If you Google your life, what are the results?
Have you ever thought about your thoughts? Where did it come from, what is it about or why you’re even thinking it?
Have you wondered if you control your thoughts or if your thoughts control you? How noisy is it in your head? Are you in your head?
I’ve always felt like I’m behind my eyes peering out in the world. Almost like I’m Krang in my exosuit body. I have always felt kind of disconnected in that sense. I’m not my brain, I’m not my body, I’m some entity piloting the whole thing. When I think about it, it gets weird because I realize, “well, who controls my breathing or my heartbeat?” I’m the type of person who forgets to eat or why she entered a room 9/10, so if my conscious attention had to be on breathing, I’d have died many moons ago. I am, quite literally, too stupid to breathe.
When I started meditating, I started becoming aware of my thoughts because it’s really hard to focus on your breathing while you’re constantly thinking. I don’t know to what degree I was aware before I became aware…but, once I started really hearing myself think, it got scary. For all my protestations that I wasn’t insane, the shit I was hearing in there was nothing short of it. I didn’t realize how much I argued with myself over everything. Moreover, how many of me are there, anyway? If I’m this Krang, exosuit thing — why do I have so many conflicting opinions about everything? For every do, there’s don’t, maybe, several hundred completely unrelated comments, and ill-timed music. “I should clean my kitchen. No you shouldn’t. The bathrooms need attention. I am craving an eclair. What is the meaning of life? Isn’t Chris Hemsworth hot? Do you like noodles? CRAAAAAAAWLING IN MY SKIIIIIN, THESE WOOOUNDS THEY WILLLLL NOT HEAAAAAAAAL” Where the hell is all this coming from?
I say all that to say this:
What if my brain is like Google (or whatever preferred search engine. Ask Jeeves perhaps?) and my thoughts are like search entries. The results and the websites selected are metaphors for the results of choices and clicks…that is to say, what results you select, the websites you engage with, etc. are how you conduct your life.
What I found, when I first became aware that I was batshit crazy – I mean this emphatically and not derivatively – we’re all batshit crazy, it’s just to varying degrees of awareness. I used to be a total dick – just the lowest common denominator of a person – and now I’m less of a dick. To me, there’s nothing “crazier” than someone who hates herself and hates everyone around her. Why would anyone want to hurt themselves or another? I say crazy the way a recovering addict may say, addict. It was who I was because it was my biggest fear and I let it control me. The term crazy has nothing to do with mental health. It would first suppose that there are people who are mentally healthy, and I’d argue that is simply not true. I doubt I could find one completely physically healthy person. We all have stuff wrong with us. Mental health is merely a reflection of the degrees to which your mental illness impacts your life. Just like physical health.
I would ask where the line is between illness and health because I cannot tell. Many bipolar/depressed/ADHD/anxious/etc people are also artists and wildly creative. It’s theorized the gene that makes you “sick” is also what makes you “artsy”. So you tell me what’s sick and healthy, ‘cause the only difference for me is I write sometimes and that keeps me from drinking too much, doing too many drugs, or trying to find the latest penis to destroy my life with. One version of me is relatively chill and adorably “eccentric” the other is a friggin psychopath – who went psychotic. Just seems to me it was creativity expressed the wrong way. Instead of creatively crafting a poem, I creatively crafted my destruction.
Crazy has more to do with self-loathing, hatred, anger, fear, rage, addiction – crazy is about wanting to hurt, kill, destroy yourself. Everyone else is simply collateral damage. I was very, very, very crazy. But I was “fine” until I heard how crazy I was. Then I was kinda scared. I did not know how much fear, anger, and hatred I had in me until I started paying attention.
My “google” searches were all about how much I suck, how much I hated myself, how I was fucking everything up, and how I was crazy. My life results were so. Much. fucking. Pain…. I hurt everyone in my life, everyone “I loved” became a friggin target of malevolence. Just shitty fucking human being. I kept typing in these awful thoughts, and clicking through a lot of awful results, and going on some awful websites. Except, it wasn’t the internet, it was my life.
So then, I did the recovery thing, and I’m gonna get better. I started “googling” better terms. I started trying to understand myself, and understand God and understand love. I wanted to know why I hated myself so much and why I wanted to hurt so badly. Why did I take everyone I love and teach them how to hate me the way I like? Well now, we started getting a lot of new results, new websites. Except it’s not the internet, it’s my life. I started getting new people, new information, new things to read, new people to listen to, new things to study. When I hated myself, I loved TOOL, but I had no idea who Carl Jung is. And holy shit did Carl Jung help me…I only found him or realized he existed because I changed how I was searching the internet of my brain. It’s not like Carl Jung materialized from nowhere, he’s been dead a long time – as has Alan Watts – another mind I stumbled on trying to find answers to brand new questions I never had before.
A lot of stuff wants to tell you how to, essentially, Google nicer things. Google “I’m Good Enough. I’m Smart Enough. And Doggone it People like me!” I mean…okay, sure. It can work to some degree. But realistically, it’s not gonna work forever. You’re gonna have a day where “I’m a fucking dumpster fire. I’ve seen turds with more intelligence than me. And Doggone it, I can’t stand me!” and what then? If you just try to override the thoughts with more or new thoughts, it’s still more thoughts and a lot of noise. You create a new battle, where now your “Good” side has to battle your “Bad” side – which is what we were doing in the first place. It’s actually what made me crazy – I felt I was “bad” so I just structured my life to prove it. I googled bad, clicked all my bad results, went to all my bad sites. Now I feel I’m good, so I google good, click good results, and went to my good sites. But the thing is, neither of them are me. I’m still feeling like Krang in an exosuit confused and isolated.
So I stopped googling good things, and I started Googling questions. That’s where creativity and artsy come in. By removing myself from the good and bad polarities and listening to myself think, I started trying to find new channels to listen to. The Google results were new, exciting, and different. They don’t exist on good or bad because all the bad things about me created the good things about me. I can’t be “not a dick” if I wasn’t once “a dick” So all of this good and bad is largely irrelevant. It’s all really asking for information you already have. You could google “i’m a dick” as much as “i am not a dick” and the results will basically be the same. But, you could google “dick pics” and you’d get very, very different results, now wouldn’t you? As a matter of fact, most of my traffic is generated by people googling unsolicited dick pics and stumbling upon my Richard Nixon collection, so hey. It’s something different.
That’s the beauty of creativity and creative people. We’re something different. But I think, a lot of us suffer because we keep trying to stop being different and start being normal. Or we try to be different like everyone else. I find that the more I come to understand that I’m not Krang, I’m not Google, I’m the one typing all this shit – like way in the background, where I don’t even know what I’m doing – I’m breathing, I’m beating my heart, and I’m Googling a lot of shit. And once I stopped hating myself long enough to see there were good things in me, I made space to just google things I enjoy learning about. Literally and metaphorically speaking.