If you’re anything like me than you probably experience near-constant self-doubt – and a phobic fear of inadequacy. In order to remedy that self-doubt you have to first begin by steeling yourself against your capacity to feel empathy for others. If you’re surrounded by constant reminders that perhaps your self-doubt, your fears of inadequacies might actually be valid, then any attempts – no matter how sophisticated – to walk around stiff-kneed will fall short of their goal. And if solutions of that sort are possible they surely take much time to uncover; and maybe you don’t have that time. Or maybe in the time it takes to work through your feelings of inadequacy and vulnerability you lose a job opportunity, or you score poorly on a test or fail a class. Thus re-introducing the self-doubt you’re trying to ameliorate, making it harder to establish any rule, or constraint, or grand solution so self-evidently true it holds form under any pressure. The fact is we all have responsibilities, and unless you have something sheltering you from your responsiblites or temporarily stopping time (disease, sickness etc…) you will have to interact with the world beyond your world… And the easiest way to interact with the world and not crumble into a pile of self-doubt and fear is to steel yourself against your capacity to feel empathy for others.
I live in isolation virtue of my illness and the complications described therein, but also by my own volition. I’m not hiding from triggers, or negative stimuli, I’m retreating for the time being because I believe my capacity of enduring empathy is of greater importance than my own personal feeling of comfort. And I know biologically I have a homeostatic system stronger than even my most convicted ideas, and I don’t want to lose my empathy just to feel better, or to remedy feeling worse. The ecology of my life here in my apartment with my Dog is inclusive – to fear, to self-doubt, and to the suffering of others. And that matters a lot to me. My hermetic life is not rooted in misanthropy, but a deep understanding of the human condition and an even deeper love of humankind. It’s okay that people don’t get that from my isolation, they’re just trying get by. It does get overwhelmingly annoying sometimes… sometimes. Living outside the social institution has its benefits.