By Wes Annac, Openhearted Rebellion
The concept of rebelling against authority via art is nothing new; I can’t pretend I came up with it. When the idea came to me, however, it felt like a fresh source of inspiration to keep writing and spreading my brand of positivity out to the world. I had turned away from some of the less desirable aspects of the new age movement, and I was looking for something to guide and inspire me.
Inspiring though it was – it wasn’t enough to keep me going. As life seemed to relentlessly heap stress upon me, it felt like my attempts to make a living through writing and blogging were falling flat. Bills were piling up and I needed another source of income. On top of all that, I was beginning to doubt if I was really cut out to be a writer.
Though I did manage to get a part-time job that provided some financial relief, it became harder to sit down and write like I used to. My self-doubt went from manageable, to overwhelming, to crippling. I started to feel like everything I wrote was sub-par. I would cringe reading over a draft of a blog post, as I felt like an unskilled amateur.
I was already dealing with all this when 2020 knocked everyone on our asses. When combined with the vitriol some people in my online community began to express on social media; the stresses of the pandemic killed my last bit of inspiration. Maybe some of you can relate to this: too many of my friends went down rabbit holes that did not seem healthy.
I won’t name specific online movements that I think took advantage of some people’s gullibility, but it was all motivated by politics. Suddenly, I was hearing that the corruption I had associated with all politicians and big corporations was now present in only one political party.
Along with that strange twist in ideology in my community, online discussions went from friendly to toxic. I was suddenly arguing with people I had considered friends. And boy, did they get hateful. Sadly, I did, too. I tried to keep going with the blog, but as the pandemic raged on and I got in more pointless arguments with former friends and probable Russian bots; it felt less likely that I would ever get back to writing as consistently as before.
So, I took a long time off to focus on my family, job, and health. I found a new outlet in exercise – something I’m happy to say I am far more disciplined at than I ever was with writing. Through a lot of hard work and self-reflection, I am now in a place in which I feel truly healthy and happy. Now seems like the best time to get back to creating.
I never intended to give up writing, just as I never totally left behind the idea of an openhearted rebellion. I haven’t forgotten my friends or the incredible compassion you’ve all shown my family and I when we were struggling. I just needed some time to create better habits and build my mental health back up before trying to write again.
Boy, what a time to jump back in. With elections here in the U.S. just around the corner (I don’t want to think about 2024), the invasion of Ukraine, horrific gun violence happening almost daily, and legislation that limits women’s rights and those of my LGBTQ friends; it is clear we need a compassion-centered global rebellion. To be specific – we need more idealistic dreamers imploring us to rebel against those who enact policies that inflict widespread suffering. When I question my purpose or what I intend to accomplish with writing – I guess this is it.
My intention is the same as it was pre-pandemic. I’m going to encourage people to be kind and show compassion, even if it sounds cringey or soft. Things may be a little different now, as I’m not limiting myself to any one topic or school of thought. I’d rather approach writing with a completely open mind and explore whatever interests me. Nothing will be off limits.
My message is the same it has always been:
- War is stupid and a waste of life
- There are hidden, dormant senses within we can access through disciplined practice
- That practice, which includes making art of all kinds, can open the heart (if you’ll permit my flowery language) and cultivate compassion for everyone going through this human struggle
To engage in openhearted rebellion means to make art, explore the subconscious to discover its hidden mysticism, and try to care about people. My idealism – and perhaps naivete – tells me this could spread around the globe if we all practice it on an individual level. Whether that is true remains to be seen. But I believe it is possible to one day live in a world where people aren’t so wound up and hellbent on killing each other. Sounds crazy, right?
I’ve missed my time in front of the computer, as for me, writing is fun and therapeutic. All that matters is that I sit and write – if for no other reason, than to see how far I can take this. Life is about taking risks and working hard to see what you can accomplish while you grow as a person. So, I’m going to stop being shy and start doing the work.
It’s good to be back.
Much love and keep rebelling. =)