Thursday, November 2

Tainted/Cynical/Skeptical, Inevitable?

As I approach yet another birthday, and feel this sense of “older” that I both love and hate, I come to write about cynicism. How can one grow older and continue learning that people disappoint, continue learning that life is a ball of hardness wrapped in layers of giggles, smiles, tears, and heartache; while NOT growing cynical? It seems a bit impossible really. (Just like learning there is no Santa, that you are too big to trick-or-treat, and that the Easter bunny is just a pagan symbol that represents energetic breeding.) Getting older comes with getting wiser, and with the wise-ness comes cynicism.

I’ve said before that I don’t want to be the person that allows a broken heart to shut off my heart entirely. Having seen this living example, and not wanting to be like that person, I still find it a conscious choice I have to make as I find myself being faced with emotions and feelings that look, sound, taste, and feel like something that could rip me open again to bleed love and adoration all over my tear-stained bed.
But to even open my mind to that memory, I am looking into a possibly non-existent future of pain. What if my current crescendo of what might be love does not peak and rip me open to experience the diminuendo of breaking heart and putting oneself back together with invisible stitches? What if the skeptical and cynical nature of these thoughts are a complete waste of energy and actually a creation of burden for myself I needn’t choose?

Ya, I feel like cynicism is inevitable, but rationally, I have to accept it is still A CHOICE. And really, my choice of feeling it is experience based, so I have to consciously set the experience down making me more cynical and tell it I am not going to carry it like a weight. Better than calling it a weight, would be to call it a gallon of paint. If the experience creates this gallon of cynicism paint that I fill my hands with, I have to then deal with the fact it’s not light, it’s not easy to multitask with it in my hands, and the frequency with which I open that gallon of cynicism, shove in my paintbrush, and paint it onto things around me is MY CHOICE. If I set that gallon down, I don’t forget it just because I set it down, and that too needs to be pointed out. Setting it down isn’t going to make me forget history, it isn’t going to make the cynicism paint disappear, and so there SHOULD be some part of me that can relax a bit without the need to be painting everything and carrying that heavy thing around. It requires being conscious of it!

Can I avoid painting it all over something that currently looks very beautiful and feels very right? Can I also stop the cynicism from becoming skepticism? A quote that fits this subject perfectly:

“Skepticism is as much the result of knowledge, as knowledge is of skepticism. To be content with what we at present know, is, for the most part, to shut our ears against conviction; since, from the very gradual character of our education, we must continually forget, and emancipate ourselves from, knowledge previously acquired; we must set aside old notions and embrace fresh ones; and, as we learn, we must be daily unlearning something which it has cost us no small labour and anxiety to acquire.”  -THEODORE ALOIS BUCKLEY

There is no better way to put it. One becomes tainted, cynical, and skeptical after experience… I’m keen to turn all experience into useable knowledge, and therefore, to say “no small labour…”, That is exactly right. But how capable am I to “…continually forget and emancipate” myself from knowledge previously acquired and allow myself those fresh ones?




Am I someone strong enough to move forward? Am I strong enough to not paint everything and shut all my doors to not be open to what would ultimately equate to happiness? I think I am. The fact I HAVE been through the need for those invisible stitches, the fact I have thicker scar tissue, the fact I even own that can of paint… this all points quite clearly to me being strong enough. If I ever decide I’m not strong enough, that is a choice. See… the nature of decide proves it’s a choice.

If there were a giant “sum up” to this subject, it would be the fact we are ruled by love and fear. We by nature -love, we by experience -fear. Ya that’s the oversimplified version of this subject and it lives in that giant section of the library only labeled LIFE, but if life is what we are doing… how deep do you want to tip the scales to fear? How deep do you want to tip the scales to love? Yes both are painful, but if life is to be lived, where those scales tip, and what paint you are painting, is your call.

I’m going to try and do my best. Maybe somewhere out there is something I’ve heard about. They call it success.

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