Information can be a bummer.
It is not to be confused with wisdom, intelligence or knowledge. Before it is any of those things it is first just information.
When sifting information through our inflamed brain filters, we organise it into easily accessible categories.
I can read a political piece and the information will flow in to different compartments. That bit goes to “Light Dinner Conversation” and the other goes to “Mental Block .” This is because information can be scary.
At times a piece of information goes straight to “Prejudice.” We simply can’t cope with we’ve been told. Instead we use it in a weird “Knowledge/Prejudice” hybrid. Holding on to that which counteracts our worldview; expecting our enemies to use it against us.
And we all do this. You probably have your own special filters. Maybe that’s only to discuss with Samantha from work or this is about that war that’s happening so we’ll stick it in the “Sandbox”. Because some stuff is horrible. We get used to hearing of the tragedies in our world but… deep down we feel they are horrible.
So some information doesn’t make it to the dinner table or the water cooler. Some stuff is completely internalised. It could be a great personal tragedy or a great public one. Others may be talking about it but you just want to sit, think and feel.
But usually you won’t get that chance.
Big things happen in the world. Your online feeds, television and loved ones are bawling out opinions, facts and dubious expert advice. You sometimes never reach that quiet place.
Sometimes you just emote. Maybe you saw it coming, maybe they deserved it… how dare they. Maybe it’s a surprise and you need to be told what to feel because anything is better than that single moment of hollowness when you have been told something that’s just…No.
You want to read more news pieces, you want to check the comments and talk to your friends. You want to let out the emotion not keep it in!
So you fast track. You close the door in your mind that leads to your quiet place and seek solace elsewhere. Your favourite celebrity has a thought and you think it might save you so you listen.
Or maybe nobody is talking about it… no one you meet day to day at least. So you just continue life as normal and the emotions fade.
Because the truth is you don’t know what that feeling is…
It’s not rage exactly, nor fear or excitement.
It’s the emotion that comes before those things.
It’s being disturbed.
You’ve just been told something. And you feel disturbed.
If you’re racist (I don’t recommend it) your prejudice hasn’t kicked in yet. No, right now it’s just information that’s led to a raw emotion.
And if you feel that. If you feel that hopeless empty hole that something new has torn through your mind. If you feel discomfort and want something to plug the hole, something to rationalise, something to normalise-
Tell yourself the following:
- People try to be good
- People tend to be scared
- People want to be loved
It might take you minutes, it might take you weeks.
But stay in that zone, internalise the information, find the right categories in your mind.
You are now different. You are now changed. You can now face this thing as the person you were before it happened.
Don’t be afraid.
If you’re more an email person, join my mailing list. I post weekly-ish. I promise I won’t spam you.
Or read some recent posts that I am quite proud of:
- Do you ignore your tea until it gets cold?3 min quickie about when your tea goes cold. Heavy journalistic stuff. Proceed with caution.
- I took a week off work, but it didn’t change my life.5 min read about expecting too much from yourself because #alwaysbehustlin’
- My Sunday evening: doomscrolling, taking offense and yogaQuickie 2 min read about that dread you feel every Sunday evening.
- Was Valentine’s Day even relevant in the pandemic?Defending Valentine’s Day for 7 minutes straight. 7 mins of reading I mean.
- What school assignment still haunts you? Mine is the Tiger EssayGorgeous 10 min read about a formative childhood experience. With #siblinggoals