Taking responsibility

This has value because it increases understanding.

I am slowly getting better. It is too slow for my liking. I am not sure I can manage it in time. I don’t know what health would look like, though at this stage too clear an idea of what health would be gets in the way of finding my true way.

I have a bleak start: Sorrow and anxiety constrain my life to Nothingness, and Nothingness exacerbates the sorrow and anxiety. I am separate from the bleakness: this is heavy, but it is better to be conscious of it, then I can question it and deal with it.

I blame myself for being in this room, for being in bleakness, for every step which has led me to this point in my life. And I have worked out that my harshness to myself is not doing any good. The other side of taking responsibility is self-blame. Taking responsibility for ones own actions is a good thing. Taking responsibility for things others are responsible for is needlessly harmful, and I don’t think there’s a magic way of hitting the precise balance and then just being OK.

Blame can be useful- I find what went wrong so it does not happen again, and also in claiming agency. And now my reflexive habit of self-blame makes me feel weak and inadequate so unable to cope with problems, makes me feel bad and drains motivation. Self-blame made the pain less:

if I am angry with other people I express it, and get squashed. If I blame myself then I keep quiet and don’t get squashed.

I am not remembering this, but it feels strongly this is where I was as a child. I now feel a tincture of exultation- it’s good to acknowledge this. I can’t name the main feeling- hurt, frustration, anger- powerlessness-

If I blame myself, if I imagine I am responsible, then I can fantasise that my actions can improve my situation. That’s reassuring. It’s not learning from mistakes, as I don’t now believe I was responsible. This may be the source of my self-image as the centre of the universe, the master of my fate.

I am partly the victim of great impersonal forces. I voted Remain, and I vote Labour. Every one of the warring factions in my brain wants my good. The reflexive self blame fails to see some of why I am here now. Meditation, contemplation might be the way to get this clear and untangled, but it’s difficult and painful so I want to avoid it.

I feel anxiety that something might happen in the next week, which is only a serious threat in the next year.

I really do create my powerlessness now. If I was tied in knots by outside forces, they are not working on me now. So it is up to me to untangle myself, and I am doing that. It’s difficult, but looking back over years of my blog I see progress, and greater understanding. But even when I have managed to get rid of most stresses on me such that all I have to do is go to the supermarket occasionally, I am still stressed and hurting.

A negative understanding comes to mind. If I have stayed right at the centre of my comfort zone, I have got out of the habit of stretching myself, which is the equivalent of my muscles atrophying, and the source of my anxiety. There’s a Chinese proverb, “A man grows most tired when standing still”. Such reflexive self-blame is not helping me right now.

My goal is to make something of my life. At the moment that only means untangling. I don’t want to tell my woes to anyone because I don’t want to see them as woes. I want to see these things as positives, that I am taking action, that I am overcoming, patiently, slowly, effectively. If I am dragging myself forward on my elbows because both legs are broken I don’t want to dwell on the fact that both my legs are broken.

I love Cardinal. The fourth series is the best since the first. A man kills people slowly and painfully in order to cause maximum hurt to their loved ones, his real victims. We see the intricacy of his plots to kill and get away with it, and the cruelty of killing by freezing to death, so there are lingering shots from a drone of frozen wastes or trees surrounded by snow. It is cathartic. We take a long journey into darkness, in the comfort of our living rooms.

I will care for each one of my warring factions, hear them out, and accept them. The snake will digest the goat eventually.

Nine years in this room. It is too slow for my liking. With nothing but being stripped of ways of being that are not working for me, and trying to find new ways of being. In healing myself I feel I am like a fly, on its back, trying to flip over, failing. I am still twitching. I will continue at least to twitch- the best I can do- until I can’t any more.

I see the difficulty of the work. Its value is not in question. I am beautiful. My light should shine, and it is for me to free it. There’s the odd flicker now and then.

I want to kiss the World better. Stand up for God’s truth and justice.

I don’t do anything for fun. I do things, sometimes, for wonder or delight.

I joined an Evangelical Quaker meeting, with a pastor, by zoom, to see what it was like. In having a pastor it seemed they made themselves lesser, by ceasing to take responsibility. I will not cease from exploration, and I will not cease to take responsibility. I will see my responsibility and what I need to do more clearly, so as to act more effectively.

These are dark times.

This is all I can do.

Here is a portrait of Edward Colston, whose statue has just been torn down and thrown into the harbour where his slave ships sailed from. Look at him in his pomp. We are still talking of the man now.

2 thoughts on “Taking responsibility

  1. Hi Clare! I’m quite new here, I found you within the last couple of weeks (I think) but I am quite interested in what you have to say on a variety of the topics you write about.
    And by the way… I love Cardinal too!


    • Welcome, Shauna. It is lovely to have you here commenting.

      Cardinal’s great. Frightening his daughter, making her miserable with his self-neglect, but still the wise, active hero who uses the clues to solve the murders and tries to save everyone.


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