Heading off to see my shrink. Looking forward to this session, because she gave me homework (a month ago) and I finally did it: it was to draw pictures of myself. I was supposed to use some medium I was unfamiliar with, so I picked crayons.
It was a really weird experience, and I’m glad I was alone for it, because when I drew the picture of a depressed me — looked like a dripping piece of bloody meat infected with black goo — I was suddenly sobbing; but then when I drew the lively, confident, solid me — something impish with an incredibly dashing forelock — I was suddenly humming and making goofy noises. That picture is titled “Zim Zam”, for reasons that are surely obvious.
The other two were just weird, so I won’t talk about them.
Anyway, we’ll see what she says, but I like ‘em.
I ditched my smartphone the other day. I’d been thinking of doing it for a few months, on and off, but kept thinking of all the things I’d miss: GPS, streaming music, facebook. Then I got the ditching urge again and suddenly remembered some very good advice I heard once about generosity: when you get a generous impulse, follow through on it quickly before the impulse goes away. So I ditched the sucker.
Haven’t missed it a bit so far, but the plusses keep showing up: easier to get up in the morning (because no facebook), easier to get around to making dinner at night (because no facebook), no temptation to browse while driving, no empty feeling upon realising that you’ve been going in circles for the last half hour, just refreshing your twitter feed, your facebook feed, your email…
Smartphones are like cigarettes. I think they’re probably objectively good, or at least morally neutral — but for me, being what I am, I can’t go half measures. I’m either a pack-a-day smoker or not a smoker at all. Moderation in these things is, for me, impossible. If thy Google Nexus offend thee…
I have friends who don’t go out of their way to spend time with me, but who nevertheless really do enjoy my company. I always have to combat the delusion that they don’t really like spending time with me.
I also have friends who DO go out of their way to spend time with me. And I always have to combat the delusion that they’re going out of their way to spend time with me just so that I will be convinced that they really like spending time with me.
So, to reiterate: if they don’t spend time with me, I’m convinced they don’t like me. And if they do spend time with me, I’m convinced they don’t like me.
Being this neurotic is like being schizophrenic, except the voices aren’t actually audible.
“We’re hesitant to admit that our lives are difficult in any way. We feel the pain, but then we look around at our washers and dryers and smartphones and televisions and all the other trappings of our first-world lives, and we feel embarrassed to complain about anything. It feels easier, and certainly more noble, to blame ourselves, to assume that the problem must simply be moral failings and character defects on our parts.
“But what I found with my undiagnosed medical issues is that when we refuse to accept real suffering as legitimate, it actually makes it harder to be grateful. We spend so much mental energy fighting the wrong battles and beating ourselves up over phantom failings that we don’t have much energy left to take stock of all the wonderful things in our lives. Living in a false reality is exhausting and demoralizing. It’s much easier to be happy, peaceful, and close to God when we acknowledge the truth, even if that involves acknowledging that some things are hard.”
— From A meditation on the shocking idea that maybe we’re actually not just lazy whiners, by Jennifer Fulwiler
It’s a useful phrase. When I say it to my roommate, I mean something like: “Let’s touch base briefly before we both go about our business,” and he knows that’s what I mean.
But when I say it to my friend T., I mean something like: “How are you holding up? Is it getting so bad that you find it difficult to live from minute to minute without huddling up in a ball under your desk? Is there anything I can do except pray?” And he also knows that’s what I mean.
“No, hmán, it is not a few deaths roaming the world around him that make a hnau miserable. It is a bent hnau that would blacken the world. And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.”
— Hyoi in C. S. Lewis’ Out Of the Silent Planet
Why we need more sermons about homosexuality that say something besides “No”.
A thought for those who have difficulty in “handing over” their anxiety to the Lord:
You might be more successful than you think. Examine your assumptions: do you think that if you were to successfully hand over your anxiety to the Lord, your anxiety would suddenly cease?
I don’t think so. If you’ve got the flu and you decide to offer up your sufferings, your sufferings don’t go away. They might not even change in any noticeable way.
But that doesn’t mean your offering has not been accepted, and it doesn’t mean it won’t be efficacious.
How to pray in the car: imagine that the world is a jar and someone has, for a moment, unscrewed the top of it. Breeze from the outside World disturbs your hair. Then say, “Oh, hello, Lord.”
Then forget about him again, unless you have something particular to say.
After watching some Breaking Bad with my roommate, we are discussing how things might be different if we decided not to care about what was moral and what wasn’t.
He: I could be really successful in business.
Me: Really? I think I would just sleep with all the guys I could find.