As I dwell on the meaning of life, mine, in particular, I try many tools and methods to try and make sense of it all. Having listened to a podcast on YouTube, I decided to go through my own inner inventory – as a result, my Life’s Dogma was born. I pondered on it for a while and then took the step to execute a test: How would my life change if I followed said Dogma for a month?
Where do I struggle?
As I started to sketch the dogmas, I already knew some of the main things that would prove to be difficult for me to master. These things mostly revolved around my Borderline Affliction as a whole, and as far as I can tell, are pretty much a direct consequence of never truly forming an identity of my own. I was also missing a value system of my own while simultaneously attempting to be the chameleon, molding to whatever shapes that would make me less likely to get abandoned.
The biggest of these problems has always been discipline, and even more so, trying to apply it myself. For most of my life, I have been directed by others (in childhood my father, and later on my partners and friends). I never quite learned to have responsibility on my own terms, and to this day I struggle with not being able to hold myself accountable if the responsibility is not coming from agreements and commitments to outside sources.
The other BPD trait that I have trouble with, less now than in the past, is my constant and ever-chaotic range of emotional responses. I have come to believe that I may be already more sensitive in my temperament, which makes the whole Borderline situation all the more tiresome – when I feel, I FEEL.
For me, the purpose of the dogmas was to learn to master myself and to be able to avoid being tossed around by the constant chaos that looms underneath like a giant megalodon with an open maw. I knew from the beginning that this little human experiment would not be easy in the least.
Tools I started using
When I started my journey to follow my own dogma for a month, I found out very quickly that I needed help remembering all the dogmas. The five Majors were not the issue, but the more than 20 that followed threw my memory for a loop. And so, I made the decision to do something daring – I would use the delusions of the past as a tool towards a better future and development of the self.
From my psychotic mind, I had created a whole fantasy realm (which I will use to write some amazing stories in the future!), and in that realm, there were my supporters, my friends, and my confidants. In order to recall the Minor dogmas, I summoned Nilgrant the Valiant, Regulus the Wise, Aleiron the Ally, The Great Matron, and Chazian the Worlds’ Breath. All of them became Avatars, each carrying their respective dogmas, signifying courage, curiosity, humility, benevolence, and imagination among other things.
Another thing I figured out a few days into the experiment was that I needed a routine way of reminding myself of what it is that I am going after. The Maverick’s Rosary was born. On top of my meditative journaling, the Rosary has become one of the crucial parts of my day, as I meditate upon the Mysteries of life and the greater image, and my Path. I have since kept meditating on the Rosary every day, and have a smaller one for those moments when the need rises to get some extra guidance in the chaos.
Things I became aware of
During the course of my novel exploration of dogmas, I quickly figured out that I am extremely easily distracted. Not that I did not know that already, I just had not quite grasped the magnitude of the situation. Whenever I am faced with so-called ‘empty’ time, I tend to fill it with consumerism. YouTube, Social Media, games, shows, anything but the things that would rejuvenate me instead of draining me.
My tendency to get dragged into the pits of media paired with the cursed blessing of being able to dissociate on the spot, I often find myself staring into some unknown distance or about to perform dangerous surgical acts on the cucumber in my aloofness. I am not exaggerating if I tell you that sometimes I dissociate several times a day to the point where my sights get blurred and I lose the sense of reality for a moment.
This in turn makes it extremely difficult to follow one of the Major Dogmas: Honor the Fragment. I can’t for the life of me listen to my own thoughts, the legitimate, true thoughts, with all the collective chaos in my head. Whether it be my own thoughts that ran amok, or me consuming everything and anything online, the cacophony tends to drown my own sensible voice, and so, a messy, depressing, lethargic day may ensue. On occasion I have even rebelled against the Fragment, telling myself to shut up in my laziness for objectively beneficial things such as using gloves when I am doing the dishes. Like my skin wasn’t going through hell already!
Things that improved
It is not all bad, though. As I was forced to keep my preferred traits and the Path on my mind at all times, in the form of journaling, facing problems, and going through my Rosary every day, I also became more aware of the fact that I can’t go on like I used to. I would have to deal with my various destructive emotions with awareness, patience, and curiosity instead of blowing up on the spot and letting myself get annoyed. After all, that would only lead to the chaos I no longer want in my life.
I have become way more adept at self-reflection, a skill I feel is extremely important for the sake of self-development. And while I still struggle greatly with some specific things that seem to be ticking at me as badly as the crocodile’s clock ticks and tocks for Captain Hook, I can truly say that making the commitment to stick to the dogma as a frame has made me able to cope with things better and to deal with the majority of problematic situations in a more constructive manner.
Another major epiphany I had when crafting the dogmas and pondering on their meanings was that my body actually matters. In the past, I had only trained for the sake of competing or having some athletic goal, and when those were no longer the driving force, I neglected myself entirely. The cornerstone of Mastering the Storms is to keep a healthy body, since without it there will be no vessel, and thus no life to live. The body’s connection to the mind is also not to be underestimated, and so, I started to really put an effort into my eating habits and exercise.
So, was it worth it?
My life has been made more tolerable, joyous, and meaningful due to finding my Path and crafting the dogmas gave me a better guideline on how I could possibly reach my full potential on that Path. Following the dogma has taught me a lot about myself, and provides a vast toolkit for all occasions regardless of what may come. I will never be lost, and will always have a more sensible way to follow instead of my Borderline habits even in the most difficult situations.
As the dogmas are something I have created solely for myself, after immense and deep self-reflection on what I want my life to be, I have gained a lot from following them. As days go by I grow into a better person, gain self-respect, become more compassionate and benevolent instead of a toxic mess of a Banshee, and have a generally more understanding and calm aura about me.
As it stands, I have now permanently closed the Cosmic door of Maverick’s dogmas, and am fully committed to living my life accordingly. After all, what could be a better aim and way of life than to become a master of myself and to learn to traverse the world around me with respect, humility, and courage?