Now that you're deemed an antihero, what are you still afraid of? The worst part of this phase of your life is over. But if you still don't know what your past has to teach you and how it has shaped your identity, you'll have a hard time moving on. It's time to reframe your story, before someone else does for you—again.
One of the surest ways to break your recidivistic cycle of shame is to create boundaries that are ridiculously strict and to which you will wholeheartedly commit. It's the only way you end the self-sabotage that goes on after losing self-confidence, gaining depression and rolling around in self-pity. Cut your losses. As you forge new relationships with others, especially antiheroes in the woods, end the toxic ones that are preventing you from owning up to your past and/or moving forward in newness.
It'll hurt at first. And the person on the receiving end might not like at all. But if they respect and love you, let you go so that you begin to properly heal. And who knows, they just begin healing too in the process. Set crazy boundaries and stick by them. Also, the more influential you are, the crazier the boundaries need to get. It's just your lot in life now. Accept and move on—in newness.
Your voice is not just about your vocal ability, but your demeanor, level of confidence and other factors that reflect your personal identity. But can your voice exclusively represent the nature and character of who you are? Can it be more than an extension of your personality? What do you think?
I'm going to test out the most popular image-rich platform to date, which is Instagram. It'll be an artistic approach to revealing characteristics and real-life experiences of antiheroes—but through objects, not people. The antihero personified. Let's see where this journey will take us.
I know you're out there. Just need to find out where you reside online during your post-shaming experience. From I know so far, you want to stay anonymous and the affordability and accessibility of being able to still connect online helps. Almost like a digital AA meeting. I also know you're not really big on commenting or forums. At least not immediately after the shaming incident.
This begs the question: Is increasing the Antihero NYC social media presence going to make a difference for you, instead of the "third-party" or secondary audience of therapists, professionals and others who talk about shame but aren't actually in it? I suppose it's time to do more testing.
One of the connections I've made while finishing my research paper is that a premature development of the highest-ordered thinking about yourself is what leads to the feeling of shame. Imagine you have an insatiable desire for eating, but instead of being identified as a chef in the making, your prescribed as obese. Whether true or not, with enough people supporting that story of your own identity, and with you never even considering the notion of being overweight, you shamefully try to defend yourself—most likely to no avail.
I'd go as far to propose that shame doesn't come from what you've done as much as it is from who you perceive yourself as at that moment and moments to come. For example, do you feel embarrassed when you trip on the sidewalk? If so, it's probably because you and/or your onlookers told yourself a defeatist narrative. Clumsy, can never get it together, not aware of your surroundngs, etc.
The Antihero Journey was designed to assist in developing your metacognitive ability and realign your past objectively, which will create a level of healthy self-esteem to begin living a meaningful present.
Sometimes, it's difficult to remember when your going through the "going through", but don't forget that you have people who still love you regardless of what you've done. They are in your corner and are ready to help you fulfill your purpose—and downright fight for you to make it. But they need something special from you. It's your story.
I met Josh today and missed the opportunity to capture our dialogue! When you have an inkling to do something that aligns with your purpose, but may not make sense initially, grab it! Oftentimes, and especially when you're in the woods, finding restoration, your intuition can be heightened. Follow the voice. It may take time to decipher what's you being fearful vs. taking a healthy risk that'll develop your character or simply capture a wonderful memory. But the more you get out of your head and act on it and continue to be productive in your space of solitude, the more you'll learn how to differentiate between you and "the voice".
Word on the street is that Don Draper didn't experience personal enlightenment as much as he did a professional epiphany in that very last scene. It all boils down to the "Ping!" at the end and how you interpret that sound effect. Is it the peaceful hippie chime resonating across the rolling green hills of the spiritual retreat? Is the mental spark of an idea for the Coca-Cola ad that immediately follows Draper's smile?
I won't rule out the professional epiphany, but I feel it's secondary to Don's moment of clarity and peace at being in his own skin. He's the epitome of the antihero restored—and he didn't have to physically end his life to reconcile with the world. It's crazy how the entire series comes down to a single blip of a sound effect. Mad Men was such a great TV series. Here's to a successful show: Ping!
I'm a huge Man Men fan and I feel like Matt Weiner and his team gave the finale its due justice. The ending, which is Don Draper's beginning is how I'd sum up the honorable spin to being an antihero with dignity. All of his problems were neatly tied in an AMC TV screenwriting bow. We still see some of his flaws shine through, but he even is a better version of those flaws than he was two seasons ago.
For instance, Don's intimate encounter with the woman who tried to take his money. The meetup is still scandalous, but his womanizing character has evolved to something a bit more on the respectable side. Not perfect, but evolving. Without a doubt, Don as changed and is changing. And his final expression in the very last scene before the closing Coca-Cola ad reflects his transformation. This series gives to a new kind of antihero.
I wasn't going to post this wrave because I thought it wasn't scientific or practical enough. But then I remembered why I started doing these. More than just how-to steps, but artful and authentic 'rants' of someone you can hopefully relate to, while coming away with at least one way to make it through this life as an antihero.
This wrave is about doing the most basic step to facing and overcoming your past. And it's part of the learning paradigm used to develop the Antihero's Journey. I don't believe you should just move past your shame, but I want us to master it. And Bloom's Revised Taxonomy, along with the Learning for Mastery theory is an elegant way to begin leveraging your past for a meaningful present and hopeful future.
We antiheroes have polarized emotions and characteristics. We didn't care what people thought while we were badasses doing our pre-shame game or dirt. We might've ruined valuable relationships, damaged others' self-esteem or stolen money and didn't care that much to change our destructive patterns. But now, post-shame, we're on the other extreme of caring way too much about what others think of us, which is just as damaging—if not worse—than not caring at all. What to do?
First, understand that now is the time to put other people's thoughts about you on hold. Let go of those opinions of others. Transcend it. You've got enough to last you for the next two years. How to do that? Intentionally position yourself in a place (location or locution-wise) that will make people form an opinion about you that you cannot control. Examples are in this wrave. The "Starbucks" one is adapted from Actualized.org's Leo Gura (video here).
The reframing process for getting over your past can be summed up in three words: Know, Own and Move. In this wrave, you learn the simplest version of reframing, and also why people like O.J. Simpson and George Zimmerman just can't seem to stay out of the media lime light after they've been given another chance to be an upstanding citizen. The reason may surprise you. Forgive the sniffling throughout this wrave! Allergy season is in full effect.
The loss of confidence is just as methodical and gradual and gaining it back. Remember how it felt to be on top of your confidence game with nothing or no one to hold you back? That was pre-shame. And post-shame is a bit different. To find that sweet spot of self-assurance again, you have to go through a process. It begins with letting go of trying to vindicate yourself. But that only happens during your period of isolation. Is isolation necessary for restoration? There's no solid theory on it yet, but I think so.
How much are you worth? That's actually a trick question. Many of us haven't "sold our souls" but we often prostitute our gifts, talents or professional services based on our shameful past. The damaging, low-end story you've been telling yourself for so long has made you devalue your standards, expectations and even consulting fees for others. It's time to stop accommodating the depreciation of others. It's time to respect ourselves. And we do that by reframing our past and changing our personal narrative.
We antiheroes often give to get. Our generosity comes with an insidious ROI expectation. But when we learn to just give without any hopes of short-term personal gain or a patient long-term exit strategy, we leave room for others to do same for us. I don't believe in karma, but I do believe in the Golden Rule.
By doing to others what we'd expect to receive, we actually begin to change the selfish part of our antiheroic characters. It happened to me. Today. In reality, it happens to us more often than we think. We're more aware of such generosity and lose our sense of entitlement when we freely give our time, expertise, energy or resources to others.
This is a mellow pilot episode, considering the title "shortwrave", which stands for shortwave radio raves. I suppose they'll be brief bursts of enthusiastic thoughts of inspiration or maybe even rants.
But this first wrave is really laid-back. Maybe I'll keep it that way, as we embody the contradictions of antiheroic living. And it might even sound a bit cryptic to the non-antihero. But you antiheroes will get it. It's a new season. Let's adapt and move forward.