murdering my cynicism.

Fighting my inner cynic has been a personal battle of mine for a long time.

This is probably a surprise to many.  My sunny disposition, hippy demeanor and general optimism doesn’t seem to be compatible with cynicism.  The truth is, those traits that I hold are actually born out of that attitude.

So where does it come from?

Cynicism can be like a cocoon.  A heartbreak, a betrayal, a friendship ended, a tumultuous childhood, a racist remark, a hurtful comment here and there and eventually, this warm blanket of doubt and suspicion envelops you.  A coping mechanism that you hope will save you from the shock of future disappointments and letdowns.

Life can be difficult sometimes.  Our loved ones can let us down.  Our leaders can be exposed as liars.  Even coworkers and acquaintances can fail to live up to our expectations, even when those expectations are pretty low.  But hiding inside yourself doesn’t lead to a rich life full of fulfilling experiences and meaningful relationships.  That can only be achieved by being vulnerable and accepting that along the way, you may indeed get hurt.  You won’t get joy without risking pain.

Honestly, my cynicism is incredibly fragile.  It melts away so easily by the kindness of others, hugs, kisses, sharing a meal with friends, traveling, the laughter I hear from my patient or playing with a puppy.

When I slide a little too deeply into my cynicism, I have to remind myself of where that road can lead.  I have witnessed the horrible examples of people who gave in so deeply to their cynicism, building up wall after wall, so greatly hurt by past trauma that they ended up as nasty, bitter assholes.

No thanks.  Not about that life.

So here’s to the death of my cynicism.  I had to shoot it and bury it in the backyard.  I had to murder my cynicism in favor of kindness, love and forgiveness. I had to kill my cynicism to let gratitude, happiness and positivity in.

I have to be brave.  Cynicism is the coward’s method to life.  I would rather be courageous, risk getting hurt and enjoy my life.

You’re going to scrape your knee,
-C

2 thoughts on “murdering my cynicism.

  1. I gotta say that I probably love this post the most CP. This one truly captures the battle you’ve gone through time in and time out since I’ve known you. Been your friend for a good bit of time and this is the first time you’ve ever used the word “cynicism” in regards to how you characterize yourself.

    You are right though “Cynicism can be like a cocoon.” But cynicism can also be an unbelievably destructive force. There’s really nothing nice about it. Though “cynicism” may be perceived as a safety net and coping mechanism, at its core, “cynicism” is a defensive posture taken by those who create a negative filter through which they see their surroundings. It’s like putting on glasses that have negative lenses on. You’re seeing ONLY what can be critically analyzed through those lenses, the one’s your inner voice CHOSE to put on to stay safe. The decision could have been made out of fear, disappointment, or abuse but ultimately the decision is yours. Good ole self preservation at its finest!!!!

    I use to be cynical to. My father was an alcoholic and drug addict. He was both physically and verbally abusive to me and my mother. Actually put her in a coma for a while. Had to bounce around living with my grandmother and several aunts until she was well enough to function and we moved away. Was very hard growing up in a household of fear…was he ever going to find us?…when he did, what was going to happen? My mother rebuilt herself. She worked her tail off. A single mother, me, I practically had to raise myself…I rarely saw her due to her work schedule. In my mind, my mother had been through enough shit already and I didn’t want to slow her down or be a burden. DC, get good grades, excel at everything I touch, and make mom happy!! That was the goal. However, my cocoon wasn’t joyous…nor did it really feel like a safe haven. Even still, I wore the cynicism like an outfit because I couldn’t trust anyone outside the inner circle of me and my mom. Shit warps your brain…you lose the constitution of who’s friend and who’s foe. My mom re-married after a while and that inner circle had to get bigger.

    My step father is the first man in my life that taught me how to not only be a MAN but he also SHOWED me a different way to view the world. He introduced me to a new set of lenses, lenses of COMPASSION!!! You see, when you view the world through eyes of compassion, there’s no need for defense mechanisms. You view the world understanding that everyone is just a hodgepodge of emotional baggage in the same boat as you. We are all nothing more than the summation of our choices and associations, aimlessly living life trying to figure out the best way to live it and because we’re human, we sometimes make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes can hurt us, but compassion has shown me that I can’t shield myself from future disappointments and let downs by tip toeing through through my life expecting the worst and hoping for the best. You don’t live that way…you CANNOT truly share that way. You’ll lose friends, you’ll go through a slew of unnecessary changes and do an audit on your life by cutting people loose. In your head you’ll be thinking you’re doing yourself a favor when in actuality you’re just burning bridges to create distance because you’re afraid to be close, vulnerable, and dare I say it…possibly LOVED!!!

    I mean, I was a complete asshole to my step dad when he came into my life. Told him verbatim that I didn’t want him at any of my “fucking” football games!! Told him I didn’t want him around…told him I hated him. But guess what, he still showed up. Told me even when I had a look of disgust on my face that he was proud of me after every game. He told me I was his son no matter what I thought about him and that he loved me. He told me not to let anyone outwork me and that I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to. My step dad isn’t very religious but he does believe everyone has their own journey in life that they have to adhere to…he would always tell me in times of difficulty to “stay on the path son…things will always work out if you work hard and stay positive.” He showed me compassion when I didn’t deserve it. My step dad or MY REAL DAD as I call him now, single-handedly killed my cynicism during my youth!!! Now, I’ve got nothing but hugs and love for everyone because though we all may be different and not related by blood…we’re all in the same boat, needing love, wanting to be connected and treated like we deserve to be treated. So, the cynicism fan club can kick rocks 4+EVER!!!!

    Like I said CP, this post by far revealed waaaay more to me about you than we’ve ever discussed during our sitdowns. I now know why, when I’ve ever asked you if you believed if I was your friend…you’d say yeah but there was always just small hint of disbelief. I think that it was the “cynicism” kicking in…I know we’re hommies for life but I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that “cynicism” is HARD TO KILL!!!! Cynicism is like the modern zombie in an FPS shooter. You can’t just one shot the undead up close and they’re done like in days of old…zombies run now, they’re strategic and attack in hordes. Nowadays you have to be ranged first with ballistic weaponry, knock’em all down, then when you know you’ve got’em flat…you go in for the kill. (Sorry I just turned the cure for cynicism into video game tactics to kill zombies…lol!!) But you get my drift. Like that ill-fitting sweater or any other hideous garb given by grand parents at Christmas time, cynicism is hard to shake off. It rears its ugly little head even if you’ve seemingly chucked it into an endless pit like the one in the movie 300. So I hope this post is true and that you’ve buried your inner “cynic” deep beneath layers of unearth-able foundation somewhere in your backyard. But just know, even if does find a way back into your life..just know you’ve got friends like myself in your corner to help you fight the good fight against it.

    Friend 4 Life CP,
    DC-OUT

    Like

    • DC –

      Thank you so much for this raw, emotional reply.

      I think you hit the nail on the head with this: “You view the world understanding that everyone is just a hodgepodge of emotional baggage in the same boat as you. We are all nothing more than the summation of our choices and associations, aimlessly living life trying to figure out the best way to live it and because we’re human, we sometimes make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes can hurt us, but compassion has shown me that I can’t shield myself from future disappointments and let downs by tip toeing through through my life expecting the worst and hoping for the best.”

      Lately, I’ve been going through a lot of very big realizations about life and myself. One of the big things that I’ve been aware of is how everyone is winging it. Not just me. Compassion really is a better lens to view the world, because it allows you to see people as they are, the positives and negatives.

      Thanks again for being one of my valued readers!

      -C

      Like

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