skeptical faith god devil

 

“It’s a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a skeptical mind.”

Naguib Mahfouz

 

 

“It is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilisation. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs.”

Kenneth Clark

 

 

Well.

 

I sometimes believe we confuse lack of confidence and skepticism.

 

Yes.

 

I am sure they are aspects of the same thought <on occasion> but suffice it to say whenever you are skeptical with regard to something about, or for, yourself … someone will contritely suggest you are simply lacking confidence.

 

Look.

There is no ‘how to live Life’ handbook.

And most of the time we do the best we can as we make it up as we go.

And, yes, I am fairly confident all of us sit back at some time or another and say ‘what if we don’t know what we are doing.’

 

What that typically translates into is a life in which we constantly get tugged one way by optimism or hope … and the other by skepticism. In other words … skepticism slows you down. And sometimes it can actually be strong enough to stop you.

 

Having skepticism as an acquaintance isn’t necessarily a bad person to have in your circle of acquaintances. It will give you the reasonable caution to consider a little before oblivious optimism grabs your hand and pulls you off of some overly optimistic ledge.

 

soul mates intamacyBut having skepticism as a so-called ‘friend’ is a bad person to have close to you. Its nagging presence insures you always feel like you truly have no idea what you, personally, are doing. It makes that hesitation personal. And it makes you forget that everyone doesn’t know what they are doing and making it up as they go and doing the best that they can.

 

Life is bigger than just us and while we are individuals and unique in our character … we all pretty much share the same rules and challenges in Life.

Skepticism is personal.

It pulls you out of the bigger ‘us’ and makes you a smaller ‘us.’

 

I thought about this when I found this incredible teen written letter … written to herself … well … lets say she wrote it to her so called friend ‘skepticism’:

 

Dear Skepticism,

Oh, why must you infect my brain with your contagious thoughts? You are not content to let me simply accept, you find any way to twist my beliefs into doubts. When I am truly happy, you shatter the illusion and show me exactly why my life is nothing to be pleased about. Mirroring me, images of success and loneliness, you know how to get under my skin. Skepticism, you know my shape itinner self more so than any other, thus you know which strings to pull. I am your marionette, controlled by your twisted intentions. Push and pull the words in my mind, formulate sharp sentences designed to drawn blood from my fragile humanity. The way I hurt others, is multiplied in the way I myself am torn apart.

 

In this distance, in this loneliness, skepticism welcomes itself to my chemically dyed head, taking it’s place amongst longing and deep hurt. Underneath the surface intelligence, beneath the mathematical formulas and psychology terms, is my fragility. This I admit, not much effects me, except my own carefully targeted words. Why would I allow myself to feel pain at the words of others, when my own mind is so much capable? My inner demons are muted when I am amongst others, when I am laughing with my best friend or in the arms of my boyfriend, but in silence they scream demented tones. “Why would anyone love you?” They taunt me, pulling at my weaknesses. “You really think you have anything going for you besides your intelligence?” They laugh at my naivety. “If you were worth something, to anyone, would your phone really be so silent?” They say the things I do not want to hear. They speak the truths I try to forget.

 

Skepticism, please take leave and allow me some peace of mind. A good night’s sleep would be beneficial, I am sick of this restlessness. The distance itself is enough, I do not need your constant reminders of what it might mean. I know you find pleasure in twisting at the corners of my mind, but please fuck off. I do not need the constant doubts you provide me with. This weekend has given you sufficient time to point out exactly how I feel, I get it. Skepticism, I know you only want to protect me, but it’s much too late for that. I am old enough to make my own mistakes and hold my own beliefs so please, fuck off.  I am done with you telling me who does not care about me. You are not a good friend, understand that I want nothing to do with you. You only bring me down.

Sincerely,

Gloria

 

Skepticism is sly.

Even though we don’t really know what we are doing <in general> we do know something and yet actually doing it is something  very different. maybe we have no idea

 

Therefore … skepticism sets limits for you <under the guise of protecting you>.

 

You know you should stop procrastinating.

You know you should be writing, or doing something to improve a skill, or practicing something, or decluttering.

You know you should … <insert whatever you know here>.

 

These are things you know.

You are skeptical of … well … whatever <success, effort, process, results, value … bla … bla … bla>.

 

In business they have something they call The Knowing-Doing Gap. Gobs of companies pay gobs of consultants gobs of money to increase their effectiveness and limit the knowing – doing gap. And after all the gobs of whatever … they know what to improve … but still don’t actually implement it.

 

Why can’t we put what we know to do … into actual doing?

What stops us?

 

The answer is simple and difficult.

 

Skepticism.

Skepticism determines limits.

 

“Why do you, or they, or anyone get to determine my limits?”

Veronica Roth

 

 

All that said.

 

It takes a teen to remind us how to deal with skepticism:

 

“dear skepticism … so please, fuck off.  I am done with you telling me who does fuck yourselfnot care about me. You are not a good friend, understand that I want nothing to do with you. You only bring me down.”

 

We may not know what we are doing.

But most of the time we know what we should be doing.

 

We all have ‘heart’ and will always be afflicted with a skeptical mind.

 

But.

Tell skepticism to fuck off and go do.

 

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Written by Bruce