Developing Agency: becoming someone you can trust

Abstract carving.

You need to develop personal accountability if you are ever going to trust yourself.

One of the ways we give up authorship and sovereignty is by not being internally trustworthy.

What happens when you make a decision to do something or refrain from doing something, and you don’t follow through on that decision?

Each time you do this, you are weakening your sovereignty, which can be thought of as a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes, the more natural sovereignty becomes. The more you undermine it, the more it atrophies, until finally you can’t count on yourself anymore. You can’t trust yourself anymore.

Even though this is a highly perverse and corrupted state of being, it becomes increasingly accepted as normal as you continue to erode the validity of your word, as you continue to give up being accountable to yourself. The Control Matrix is designed this way, of course, and just about everything in our culture and society lulls us into accepting this lack of self control, of internal integrity, as normal.

Normal. What a scary, degenerate standard by which to measure and understand ourselves.

If you are going to have agency, you’re going to have to start flexing this sad, dried up muscle. You’re going to have to aim for extraordinary, exceptional…not normal.

What is actually happening when you do not exercise control of your own behavior? We’ve been taught we must exert control over our behavior, as if we are fragmented and need to fight for control within ourselves. It’s not control over, it’s control of.

If you are not controlling your actions, who is? Really think about that.

Let’s say that something else is trying to control your actions. In any given moment, either you or something else will be in control of your actions. And every time you control your actions, you strengthen that muscle of Agency. Every time you let the other control your actions, you not only weaken your Agency, you strengthen theirs.

What precedes action? Thoughts, of course. So even though the contest is ultimately over who controls your action, the battle is waged in the theater of the mind. Who controls your thoughts controls your actions.

We’ll get to controlling thoughts later, but it’s actually easier to gain ground starting with action. When you say you are not going to eat sugar for a week, and you do it anyway, you are both giving your authority to the Other as well as affirming within yourself that this is acceptable.

Bring to mind the last time you said you were not going to do something, but couldn’t stop yourself and did it anyway. Really bring to mind that craving, burning, must-do-it feeling…like it won’t let you rest until you do it. Now imagine that someone is able to observe your every move, so you can’t lie or do it in secret…they will know if you do it. And imagine that they have sworn to take a litter of two week old kittens, tie them into a large pillow case and throw them in a lake to drown if you do it. You can look at your mobile and see a live stream of these adorable kittens, and the person is petting them, with a pillow case in the background. It’s not theoretical, you hold the lives of these kittens in the balance.

What happens to this feeling that you can’t control yourself? That you must do it anyway. You must eat the sugar, drink the alcohol, call the ex, spend the money. Whatever it is. It suddenly loses its urgency when you have to choose between the compulsive action and the lives of five kittens. Once you refocus and reframe, can you, in fact, control (be the author of) your actions? Are you really as compulsive as you’ve acclimated yourself to believe?

Kitten Lives Matter!

And you’re able to connect with that in a visceral, immediate way, which helps to snap you out of compulsion for a while. What you have to awaken to is that your Agency matters. Just like life and death. Just like a litter of adorable kittens. Once you wrest yourself from the control of the Other and regain your Agency, you’ll understand how utterly repugnant the idea of living your life under the compulsion of the Other is.

Become someone you can trust. I trust myself. Not because I’m perfect and never make mistakes. But because I will never deliver my body, spirit and soul over to the Other as a plaything, as a puppet, as a food source.

How long would you like to do this experiment? A week? A day? Do what you intend to do. Let your decision and your action be one inseparable, unfragmentable thing. Notice when the Other starts exerting their will upon you. Notice the exact thoughts, images or feelings they employ.

Pay attention. Notice what it feels like to move resolutely through that trap and complete the decision-action path of integrity.

This is not about becoming rigid, never being able to change your mind or act spontaneously. It’s about becoming aware of the contest that is happening within you, understanding that it’s not between you and yourself, but between you and the Other, and rehabilitating your Agency from its current state of atrophy and neglect.

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