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Saturday, February 22, 2014

MAKING MY OWN DECISIONS

bradley walker tomlin

Talking with my friend Kathryn, the subject of the feminine came up. I noted that I had a thought a few days ago about next lifetime. Would I want a female lifetime? Answer came back: NO. Why? The vulnerability. I'm perhaps over-sensitive to being vulnerable. The degree of my sensitivity to the vulnerable equals how much I don't like it. In one sense, it means I embrace being grounded. I like the ground. When somebody tells me about a new discovery that we can leave our bodies by way of certain meditations or medications, I'm not interested. I may be interested to hear about it, but I'm not willing to attempt it. Leaving the body strikes me as dangerous as swimming after eating. My first apprehension is what if I can't find my way back to the body? For such a trip, I would need the guidance of an experienced shaman. I would not do it as a parlor game because it is too vulnerable a situation. A major reason I don't ride motorcycles. An emergency room nurse convinced me that apprehension about motorcycles is good sense. Everyone I know who rides motorcycles has wipe-out stories. I don't want to wreck in a car, certainly not a motorcycle. I don't like to do anything that has a risk factor. Even starting a new painting with a blank canvas feels like risk, but it does not have emergency room potential. It's like stage fright. I've learned long ago I have no luck gambling. None. I realize my luck factor is less than 50-50. I don't ever take a chance anymore that has luck involved. I'm like the country song, if it wasn't for bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all. I'm not one who can shake dice in my hand, blow a mojo on them, and roll the number I want. Say four people are playing a board game that involves dice, any four people, any game. I lose. I can go into it with positive thinking, right intent, a lucky charm, a prayer. I lose. I know by this time in the life to stay away from anything involving chance where life decisions are concerned. I like chance aesthetically, but not for practical matters that require decisions. Even then, I don't like to shut it out, would rather be open to it.
 
bradley walker tomlin
 
In my childhood I was not allowed to make decisions for myself. Leaving parents, decision making was new and I made some really ignorant decisions that followed me for several years. Parents were not decision makers either. They went to a church that made decisions for them. First thing I did, cut loose in the world, was look for somebody to make decisions for me. That was the biggest disaster of all. It took several years to bear down on it and, first, recognize I was unable to make an intelligent decision. By parent and church example I only knew how to react, not how to respond. I had the Billy Budd disease. Assaulted verbally, I could not defend myself or stand up for myself. I could only be silent and churn like a whirlwind of fire inside. What I wanted to say would have got me killed. I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for several years. Still have it pretty bad. It's more mental now. Before, it controlled my movements, everything. I left their influence seething so deeply in hatred that one day age 27 I got with myself, told myself from conscious mind to subconscious mind, it's time to let go of the hatred. The source of the hatred was over a thousand miles away. I'd seethed with that hatred in my heart until I couldn't stand it anymore. One day I threw it off, said I'm not living in hate anymore. I've found forgiveness difficult unto impossible, such that I don't care anymore. Wanting "to be a better person," I looked for ways to set forgiveness in motion, but couldn't do it. Finally, I said, Live with it---to hell with trying to deal with it any more---let it rest, accept it---I really don't want to forgive, so let that be the end of it. And it was the end of it. I let it go. It continues with me in a box in a closet, and that's ok by me. I can't deal with it, so in the box is the best place for it. I've never had a worse enemy. This one I had no defenses against, and no recourse, making the kid hate it all the more. It made the kid determined that in adult life no individual will take charge of my decision making. Nobody but me will make my decisions.

bradley walker tomlin

I've kept it that way ever since. Somebody wants to take over my decision making for myself, it ends in a squabble of some sort, because I don't allow it, the other gets mad, I get mad, and inside myself I make my definitive decision and that's it, it's over. When somebody makes the first bid to take over my decision making, telling me what I must do, it goes no further than that. The one thing I hold to jealously is making my own decisions. I've been called independent and arrogant. Lines from an early song Bob Dylan composed would come to mind, "Call me anything you like, I will never deny it... Farewell Angelina, I must go where it's quiet." The funny part was when I finally caught on how to stop others from telling me what decisions to make for myself, the whole phenomenon ended. It was the end of people getting in my face telling me what to do. It was like until I made the decision within, something in me invited being told what to do. I was sending out invitations to tell me what to do, then rejecting the counsel for telling me what to do. I think that's called something like a double-bind. In a hell-if-you-do-hell-if-you-don't situation, I go with what I want to do. In conversation with an old-time preacher years ago, I said to him, "If everything is a sin, I'm free. I can do anything." He said, "No, you're not." I said, "If everything is a sin, then nothing is a sin." He said, "No, it's not." I didn't take it any further. We were coming from different cosmologies. He was pre-Copernicus, I was post-Darwin. He couldn't accept round earth, and sure as hell couldn't accept evolution, a word equivalent to atheist, the same thing as a communist. It made no difference to me that he didn't get an understanding of heavenly bodies in school, nor did it matter that he didn't believe he came from a monkey.

bradley walker tomlin

I couldn't explain round earth or evolution in ways he could understand, because I didn't understand either well enough to articulate it simply without going off into conceptual mind. An attempt to convince somebody that what they believe is not the case only drives them deeper into believing it is the case. I remind myself that anything outside myself is no concern of mine. It is not my place to correct somebody else's vision to make it conform to mine, which I'm not sure of anyway, and have a hard time articulating. Different consciousness, different experience, different information make a canyon between some people. I believe there was such a canyon between the old preacher and me. We were of different cultures, different cosmologies, different visions of God. We got along good over a lot of years until the time he started telling me I was going to do what I was not going to do, telling it with the authority of a man who makes my decisions. He made it clear that I did not have the right to my own decisions. I said I did and he never saw me again for several years. I was given the blame. I took the blame and shrugged it off. He'd crossed the line and there was no going back. He would never accept he did not have the right to control me, and I would never accept that he did. I think it's called a Mexican Standoff, two men with guns drawn on each other, hammers cocked. He would not accept my right as an independent individual and I would not accept his belief he had the right to make my decisions. Of course it's my fault. Call me anything you like, I will never deny it. We both regretted we couldn't get back together after that, but he was not relenting his belief he had the right to make my decisions and gave me no choice but to show him I don't see it that way.

bradley walker tomlin himself  

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