“Take the weakest thing in you / And then beat the bastards with it”

In case y’all couldn’t tell, I’ve been percolating on the concepts of attachment and investment lately, and that ties into how I process and express love in my life.

Stars is one of my favorite bands, and I’ve been listening to their two more recent albums at work of late. This song is from The North, and though I fell in love with it the first time I heard it I think it’s become even more relevant to my thoughts this week. I’m claiming it as my anthem.

“Take the weakest thing in you
And then beat the bastards with it
And always hold on when you get love
So you can let go when you give it”

There are two incredibly powerful concepts there that have been smacking me around a bit, and I think maybe writing them out could help me settle them down.

What is the weakest thing in me? Is it how much I crave connection? The sense that for a moment, I’m the only thing someone sees? Is it the horrible, sneering voice that still pops up sometimes to remind me that everything I have and everything I am could be taken away in an instant? Or is it my insecurities – the fear that I’m not actually the person I’m trying to be, that it’s just a farce and that someday the facade will crumble, showing the world the cold, lonely creature inside?

It doesn’t actually matter which one is my truest weak spot, because they’re all BULLSHIT. They’re natural cracks in the foundation, and we all have them. They’re real enough in that we have to deal with them, but as a general rule they’re not actually founded in reality. So why not turn these dark little monsters into weapons in their own war? Taking ownership of my fears, my insecurities, lets me wield them against each other to remind me how weak they are. For that sneering voice, the sweetest revenge is a life well lived, and I’m working towards that more each day.

Taking care of these insecurities makes it easier to practice the kind of love I strive to live. The cracks make it harder to accept love as genuinely given, and harder still to keep hold of it when it’s not actively being pushed at me. And seriously, if you’re like me and you’ve tried to love the world without being able to keep hold of some yourself, it doesn’t work very well.

I’m still working on those cracks. Found a couple tonight that needed tending, and it’s amazing the difference that a little maintenance can make. Taking care of them, though, lets me work on living as I desire: open, fearless, and with a bottomless well of love.

Belief

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Buddha

I love this quote. I try very hard to live by it – always trying to judge and weigh things before accepting them. I’m not universally successful, of course, but I do try.

So much of the world is propaganda, whether maliciously intended or not. Buy this, love that, believe him, hate her – instructions on how to be “right”, how to behave acceptably and earn your place in our society. Nowhere is it encouraged to find your own answers, to look beyond the surface to what’s real and true – but it’s a vital skill, something to be cultivated and encouraged. We cannot believe things simply because our parents believed, because information changes. Scientific proof changes and evolves as we innovate and explore, and these are all boons to our species.

So why do we cling to things we can easily disprove? There’s a comfort there, a familiarity that makes us feel safe. Questioning our faith, our facts, the entire world around us makes us also question who we are in relation to that world, and that’s terrifying. What if I’ve been doing it wrong? The world is scary enough when navigating with those touchstones of “fact” – if they’re wrong, we’ll be left wandering helplessly.

Not entirely so, though. The human race is entirely capable of adapting, of banding together for the greater good. We are ingenious when it comes to solving problems and creating new ways of doing things, though we rarely stop quibbling long enough to put things into effect. Our sense of community is vastly diminished, so we look out for only ourselves and sometimes those immediately relevant to us and ostracize those whose beliefs differ from our own. This hurts us more than we realize, because peaceful conflict of opinions breeds innovation and introspection. We discover more when we see things differently.

It’s so incredibly important for us to find our own truths. We make the world a more vibrant place when we can confidently present ourselves honestly, with what rings truest to us as individuals. To be able to be truthful without fear makes us open to hearing truth from others, and accepting different beliefs as valid even when they conflict with our own keeps the conversation flowing in the right direction.

Truth doesn’t need to persecute others to be true. It doesn’t need to judge, to suppress, to vilify. It only needs to exist.