Need a break? Life got you down? How about a few words to help you feel better about confusion?
It’s okay when nothing makes sense. Because “All Reasoning Is Futile.”
My story’s a bit extreme, but ‘typical’ seems a thing of the past now, so I’ll go out on a limb and share it.
I’ve seen myself as an architect for most of my life. But in 2010, out of work and deeply stressed, I began to experience psychic phenomena. With no frame of reference or mentorship, it was scary, and I was unprepared.
When I began ‘channeling’ — if that’s even what it was — I grasped desperately for explanations. Why was I spending my time this way? How could I ensure that these creations — the words I committed to paper, the images that flowed from my head and heart — weren’t merely random products of messed-up brain chemistry, anxiety, and sleep deprivation?
Who was I kidding? I couldn’t ensure anything. Logic, proof, and guarantees don’t mix well with the paranormal. Or the delusional. I understood what the doctors said. I took the meds — to no effect. Agonized, I couldn’t apply the balm of ‘Reason’ to what every atom of ‘Leslee’ compelled me to experience and share. ‘Reason’ became irrelevant.
And I wondered why this stuff was bubbling up now? I didn’t need more drama.
Then I remembered: I’d asked for it. I’ve always been a spiritual seeker, corny as it sounds. I’d prayed for help to understand my life — and this world. ‘Guides’ popped up, and they explained it to me, but not in terms that I dared share with anyone outside my blogging world. It smacked of lunacy.
By 2011, my therapies of choice — channeling, journaling, and blogging — allowed my mind to billow like a ship’s sails in a hurricane — without ripping apart. Steam blew off (hopefully) harmlessly; anxiety skipped away like seafoam in a gust. If I loosened my tether and flew about peeking into other worlds, I could more willingly return and plant both feet on the ground I shared with other humans. I didn’t feel deprived or bitter on Earth as long as I indulged a bit.
Around that time, the phrase quoted above arrived during a session of channeling/hoodoo/nonsense: “All reasoning is futile.”
I scoffed out loud. “Oh, is that my problem?” I asked, “I’m trying too hard to reason?”
The answer resounded, “Yes.”
The idea of tossing out ‘Reason’ contradicted my upbringing and what I’d learned in school and the corporate world. It flies in the face of Western culture. But the machete-whacked path of my life had already meandered far outside traditional Western cultural boundaries. If anything, applying logic inferred this: the explanations for the non-traditional phenomena I experienced must also be non-traditional.
Once I realized it was silly of me to expect ‘Reason’ to function in that aspect of my life, things ran smoother. I suppose it’s a form of letting go, to accept the ridiculous when life gets crazy. Meditative practices help reveal the nature of the mind — generally while sitting or walking in silence. But when life careens out of control, we crave parallel-play methods to alleviate the temporary insanity and feel like we’re not alone. Sometimes we need fire to fight fire.
The decade since has shown me that I’m always learning and transforming. I don’t ‘channel’ anymore. Pendulums and charts still litter my rooms, but for mostly sentimental reasons. They make great bookmarks. Seasons pass, and I grow more comfortable with my scarred brain, my non-typical neurology, and my off-the-wall inspirations. I don’t crave exotic, mind-blowing phenomena like I used to. Or attention.
Now I know I’m not ‘normal,’ so there’s nothing to prove. I can relax. And I can stop hoping that ‘normal’ people will develop an interest in my woo-woo life.
It takes time to adjust to new conditions and paradigms, but if we allow that, like learning to play a musical instrument, we develop muscle memory and virtuosity. I think this approach applies to all of life’s aspects. When we open ourselves to surprising possibilities in the face of confusion and fear, we transform.
My first brain injury in 2016 showed me that drastic change could blindside me in a flash. Unlike before, I couldn’t roll with the punches and practice my manners if I couldn’t filter people’s voices. Or when typical light-levels made my eyes spasm, my head pound, and my body crumple. Subsequent concussions and chronic PTSD stripped away more of the masks and defenses I’d constructed since childhood.
Research — yep, I still looked for that ‘Reason’ hook — gave me a new vocabulary. Vocabularies wield power to soothe. Now I can use words that most folks understand: I’m Autistic (instead of eccentric); I’m an HSP — a Highly-Sensitive-Person (um, that still means overly sensitive, but it doesn’t stick in the craw like ‘psychic’); I have a Vivid Inner World (instead of seeming psychotic or schizo); I experience Social Awkwardness (instead of being aloof and weird), and I have Sensory and Verbal Processing Issues (instead of more eccentricity or slowness).
Lately — especially during this election week in America — apparent madness abounds. I don’t expect it to calm down anytime soon, no matter who wins the presidential contest. Many of us have gone off the rails. I feel a little guilty to admit I enjoy parts of it; nothing captures people’s attention like a bombshell. This unfamiliar, terrifying world deserves a new vocabulary to soften the shock.
Pandemic rages; it has upended people’s lives. Working at home always suited me; I feel like a fish in my favorite water. But corporate reactionists and adrenalin junkies must schedule their rants and meltdowns with video apps. I empathize with their torment. Suffering the whims of others for forty years, I know how that frustration feels.
I’ve always known that 60-hour workweeks would kill me someday. Now that I’m almost penniless and in the disability application process, I get enough sleep, feel like I might live past 60, and enjoy my days. Ironically, the Pandemic permits me to stop worrying. Best of all, with no corporate affiliations, I can say what I think. I can finally advocate for professional women and people with Mental Health Issues, Chronic Illness, and Autism without wondering when I’ll get called into the Principal’s office.
Could I, ever in a million years (okay, yes, that’s hyperbole), have guessed that international crises would bring the most inner peace I’ve felt in years? Nope. Does it make sense? Nope. Do I feel bad about it? Not a chance.
Because “All Reasoning Is Futile” and the broken paradigm no longer functions. We get to create a new world. What an honor.