By Hans Miniar Jónsson, 2012-11-26
It is the natural inclination of the human being to be accommodating. To bend to the will of the environment, and in a way this is possibly one of the primary reasons the species has been so successful. Because we're so adaptable and eager to adapt.
However, this is also probably one of the primary obstacles to our happiness.
Let me explain.
We are not all just one environment, one surrounding, but a diverse cultural and geographical array of great diversity and our adaptability is not absolute. Instead, our adaptability appears to decrease with age, which is understandable to an extent. Once a habit has been reinforced for 20 years it becomes all that harder to break.
This creates a pattern where we spend our early years being molded and shaped by one environment only to leave it for another in adulthood and beyond that we find ourselves discovering that our environment is not static, it changes.
Yes, we are eager to bend to fulfill our place in our surroundings, but this gets harder with time, and even more difficult the more foreign our surroundings are to us.
And so, we find ourselves either trying to change the world around us against it's will, or we try to change ourselves against our own will. Neither are exercises that are likely tosucceedand so we reap nothing but anger, hostility, pain and resentment for our efforts.
By changing the world around us I do not mean the fight for freedom, I mean the fight to oppress. There's a difference between demanding that the world allow you to make up your own mind and demanding that the world agree with you.
When we inevitably find that we are unable to control the beliefs of others we seek out those who already agree with us, seekingsolaceand support in a smaller environment, a society within society. We do this in part because we are adaptable, and so our beliefs, feelings and ideals will always be fragile, changable with the environment we inhabit.
Sometimes we do this because we need somewhere where we are free of fear, but sometimes we do this because we need to find somewhere where we aren't demonstrably in the wrong.
The adaptability we have isn't patient and so exercising patience is often difficult. It can be seen as something that goes against our nature. But truly, I believe that patience is never the less essential in order for us to be able to find happiness in life,in spiteof our adaptability.
Our adaptability depends on freedom and harmony. The freedom to live in harmony with ourselves without detriment to our harmony with society. It's only when we have that freedom and that harmony that we can experience true joy.
And so, when society won't change to accommodate us we become frustrated and angry, and when we sacrifice our own harmony for sake of society we become depressed.
So where does independence factor in?
We, as a species, aredependenton one another for survival. No man is an island and no man can be. Our minds and bodies deteriorate without the support of ourpack-mates without human contact, and we can not hide from this reality of our nature.
But we have become too dependent on the thoughts and ideas of others. Too dependent on agreements. Too dependent on things that do not affect us, that aren't ours.
We carry the weight of the opinions of others upon our shoulders as if their opinions were our food and drink.
At times, the opinions of others can be a matter of life or death, for example when their opinion calls for our deaths, but in reality, most of the time, the opinions of others are not something that affects us so deeply, not unless we choose to make them affect us deeply.
Life is like one big classroom, and carrying the opinions and ideas of others on our shoulders, allowing them to weigh us down, is as if we are carrying the schoolbooks and schoolwork for all the other people
These things aren't ours. These things aren't ours to carry. These things aren't our responsibility, and yet we insist on carrying them upon our shoulders, even if these aren't even truly the right things. We assume and give opinions to others and then proceed to choose to weigh ourselves down with our own assumptions.
Independence, true independence, is to see, to know that what we are carrying isn't ours to carry. This realization allows us the freedom from the weight, should we choose to put it down.
It is in that moment when we claim our freedom to be in harmony with ourselves and in turn give openly the same freedom to others, because by realizing that our opinion isn't theirs to carry we stop trying to place it upon their shoulders. We free ourselves and we grant freedom.
And those that learn this do get asked how they found the strength to defy convention, how they found the courage to stand up and be themselves even if it meant being different, and the answer is simple.
We found the reason to let go of what wasn't ours to carry anyway.
And by spreading this word, we spread freedom.
Is there any greater gift?
By Hans Miniar Jónsson, 2012-10-17
One of the things I've come across in the never-ending cyclical debate of who's allowed to have dreadlocks is the presumed reason, or rather, presumed excuse of white lock-heads.
That every white lock-head has the locks because it's some form of a fashion statement, or "mock spirituality".
I'm an insecure person by nature. I have severe social anxiety, depression, add and chronic physical problems that fuel these things and feed off of them in a never ending cycle of doubt, fear and fatigue.
So when I keep coming across the assumption that all white people just want dreads cause they look cool and their spiritual reasons are just an excuse, well, it pushes me.
This spring I had a dip in my mood. A rough patch when depression and anxiety wrapped up around me and the world seemed like a terrible place to be in. A time when my fears overwhelmed me and for a few weeks I hardly even slept.
I cut my locks off.
I immediately regretted it. Not only did I lose the locks, but I also lost my signature blue hair.
I hardly knew the man in the mirror at all and I fell even further into the darkness.
And then.. something happened.
I had to take a trip, so I coloured my hair again.
I stopped combing the hair and ignored it as it grew out.
And this week, I found them....
Little baby locks, starting to knot up in the mussy mane that is on my head.
And lo, it reared it's head again. The question, the doubt, the fear.
Why do I let my hair felt together into locks?
Why do I let my hair do this naturally and organicly when I dye the thing?
Why does it feel right?
Truth be told, I just don't know exactly.
I have my spiritual reasons, my philosophical reasons, my psychological reasons, both for and against the practice.
While I like the way they look, I also dislike it, and I have received a LOT of flak for having them from people in my circles who dislike the way they look.
The more I question myself, the more I prod and pry and poke at what is beneath every reason I have, the more I simply know that the reason why I have locks is because it feels right, it's how my head of hair is supposed to be.
Today, they're babies, the few that have started to form.
The head of hair is mussy and fluffy and blue, with a few baby locks, and it feels better than it's felt in months.
Because it's just doing what it's supposed to do.
By Hans Miniar Jónsson, 2012-06-11
medications, transformations, complications...
Life's a mess, been that for a while.
The locks were a bit of a mess too....
so in a moment of weakness, panic, madness, whatever you want to call it, the locks...
.. they're gone.
But, from the ashes the rising bird of fire comes anew.
The hair will be untouched. Clean, yes, but uncut and uncombed, until it takes the form it chooses, without being forced.. only manipulation being the colour.
'course, if it wasn't for the shipping costs, I'd have the most awesome shampoo in the world to clean it with too.. but alas...
By Hans Miniar Jónsson, 2011-12-13
Now now, before you assume the worst, read.
This spring I got an appointment for a chest surgery. Having read of other people's experiences with that surgery, namely an inability to raise arms even the slightest, I found myself in a bit of a dilemma.
Either I had to do "something" to keep my newly formed locks from combining themselves into a helmet-like congo, or I had to comb them out.
Obviously, I wasn't willing to do the latter, and so I googled and googled and googled and decided (after what was apparently insufficient research) that I would take a crochet needle and manually tighten 'em up "real good" and hope that'd do the trick.
So, I worked my way through my head of hair, lock by lock, and tightened them all.
It was only a single round of it, but that was enough to create a rather unnatural and unpleasant look to them. I figured they'd be okay, never the less, and so I left 'em that way.
Now, there's no way you can "comb out" a crocheted head of hair, not without ripping out a fair bit of hair, so for the most part, patience is the only thing that'll make this mess any better. Still, even now, over 6 months later, there are a few locks which show the obvious signs, at least in the lower half of 'em.
So, today I picked up the needle again, and begun very carefully, strand by strand, to gently pull the crocheting apart.
Never once shoving through the lock itself, but working my way, millimeter by millimeter, from the tip. Undoing almost half a lock thus far.
Now, why would I do that?
Well, the original plan was "ack! I made a mess of 'em, best let 'em grow out a good long while and then I'll just cut off the mess!"
But somehow it seemed, too easy.
To just cut away "the evidence" when there was enough "not a mess" which'd grown in behind it.
And there's something "off" in my head about just, cutting it off, at all...
So, I decided to take the responsibility for my actions to slowly undo the damage that I myself have caused.
Tell you what, it's murder on my carpal tunnel syndrome, but honestly, I think it'll be worth it in the end.
By Hans Miniar Jónsson, 2011-10-06
Who told you you could be a rebel?
Who said you could go out of line?
How ironic is it that now that I've stopped pretending to be someone I'm not and decided to do what I feel is right for me in my life without paying attention to the prescribed notion of how to be, who to be, where to be, what to wear, what to say, what to do, how to keep my hair, what tattoos and piercings are acceptable and what love I'm allowed that I find myself frustrated by you, that one lock that refuses to do what I tell it to do, that refuses to stay where I put you.
Never the less, you frustrate me.
All the other locks are fine with being out of my face by either laying back across my head or to the sides, but not you.
You insist on falling forward, over my face, into my line of sight, and no matter how many times I shove you back or to the side, tucking your end in under other locks to try and keep you there, as soon as I turn my head to leap forward to that same spot, over my face, into my line of sight.
Have I offended you?
Have I angered you?
Why do you keep doing this?
Please, I beg of you, stay where I put you.
I'm blind enough already without you blocking my view.