I enjoy research too much and I’m a shameless critic. Weird & Güd is the conjoining of those misanthropic qualities into something useful: recommendations and fascinations neatly packaged together for you every week, some hermit-ism required after all.
It’s not hard to find the weird in our lives lately. We’ve been tasked with making sense of the unrest that’s seeped into our daily lives, slowly rising up like water filling the lower deck of a sinking ship. Rising water cannot be ignored.
A lot of us are living in limbo. We’re preparing to see a big change but we’re lingering in the calm before the storm. This is the part where you’re not entirely sure if you’re overestimating a threat by stockpiling peanut butter and beans. How much of your normal day-to-day life should be left intact? Should you work as long as you can to save your money or forgo your paycheck preemptively? How many times can you leave your house before it becomes negligent and not negligible?
The Grand Illusion of Sanity, Martine Johanna
In this disaster waiting room, the focus easily shifts onto ourselves; we scrutinize ourselves, question our decisions, and consider the unique mistakes we made that put us in a worse place than we could’ve been. When the unplanned occurs, the seduction of “what if” can lead us into the trap of personalization, that pesky cognitive distortion that makes our head a harder place to live in.
Personalization is a trap that baits us with the illusion of control. We spoke about the why and what of control-lust last week, but this week we’re talking about the how. Personalization is one method we use for attempting to control situations that deny us our coveted predictability. When we personalize, we blame ourselves for failing to do what we could never have done — predict and avoid all hardship.
It might feel like you’re holding yourself accountable and expecting better from yourself, but the reality of personalization is that it’s nothing but a well-decorated whip to lash yourself with. The outcome is the same: anxiety, guilt, depression, and self-doubt. Control-lust is a hell of a drug.
Bending under pressure instead of breaking requires the resilience to accept the bad without blaming yourself. Our lives normally grant us the generous illusion that we have most things under control. That illusion allows us to trust others, trust ourselves, and to think of the future. When the illusion of control is shattered is when we reach for it most desperately — it’s also when we most need to accept its absence.
Hope of a Condemned Man II, 1974, Joan Miro
For this week’s Güd, I’m sharing a service that everyone can benefit from. This isn’t about to devolve into a commercial; Down Dog is a yoga and fitness app that I’ve used for a while and recommend to everyone.
Now that the company has made its app free for use due to COVID-19, no one has an excuse not to try my recommendation. We all need as much grounding in our lives as we can get during this uneasy time. While we can’t control our surroundings, we can control our own actions; starting an at-home workout habit will make control-lust a little tamer and make our heads a place we can inhabit a little more comfortably.
Comfort Zone, by Monica Loya
I hope this makes your week a little weirder and a little güder. Now go forth, be weird, and above all, be güd.
I sit alone at a desk biting my nails to bring you every edition of Spiritual Soap. Is it worth it? Don’t tell me, show me.