Withdrawal Symptoms

Maybe it’s just my own microscopic view of the various blogs and sites I follow, but I get the definite impression that things are a little slow right now.  People don’t seem to post as often, and I know I haven’t either.  Maybe I’m just projecting my own behavior onto others.

Life gets busy, and there’s always something more pressing to do than write or paint or whatever it is people do to express themselves and let others know we exist.  But we need to fight this tendency to withdraw into a safe, familiar, “housekeeping” kind of life.

I think we need to put ourselves out there amongst our fellow creatures, as painful as that task can be, because if there’s one thing I’ve come to realize, it is that all life happens through other people.  Like it or not.

Your stuff, your house, and all the various “things” that we let occupy our lives with busywork don’t help us grow.  Only by interacting as much as possible with others do we really grow.  This isn’t always easy, or pleasant, but if we want to stay open to life and not shut off the flow, we need to connect to the tap, so to speak.  And that is other critters, of all descriptions and temperaments.

We need time to ourselves as well, to process things.  But we can’t get stuck in our own self-referential loop.

I think there’s a quote in the Bible that says something about “as iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens man”.  We need to rub up against the pleasant and not-so-pleasant among us.

So it’s time to see if the cutting edge has any rust on it.  If it does, get out there and hone it back to a keen edge.


4 thoughts on “Withdrawal Symptoms

  1. Not only do I sense a collective sigh of weariness, I’m experiencing it myself. If I wrote about what I really see, I would have to deal with the stress of hate mail. I want my posts to be educational but obviously must reflect where I sit. But the things that affect me most in life are off limits. So we have to decide how much of ourselves to put out there.

    After a while it wears you down. I’m also developing a renewed fear of social media as it grows and degrades our culture and privacy. Personalized search engines we didn’t ask for do not challenge people to consider other points of view, so I think it’s becoming harder to communicate. It’s not exactly that I’m withdrawing into a safe or familiar routine, it’s more like a period of ‘recovery.’ I hope it will be temporary for all of us. Maybe other bloggers are in the same ever-stressful ‘survival mode’ and are just overwhelmed. I don’t know Harry but I’m seeing the same thing you are, but I definitely like your approach better than mine.

    PS—recently read that Red Wings are becoming popular again!

    • Glad to hear your thoughts, Deb…I’m glad it’s not just me! I think Twitter and Facebook have made it easier to just jabber among those we have “friended” so the conversation becomes even more insular. That’s all fine, but I also think it is why we don’t see much civil discourse anymore. A culture misses something when people only talk to those who are just like them. I once read something by the late Christopher Hitchens, who advocated brushing up against those who we don’t agree with just to make sure we believe the things we believe for the right reasons.

      • Having self-chosen the path to introversion, I have always lived in my little shell. And being somebody who thinks a lot about the world and its ways, I yearn for a dialogue, even if that is contradictory to my viewpoint. But the world outside hates/bans/ostracizes dissenters or those with a deviant view. They all want to be in the good books of every thing that crawls! And thus, with years passing, my withdrawal-and-recovery period is taking way its own sweet time!

        But indeed, the little skirmishes I engage in with the outer world have made me believe more strongly in my beliefs. So late Christopher Hitchens had a solid point there!

        And more than I care to admit, this tussle has evoked in me a feeling of ‘good’ narcissism, which although has distanced me from many, has made myself more valuable in my own eyes.

      • There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert, although our Western business culture seems to prefer the extroverted personality. Some people draw their energy from groups, some don’t, and everything in between. The “good narcissism” you describe just sounds like healthy self-esteem!

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