Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Could It Be That Simple?

Wednesdays can be dull and boring, that middle of the road day of the week where nothing happens that we enjoy.  It isn't the start of the week to be all revved up about having a good week and it isn't the slide into the "fun" weekend.

I personally often find a weekend to be exhausting, but that's just me.  I'm an odd duck.


Anyway.  I thought I'd go about stirring some things up today, just because I can.

I meet a lot of people and have a lot of conversations.  That seems to happen when you have a lot of kids.  People tend to open up to me and tell me all kinds of things, especially if I see them in any sort of regular way, like at school or sports or whatever.  Our lives overlap and these are friendships in a way.

People have a lot of junk in their lives.  A lot of junk they have trouble handling or processing or getting over.  People seem to get stuck on certain things.

Don't get me wrong here in this blog, I'm certainly not saying I'm not just like everyone else.  I am.

We people of the human race, we manipulate, we make excuses and rationalize, usually without even meaning to or trying to.  We do it to ourselves deep inside our own minds when we're just simply alone with ourselves.

It's easy to find the rationalization or justification to have one more cookie or take a nap or watch some TV instead of have a glass of water, go exercise or read a book.  A lot of times, this stuff is no big deal, because most of the time, most of us are able to give ourselves the push we need to get back on track and in gear before we slide too far down the path of I deserve, I need, or whatever it is we like to say to ourselves.

It spreads though, these ideas and phrases and we then start to apply them to the rest of our lives and we go about dumping this onto other people.  We suddenly are having conversations with other people and expecting them to go along with our justifications and excuses.  We put a little pressure on them by using the guilt of friendship or love.  Hear it now, "oh, I know you understand what I'm saying because you know me".  Sometimes we get all defensive and say the same thing to guilt in another way to earn that justification we want to keep carrying on about something.  "you haven't lived through xyz so you wouldn't understand" or some similar phrase comes out of our mouths.

I'm reading a very dark book right now.  It's a man's journey from sanity to the edge, maybe even over the edge of insanity and back again.  It's a hard and disturbing story.

So far, the part that strikes me the most is his sort of fleeting side narrative of observations, now that he's walked the whole path and can hindsight 20/20 the whole thing.

In a way, he says that perhaps the way out of the madness was more simple than he believed it to be or allowed it to be.

I am always being accused of being a jerk, of being to simple minded about things.  I hear that I am not compassionate or understanding, that I lack empathy.

I don't believe that I do, but I don't think I'd like to see myself in that light even if I did think that I'm like that.

I do think, that I'm a do it kind of person.  A push through it person.

The man in the story encounters doctor after doctor in the decades of his spiraling mental health.  Some are filled with compassion and empathy.  He likes them.  They build good relationships, he is somewhat faithful to therapy and yet makes little if any progress towards health.  In fact, more often than not, he ends up manipulating the situation, trying to control and get his way and ends up worse for it after he gets what he wants.

As the book gets closer and closer to the end, he talks more and more about the doctors he didn't like.  The ones that scared him or angered him.  They were the ones who had little patience with him, who got in his face.  They were the ones that kept saying, this isn't that hard, decide to feel differently about this.  Choose to stop behaving this way.  Make a choice to accept that x and y and z happened to you and it sucked but you are still alive and have a life and you are simply wasting it, change and go live it.

We have become this.  In our minute little social circles, in our communities, in our cities and states and religions.  We are a collective, generations large, of people who want the empathy and compassion instead of the kick in the ass and the sharp words.

I think we are suffering for it.

I think it is possible, and yes, it obviously takes time and doesn't happen over night and isn't easy and all that, but it is possible to just make a choice and live a life with a lot less drama and negative everything.  Yes, horrible painful destructive things happen to everyone.  No, it isn't fair one bit.  But it's life.  No one is exempt unless they are dead.

Am I saying never feel something or recognize it hurts?  No, not at all.  If you even know me slightly or have read here before, you'll know that isn't my style at all.  I yell embrace the bittersweet all the time because that's where all the good in this life hides.

I am saying, and I think maybe, there is even some Biblical back up here for all this (I'm no scholar so correct away) but God commands us, a lot in that Bible of His, to sing and worship and love and have joy.  He doesn't command us to be afraid or angry or worry.  He doesn't ask us to control things or expect things be according to what we think is best or right.  He doesn't command us to be jerks or seek retribution or revenge.  He doesn't say wait and wallow and magically it'll all turn out all right.  Very often there is a little Biblical shove that says, hey, don't forget that I expect you to be doing your part and I promise I'll take care of mine.

The man in the book, comes to a place where he says quite plainly, that perhaps those doctors who told him to just get better were right and it was that simple and the only reason he couldn't or wouldn't make those choices to get better was because he liked being sick in some way.

I think we are all like that.  We all have our things that we are blind about and just refuse to see in any other light than the one we've always seen it in, because we like our drama.  We are comfortable in our familiar routine of pain and pity.  We don't like to see ourselves that plainly.  It's much nicer to be able to look at ourselves and what we do through the lenses of excuse and rationalization and justification.

But, we need to be aware if we want to be alive and not missing our own lives.  When the same sorts of situations keep coming into our lives, person after person, setting after setting, maybe it has more to do with us instead of life.  When we get that vague feeling that people are telling us the same thing over and over, maybe we should hear it a little and check our selves to see if there is perhaps some truth in it.

I don't know.  Maybe I am just a simple minded gal who thinks that having life be better and easier and smoother and more full of the good stuff is just as easy as deciding to have it be that way.  Maybe I live some sort of charmed life and don't know any better.  Maybe it's personal experience that says when I finally decided I was done feeling like dirt about everything in my life and stopped letting that be the experience, the experience changed.

Yeah, I still have plenty of days where I'm derailed as far as finding my self "worthy" or "talented" or "useful" or "loved" or whatever adjective you want to put in there.  Yeah, I still have dark funky days sometimes.  Everyone does, but it doesn't mean that is my sole identity or the end all be all absolute for the rest of my days.  Nope.  Every single breath, every second, is a chance, a chance to see it differently and take the next step or breath with a whole different outlook.

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