eThoughts : Ahhh, Dissociation

Yeah, now that I’ve beat up on avoidance as a long-term strategy, let’s talk about the art of dissociation.

Yep, we don’t much get along and we don’t much feel good and it doesn’t much look good, despite the pockets of well-being. But embracing depression or whatever is wrong isn’t the same as parading our maladies around. Let’s make that a little less fashionable. It’s one thing to own our troubles, to talk about them, to be transparent, it’s quite another to make those troubles a shrine that requires worship, by ourselves and even worse, by everyone else. Our troubles are not a get-out-of-jail-free card, they’re not a device to leverage attention, to collect free money, to avoid responsibility, etc. They’re troubles, not currency.

The proper art of dissociation is a gift, the ability to own what is wrong, but to be where it is right—to not let the thing be the everything. Yes, sometimes a problem like depression or a bullet wound is everything at the moment, but why compound the issue by getting caught up in the train wreck? One way to help relieve a headache is to not help the headache. One might have depression, but is one the depression?

The art of dissociation is mostly seen as a male attempt at machismo—yeah your hand is blown off, but suck it up and shoot with the other hand. Errant machismo is to ignore one’s limitations—like thinking you have a hand when it has been blown off. Effective machismo is to realize one’s limitations while also knowing there’s another place not as limiting. On a bit less dramatic note, what kind of customer service would it be if we dragged the last bit of dehumanization with us to the next encounter? It’s gone, let it go and treat the next person with a clean slate. Keep in mind that a clean slate is not the same as an ignorant slate—clean the wounds, remember how they happened, but don’t project being wounded in one venue onto a different venue. And good luck knowing how to separate similarities from differences. But there it is again, the art of dissociation is the art of separation. Making proper distinctions makes proper decision making.

So, let’s open the doors to embracing our problems, but not be so attached to them that we are those problems. We not only free up our energy, we learn how to effectively deploy the newly found reserves.

Sweet part deux.

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