Connection, worthiness, shame, shame, shame! (and Fugazi)

Here’s a very popular TED talk, a story that continues to be re-told by all kinds of people – spiritual gurus, coaches, bartenders, artists, blah-ggers. She’s not a wizened wise woman, she’s kinda Top-40, looks like Martha Stewart (but didn’t have to go to prison to have a breakdown or learn humility) but she nails the talk. She speaks to the obsessive perfectionists among and within us, who don’t want to explore any sticky childhood stuff in our pasts before we moved away, broke away, changed our names, to the Successful Self who just want “the tools, the strategies,” the instant cure to take away the pain of failure or feeling lame.

Brene Brown on vulnerability, connection, worthiness, shame

If, after you watch this TED talk from 2010, and you want 20 more minutes of Mrs. Brown two years and 10 million hits later, check it out.  She gets deeper into the differences between guilt and shame. You know: “I’m sorry because I made a mistake” vs. “I’m sorry I am a mistake”  & If we’re waiting to take a risk until we’re “bulletproof and perfect,” we’ll be waiting for ever.

 

 

 

 

Erasing the Stigma of Mental Illness – award for musician Michael Angelakos

Thanks to Shawn Amos, Stereogum and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Clinics, we get to hear a nice speech by the singer of the band Passion Pit. Hear the speech and watch a video of how Michael Angelakos lives with bipolar disorder, which he and his wife regard as “an uninvited guest” and greet it with “hard work, humility and humor.”

He’s grateful to be alive, to have love, and to be an artist: “I don’t think there’s anything more beautiful than taking pain and anger and confusion – all that Life gives everyone, really, and turning it into something beautiful and fun and engaging.”

 

The DIY Couturier’s “21Tips to Keep Your Shit Together When You’re Depressed.”

This was passed to me by a patient, and I really appreciated it, so I’m sharing here…

Rosalind Robertson’s blog on Esquire 21 Tips and MORE 

(I HAVE RE-EDITED THIS TO CORRECT FOR MY ASSUMPTION OF THE AUTHOR’s GENDER in ESQUIRE, a “Men’s” Magazine)

The author repeats lots of truths about exercise, diet, dressing to impress one’s self — the things we can’t hear too many times. She also suggests facing a window whenever possible, to never stop looking out and observing life. I enjoy thinking of how the writer has heard these platitudes, gathered them, wrote them down, related to them, threw out some of them, made them his own.  She’s got a sassy way of responding to annoying “Happy people” who pester us to Try Harder, because if we’re depressed, we must not be trying hard enough, and all we need is to obey their pep talk.

So, whether or not it’s because I tell you too or not, “Have a nice day!”

 

Learn to orbit. Become the world’s audience. Don’t be a bitter baby.

A NY Times Opinion piece (click HERE) by philosopher Brian Jay Stanley re-discovers the necessity for a Copernican revolution of the self which demands the re-relativizing of one’s place in the universe… You know, the same old thing.

I enjoy pieces like this, that start out with a witty pull toward desperation, and finish with a balanced wisdom of the ages.  He’s put upon by life, annoyed at his insignificance in the scheme of things. I’m tempted to say he “somehow” finds peace, or poetically trips onto pretty words of truth.  His awareness is much more studied, though. After looking at his website, I find Stanley’s wisdom is earned through toil and hard looking, deep reflection and sometimes scary reverie. He brings to mind David Foster Wallace, which brings up lots of sadness for me, and some of the cutting performer/comics like Lenny Bruce or Louis C.K., George Carlin and the best stand-up yet, F. Nietzsche.

If you’re not going to read the whole piece, at least dig the penultimate paragraph:

Society is adroit at disillusioning newcomers, and many self-assured children grow up to be bitter adults. But bitterness, instead of a form of disillusionment, is really the refusal to give up your childhood illusions of importance. Ignored instead of welcomed by the world, you fault the world as blind and evil in order not to fault yourself as naïve. Bitterness is a child’s coddling narcissism within the context of an adult’s harsh life. Instead, I know that the world only tramples me as a street crowd does an earthworm — not out of malice or stupidity, but because no one sees it. Thus my pain is not to feel wrongly slighted, but to feel rightly slighted.

So today if I can muster the joy, I’ll have gratitude as my attitude. Today, I’ll try not to be so bitter. Today, my narcissism will be that of an adult, not a baby’s. Today, I’ll remember to (as someone stenciled on the wall by the Silver Lake Reservoir) “Laugh at this experience.” Today I’m going to be the audience, and enjoy the show.

Looking and seeing…

Your arm isn’t long enough to make the newspaper legible. You buy a new lamp because there’s got to be something wrong with the one you have. Your bedroom’s getting darker, maybe autumn is early?

Adults get old and our eyes get older. You need reading glasses, so you get yourself a pair, and they sit by the bed, or in your pocket, or get left everywhere else than where you are when you need to read something.

Besides collecting pairs of reading glasses (or monocles for the steam-punkers) adults of a certain age also gain the right to another kind of vision-enhancers: the rose-colored glasses. They come in all shapes and sizes, and get lost just as often as your readers but they do come in handy, so if you don’t have some already, pick some up. You’ve earned the right to look a little ridiculous, and to see things better than they actually are. You don’t want to wear them everywhere, but you need them handy, in case you get caught up like Brian did…

A Splendid View

“Natural disasters continue, and the country is socially confused. But it is at times like these that you need a splendid point of view. Though the world is facing difficulties, there are many people who try to find pleasure in life and make efforts to create a future with a new vitality.”

Though the country she is talking about is her native Japan, artist Yayoi Kusama challenges us to have “a splendid point of view” towards a world we all share and which perplexes us. The artist’s renegade path has soared and careened on the edge of awareness, at both sides of the frontiers of sanity or wellness. In this New York Magazine interview, Kusama shows she is enjoying the benefits of a very active older-age and a wisdom we often hope it brings. I am inspired to value both the largeness and the shortness of life, the importance of seeing oneself as part of a necessary creative force in a crazy world, even if the world tells us we are the ones who are crazy and unnecessary, or failing…