I feel like I should put a disclaimer here. Something along the lines of “The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Ninjaverse as a whole” or something along those lines.
Growing up I was brought up in a Catholic household, more from my Mom’s side because the only time Dad went to church was Easter or if he was in the doghouse with Mom. My Mom was a Sunday School teacher so every Sunday through 8th grade I was at church for two hours: an hour of mass and an hour of Sunday School (or CCD for you cool kids).
I went through the Communions and Confirmations and all of the pomp and circumstance around that. As I got older I still went to church with Mom most (but pretty much every) Sunday. I went begrudgingly, but I knew that I wasn’t buying what they were selling.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing religion or anything like that. I’m just saying that my belief system is built upon other mythos’s (mythosees? mythosi?) that I’ve been brought up knowing and loving. I can’t quote Bible verses (I’m pretty sure Austin 3:16 says I just kicked your ass isn’t a legitimate bible verse) but I can tell you the whole history of Batman, Superman and most of the Star Wars characters.
Everyone should believe in something. I think I’ve boiled down my belief system to something most of us can follow. Now in no way am I saying you should all follow me (although you can follow me on various social media outlets), but here is pretty much what my belief system boils down to (along with various inspirations):
- The Golden Rule aka Don’t Be A Dick (Wil Wheaton)
- There is always a Dark Side and Light Side. Both are needed for for balance (Star Wars)
- Always know things, because knowing is half the battle (G.I. Joe)
- Don’t Worry, Be Happy (Bobby McFarrin)
- Let It Go (Frozen, yes seriously)
- When you find yourself locked onto an unpleasant train of thought, heading for the places in your past where the screaming is unbearable, remember there’s always madness. Madness is the emergency exit… you can just step outside, and close the door on all those dreadful things that happened. You can lock them away… forever. (Joker – The Killing Joke)
Now I know that last bit is going to raise some eyebrows so let me explain.
I believe that last two points somewhat go hand in hand. Let It Go, to me, means (besides being super sick of that song thanks to my daughters who sing it endlessly) don’t hold any grudges. Seriously, life is too short to hold on to whatever bullshit gripe or argument you have with someone. I’ve been married for almost fifteen years, if we held on to every fight we’ve ever had we would have been divorced fourteen years ago.
Now, the Joker quote. There are times where, mentally, you just need to remove yourself from a situation. That situation could be anything: a funeral, a lecture, a work meeting, the opening of a Michael Bay movie (you know, terrible stuff). Sometimes you just want to not “be there” anymore. Or maybe you have a shitty memory that keeps popping up every now and again. You just need a distraction or a way to remove yourself from a situation. That’s what I mean by “Madness is the emergency exit”.
I’m not saying be like Joker. No no no. That would be bad.
I’m saying use your imaginations! Daydream, play games, read a book, do anything other than what you are doing! But yourself mentally in fantastic situations! You’d be surprised but most of the time that will give you the clarity to deal with whatever it is that you’re dealing with. I sometimes have the best conversations when I am distracted by something else. It’s not that I’m being rude or trying to be dismissive, it’s just that being distracted sometimes gives me better focus and clarity. I know, it’s weird, it’s just how my brain works sometimes.