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Is It Vice or Virtue?


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Howdy people.

As of yet, I have been pretty much settling in here and trying to be helpful where I feel that I can be without being grossly out of my element, but there is still some other reason why I am here at the site, which is eluding me so far. I have only been here for a few days, and I am aware of how intractable and obstinate the process of unravelling personal motivation can be, but opposite that I am aware of the keen sense of frustration and impatience about my own life that led me here. So one side of me, monacled, phlematically observes "ahem, nothing changes overnight, sir" and the other side wild-haired and wild-eyed parades around with a "change now" sign.

And this is an acute state for me personally. Of course life is a balancing act; we must weigh ambition against real opportunity, temper dreams with practical observation, ameliorate impulse with pragmatism, and so on. For many people these vying forces seem to function in a seamless, almost democratic way. I envy people who can balance these forces more or less at will and make decisions about their life and act on them in short order. To me it almost seems magic.

How does that happen? For me such things as impulse and pragmatism seem to funtion more like matter and anti-matter. My inner radical hippy runs frothing headlong right into this pontificating realist and they just sort of annihilate each other, and it is as if I don't even preside over the process. For me, not only are these impulses, controls, thoughts, and so on at cross purposes, but they have become so mutually exclusive that I have become fundimentally incapable of imagining things like doing what I love and making a living simultaneously.

There is this crater formed by this daily process of annihilation, and I am sitting in the center, dumbfounded, literally paralyzed by indecision. I have lost my ability to dream. I have lost my ability to act. My faith in my own brain has contracted to include only the brainstem.

It is like at some point in the past I held still to see if one honeybee would just fly away, and the opposite happened--more came, and now I look like the bee-bearded guy from the Guinness book of world records, just crawling with problems.

I don't know. Suffice it to say two things:

1) No one will Ever confuse me of underthinking something.

2) I am not sure what the purpose of this post is.

It is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay easier for a sensitive and sympathetic person like me to help other people with their problems, and indeed, sensitivity and sympathy are things I seldom reserve for myself. If it were physically possible, I would kick myself in the butt at this very moment--hold on, I am going to try...no, it is not physically possible, and now my knee hurts.

Anyhow, I am just wondering why I am here (the little question, not the big one.) I am wondering if it is vice or virtue, the same problem that crops up again and again with me, two diametrically opposed entities struggling at the helm of my brain.

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See, I'm in virtually the same place.

What I'm starting to wonder, for myself, is: Is it time to let the opposites combine, to stop trying to make "this vs. that" out of everything, to stop seeing myself as opposing forces fighting each other to a standstill, instead to blend them and move with the flow.

Okay, it's a long question, and I'm not quite there yet. But I do know what you mean.

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Hey there Malign,

That's the rub: how to combine these opposites? I suppose it is done much in the same way as a lot of other things. Practice. But for me it feels like a process of one step forward and two steps back.

Anyway, I am glad you understand. That in itself is helpful.

Thanks for your reply,


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Hello 2002-9,

Thanks for responding. In review my post seems trivial compared to some of the other things going on here, but for me it is a pretty chronic condition.

Despite the humorous cast, your comment about "when there is homework to be done..." is a pretty strong factor in my dilemma. The more pressing my life is, the more pronounced my indecision becomes.

You are right, some good is bound to come from being here, regardless. I suppose that is kind of what I meant in my introductory post about "tricking" myself; even if I came here as a new form of distraction, I am liable to accidentally help myself anyhow.

Take Care,


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My theory, for myself: it's taking effort on my part to keep them separate. I've kept them separate because I thought I needed to, that the only way to define a thing was to imagine its opposite. What I need to do is give myself permission to let them combine, and just be. Something like the difference between a digital (all-or-nothing, black-and-white) world, and an analog one.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry to hop onto your thread and mention my relationship which you have very kindly been posting me about - but my reason for doing so is that this inner struggle - this push me, pull me type of thing that you seem to be talking about (though far more eloquently than me) is what I seem to be experiencing!

I can’t say that I was particularly aware of it before in my life (though I’m not saying that it wasn’t there) but this relationship seems to have made it really visible - really brought it to the fore.

While a part of me really does want to commit to the relationship - another part is seriously digging her heels in and saying ‘absolutely NOT’. So I am one person with two separate wishes. I cannot even begin to explain the pain and anguish it is causing me. Just writing about it is making my stomach churn in a very sickening way.

‘Paralyzed by indecision’ is a phrase you have used and I know exactly how that feels! Only I find myself not just paralyzed by it but struck with a kind of terror as well. It feels like I have no ‘safe option’.

I don’t want to say anymore about the relationship here - I’ll leave it where it belongs - on the relationship board.

So - am I right in thinking that it feels as though you are being pulled in two (or more) directions and you feel in danger of being torn apart?

I know that’s how I feel. So I’d rather like to just stop thinking - but I only know of three ways to do that:

1. Be distracted

2. Be asleep

3. Be dead

Unfortunately distraction and sleep are not long term solutions!

I’m trying my best not to think about option 3 :confused:

Warm regards

LR x

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