Monday, September 24, 2012

Self-censorship is giving someone else your life


There's a difference between knowing when to keep your mouth shut and removing parts of your life, and we're talking about the second one here. It could be a political issue, but really I'm talking about the personal level: say you just broke up with someone or lost a good friend to a bad fight or were fired from a job. If you go back through your history--all your pictures and belongings and blog posts and mementos--and remove everything that reminds you of that thing you lost, you're letting them win. You're willingly handing over a part of your own life, and you're therefore giving it up, declaring that your own experience doesn't matter and isn't important enough to keep, to metabolize, to make sense of.

Sounds dumb, doesn't it?

It's a symptom of victim mentality, really. If your own experiences don't matter enough to keep and to learn from, does anything you do or say even belong to you? And if you don't own your own mind, your own past, who does?

So don't do it. Don't excise the painful parts. Don't give up your own life because it hurts. The sore parts are the parts that define what we do in the future, and who we are when we come out of it. Instead, learn from them. Work through them. Feel the pain and feel your way out of it. Speak out against it happening again, to yourself or to others. Own it. Let yourself define your experience, and not let the reaction to the experience define you.
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