is figuring out what to write. How much of my personal life do I share? How do I tie myself and my experiences to a larger, relatable picture? What of what I share can be used against me? And who would use it and for what purpose? What amount of paranoia is healthy?  
 
Because, as much as I don’t think about it, people talk about me. And as much as I try not to do this, people hold information about you against you; I am guilty of doing this and perhaps this is right of us to do, to some extent. Prejudice can keep us safe but we can also take it too far, and do so often, I think.  
 
My worry gets me thinking about purpose and Vishen Lakhiani’s concept of Brules. In The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, Lakhiani defines a Brule as “a bullshit rule that we adopt to simplify our understanding of the world”. Some examples include going to college after high school because that’s what your teachers expect, having flat screen TVs in multiple rooms of your house because your favorite celebrities do, only dating/marrying someone of the same race because that’s what everyone in your family has done, and participating in a specific religion because everyone around you expects you to participate.

Another one, in my opinion, is withholding vulnerability so you don’t appear weak and so no one takes advantage of you. I’m reminded of various Jordan Peterson interviews, lectures, and conversations I’ve watched on YouTube where he discusses the monster within each of us. Automatically, generally speaking, we believe ourselves to be the hero; anything we think, say, or do creates ripples of goodness and if we do admit to having done something egregious, a justification exists to exonerate. How many people are intimate with their personal monster, their shadow side? How many people can admit to themselves that, if placed in the right circumstances at the right time, they would behave, perhaps, as a Jihadist? as a concentration camp guard? as a Ku Klux Klan member? as a border patrol officer sending children to cages?

And how many people know when they are existing in such circumstances.

How can anyone claim to be a good person if they don’t know precisely how they can become evil?

Part of being vulnerable is admitting there exists a monster inside your soul. Part of being vulnerable is being able to recount when this monster has reared her head. Part of being vulnerable is loving your monster enough to keep her locked away, especially in those moments where emergence is most tempted.

I guess this is where spirit comes in. I guess this is where integrity enters. Loving myself helps, too, and knowing that there will always be people who don’t like me eases my concern. 

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