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Positive Association

February 29th, 2004 · No Comments

Ted and I participate in some alternative communities. Groups and people who are breaking out of The Box. On the end of the bell curve. Going against the flow. Outside the Institution. Moving away from The Mainstream.

Now that we’ve joined a few of these, I’ve noticed some common denominators, independent of topic or aspect of life. Although it could be any number of boxes being broken, sometimes the attitudes seem the same.

We’ve gone to group meetings where the focus seemed to be Bash the Big Insitution. A lot of time and energy is spent discussing Why We Are Not Over There Anymore. Hurts and wounds are relived. Memories are made into anthems. It’s group therapy but it’s going nowhere. A broken record about breaking out of the box.

Ted and I understand why people want to leave the mainstream. We’ve done some ourselves. We have our convictions. We have memories and reasons. We’ve got our scars. And sometimes we relive the pain and remember why we won’t be going back into the box. I’m guilty of going down that road too.

But I think that there has to be positive attraction, rather than negative reaction. We have to come together because we want to be together, choosing unity, rather than using each other to validate our wounds and anger through venting. The group can be a hospital. But if the patients in the hospital don’t recover, it’s a stagnant place. It’s sick.

Breaking out of the box doesn’t mean that it brings people together. The box helps to bind: it confines and controls by its small space. The distances between those who have escaped the system can be large. Simply because we’ve left the mainstream doesn’t mean that we might have much in common after all.

But I do believe that we need to have Positive Association. We need to define ourselves by What We Are. Not by What We’re Not. We need to want to be Here. Otherwise we might be better off going back Over There. Leaving the system means we need to leave bitterness behind and go forward into freedom.

Tags: journal