Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Rufus Opus Guide to Growing a Pair

"Grow a pair" is a common euphemism in my culture for "get some balls,*" which in turn is yet another euphemism for "stand up for yourself, have courage, be confident, and know that if you get beat down and bloodied, fired, left for someone else, or otherwise harmed verbally, emotionally, or physically, it will have been because you stood for something you think matters."

And hey, worst thing they can do is hurt you mercilessly until they kill you. It'll suck, and then it will be over. Big deal, don't be a crybaby. Everyone gets out in the end.

Grow a pair.

But ... how does one do that?

Most of my favorite magicians are scared of people, attention, and fame.

The rest are ballsy, drive the attention they get on purpose, and are actually famous, and they're ok with that. They figured out the secret.**

It's a combination of risk-taking, and trust-in-outcome, specifically a positive one.

Taking risks is hard for a lot of people. Usually they have been abused, molested, bullied, and cow-towed into believing that if they raise their hand it will be chopped off, if they stand up, they will be shot down, in conversation, in social circles, in their careers, so they take the safer path and attempt to manipulate their personal outcomes as much as possible without rocking the boat. I'd say they were great at Martial discipline, because they find the boundaries early, and never, ever cross them, working within the systems and processes to accomplish their aims, or get as close to them as possible.

If that makes you happy enough, good for you. You don't need a pair.

But sooner or later, I always got sick of that shit. I mean, I tried for a long time to fit in, and then I had enough, and did the Big Quit at a job, and found out that not only was my Manager a passive aggressive conformist, but also that he had zero impact on the rest of my life. Didn't need him as a reference, there were plenty of other people there who liked me and thought I did good, because I did good. Fuck him. I never thought about him again, after months of abuse and degrading comments, I never thought about him again for the rest of my life.

The rest of my life.

See, that's the thing, the rest of your life.

When we get scared to say something, it's because we're afraid in the place we're at to say something because we might lose that part of our lives. But that's bullshit. To keep silent (tacere), we have to forget momentarily that telling this friend of many years that they are being a dickhead is no big deal, simply because we have and will continue to have more friends, who will be better. We have to make ourselves forget that we can get another job. We have to actively repress the fact that we will have love, appreciation, and sex again should this relationship fail. Life isn't limited to the thing you're stressing about.
"Your life, your experience of existence is never tied to the Now."
Step 1: Remember Life is Bigger. It's bigger than this right-now-thing you're dealing with, and your jobs, your friends, your relationship, even your children and parents will go the fuck away and you'll somehow end up with others in their place that are better. Your life, your experience of existence is never tied to the Now.

So when you realize this, you aren't so scared of pissing off the person in front of you. The person in "power" at a company or organization. Your lover, boss, friend, body master, Bishop, co-worker, spouse, kid that you brought into this world who you need to love and protect, you aren't scared of pissing them off anymore.

Not when you have something worth saying, about what's right.

Once you're past that point, where you realize that principles matter, you matter, and what you intend to do matters, and the world can take it or leave it without robbing you of joy and wealth and peace and happiness forever, you're free from your obligation to them. You're free to choose whether or not you want to do a thing regardless of the consequences, because you'll just handle them. That's what we do, we handle it. Move on, build more, continue. We don't die til we're dead, so we can make choices that might seem risky to the safeness of conformity.
"Take these risks, and then watch what happens."
Step 2: Take Risks. When you're starting out, take some small risks. Talk back to your employer, post your actual opinion about a stupid post on the internet by a friend, tell the truth, mention names and dates and events that people who are respected in your community actually did shitty things. Take these risks, and then watch what happens. Turns out, there's nothing worse than what you put up with while keeping your head down.

In this process, you'll find that sometimes, rarely, but sometimes you are wrong. Growing a pair also means that you recognize when you're wrong, own it, and apologize. And then move on. No one has to forgive you, but to stand up for what is right, you must be willing to acknowledge when you're wrong, so that you can change, and become right. Be strong in your pursuit of righteousness. Be willing to change.

After a couple of smaller risks, you'll begin to notice that it's not that bad. Not nearly as bad as you thought it might be. Standing up for yourself, you'll begin to notice that you have both positive and negative impacts on your life, the circles of your family, your society, and your career that you move through and within. As with any skill, you'll find yourself getting better at it, the more you do it. In no time at all, you'll begin to feel a thing inside you, growing, and affirming itself with your every choice.
"you're going to start understanding how this whole thing works, this life we lead."
Step 3: Embrace the Confidence. As you do the things that change your life, watch how it changes, and learn how to change it better, you're going to start understanding how this whole thing works, this life we lead. You'll know when you're right, and you'll know when you can advance your aims and objectives with a simple couple of words, a conversation in the hall, and you'll begin to find that you know what you're doing, pretty much, especially compared to everyone else. Embrace that feeling of righteousness when it pops up, accept that hey, actually, you're really good at living your life the way you see fit.

And again, be willing to be wrong and correct yourself. Shit happens, and life goes on. Saying you're sorry only makes you look strong, and willing to do better.

I won't pretend there's three simple steps to becoming a ballsy person, regardless of gender. This shit is hard, for sure, but these things taught me that I am a thing, a force of nature, a person whose words change lives, especially my own. These are the Hermetic teachings that I think mattered more to me in my progress than anything else.

We are not invisible. We are not "don't matter" individuals. We breathe, we eat, we think, we progress. We change the world daily.

We matter.

* For the purposes of this post, we are ignoring the blatant sexism underlying these euphemisms, and focusing on the intent which applies to everyone across the gender spectrum. When "balls" become a cultural icon that is disconnected from the men born with them, the patriarchy will be universally eviscerated as all people claim "balls" and that intent of being courageous behind the word. Cajones. Virility, the insertion of life upon the earth. Women, men, girls, boys, we can all "have balls" in the cultural sense, do what we think is right, stand for ourselves, own it, mean it, and take the consequences with our heads held high.

** I think the best magicians are the latch-key kids, who were abandoned, ignored by their dads and moms, who figured out mostly in a vacuum how the world works and how to feed ourselves, and ended up doing magick because we found out unseen forces react to words and intent, and that regardless of whether we are seen, we have power.

     Just an opinion.

found

you breathe in, you breathe out, the seconds go by, as you lie in the comfort of your bed, you realize you're alive, and the fears in your head spin out of control anyway.
you get up, take your paces, you drink and you face the fact that it keeps time with the race of your heart, the voices, beating and beating and beating at the middle of your head, yelling who you are, what you are, what your place is.
you talk to your shrink, you take the right pills, your friends hug you up when you're covered in ills, and you've done all the things, and they just won't stop, they just won't be still as your heart goes on beating and beating and beating in time with the voices inside of your mind and it kills you to think of another minute, screw this, I'm out, fuck off, this sucks I've had my fill, I'm leaving.
but you stay anyway.
and one day, you call someone who can't help, who doesn't get it at all. gives you advice as if to a child. have you tried putting your foot in front of your other one? it's called walking, he said. also, remember to breathe, in, out, he says, like you don't know already, haven't read it a thousand times, said it many more, like you hit your head and forgot how to fucking breathe, really?
and somehow it all clicks.
and this time, it sticks.
people are dumb. life is hard.
your words, they change things, more powerful than any voice in your head, loud and strong, right, wrong, whatever, it's your breath, moving in and out that makes the words that come out and change the worlds, and the steps you take are the path you make and your bed's at the end and you sleep.
and you wake.
to the holy sound of silence.

and your heart keeps on beating, and beating, and beating out rhythms of joy, and love, and sure, pain, but you're not lost. you found yourself again.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

when she shares

it's about gratitude, that they let you in, let you see the things that go on inside their heads.
the things we do with the parts between our thighs are awesome, for sure, but it's not that thing that makes it special.
it's the ... sharing.
the sharing of a life. the moment she lets you see what her heart feels. that tentative look that you can't even see, but you know is there, as she opens up a little more, nervously because of how it worked out before, and shows you her darkness, and her love for a second, and then hides it again because she's embarrassed, or ashamed to have feelings that she feels for real.
feels for real.

there isn't a lot that is more satisfying than being able to say "thank you, thank you for trusting me with this piece of you, for sharing that precious second of your internal life with me for a moment."

Monday, June 17, 2019

mid-night

in the middle of the night, i put out my hand, and I feel her there beside me.
she is warm, and i move my hand down the softness of her hips to her legs, curled up, like a child beside me, reminding me how she is sometimes a perfect child, and how she can bring me back to that place too, laughing in the sunshine about the silly little things that are clean, and pure.
but she is a woman, grown, and i know this too. strong, brilliant, and resolved. whole and complete, perfect as she was as a child, but wiser, better at it. sometimes more tired, same as me;
this place can be ... tiring.
in the morning she wakes up, and i can feel her eyes open in my head. she's looking at her phone, watching things, reading things, thinking about what the day will bring. i keep my eyes closed, leaving her to her self. she doesn't need me. she just likes me, loves me for some reason.

i think about that, and when it's time, ask if she's ready for coffee.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

fierce and free

fierce, and free
no slave to thee, i stand strong and DO WHAT I WILL.
and face the consequences.
they usually suck.
because you, you can't handle the truth. not my truth. it is hunger, and it is strange. it is mad, and it is wild. it is clean, and it is pure.
it is mine.
but my love is good, my actions sound, my mind well-reasoned. i do the things that need to be done. i bear the packs, i carry the load, i nibble the harsh nettles for sustenance as i find them along the path.
i do the things that need to be done. for you. and for me.
sometimes, i confess, I am afraid. to say things that might make you angry. i've had bad experiences with that. you guys are harsh. and cruel. and selfish.
and you cannot see my truth!
but i carry, i carry on along the path towards getting things done. i hear you say you love me. i'd like to think it's true, but i have things to do, and i have loved before, long before you came along with your love song, and i saw how that worked out.
and the truth... my truth...
i'll enjoy your caresses, and the sun on the dry grass, the smell of your skin in the summer air, and any assistance you might give, but i have work to do.
i love you too.
but i am fierce, and I am free, and i am truth, and i am pure, and i am perfect, and when i look back on the works of my hand, the miles i have traveled, i will say with clean conscience, i did this, and no one can take that from me.