Internalizing our demons

I have been overwhelmed by post about gun rights and gun control in the last two weeks.  I personally have no use for a gun.  I am a pacifist, but not always.  I will defend myself with my hands and feet as needed.  You see fighting back without weapons produces no loss of life by my hand.  Lost life is unacceptable to me.  It is the main reason I am always angry at our government for deploying our military.

In 1999 during the freak out about Y2K, my brother came home with a gas mask, Glock 9mm and an AK-47.   We went out to my mom’s place in the woods and we each shot off some rounds.  I had never shot a gun before.  The very disturbing and very real reality hit me.  You literally can nearly get off shooting a weapon of that caliber.  It was exciting, it was nearly orgasmic.  About 15 minutes later, when I came back down from that high, I realized that this feeling could easily escalate.  Having been bullied as a teenager, I have built up much hatred to certain types of people.  Having the ability to destroy them could easily have been found.

Luckily I am not a truly violent person.  I have anger issue that are typically directed at inanimate objects, such as doors, and walls.  Knowing this about myself, and having that one experience with a gun, I logically choose to not every touch one again.  This blog could likely get me into trouble, but I think it is valid and important to share.

I look at myself and I know who I am.  I know what typically sets me off.  I know what I enjoy and what aggravates me.  Knowing myself is half the battle.  We should all know ourselves.  I know that my greatest hero is Gandhi.  I know that I want to be like him, one day I would like to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.  Not for the money, not for the fame, but for the fact that I want to be involved with something so great that it would be worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.

I see recognizing my joy in shooting those guns back in 1999, as a huge step towards my commitment to World Peace.  What happened after I gave my brother his gun back?  I walked back to the house feeling dejected.  I hated myself in those moments.  You are not supposed to get your rocks off with the idea of killing something.  Yet I was just shooting a damn gun.  What if I had a gun and it no longer gave me that rush?  Then what?  Well obviously I would have to escalate.  I would have to shoot something living.  A bird?  Maybe a coyote?  Eventually animals would not be enough. This is where I see the bitter truth.  We all, as humans have the capability to kill others.  Since the time of Caine, our brother’s blood runs in the ground and we get off on it.

The only way to battle this internal demon, and we all have it, is to recognize it and mindfully face it.  You cannot beat it, but you can overpower it.  I overpowered it by choosing to never own a gun again.  I did not like the feeling I got from the gun.  It took me a few minutes to recognize it for what it was, but it was a part of myself that I did not like.  A piece of human nature that we suppress and ignore far too often.  We have to face it to overpower it.

Ignorance is only bliss until our ignorance allows us to wreak havoc on society.  The most powerful thing we can do for ourselves is recognize how fragile our mental health is.  It takes nothing to set us into a spiral of destructions.  If this were not true, there would be no need for AA, NA or Schick Shadle Hospital.  We all have mental issues.  If we did not, we would not really be human.  We suffer from bouts of depression, some suffer from it for long enough periods that it is truly a medical problem.  We all suffer from moments of cruelty.  As a child poking fun at the kid who had less than everyone else?  What we need to do not only for ourselves but for our children, is allow such things to be ok, as long as we recognize them and deal with them as needed.  Meaning, it is ok to have an occasional mental issue.  It is not ok to allow this to become your crutch.  It is ok to seek help with issues greater than you can handle, it is not ok to harm yourself or others instead of seeking the help and support needed.  If we as a society allowed for less than perfection, there would be more happiness and less violence.

I am by no means a professional.  I have no degree in mental health.  I did not research any of this blog.  This blog was written from personal experience and observation.  I concede that I may never see World Peace, but that in no way is going to stop me from trying to obtain it.  For my favorite response to those that say it won’t ever work, let me prove you right.  Allow me to try, since you are right, I will fail.  Please allow me that chance to fail.  This is nothing more than a way to get the chance to try for change.  If they are on the defensive, I will always fail, due to lack of starting.  If they are given to the idea that you just need proof that you yourself are wrong, it changes the game.  Being allowed the opportunity to fail is all about having the opportunity in the first place.


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