Article 43

 

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Welcome

This is a sticky post written the day we first appeared on the internet: Welcome to article43.com - a memorial to the layed off workers of (PRE SBC MERGER) AT&T, and the disappearing MIDDLE CLASS citizens of America.  It is NOT endorsed or affiliated with AT&T or the CWA in any way.

In addition to INFORMATION, resources and opinion for former AT&T workers DEALING WITH the EFFECTS OF LAYOFF and looking for meaningful employment, some articles here are meant to bring into awareness the LARGER PICTURE of corporate dominance of the UNITED STATES’ political and economic policies which brazenly DISREGARDS, disrespects and EXPLOITS worker, citizen and HUMAN RIGHTS under masks like FREE TRADE and the PATRIOT ACT - resulting in a return to a society of very rich and very poor dominated by a few very rich and powerful - whose voices are anything but - for the people. If left UNCHALLENGED, the self-serving interests of those in control may result in the end of DEMOCRACY, the end of the middle class, irreversible ENVIRONMENTAL damage to the planet, and widespread global poverty brought on by exploitation and supression of the voices of common people EVERYWHERE, while the United States turns into a REINCARNATION of the ROMAN EMPIRE.  Author Thom Hartmann shares some history and outlines some basic steps to return our country to “The People” in his two articles TEN STEPS TO RETURN TO DEMOCRACY and SAVING THE MIDDLE CLASS. I support CERNIG’S idea for a new POLITICAL MOVEMENT - if not a revolution to cleanse our country of the filth ruling it - as we EVOLVE into a GLOBAL community - assuming we learn the THE LESSONS OF OUR TIME and don’t DESTROY CIVILIZATION first.

Everything here can be viewed anonymously.  Inserting or commenting on articles requires a free user account (for former AT&T employees with a real, non throw-away, email address.) Requests to the new user registration page are redirected to BLOGGED DOT COM’S site because most new signups I get are from COMMENT SPAMMERS and their ilk, so if you want to contribute, contact me through email, phone, or some other way.

There’s no third-party scripts here like privacy-eroding WEB COUNTERS, hidden datamining widgets like Pay-Pal donation boxes, or AMAZON DOT COM tracking stuff.  The RSS feeds are pulled by the server, and have no relation to anything you may be doing here.  Standard Apache WEB LOGS of info like IP, and pages visited are rotated every few days, and used internally to check the web server’s performance.  Logs of suspicious activity may be shared with law enforcement, or other ISPs, to deal with troublemakers.  Nothing here is for sale, and donations are not solicited.

If you get an email that claims to be from somebody here that’s anything but a request to post your article, or report suspicious activity (like logs sent to an ISP to report an attack) - it’s SPAM. I do not, and will not - ever - join the junk mail sender community. There are no mechanisms to prevent anyone from forging anyone elses email address in a “from” or “reply-to” mail header. For those of us whose email addresses are fraudently used, the best we can do is filter out NDR REPORTS.

Per U.S.C. COPYRIGHT LAW - TITLE 17, SECTION 107, this not-for-profit site may reproduce copyrighted material not specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such articles will either have a web link to the source, home page, and/or show credit to the author.  If yours is here and you have a problem with that, send me an EMAIL, and I’ll take it off. Stuff I wrote carries a CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE permitting non-commercial sharing. In addition, this site’s owner forbids insertion and injecting data of any kind - especially advertisements - into ours by any person or entity.  Should you see a commercial ad that looks like it’s from here, please report it by sending me a tcpdump and/or screenshot in an EMAIL, then READ UP about how the PARTNERING OF INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS and companies like NEBUAD are DESTROYING INTERNET PRIVACY

Resumes of layed off AT&T workers are posted for free HERE.

Information on the Pension Class Action Lawsuit against AT&T is HERE.  More pension-related articles are HERE.

Links to some Telecom companies’ career pages are HERE.

Click HERE to learn a little about Article 43 and why I loathe the CWA.
Click HERE or HERE to learn what the CWA did when given a chance to do the right thing.
Click HERE for a glimpse of undemocratic and hypocritical CWA practices.
Click HERE for an article on Corporate Unionism.
Click HERE for an article of AFL-CIO’s undemocratic history.

If you’re looking for telco nostalgia, you won’t find it here.  Check out THE CENTRAL OFFICE, BELL SYSTEM MEMORIAL, MUSEUM OF COMMUNICATIONS, TELEPHONE TRIBUTE, and THE READING WORKS websites instead.

This site can disappear anytime if I run out of money to pay for luxuries like food, health care, or internet service.

Discernment of truth is left to the reader - whose encouraged to seek as much information as possible, from as many different sources as possible - and pass them through his/her own filters - before believing anything.

...the Devil is just one man with a plan, but evil, true evil, is a collaboration of men…
- Fox Mulder, X Files

No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.
- John F. Kennedy

Today my country, your country and the Earth face a corporate holocaust against human and Earthly rights. I call their efforts a holocaust because when giant corporations wield human rights backed by constitutions and the law (and therefore enforced by police, the courts, and armed forces) and sanctioned by cultural norms, the rights of people, other species and the Earth are annihilated.
- Richard L. Grossman

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
- Albert Einstein

He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust.
- Aquinas

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
- Bishop Desmond Tutu

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Martin Luther King Jr

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
- Benjamin Franklin

If we do not hang together, we will surely hang separately.
- Benjamin Franklin

We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war.
- Albert Einstein

Solidarity has always been key to political and economic advance by working families, and it is key to mastering the politics of globalization.
- Thomas Palley

Update 8/11/07 - As we head into the next depression, fueled by selfish corporate greed, and a corrupt, SOCIOPATHIC US government, MIKE WHITNEY has a solution that makes a lot of sense to me:

The impending credit crisis cant be avoided, but it could be mitigated by taking radical steps to soften the blow. Emergency changes to the federal tax code could put more money in the hands of maxed-out consumers and keep the economy sputtering along while efforts are made to curtail the ruinous trade deficit. We should eliminate the Social Security tax for any couple making under $60, 000 per year and restore the 1953 tax-brackets for Americans highest earners so that the upper 1%-- who have benefited the most from the years of prosperity---will be required to pay 93% of all earnings above the first $1 million income. At the same time, corporate profits should be taxed at a flat 35%, while capital gains should be locked in at 35%. No loopholes. No exceptions.

Congress should initiate a program of incentives for reopening American factories and provide generous subsidies to rebuild US manufacturing. The emphasis should be on reestablishing a competitive market for US exports while developing the new technologies which will address the imminent problems of environmental degradation, global warming, peak oil, overpopulation, resource scarcity, disease and food production. Off-shoring of American jobs should be penalized by tariffs levied against the offending industries.

The oil and natural gas industries should be nationalized with the profits earmarked for vocational training, free college tuition, universal health care and improvements to then nations infrastructure.

Posted by Admin on 09/05/04 •

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Can I Get PTSD From My Job

image: tormented man

Can I Get PTSD From My Job?

By Dr Z.
PTSD Spirituality
January 23, 2010

PTSD can be caused by four broad categories of trauma.  PTSD wounds our souls.  We usually think of rape or military service or natural disasters as causing PTSD.  Yet, a question I sometimes get is, “Can I get PTSD from my civilian job?” (This essay was expanded on 24 Jan 2010)

The short answer is “Yes.”

Does It Matter How I Got PTSD?

PTSD does not care how you got traumatised.  It just cares that you did get traumatised and then it tries to isolate and harm you.  If you get PTSD from a civilian employment situation, you still get to experience the same PTSD symptoms and PTSD-Identity that soldiers and veterans get.

When I listen to military veterans, rape survivors, and others, they almost all exhibit similar PTSD symptoms.  But they all got PTSD producing trauma in individual and different ways.  Hopefully, as American society matures, we will realize the point is not how did I get PTSD, but that I have PTSD.  People who have their souls wounded by PTSD, regardless of how they got it, need our prayers and compassion.  Some of them will also need medical treatment for symptoms.

Compassion Deficit Disorder

When dealing with my own PTSD, and when I help others realize they have value in spite of their PTSD, I still frequently find people (who have usually not suffered much themselves) judging what sort of trauma is worthy of PTSD and hence, their compassion.  If someone is in pain, they are worthy of our compassion.

But what about compassion deniers who themselves suffered from real trauma in their own lives?  Sometime people will suffer from COMPASSION DEFICIT disorder because when they suffered people showed them zero compassion. They were told to just get on with it, or quit whining.  That treatment added to their own suffering.  Unfortunately, they then fell into the trap of treating others with the same lack of compassion.  When we recognise someone elses suffering and can be compassionate, not only do we help them heal, but we heal a little more ourselves.

The PTSD-Identity wants to deny our own need for compassion and it denies that anyone else needs compassion.  It knows that your soul will start to heal if you allow yourself to be compassionate.

PTSD From Civilian Jobs?

f your job routinely involves trauma then you can easily acquire PTSD from your job.  Firefighters, police officers, emergency room technicians and paramedics can all be at heightened risk for PTSD.

Trauma From “Non-Emergency” Jobs?

This has more to do with the work environment, the sort of culture that the company allowed to develop. 

Employment which is high stress, high risk, or with horrible supervisors or co-workers can all cause PTSD in their ways. If your co-workers are sexist or racists, that produces stress.  If your boss is a screamer or sets you up to fail, that is also difficult to deal with.

PTSD risks beyond the job’s culture happens when trauma shows up unexpectedly.  Then PTSD can be acquired in jobs that are not normally considered as emergency work.  In fact, if your job is one that we dont expect to be stressful or traumatic, we can be caught off guard and even more easily harmed when things get horrible.  For example, a bank teller is not an emergency trauma worker.  If there is a shooting in the bank, the tellers can get PTSD.

Harrassment Can Cause PTSD

If your employment culture allows you to be harrassed, then you can get PTSD.  Work place law even recognises that verbal harrassment is a criminal offense and companies have paid substantial fines for allowing it.  Subtle discrimination on the job can also traumatize a person, especially when every job is at risk due to the profit first, people never machinations of Wall Street financiers and moving our manufacturing jobs out of the country.

Harrasment, on the job or not, is always despicable.  In some cases it will traumatise us so deeply as to wound our soul and hinder our ability to have proper relationships.

Business Uncertainty and Unemployment Are Trauma Producing

The recession can cause PTSD for some people.  The stresses of round after round of layoffs is a traumatic experience. It is traumatic to be laid off (fired?) from your job.  It is stressful and traumatic waiting to see if your name is on the next list of people who are dismissed.

Being unemployed can also cause trauma.  Applying for unemployment or welfare is stigmatized in American society.  Even if you lose your job through no fault of your own, people act as if you are a leper. And if you have kids who are members of the “Entitlement Generation,” then not having the money (or the credit) to keep them in clothes and electronics can also be traumatic.

PTSD is Not Inevitable

We are not all fated to get PTSD.  Yet, we are all at risk of being traumatized.  Knowing that it can happen and that PTSD is a normal outcome of trauma can help us more easily heal.

Regardless of how we get the soul wound of PTSD, we still need prayer and hope.  We still need compassion and forgiveness.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 06/14/16 •
Section Dying America • Section Workplace • Section Spiritual Diversions • Section Personal
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Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Democracy Hollowed Out Part 33 - Shut Down the Democratic National Convention

image: head in sand

Shut Down the Democratic National Convention

By Chris Hedges
Truth Dig
June 5, 2016

On July 25, opening day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Cheri Honkala, leader of the POOR PEOPLE’S ECONOMIC HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN, who was denied a permit to march by city authorities, will rally with thousands of protesters outside City Hall. Defying the police, they will march up Broad Street to the convention.

We will recapture our democracy in the streets of cities such as Philadelphia, not in convention halls such as the aptly named Wells Fargo Center, where the Democratic Party elites intend to celebrate the results of the rigged primary elections and the continuity of corporate power.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, other activists and I will march with Honkala. It is not as if we have a choice. No one invited us into the center or to the lavish corporate-sponsored receptions. No one anointed us to be Clinton superdelegatesa privilege that went to corporate lobbyists, rich people and party hacks. No one in the Democratic establishment gives a damn what we think.

The convention is not our party. It is their party. It costs a lot of money to attend. Donate $100,000 and you become an “empire donor,” with perks such as “VIP” credentials for all convention proceedings, along with tickets to lavish corporate and Party receptions, photo ops with politicians at the convention podium, four rooms at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel and a suite at a Yankees game, where a “special guest” will be present. Short of $100,000? You can become a “gold donor” for $50,000, a “silver donor” for $25,000 or a “bronze donor” for $10,000.

We have the best democracy money can buy. The Wells Fargo Center and the fancy hotels in Philadelphia will be swarming with corporate representatives and lobbyists from Comcast, Xerox, Google and dozens of other companies that manage our political theater.

Honkala, who was once homeless - she lived for a while out of cars, in abandoned houses and under bridgesand who was the Green Party’s vice presidential candidate in 2012, has long defied the elites on behalf of the marginalized and the poor. She led a protest at the 2000 Republican National Convention, (after being denied a permit for that as well), which saw 30,000 people shut down Philadelphias center over issues such as racial discrimination, police violence and poverty. She has fought for the homeless, the unemployed and the underemployed for three decades, through acts of civil disobedience - marches, the construction of tent cities and homeless encampments, and sit-insthat often ended in arrests. She has been arrested more than 200 times.

She will be on the south side of Philadelphia’s City Hall at 3 p.m. on July 25, with or without a permit. And thousands for whom the Democratic Party is another face of the corporate enemy will be there with her. (Contacts for the march are (215) 869-4753 or cherihonkalappehrc at gmail.com.)

“Philadelphia has a poverty rate of 26 percent,” she said when I reached her by phone. “It has the highest number of people who die from drug overdoses in the country. The city has not housed anyone within the homeless population within 10 months. It has lost its state certification for the Department of Human Services child protection agency because of gross negligence and substandard conditions for children. Foster kids are stuck in an abusive system. Hundreds are not being placed. And at the same time, the city will spend $43 million on security for the convention. It will spend upwards of $60 million to house millionaires and billionaires while it ignores the vulnerable and attempts, by denying us a permit to march, to render them invisible.”

She said that “the difference between the march she led in 2000 and the one planned for July is that things are four times worse.” She spoke about her north Philadelphia neighborhood, Kensington, the poorest district in the state. It has one of the highest homicide rates in the nation. It has a large homeless population. It has a poverty rate of 46.9 percent. The food bank is protected by barbed wire.

“Back then, someone could work three or even four jobs and barely survive,” she said. “I live in a neighborhood now of the permanently unemployed. There is an underground economy. We have to collectively keep each other alive. There are hundreds of young men who are not just attempting to live on a dollar a day, but go a couple of weeks with nothing. We try to figure out how to find food and housing. We try to figure out how to keep alive.”

The loss of faith in the political system and neoliberal ideology is widespread. The corporate elites are pouring $5 billion into the carnival of presidential electoral politics in a desperate bid to keep us mesmerized and controlled. Democracy is endlessly invoked on the airwaves to legitimize the corporate and political forces that have destroyed it. Congress has an approval rating of 11 percent. Half of qualified voters are not registered to vote, and half of registered voters do not go to the polls. A little more than half of 25 percentno more than 15 percent - of the electorate determines who becomes president. And this is the way the elites want it.

In our system of inverted totalitarianism, the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin pointed out, the object is to demobilize the citizenry, to render it apathetic, to convince the citizen that all political activity that does not take place within the narrow boundaries defined by the corporate state is futile. This is a message hammered into public consciousness by the corporate media, which serve as highly paid courtiers to the corporate elites. It is championed by the two parties that offer up fear of the other as their primary political platform.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton hold the highest candidate disapproval ratings in American historyin that order. These two candidates, the system insists, are the only דrational options. Step outside the system and you are disappeared or ridiculed. Acceptable political opinions, as Wolin wrote, are ԓmeasurable responses to questions predesigned to elicit them. We vote, in the end, for skillfully manufactured personalities. Neither Trump nor Clinton in office will hinder corporate hegemony. Nothing will change until we revolt, until we defy the corporate system, until we wake from our civic stupor. The goal of the elites is to keep us pacified.

“The crucial element that sets off inverted totalitarianism from Nazism is that while the latter imposed a regime of mobilization upon its citizenry, inverted totalitarianism works to depoliticize its citizens, thus paying a left-handed compliment to the prior experience of democratization,” Wolin wrote in Politics and Vision. “Where the Nazis strove to give the masses a sense of collective power and confidence, Kraft durch Freude (or strength through joy), the inverted regime promotes a SENSE OF WEAKNESS, collective futility that culminates in the erosion of the democratic faith, in political apathy and the PRIVATIZATION OF THE SELF. Where the Nazis wanted a continuously mobilized society that would support its masters without complaint and enthusiastically vote yes at the managed plebiscites, the elite of inverted totalitarianism wants a politically demobilized society that hardly votes at all.”

The growing consternation of the state is apparent. Meetings held by groups that are considering protesting during the convention are routinely monitored by what Honkala called “floorwalkers,” whom she suspects work for the police, Homeland Security or the FBI.

ԓThese meetings are saturated with floorwalkers, she said. ԓThey say they are Burnersђ [those who say if Bernie Sanders is not elected there should be a political revolution] or from Occupy, and they are on our side. We are approached at every meeting. We are questioned by these floorwalkers about whether we will engage in violence during the convention. They want to know if we plan to be arrested. Are we going to do sit-ins? They tell us we have been infiltrated and point out people in the room, who, they say, are undercover cops. They are men and women. That is what we see face to face. They are also all over social media. The Clinton elements attack me for not being a true woman. They say I am a saboteur who will be responsible for electing Trump. They call us spoilers. They tell us not to march.

“We don’t have any choices anymore,” she went on. “I have been doing this work for almost 30 years. In the documentary made about our march during the Republican National Convention in 2000, there are eight people in the film that are now dead. The poor live in a war zone. I do not know if my kid will get to school or come back alive, and this is even if he has a school to go to, because they are talking about closing down more schools. We either do everything we possibly can to build an independent political party, or we will have to organize the next American Spring. THE POOR are barely surviving. The planet as we know it may soon not be in existence. Across the street from where I live, five people were shot, all on the same day. Three of them were teenagers who died. Our kids are exploitable or expendable.”

Her neighborhood, she said, is a biohazard. It is filled with refineries and waste-storage facilities. Miscarriages, asthma, diabetes and cancer are epidemic. Low-income people CAN’T AFFORD OBAMACARE. They pay the PENALTY on their taxes. And health issues, including life-threatening illnesses, usually go untreated.

Honkala is preparing for a confrontation.

“What happens before a lot of these events is they come and lock me up,” she said. “This is what happened before the [1999 World Trade Organization protests]. This is what happened when they opened the Constitution Center and we protested. I am trying to figure out how to keep cameras around me for safety reasons before the march. We need people to witness this. The last thing poor folks have is THEIR VOICE. We can’t let that be taken too.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 06/08/16 •
Section Dying America
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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Steady Fall Of Labor Participation

image: Truth is Treason

Why you should never blindly trust the official unemployment rate

By Jeff Spross
The Week
June 6, 2016

Friday’s JOB REPORT was a study in whiplash.

The unemployment rate dropped a remarkable 0.3 percentage points: It was 5 percent in April, and fell to 4.7 percent in May.

Which sounds great!

But only 38,000 jobs were created last month. That’s absolutely abysmal. It’s likely the Verizon strike TEMPORARILY ELIMINATED 35,000 to 40,000 jobs in May, which will return now that the strike is over. But even that would’ve only brought May’s count to just under 80,000 new jobs. By COMPARISON, 2015 averaged 221,000 jobs per month, and 2014 averaged 260,000 per month. On top of that, job creation numbers for both March and April were revised down for a total loss of 59,000.

Which is not good at all.

The way to make sense of these two conflicting indicators is to realize the unemployment rate is not always the best indicator of the economy’s health. In fact, it’s probably a much worse indicator right now than it’s been in a long time.

Friday’s jobs report actually provides an excellent opportunity to explain why.

There’s some silly CONSIPRACY-MONGERING out there about how the unemployment rate isn’t the “real” unemployment rate.

But the thing to realize is that the “official” unemployment rate is designed to measure a specific thing, and you can’t ask that measurement to tell you more about the economy than it’s designed to. The “official” unemployment rate everyone always talks about is actually called the ”U-3” rate, and it’s the total number of unemployed Americans as a percentage of the labor force.

So what does that mean? The labor force is everyone over the age of 16 who is either employed or has looked for a job within the last four weeks. So a 4.7 percent unemployment rate means 4.7 percent of that population doesn’t have a job.

Now let’s look at another measure the government tracks: the EMPLOYMENT-TO-POPULATION ratio. This is the percentage of everyone over the age of 16 who has a job. And it held steady: 59.7 percent in April and 59.7 percent in May.

So the percentage of everyone over age 16 who is unemployed held steady. But the percentage of people over 16 who looked for work in the last four weeks and who are unemployed fell. How did that happen? Because some of them stopped looking for work. They left the labor force, not because they found a job, but because they no longer met the criterion.

You can see it in the data that doesn’t get the headline treatment: The labor force participation rate itself fell from 62.8 percent to 62.6 percent in May. And the number of unemployed people who stopped looking for work ticked up sharply.

Obviously, that’s all bad. But the way the math works, it results in a lower official unemployment rate.

This all gets at a deeper problem. The official unemployment rate is affected by the health of the economy. But the labor force participation rate is affected by it, too. It fell from 67 percent in the late ‘90s to 66 percent after the 2001 recession and never recovered. Then it fell again after the Great Recession, all the way down to between 62 and 63 percent. It has yet to recover.

image: Labor Participation Rate May 2016

It looked like the labor force participation rate might have finally started climbing again, but its fall over the last two months basically wiped out all its gains. The one bit of good news is that its post-Great Recession drop leveled off around the start of 2014, and there’s no sign yet it’s starting a new fall.

Now, some of that collapse is due to normal demographics changes, in particular old and retired people becoming a bigger share of the overall population. But that doesn’t account for all of the collapse. Some of it is people giving up because they just can’t find work. That means, until the labor force participation rate recovers by several percentage points, the official unemployment rate simply won’t be a good measure of the health of the economy.

“A 5 percent unemployment rate today is a distinctly different indication of labor market slack than a 5 percent unemployment rate would have been before the recession, in 2007,” Patrick O’Keefe, director of economic research at the accounting firm CohnReznick, told The New York Times.

So what should we be looking at to judge the health of the economy?

There are actually SIX different measures of unemployment the government tracks: “U-1” through “U-6.” The U-6 RATE in particular is WORTH WATCHING when labor force participation is depressed; it INCLUDES unemployed people who look for work less often and people who want to work full-time but can only find part-time jobs, for instance. There’s also the EMPLOYMENT-TO-POPULATION RATIO FOR AGES 25-54. That is, out of all Americans age 25 to 54, what percentage has jobs? It’s HELPFUL because it filters out a lot of the demographic questions like whether people are retired or students - that bedevils other measures.

But ultimately, the best measure is just THE RATE at which wages are growing. The economy is at full health when the number of jobs available matches the number of people who want to work. When that happens, workers stop competing for jobs, and employers start competing for workers, which causes wages to rise.

Back at the height of the 1990s boom, wages grew at roughly 4 percent. Right now they’re growing at around 2.5 PERCENT.

So we’ve got the metrics to tell us how well the economy is (or isn’t) doing. We just have to be more flexible about which ones we use.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 06/07/16 •
Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression
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Monday, June 06, 2016

To Anyone Who Thinks They’re Falling Behind In Life

By Jamie Varon
Huffington Post
February 9, 2016

You don’t need more motivation. You don’t need to be inspired to action. You don’t need to read any more lists and posts about how you’re not doing enough.

We act as if we can read enough articles and enough little Pinterest quotes and suddenly the little switch in our brain will put us into action. But, honestly, here’s the thing that nobody really talks about when it comes to success and motivation and willpower and goals and productivity and all those little buzzwords that have come into popularity: you are as you are until you’re not. You change when you want to change. You put your ideas into action in the timing that is best. That’s just how it happens.

And what I think we all need more than anything is this: permission to be wherever the fuck we are when we’re there.

You’re not a robot. You can’t just conjure up motivation when you don’t have it. Sometimes you’re going through something. Sometimes life has happened. Life! Remember life? Yeah, it teaches you things and sometimes makes you go the long way around for your biggest lessons.

You don’t get to control everything. You can wake up at 5 a.m. every day until you’re tired and broken, but if the words or the painting or the ideas don’t want to come to fruition, they won’t. You can show up every day to your best intentions, but if it’s not the time, it’s just not the fucking time. You need to give yourself permission to be a human being.

Sometimes the novel is not ready to be written because you haven’t met the inspiration for your main character yet. Sometimes you need two more years of life experience before you can make your masterpiece into something that will feel real and true and raw to other people. Sometimes you’re not falling in love because whatever you need to know about yourself is only knowable through solitude. Sometimes you haven’t met your next collaborator. Sometimes your sadness encircles you because, one day, it will be the opus upon which you build your life.

We all know this: Our experience cannot always be manipulated. Yet, we don’t act as though we know this truth. We try so hard to manipulate and control our lives, to make creativity into a game to win, to shortcut success because others say they have, to process emotions and uncertainty as if these are linear journeys.

You don’t get to game the system of your life. You just don’t. You don’t get to control every outcome and aspect as a way to never give in to the uncertainty and unpredictability of something that’s beyond what you understand. It’s the BASIS OF PRESENCE - to show up as you are in this moment and let that be enough.

Yet, we don’t act in a way that supports this lifestyle. We fill every minute with productivity tools and read 30-point lists on how to better drive out natural, human impulse. We often forget that we are as we are until we’re not. We are the same until we’re changed. We can move that a bit further by putting into place healthy habits and to show up to our lives in a way that fosters growth, but we can’t game timing.

Timing is the one thing that we often forget to surrender to.

Things are dark until they’re not. Most of our unhappiness stems from the belief that our lives should be different than they are. We believe we have control. and our self-loathing and self-hatred comes from this idea that we should be able to change our circumstances, that we should be richer or hotter or better or happier. While self-responsibility is empowering, it can often lead to this resentment and bitterness that none of us need to be holding within us. We have to put in our best efforts and then give ourselves permission to let whatever happens to happen--and to not feel so directly and vulnerably tied to outcomes. Opportunities often don’t show up in the way we think they will.

You don’t need more motivation or inspiration to create the life you want. You need less shame around the idea that you’re not doing your best. You need to stop listening to people who are in vastly different life circumstances and life stages than you tell you that you’re just not doing or being enough. You need to let timing do what it needs to do. You need to see lessons where you see barriers. You need to understand that what’s right now becomes inspiration later. You need to see that wherever you are now is what becomes your identity later.

Sometimes we’re not yet the people we need to be in order to contain the desires we have. Sometimes we have to let ourselves evolve into the place where we can allow what we want to transpire.

Let’s just say that whatever you want, you want it enough. So much so that you’re making yourself miserable in order to achieve it. What about chilling out?  Maybe your motivation isn’t the problem, but that you keep pushing a boulder up a mountain that only grows in size the more you push.

There’s a magic beyond us that works in ways we can’t understand. We can’t game it. We can’t 10-point list it. We can’t control it. We have to just let it be, to take a fucking step back for a moment, stop beating ourselves up into oblivion, and to let the cogs turn as they will. One day, this moment will make sense. Trust that.

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Posted by Elvis on 06/06/16 •
Section Spiritual Diversions
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