To survive this universe: Find the strongest, smartest person you know. Band together.
Self-care is having (and fighting for, even at 4:00am) the energy to respond to the greatness around you (perhaps in others, or the beauty of the cosmos, the righteous indignation for the pettiness we’ve let this world become) and in you by saying no to WHATEVER DRAINS YOUR CREATIVITY by not settling for forgetfulness, the mediocre, the average, the “good enough,” the status quo. Self-care is focusing on the fierce force of birthing life while bowing to the rhythm of rest and renewal we call death. It is relishing the moist messy kiss of new beginnings by recognizing the dry and desolate whispers of fear and doubt, the negative skew of “watch out” or “don’t risk”. The delusion that I must go it alone is the separation of “sin” having its way with you. It is unholy. The holy is spiritus sanctum unifying you in me and Me in He and Me in She and She in Me and He in Me and me in you. Banding together. Fighting the good fight. Self-care is patting the base animal in me on the head while listening through the Third Ear. Good doggy. NOW RISE. The id scurries from the Thou yet hungers for it so bad it readily takes in raw flesh. The ego devours the package but in its haste demolishes the delicate flower cradled inside made of silence and light. That flower may be our gratitude, or our appreciation, or our empathy. Crushed. By the simple want of “surviving”. I tries to protect the flower, which is also human. The watch out isn’t wholly without use or merit. BUT. Animal and divine must offset each other, then what is human in us maintains its dignity. Sees the rest. Sees the whole. Peeks up to see the forlorn crouching behind the bush, or the saint looking upward in (and for) the crowd. ©Bryant Kusy 12/04/17
Barons of Suburbia take another piece of my good graces
I'm in my war you're in yours
Do we fight for peace as they take another piece of us.
That ole patriarchy. So much nausea. From Bill O’Reilly being “mad at God” about his own narcissism, to our president who epitomizes the same funhouse mirrors of egomaniacal projection, from the Catholic Church’s complicity in hiding sexual predators to the recent wave of sexual harassment uncovering. So much nausea.
My mom did not raise me as THAT kind of male. From Halliburton-esque military contracts and $1 million toilets to the feeble, mentally ill males killing innocents with rifles, when will we confront our nation’s true epidemic: toxic masculinity. When? So much nausea.
What is toxic masculinity? Is it the braggadocio machismo bravado braggart stereotype of Big Trucks and Napoleon complexes of boy-men with inferiority complexes? Or do we need to see below our stereotypes? Maybe we’ll ignore the pandemic of father absence and once more blame the mothers? Nausea.
Just yesterday: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/10/what-if-women-had-the-power/543135/
First thought: YES. Second thought: FINALLY. Third thought: Who will read this? Fourth thought: Which MEN will read this?
Tori Amos’ song ends…
I am piecing a potion
To combat your poison
She is risen
She is risen
I said she is risen
If these lyrics bother you – find a therapist. If you get angry by this post – time to pray or meditate. We see through your adolescence and it’s your turn on the boat, this nausea is no longer welcome here…
One final word. Anger is always a surface emotion, there is always loss or a deeper hurt needing recognition.
“I hold my face in my two hands
No, I am not crying.
I hold my face in my two hands
To keep my loneliness warm –
Two hands protecting
Two hands nourishing,
Two hands preventing
My soul from leaving me
I am your therapist.
I listen to you in a way that you cannot hear yourself. I accentuate patterns that say “I keep doing this.” I listen to your way of being in this world. And to what you aren’t saying, and what that “says”. I remember your triumphs when you over-focus on your blunders. I shift our attention together to the unconditional, the accepting parts of you which you neglect, or even abuse. I point out your fearfulness and source your shame. I label hurts by others so you can harden them and pick them off like scabs, revealing skin still wanting to grow. I steal back self-care from "stop being selfish," rescue speaking out against harm by modeling it for you. When crap happens I call it crap so you can smell it as crap and realize who it belongs to. I draw your attention to toxic people, often those who claim to love you but who have not grown up themselves and hardly care about your hopes, dreams and goodness. I remind us both, in the midst of the cruelty, that laughter is like signing grace quietly with our hands in a room of yelling narcissists. Together we relearn to love all we’ve disavowed. And that sometimes our words bury the truth. I teach you that abuse comes from fear, that mature love takes nothing from us, that addiction numbs us from fully living. I encourage you to take risks, to hold to your best self, despite what others might think. And about thinking, I show you that you are not your thoughts, or even your feelings, you are the one experiencing them and how you experience them determines your habits and your destiny. Your thinking is what transforms pain “this saddens me” into suffering “I am not enough”. With courage, we look into and toward instead of away. Your depression and anxiety is a nervous system trying to forget traumatic injuries, but forgetting only reinforces. These injuries are often called dysfunctional parenting. Perhaps all hurts are attachments gone wrong. What I might not tell you is that all healing is spiritual, that we must kill our egos and stories so we might grow. Together we figure out what we’ve clung to we might be free of, if we let go, and that sometimes we let go when we should fight (usually for ourselves). We see that we’re never “just” angry, and that the underlying loss or fear of loss is the reality we must face. I will believe your words but only when your body is telling me the same thing. I assess whether your love is healthy, or an addiction, if your dependencies are chosen or were born from insecurity. I make sure your fear of failure - that new career or big decision - isn’t actually fear of succeeding (meaning if I do this, I may not be the same me ever again). I am not my story, my past, or what has happened to me, if I was then there would be no great people in the world, no heroes. And there are many. Maybe every hero starts by simply shouting, “Enough.” I want you to fail, but in bigger, scarier ways. You are what remains when everything else falls away…
According to recent estimates (Greenberg, 2015), depression costs the US approximately 210 Billion annually. What is it costing your company? How do you know? What percentage of your people utilize your EAP? Do you have an EAP? And is your EAP good? Again, how do you know? When you add the costs of addiction to depression in the workplace, the parasitic losses to productivity and opportunity become near cataclysmic for certain companies. How is the mental health of your employees shaped by you, consciously or not? What is their responsibility? And yours? When is a lapse of performance or absenteeism a personnel issue? When is Mr. Machiavelli (uncomfortable cough, “Narcissist”) in the boardroom really just exhibiting mental health flags? What if this toxic individual is actually a high performer? Is there such a thing as healthy narcissism and if so, how do we manage it successfully? How do you weigh productivity with corporate citizenship that affects the whole?
Weight of the Wielding – You Deciding for Us
Etymology is your secret little weapon, and I’m not referring to bugs. Decider, latin root of decision, means to Slay. Some humans are designed for deciding. Others overthink, hem and haw, see ambivalence everywhere and cannot kill option A to follow option B. This is because people and companies are complex (too many options) but Leaders simplify the field by focusing on the goal. Reluctant leaders prune the thick forest so the best trees may flourish (people and outcomes). How? By slaying. You can fire anyone so long as you step aside when your protégé can take things beyond your capacities. And you will be wrong. Can you accept this with humility? You will hire a disaster and fire a genius. Are you good with this in an open sort of way? Or do such choices close you off, harden you, make you contract? When this happens: consult, reach out, let consensus inform. Be open to defer. But only on the mission critical items. You will decide the vast majority of steps – unless you are organized around team input. Are you and your company balancing these dynamics?