The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily or mental and spiritual

John Stuart Mill – On Liberty

Hello again.

I’m happy to make a quiet return to blogging and sharing the progress of my creative projects. I’ve been bursting with a lot of ideas, but also trying to slow down so I can focus on one idea or project at a time. Lately, I’ve been thinking about governance for the sake of worldbuilding for my dark fantasy novel and short story series. Exploring the philosophies behind various political agendas led me to think about what freedom truly means. As an American, I can admit that my country feeds the illusion of freedom and we reinforce that narrative with the way we treat one another’s individualized issues with prejudice, apathy, ignorance, and insecurity. We do this explicitly and implicitly, often not knowing which is which. It’s no surprise that feeding an illusion will inevitably make you delusional if you’re not grounded with some kind of autonomy and self-trust. Returning to my writing, my thoughts and feelings about governance and the microcosm of its power found in our interactions with friends and family have been braided into my work. I’m just realizing this now as an American who has particular privileges and faces particular acts of oppression, and yet is struggling to believe that I’m free. The narratives about freedom fed to me as a child and the narratives fed to me today are so flimsy, yet build a harsh friction between my pursuit of living a free and fulfilling life because I’m not obeying the narratives; I can never be free the “right” way.

I took a few weeks off of social media and thoroughly enjoyed it. I remembered when social media came out when I was a teenager, I think, and didn’t even care about joining it until I heard that Amy Lee from Evanescence made a Twitter account (lol!). Many people phrase the use of social media as being flooded by too much information at once, which I agree with. We’re not flooded just by information, but also many personal narratives from people we don’t even know. Those who are opinionated and have strong personalities seem to dominate as icons and influencers in their relative niches. For a while I thought I wanted that, but the cost of having that kind of status also challenges what freedom is. I don’t like the pressure that comes with meeting the expectations of others nor surrendering the majority of my energy to staying in contact and interacting with people from many walks of life on a daily basis. Lol, I can barely handle going to the grocery store maneuvering around people and sometimes having to talk to them (#firstworldproblems). So taking this break from social media helped me to find the balance I need when it comes to loving all the chaos that is the internet and making sure I’m grounded enough to create. I’ve decided I’m going to continue spending less time on social media and use it for marketing purposes for the most part.

I call myself a mystic and creative spirit as the sub-headline of Authentikei, but I should just put “nocturnal antisocial hermit”. I’m happiest when I’m alone and creating, but when I do share more of my writing, my music, and more, I’ll happily engage with you and others because I’m also at my happiest when I find kindred souls who fancy the dark side. I’ve accepted that I’m a hermit and that to maintain this freedom, I have to be responsible enough to preserve my health, which is what freedom currently means to me, but I’m a hermit who is grateful for the online and real-life communities that resonate with me as they’re wonderful reminders that I’m not and never will be alone. As the proper guardian of my health, this is my choice and I’ll do whatever’s necessary to preserve this sacred freedom. Perhaps that sounds dramatic in regards to social media, but I can’t emphasize how important it is to me to make sure my time and energy is no longer commanded by the people who are apathetic and ignorant of my needs. I believe every creative spirit has that right.

Thank you for your time. Also, I wanted to share the philosophy video from Academy of Ideas that inspired this post.

Leliel.

During my meditations this week, I accepted an important sacrifice I had to make. Sacrifice is strange to me. Sometimes I go out of the way trying to find a way where I can get everything I want without losing anything. I try to strategize, work around the way people perceive me, hoping I can get what I want from them in the end. That’s not going to work this time. One day, they’ll know. 

One day my family, who I love dearly, will know what I do in life. They’ll see for themselves that their Christian views aren’t as valuable to me when it comes to my career and lifestyle. They’ll see that animism, paganism, the occult, world religions, philosophies, history, science, the arts and more are my passions in life. For so long I feared they would see me as anti-Protestant Christian and use that as an excuse to abandon me. I desperately didn’t want that since they’ve done a lot for me and I want to offer my gratitude. It turns out I can definitely live my life how I want and still have them in my wonderful life. They’re the ones who make it wonderful actually. They inspire me tremendously because they are always teaching me even when I disagree with them, even when their words make sense or when their words hurt, and definitely when they show me their passion for their faith and their god. Their god is not mine and I’ve accepted they will put their god before me and others in many, if not all, instances. I thought that meant abandonment, but actually, according to their faith, it means they’ll love me more.

“Home” is Where The Art Is

TikTok: @amyoverthinks

So what am I sacrificing exactly? The notion that people will always abandon me? No…Abandonment happens. Separation happens. People make their choices and sometimes that means you can’t walk with them through the consequences of those choices. Loss happens. You can’t control everything. You can’t make someone care about you, control the way they see you, force them to believe what you believe. I’m sacrificing the perception of myself that thinks I can’t survive if my family sees who I really am and what my life is dedicated to, which is mysticism and the arts. Not only am I incredibly proud of my life path, but I feel more dignified when I remember my life, my power, and my purpose belong to me and only me; expressing the exploration of my life, power, and purpose, is done through my art. I love my family and because of that love, I don’t fear them. I forgive myself for perceiving them as figures in my life that wanted to tear me down, when they’ve consistently lifted me up, albeit with the hopes that I’ll become a dutiful Christian like them. If I can accept that I can survive whatever their response is to my life’s work, I believe they’ll come to accept what they can’t control as well: my will.

This was a long time coming, but I think this epiphany has to be one of the most important ones of my life. Many of us artists struggle with having a lack of support from family, whether it be in the form of disapproval or apathy. The amount of willpower it takes to sacrifice the internal battle of trying to be yourself while also making others happy is an incredible amount. Doesn’t everybody talk about that? Everyone says,”Just be yourself,” when we also know there are only a select few who accept you or maybe come close to accepting you. What’s most important is accepting ourselves. Another cliche, but it’s fucking true. We must accept who we are if we’re ever going to summon the willpower to live our life as we want to. It makes whatever consequence you suspect you’ll confront as an opportunity to trust yourself to make the best choice for yourself. As someone who advocates for autonomy and freedom, I must accept that I don’t want to put my energy into trying to make my family like me or understand me. I want to put my energy into my life’s work and, if I’m being frank, be rich enough to take care of my family and myself. I mean let’s be real here; when you start making money doing what you love, and I mean good money, your family probably won’t be that concerned about the how and why at first.

6 Ways To Cleanse and Empower Yourself

My life path number is 8, often called “The CEO” path. I kept doubting whether that really matched my desires and ambitions for a good portion of my life. I’m not doubting anymore. With the acceptance of the self comes purpose and with a sense of purpose comes will. I’m too determined to be worried about disapproval. The game is on.

L.

The Lack Mentality Is Killing Us

I got to travel out of town after months of staying in my home and it was so, so, so fantastic! Experiences with friends and observing different spaces inspired me so much. This pandemic…this year, really, has been depriving us from certain things one way or another, hasn’t it? I’m grateful for those of us who prioritize safety and care for others during this time because that will bring us all a step closer to experiencing the world in person again. I’m also grateful for the interconnectedness the internet gives us too, but virtual reality is not reality. Many of us are past expecting things to “go back to normal”, accepting that new cycles come and old ways pass on. The changes have been difficult to adapt to, but I must agree that the “new normal” is making so many of us embrace being more realistic, pragmatic, and open. We’re letting go of expectation and convenience to enhance our autonomy even when it challenges the status quo or makes closed-minded people erupt over what and who they can’t control.

We are learning the difference between being confident and being self-righteous. We are learning the difference between having conviction and being entitled. We are learning to be authentically bold rather than complacent or compliant. It’s a necessary development full of loss, heartache, and separation. As you pursue your truth, you will let go of what is false to you and lose far more than you expected or ever wanted. It’s amazing how expensive developing the true self is.

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

I’ve been listening to three audiobooks for my own self-improvement. Currently, my picks are You Creative Career by Anna Sabino (this is actually a reread for me), The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman, and How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety by Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D. There’s so much about self-improvement that have nothing to do with yourself as an individual. There’s more advice about how other people are, how they can help or hurt you, and how to connect with the people you do want in your life. I’m an anxiety-ridden artist who is improving on being my natural confident self rather than faking it. I have my days where I’m still faking it for other people. It gives me this strange sense of imposter syndrome and I feel less grounded in who I am. One trait about myself that I know is unshakable is my ambition. My individualism shines when I’m driven and courageous enough to deal with unpredictable challenges or make mistakes and learn from them. When this part of me shines, I start to see a pattern with some of the people in my life. They don’t shine with me and my anxiety responds to that by saying “darken down a bit or you’ll hurt their feelings.” I’m done doing that sh*t and here’s why.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

While meditating today, I accepted another complexity of human nature that can be a beautiful, but paralyzing thing: self-esteem. Self-esteem is more about how we see ourselves and how we think others see us than it is about confidence. Self-esteem, to me, is self-consciousness and self-awareness. It’s the blurry area of our self-image that doesn’t clear up unless we do something with the intent clear things up. What I started doing is imagining myself in the social situations mentioned in my audiobooks and take a moment to ask myself, “Is this the kind of interaction or relationship I’m willing or wanting to have with another person?” When Your Creative Career and The Business of Being a Writer discuss building and connecting with an audience, connecting with the right people in the field, and presenting my work proudly and thoughtfully, it’s often a resounding “Hell yeah I want that.” When How To Be Yourself bring up familiar anxiety-based feelings and anxiety-triggering interactions, it’s often a, “I don’t want that and I’m not completely sure how to change that yet, but I want to keep trying.” It’s like a little roleplay I do in a visualization kind of way, but there’s something I haven’t been paying attention to while I do this. My ambition makes me shine. What I should be asking myself is, “Can I shine and stop giving a f**k about everything my anxiety is worried about?” I truly believe I can, but that depends on my social circle and addressing old socializing habits I picked up to “darken” myself.

I really love the friends I have in my life and no matter their flaws or shortcomings, I love them unconditionally. Unconditional love doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t set boundaries though; if anything, it shows that you still love that person just as much as you love yourself. I can’t tell you how fired up I get when my friends tell me they’re not capable of reaching whatever goals they try to set for themselves. The first thing I do is say, “Actually you can do that. Even though you have weaknesses here, your forgetting how your strengths can help you work though that.” Sometimes my friends hear me and sometimes my friends don’t hear me because their anxiety, depression, or whatever pain they’re working through is screaming louder. I had a hard time accepting when their pain was louder than me, but I’m accepting it now and also accepting that shining while your friends are still working on their issues is okay. In no way am I saying give up on them and go on your merry way shining all you want. I’m just saying that the ambitious type has a fire in them that needs to burn even though other people in your life haven’t sparked their own fire. There’s no need to guilt trip yourself and there’s no need to do the opposite like trying to force your friends to be more like you. Let them be and let yourself be. Self-sabotage doesn’t make friendships stronger, but authentic compassion and self-respect does extraordinary well for all types of relationships, according to psychology.

Be well.