Is it halloween?
A newsletter about vampires, demons, mirrors and poetry forms
Every reaction is a reflection. Whether it is what you are feeling in the present moment or how you deeply feel about the subject at hand, every reaction is a reflection. And based on this fact we all need to remember to reflect before we react. We have all heard the action movie cliche ‘ask questions later’ but what if we ask questions first? What if instead of immediately reacting to something we reflect on it and truly understand how we feel? We have such a tendency as human beings to defend even at times when we aren’t being attacked. We also have this strange notion to assume people think things about us that we actually think about ourselves. We project our self-hatred through the mouths of others because deep down we believe it to be true even when it isn’t. There are times we twist the words of others to suit our own self-definition of worth. At the worst of times believing anything nice anybody has to say about us feels wrong. To assume anybody could see us as worthy feels fraudulent because we ourselves don’t see our worth.
We all know the story of vampires but what if we looked at them as metaphorical? Their lack of reflection being the cause of a need for blood. Because there are days when we want nothing but blood and other days when we think everybody is out for ours. We search so far for answers when in reality what we are looking for is within us. I know I am not the only one who has looked back at a certain situation and felt some level of shame over how we handled it or how we spoke or how we reacted. Being on the spectrum can sometimes mean the overwhelm possesses me. There have been moments in my life where I am so overwhelmed that all I can do is shut down or shout or spill everything I am thinking and sometimes autistic burnout is a hangover. Sometimes it comes with a ‘what the fuck did I say’ moment and I know those not on the spectrum feel the same way to a certain degree based on reaction.
Emotions are so strong sometimes they require exorcism but instead of expelling them, we let the demon joyride around the block a few times. We let the emotion take over. It is a skill to breathe at times. It takes practice to know when you have to step back and see the whole picture before you have an opinion on it. A simple shift in tone can set people off and instead of reacting instantly, we should take a breath and reflect. Every reaction is a reflection so we should reflect before reacting. Anger is such a powerful emotion that has the potential to render us unrecognisable. It can be hard to overcome the rage we feel which is why we must put things in place to help us defeat it. Back during the release of Mind Noise Two, I created this poetry form that was intended to do just that. I combined it with the archaic advice to count to ten. I called it ‘iho poetry’ which was an acronym for in, hold, out. I made it a syllable poem to distract my mind and give myself something to focus hard on because the right number of words was too easy. The version in mind noise two was three lines with each line containing five syllables, however, since then I have learned that the exhale being longer is better for our emotions and helps us find peace. Some say to double your exhale. So now ‘iho poetry’ stands at three lines with the syllable count five, five, ten. I have found this one to be quite challenging but challenging is good because it serves as a distraction and is somewhat sedative. Of course, you can’t step back from every situation and write a poem or count syllables or even count to ten but in every situation, you can inhale before you react. There is always a space for reflection even if it is minuscule. Every reaction is a reflection so we should reflect before reacting. And if we react badly we need to grant ourselves forgiveness. Our emotions are sometimes a shopping trolley with a loose wheel and no matter how much we push them in one direction they barrel off to the other. Breathe, right now. Inhale for five. Hold it for five. Exhale for ten. Find absolute calm and create something to chase. A calm you long to return to! And when you feel yourself being pulled in the wrong direction, bring yourself back. Breathe and reflect before you react.
This week I am reading NUCLEAR from Mind Noise One! Subscribe right now and get it in your inbox Wednesday