Thursday, December 31, 2015

Alphabet of the Human Heart - I and J

Gosh, it's been a while since I've done one of these. Little too long perhaps !

Before I dive in - it's been a few quiet days for me, chilling, relaxing, recovering. It's what I've needed after a tiring last few years (the end is happily in sight, more in a 2015 review post coming soon ...). Plus I apparently picked up a cold ... Minor cold but still noticeable.

I've been enjoying an early look at a game called Darkest Dungeon. It's a pretty simple game, in Early Access so it's not quite finished yet (doesn't like the Steam chat overlay for one) but it has something really important : Character. You run an adventuring company where you take 4 people each time into the Dungeons. And they gradually gain stress which grants them neuroses. And those add character ... like the masochistic guy who sees an iron maiden and goes "I wanna try that!". Dark ... but character that distinguishes it from many other very flat games.

Alphabet ?

I is for Insecurity. We all have this, even those who appear super confident.

It's the private face that we hide behind what we show everyone else. It's where self doubt creeps in and affects your ability to be at your best. It's forgetting whether you've locked your front door and fretting about it all the way through a 180 mine trip to your mum and dad. What's the book say ? It's a disease that stems from negative self perceptions that say "I'm no good, I'm inadequate, I'm worthless." It can steal our lives ... but it can be overcome.

The voice saying those things comes from within, as we can be our own worst enemies. Well, you can reverse that. Remember the loving and loveable side, worthwhile and wonderful, inspiring and interesting.

I know a few people like that, they are being crippled by their insecurities. Yet I remember the loving, loveable, worthwhile, wonderful, inspiring, interesting sides of them that make them great people. Those sides are just masked by the insecurities but they're still there.

I is for Imagination. That creative spark that generates ideas.

It's that little boy who wants to be an astronaut and travel through space. That train driver who goes to new places. Games have stifled those dreams lately, as the games are driven down linear paths that squash the potenatial for going off the path. But the potential for imagination is coming back. From games like Minecraft (which I don't play) which feed that creativity by enabling the building of structures driven by imagination. I'm hoping to get into From The Depths to create some rather odd looking (and hopefully pretty) ships.

The trick is to have the tools that allow you to transfer the pictures in your mind to something everyone else can see. My mum was seeing the pictures I was taking of Ben and thinking they were great and that I should show them to a wider audience (I'm happy with the audience I have, it's small but I like you and the Facebook people). The camera is one tool for capturing what I see and hopefully getting a chuckle out of people.

The book has a lovely passage : Think really deeply about something. Then don't think about it at all. See what pops up. Then, once you've had an idea, make it real. A cake isn't a cake until it's cookied*.

*(yep - freudian typo).

I need to investigate the possibility of using my iPad as an art pad. It's been so long since I drew. I could use pencil and capture the output in my scanner but I'm curious about using the iPad for it. It's one thing asking Google for pictures of dragons, it's another being able to translate what's in my mind to something I can capture and post.

J is for Jealousy.

This is a really nasty emotion. It has us looking without at other people and what they have, instead of recognising what we have already. It's a lack of trust too.

It kills the love it seeks to protect. It can remind you of who and why you love but it brings with it pain and anxiety and heartbreak. To save a relationship, lose your jealousy (remember the love). It isn't easy, it takes time and effort. Truthfulness and trust, patience and perseverence, reality checks and reassurance. It's a labour of love.

It's one thing to want to be with someone all the time, it's another thing entirely to think you own that person's time. People need their space ! To own someone's time is to trap them. And people are much better free than in cages. Back to insecurity, especially when that cage is in their own mind. Be the person that someone wants to spend time with because there are no jealous judgments when you see each other.

Have the trust to believe that a person loves you above all others while respecting their need to run their own lives. There is no need for jealousy, seek joy instead.

J is for Joy !

It's that glee on Ben's face when it's time for meatscraps. It was having to peel Scruff off the ceiling when someone mentioned the word "Walkies". It was Goldie having the freedom to run at maximum speed.

I didn't get Joy that much with the cricket, as it usually submerged below concentration. But there were more than a few times where I went haring off around the field with my arms in aeroplane wings after seeing the stumps fly. The joy was there but it was balanced by respect for the opposition and by knowing that there was still a job to be done to win the game.

It is the happiness found deep within. It comes from our soul, not from external things. Look inside and feel the joy, soon those around you will feel it too.

There's a lovely picture in the book too. It depicts several grey men hiding under umbrellas as the rain comes down. And one pretty lady with an inside-out brolly smiling up at the rain.

I wonder whether this is what people see when they see my grin. Most people can't help themselves but grin back, which brings a little more joy to me too.

So yeah.

Insecurity leads to a mental paralysis which makes us a shadow of what we can be. Sometimes it needs a reminder that we are awesome people. Listen to supporting people that you trust, it can help you remember the lovely.
Imagination sends us in wonderful directions that we didn't think we'd go in. It lets us free our creativity. It lets us develop new skills (cough - plumbing - cough).
Jealousy leads to unhappy feelings. It creates a trap where the key to the lock is trust.
And a little joy is what we should all be looking at having and passing on.

Be more dog. Feel that joy of heading out and feeling that fresh air. Of smiling at someone and having an answering grin. By surprising someone having a hard day* with some politeness. That feeling when someone you like sends you a happy message.

*(thinking of all those people working retail in one of the worst times of the year for it!)

I hope this post gives you a little joy too.

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