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Last night was the first night in awhile where it was cool enough to keep my bedroom door open. Delight!
It also led to me waking up quite a bit during the night. This led to experientially connecting with a question that came up in a recent gathering:
What can I do when waking up in the middle of the night?
Looking back, I recognise that I was anxious from a very young age, but the extent of the anxiety didn’t become apparent until I was in my late twenties and started having panic attacks. A close friend of mine had dropped dead in tragic circumstances a few days before they started, and very soon I found myself facing the suppressed horror and grief of a previous loss, the death of my best friend in an accident when we were eighteen.
Lately, I’ve been reading about certainty addiction (or bias). Our brains are apparently wired to perceive uncertainty as a potential threat to our survival, so we go looking for certainty wherever we can find it. We prefer certainties – however painful or uncomfortable – to the unknown and uncertain. We will ignore facts, reasoning and arguments – however compelling – that seem to threaten our sense of certainty.
A few years ago, during the bedraggled final tatters of our relationship, my ex-partner and I were out walking our dog when we got into yet another heated argument.
I can’t even remember now what we were disagreeing about, but as he asserted his view I asked, “But how do you know that’s actually the case?” (Even then, I knew how to ask questions that would piss people off.)
He replied, angrily and brim-full of conviction: “I know that’s how it is, because I am right!”