Originally Written: 05-Jan-2019
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Context is helpful to us as a shaping tool for ourselves because our egos select from their most tragic experiences as the keystone to everything it needs and wants. Everything in life you want is essentially wrapped up and built upon that very unmet need, no matter how rational or imaginary, from the moment it is perceived.
I ran a lot from others who would come into conflict with this ever increasing climb and hero’s tale I told myself growing up to get me through hard times. As a result, I lost a lot of people on my journey and only created a mountain of shit to work through when things came crashing down around me as understanding taught me the value of feedback to be the very magic that makes a sword have its edge. Nothing is sharpened if it doesn’t find something to rub against and having friction in your life is what keeps you as sharp as a knife set.
The only swords worth forging are those that will be properly swung. How that is proper is up to the person wielding it. If what is proper is merely to open letters with it, then that too is proper.
This book is an attempt at documenting knowledge about how to solve any problem in life as a warrior would forge a sword for battle. This book is putting to paper how my thoughts, ideas, and hopes created a world I could live into through the powerful tool of context and how context is what allows humans to feel like they are winning or losing in the moment at hand. I spent a huge part of my life observing people with everything talk about wanting more, people with nothing giving you their coats if they could, and a huge ass majority that calls itself the minority in thought.
It is our biological imperative to reproduce and growing up gay caused my psyche to split in a way that diverged who I am as a person from who I was actually being, creating an imposter effect that didn’t allow me to feel anything from any of my accomplishments and to deny my own bullshit while I set another goal to work toward so I didn’t have to think about why I was unhappy. The pressure to be perfect in a family-oriented family already rife with conflict was very high so that you didn’t have to be one more issue to deal with. This led to a constant guess and check way of growing up where I would just live in confusion about who I was or how I was being and creating a dream that I would one day be able to jump over to while also not relating to the person that was living into this dream. I kept doing things to keep my mind busy while I was not coping with my problems and was doing so much that I would be too exhausted to think when I came home each day and completing whatever homework or overtime I was lining up for myself that night.
The context I came up through in life was one that I reacted to by running from the realities of instead of facing and accepting them so I could live a more authentic life. As I came to accept myself as gay, I started to recognize that children represent hope for a parent because they frame the feeling of legacy. As I started to let go of the reigns and attempt to rest from doing so much I started to question what kind of legacy I want to leave in life that can keep the flame that was lit by fear burning brighter with the inundation of hope. What I found my answer to be was to upcycle my experiences of life and to challenge the evil that is the fallacies of our minds and help others find new ways of dealing with the problems they encounter in life.
This book is coming from the context of a person growing up as the middle of three boys to the most self-disciplined and practical man you have ever met and a mother who challenged and questioned the very fabric of a person I was tailored into such that I had to have a reason for everything I encountered in life or it wouldn’t make sense. As I have stepped out of the contexts through which I have been looking through, I have seen the incredible awe that is the gap between where you are coming from to where you are going. I have seen the consequences of fighting battles that are not your own, fighting battles just to fight, and fighting battles that no one is showing up to see.
This book is about how I forged my own sword, how I created a context that bore with it the call to action in a society where white privilege is rampant, the age of the millennial is kicking high gear into the “I can’t even” level of lethargy, and humanity’s last struggle after doing all the things that look bright and shiny are the lonely hallways of the mind. Our minds are the scariest hostels you’ve stayed in or the most welcoming beaches and sands you’ve touched.
Something I have found interesting is that you cannot necessarily enjoy a moment and experience a moment at the same time. If you are experiencing pure joy, you don’t have to think about it and there is nothing with which to put words to. That is the point of joy. With the assumption you are not hurting or disrespecting others, there shouldn’t be a factual basis to what brings you joy in life and the hardest and longest battle I fought in my life was with myself until I learned that. It was like Harry Potter and Voldemort, I crafted this fantasy between how I currently felt and could be and every triggering anxiety was was like a horcrux that needed to be sought after and vanquished. It wasn’t until I had vanquished every single head of the dragon that embodied my reasons for not feeling happy did I realize that I had fought a battle for no one but myself the whole time while everyone was outside having drinks.
I had to learn to be happy in times of peacetime and committed treason against the palace that governs my mind out of sheer need for a battle to fight over that caused my wonderful dream to come down on top of me as I laid in my own emotional meltdown. I had a meltdown. I even tried exaggerating what it was like for me and was much more focused on optics than what I actually had in front of me, which was nothing at the end of the day. This led to a time where I stopped forging swords, to put them away as Hattori Hanzō had in Kill Bill, only to be used for purposes that are intentional and not misguided. I had learned it was better to ask if it was even right to go to war instead of forging a sword merely when conscripted to.
As I continue on my journey of self-understanding in life. Growing up I felt like the answer was always war and the only question was the cause. To do, to execute, to complete, to follow-up. I happily picked up the sword for whatever cause was put in front of my because I was an animal trying to survive in a world that is competitive and oftentimes more cruel than kind. It is important for me to document the knowledge of what I have been able to learn for myself so that someone can take what they do from what I have to say, instill it into how they want to shape their lives, and
If there is one lesson I hope you get from this book it is to understand yourself before taking your next steps in life. The tools offered in this book are tools I have used as a person with OCD as a means for developing self-assurance through logic to satisfy what my ego wants so it can let me feel good about myself. In some cases, I rely on some of these tools to allow myself to mentally turn off at times and to also feel better about when things are falling through the cracks and I don’t feel like I’m executed against everything I say I intend. I have an obsession for doing the right thing and then doubt it is such when that is the case. I am never certain about anything and when you do not have certainty you manage risk. The tools in this book will not make you feel anything, that is really up to you. If you don’t like what I have to say that is up to you and, as a person who feared the thoughts of others and, as a personal policy, I must unconditionally not care if you do not like it at risk of giving into hate, felt or perceived. That does not mean I don’t think I’m incorrect about what I’m saying, but criticism that isn’t constructive is not value-adding of anyone’s time.
Every soldier is honored for their time and service, regardless of results and even the terms under which they were fought. It is humanly possible to be against war and support the troops of your nation at the same time, to be against the cause being fought over but still supportive of those that took action when the need arose. We do not rescind honor from or knock down statues of great military figures for taking up arms when their world demanded they step in to fight. We only knock them down if they took the wrong perspective with them to arrive at the same conclusions, but the intent behind this is still the same.
I will be writing this book in a way that should feel like a one-on-one conversation about how to forge a sword worth wielding. At times I will dip into the contexts in life through which I have learned such things to be true for myself in order to demonstrate my understanding behind a point. This is called tacit knowledge and is the driving force behind the swing of your blade that, when harnessed appropriately, can create forceful blows to vanquish whatever enemy stands before you in life either as a consequence of the direction you have traveled or as a consequence of looking in the mirror to face your greatest foe.
Tacit knowledge makes up all knowledge along with explicit knowledge and makes the difference between a samurai holding a dagger and an elderly woman holding some real japanese steel. Facts are only as effective as the wielder of them. Anyone can push around facts, data, and information but creativity is born from our tacit understandings of how the world works and if you can reach deep and leverage things within that realm, you are accessing a greater degree of opportunities available to you in each moment to choose from so you feel like you are in control of things.