Tricksters and Truth

Fair warning, this post could be a bit of a brain dump. A lot of things have inspired it, but as I’ve thought about it over the last few days, different aspects of this topic kept weaving their way in, so I honestly don’t know what to expect even as I write.

And that’s the crux of it: honesty. I started mulling it over after last week’s kindred gathering to which I’d been invited, and when I was invited to officially join. I was cautious because in the years I’ve spent with these friends, I’ve learned that they had reservations about Loki and the people who are dedicated to him. And it’s understandable, especially since the Lokeans they’ve crossed paths with in the past use the Trickster aspect to excuse their bad behavior. Thankfully in more recent years, they’ve met “good” Lokeans, people who live with honor and integrity, those who follow Loki’s lead in accepting the consequences of their actions and bettering the community with their gifts. I’m honored that my friends consider me the latter type of Lokian as integrity has always been the foundation on which I base everything else. I joke it’s because I’m too lazy to lie or play games because remembering what you told to who is exhausting work, but seriously, I’ve got enough weirdness happening in my day-to-day to be anything but honest. I’ve always bristled at unnecessary, manufactured drama and I’ll play along to see what that person thinks they’re going to accomplish, but I don’t buy any of it for a second.

That’s something else that inspired this topic: games people play, particularly at work. Politics suck, and workplace politics are the fucking worst. I’ve always kind of been something of an outsider, a liminal creature who drifts from group to group. It’s the hallmark of the military brat. It’s a lucky thing being someone who can adapt to any clique but doesn’t really belong to any of them because you have the opportunity to watch and listen to what’s going on with everyone, and to see multiple angles and perspectives to any given situation. And that sums up my position at work: while I’m on medical hiatus from mortuary work, I’m working in a position in a dealership where I’m kind of my own department while my duties involve helping all of the departments. I’m not a part of service, though I report to the service manager. I’m not in the parts department or the sales department, despite doing a lot of tasks for them. I get to interact with everyone who works there, even though the different factions are pretty insular and constantly at war with one another. I always joke that I’m like Nero, perched at my desk and fiddling away while everything implodes around me. I’m Switzerland, the neutral party, the one everyone talks to about their frustrations with opposing departments. To call it fascinating does it a great disservice. It’s downright mesmerizing!

But while just about all of my colleagues are great and I get along with everyone, I’ve quite literally got front row seats to a lot of internal manufactured drama and doublespeak. And that’s what’s both hilarious and excruciating: I have no patience for deception or lies, but it’s pretty entertaining to watch someone who thinks they’re being clever and pulling the wool over their coworkers’ eyes. The powers that be know exactly what’s going on, and while I don’t know why the situation is being humored, it’s making for some pretty interesting nonsense. I’m frustrated by witnessing the blatant self-serving lies, but I’m dying with curiosity over how things will pan out. It’s all completely unnecessary and a tremendous waste of time and energy for everyone involved, and I’m just sitting in my box seat waiting for truth and honesty to prevail. It’s bizarre, and it’s a constant reminder to myself why being truthful is so damn important (and so much easier than the alternative). It’s a strange sociological study, observing the mind games and extreme efforts to manipulate others, wondering just what the hell they think such dishonesty is going to help them achieve. I have to admit that I’m kind of enjoying the show a little too much; I’m not involved with any of it, but I see exactly what’s going on. Don’t try to outsmart the trickster, don’t try to manipulate someone who has an outside view of everything that’s going on. I see more than you realize, I’m hearing all the sides, and I’ve had more than enough experience with observing and understanding clique drama. I’m the audience watching a movie, and I know who’s on the other side of the door before you even open it.

I’ve been very lucky in my life to have the outsider-but-friend status, and I’ve done my best to avoid letting dishonest people into my inner circle. But there’s one dirty rotten liar that’s hard to shun: depression. I’m in treatment for PTSD, and the depression that comes with it is intense and can be all consuming if I’m not careful. For several years, I listened to the depression and believed it when it told me that I was a failure, that everyone hated me, that I was worthless and a burden to the people I love. And I isolated myself because of it, which only gave the depression a stronger voice. Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess, said it simply and said it best: depression lies. The feelings are real, but they’re not based on truth. I believed it so fully that it was a genuine shock when I started treatment and therapy and found my friends and loved ones waiting for me to let them back into my life. I’m still in awe at the intensity of the genuine joy they have to see me and spend time with me. I shunned them for so long, thinking they hated me, when that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. I had shrunk my world down to such a narrow and tiny place that I didn’t get the objectivity that outsiders can possess. I wasn’t observing others and looking at the big picture, I was focused completely inward and listening only to the depression. I still wrestle with it, of course, but now I know what a filthy liar it is and I won’t let it manipulate me anymore. I see more than it realizes, and I won’t fall for its bullshit schemes again.

I’ve always been an open book, everything I talk about and write about is true to the best of my knowledge, and I’m just out here doing my best. As an outsider, I’ve never particularly cared about what others think of me and my weirdness, so long as they think I’m a person of integrity. I may be crazy, I have my flaws, but I’m honest about everything. Probably too honest sometimes. But I’m bad at lying, and my brief flirtation with Catholicism left me with an overdeveloped conscience, so it’s a good thing I don’t want to be deceitful.

Since I’ve clued into the years of Loki’s frantic attempts to get my attention, I’ve had the mental wherewithal to really break through the bullshit and hold integrity to an even higher standard. I don’t listen to the lies depression feeds me, I don’t play into other people’s manipulations, and I don’t accept attacks on my character. Attack me as an individual all you want, because I’m definitely weird enough and flawed enough to be picked on, but don’t ever accuse me of dishonesty. I know who I am and what I am, and I’m exactly what I tell you I am. I do what I can for others, and more, if they’ll let me. I’ll be a sounding board for peoples’ frustrations and never breathe a word of it to anyone. I’ll watch the silly games people play, but don’t bring me into them if you’re not ready to be held accountable for everything you say and do.

Yes, I’m a Lokian. I’m completely devoted to Himself. But don’t think that means I’ll play into any foolery. If you want compassion, you’ve got it. If you want a laugh, I’m here. If you’re looking for help to play games and pull one over on someone for no good reason? You can fuck right off with that nonsense. If you’re flirting with mischief, you’d better damn well have a good point to it before you come to me.

So that’s a brain dump. A disorganized rant about past and present, about lies I’ve believed and liars I’m watching. I’m irked, so irked, and frankly, dishonesty is exhausting. I really am too lazy to deal with that nonsense. Really, folks, it so much easier to conduct yourself with integrity. There’s nothing to worry about when you’re honest. Nothing to keep straight. Just be yourself, keep an open mind, and watch the big picture. The world is actually a pretty cool place full of really wonderful people when you realize you’re not the center of it. And that’s the honest truth!

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