness as
diminished focuses on / implies there's something about my
aliveness which diminished. To call my power
lost focuses on / implies there's something about my
power which was (or got) lost.
This way of looking at moments of diminished aliveness and loss of
power may be a great way of explaining
in such moments. Yet this explanation, in and of itself, gives me no
renewed access to aliveness in moments of diminished aliveness, and nor
does it give me any renewed access to power in moments of loss of
Understanding is the
remember? In fact
such moments in this way is an avoidance really. An
avoidance of what? (it's the telling of the truth about
what I'm avoiding, which is what's (quote unquote)
What's inconvenient is realizing I avoid owning diminished
aliveness and loss of power. They're my responsibility -
not a mood's. When the blame
is over, when I've stopped attributing (to no avail, to no benefit to
myself) diminished aliveness and loss of power to something someone
else did or said, when I admit none of that
in fact can't ever
then I'm finally free to choose to exercise the muscle (if
you will) I possess to
the quality of my life, the muscle I possess which I can choose to
exercise at every moment under all circumstances (as
may have said). And by the way, notice it's essentially
human to occasionally forget about or simply abdicate being
responsible for this muscle.
I've been in the
of terminal cancer patients who have more aliveness in their pinky
fingernail and more power in one of their breathless last
than some people have, have had, and will ever have in
their entire lives. It's
who we are
for ourselves which is the
of our aliveness and power.
In the end it's never something anyone else did or said which is the
cause of moments of diminished aliveness and loss of power. So when
there are such moments in my life, the most effective and always
available action is to take back responsibility for my own
aliveness and power - which is to say to give up
abdicating responsibility for them. The way I
drift as a human being seems to make this a daunting task
... sometimes. Fortunately (and count-on-ably) my muscle
to do this is already always here ...
"at every moment under all