For a very long time, I’ve been trying to work out a structure with my ‘Breaking Radio Silence’ book. I know I want it in three parts but drilling down past that has been hard as hell at times. Yet a break was made in the enormous hard rock of my brain over the last couple of days when a Thought came into my mind, sat down in a chair, and said to me, “I’ve got something important to tell you.” When a Thought takes up residence like that, I’ve learned to sit down across from that Thought and go, “I’m listening.” And I listen with my entire being and think through what I’m being told in my mind.
What I needed to hear was an answer to a very persistent question I’ve had for the last few years since I started this crazy-ass journey of mine. The question was:
How in the hell do I break free of all the hateful, hurtful, cruel, and ignorant bullshit I’ve heard way too many times in life?
The Thought sitting down across from me replied:
Break them one chain at a time. Break the hold they’ve had on you once and for all with a sledgehammer and a spike.
The Thought followed with this: You know your purpose in life is not to pull someone’s head out of their ass for them or deal with their butthurt bullshit over you breaking your silence and breaking the chain they probably didn’t even know they had around your neck. Most of all, you know there are people like you who are breaking their silence and trying to break the chains but are still searching for answers that you have found, answers that could help them.
Over the last six years since I conceived the ‘Breaking Radio Silence’ project I’ve struggled with how to put it all together. I don’t need all the details, but I have needed some structure to work with. The first part of the book I know is how I broke my silence and what thoughts and feelings and events in my life did that. The second part has been a bit hard to pin down because it’s the tricky part. It’s tricky because of the truly sticky, ugly shit that will come up. Now I realize this means I’ll have to bring up the chains of hurtful, hateful, cruel, and ignorant thoughts I have heard way too many times yet internalized when I shouldn’t have. Those chains have to be broken and they can only be broken one at a time.
Then I asked that Thought (or my subconscious or wherever that Thought came from):
What do I do after these chains are broken?
The Thought replied:
Forge the connections you have always wanted to have in your life, and you can start doing that by sharing your words with others.
This Thought as I will call it, comes from what I call the best part of me, the part of me that has refused to give up, or let me quit altogether, and the part of me that believes in the good of this world. The good in this world and myself is unconditional love, empathy, compassion, and conscience. It’s the part of me that tells me I can work through my shit and my pain and heal my wounds to where I can live the life I want to. It’s also the part of me that tells me I’m so much stronger than I’ll ever truly know, and that I have the strength and the courage to stand up to hate, hurt, cruelty, injustice, and ignorance. And most of all, that I’m not alone in this world, I’m not a worthless piece of shit, and my thoughts and feelings do matter.
Breaking the chains means taking every hurtful, hateful, cruel, and ignorant thought and breaking the hold by speaking the truth in reply to that shit. Forging connections will take time and is something I need to figure out as it’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought to because of the chains. I think once the chains are broken to the best of my ability, I can begin to learn how to forge the connections I want to have in my life.
As Admiral James T. Kirk said to Lieutenant Saavik in ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’: “We learn by doing.”
And I’ve learned that if you do something long enough, work at something long enough, you’ll figure out what you need to do and get where you need to go, and where you want to go.