I took this picture about a month ago, after rolling out of bed one morning.
A fog has spread itself over my mind for so long, that its absence is more noticeable then its presence. It started after I stopped identifying with religion, and has continued ever since. I think the fog comes when you can’t numb the feelings of being human, with narratives about what’s real and what’s not. About what we are and what we aren’t. There's a lot of things we can use to numb. I'm guilty of many of them.
After all, it's safer to numb.
I’ve been taking cold showers and occasional ice baths every morning recently. At first it is miserable. The shock of the cold water is terrifying and makes you want to run and hide under the covers where it is warm and safe.
However, choosing to breathe through the discomfort of ice cold water, has been scientifically proven to change the neurology in your brain. It adds moisture back to your hair and skin, it energizes you, and increases the strength of your immune system, while providing a burst of endorphins.
I think cold showers are metaphors for the hard conversations we have to have in order to support the people that are our friends and the people that aren't. Anything that teaches you to breathe through discomfort, will eventually lead you back to yourself, and in turn, back to the people next to you. Which is why, the weirder something is, the better. In my opinion.
I think it's a human impulse to want to sugar coat things in order to feel comfortable and safe, but the reality is, the truth is found in the places we are most afraid to look.
It’s why I trust the angry ones over the polite ones, any day. It’s why I think anyone who is going to say their opinion on what they think is best for the human collective, should first, prove themselves to be able and willing to sit with uncomfortable and unfamiliar, feelings.
I don’t know all that that entails, but I think figuring it out is the only way we truly begin to see each other.
That, and I think we have to let whatever it is we are, be fully, and unapologetically, imperfect.
Like taking a picture of yourself, first thing in the morning.