Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Snifter of Vicious Cycle, anyone?
I considered writing about my children’s bat-man car or something witty but I couldn’t shake the idea to write about relating to the world and self-concept. Sometimes ya just gotta go with the plan, even if it's not yours.
How we relate to the world and our appreciation of our self-concept can make or break our enjoyment of our lives and the lives of those around us – anyone, not just those we love.
Because I am so self-absorbed (really, I have to be to write a blog or a book) I was thinking about my own childhood and how I often would relate to moods. Unlike Jasper in Twilight (egad, yes, I read those stories – but, uh, that was so last decade and they’re not on my Kindle, in fact, I never bought them – always borrowed them) I would absorb the mood rather than endeavor to change it. If the mood was happy, I would be happy; if the mood was tense, I would be tense. Seems logical, er, rational, er, reasonable. Right? RIGHT??
It occurred to me then, that this mood-absorption technique is possibly more profound in our so-called “adult” hoping-to-become-self-actualized selves. Imagine aspiring to be self-actualized and daring to not wonder if you are; that’s gotta be the ultimate “are we there yet?” Aaaggghhh…. Snifter of Vicious Cycle, anyone? That eye twitch is back.
I have often remarked that I am just a big kid with a driver’s license and a voter registration card. I can be impulsive and spontaneous and reactive and defiant – just like any “captain a-hole” (a new name I have for my ’tween, he laughs hysterically when I say it, which means it’s working … so far) teenager. Am I stuck there? I like to think of it as a temporary visa. But I don’t like this visa, I don’t want to be the Captain of A-holeville. I want citizenship in Copacetic, U.S.A., nothing fancy… just a regular a-hole.
So I considered my appreciation of my world and my perception of it. I didn’t like the side-effects of this temporary visa: may cause occasional sensitivity, undue perceptions of feeling misunderstood, slight reactivity, intermittent vulnerability, may increase risk of telling people off and the boldfaced warning on the leaflet: Do not operate heavy conversations. It seems I am a candidate for an egoectomy. Honestly, no one thinks about us as much as we think they do. We only wish they did. Or do we?
I remember chatting with a friend who has a slew of fancy letters and periods after her name. We discussed that oftentimes, how we feel about ourselves directly mirrors how we project ourselves to the world and what we get back is 100% what we have coming to us. The universe makes no mistakes.
So that got me thinking about something else I heard: that often what we love about or are repelled by in others is a mirror of characteristics in ourselves. If we love how someone makes us laugh until we pee our pants and cry, and have to grasp any nearby furniture just to prevent ourselves from collapsing in a heap of air-restricted rapture, that’s because we have given that gift to the world. (And really, it is a gift.) Conversely, if we have an experience with a person that leaves us bristled and agitated, feeling invisible, misunderstood, snarky and competitive, you can bet your bippy that’s similar to the energy or the part of ourselves that we present to the world – in that very exact instant. But instead of being grateful, as in the case of the everlasting laughter, we are ungrateful and snarly. So it continues. Until we stop.
AND THIS ISN’T EVEN WITH OUR MOMS AROUND TO TELL US SO!
There is nothing more vexing than feeling like you’re the most important person in the room only to be immediately and firmly educated that you’re the least important person in the room.
>Your needs aren’t more important than anyone else’s! Doink!<
I remember feeling invisible and unheard many times; some as recently as an hour ago! When I take a step back and think about what’s going on, I am often amazed to realize that I felt that way because I turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to that world. Am I awake now? Yeah. And if I’m lucky, I’m humbled (not humiliated – there is a vast difference) and primed for change.
When we’re having “one of those days” when nothing seems to go our way; it’s probably because we’re in our own way… if you want to change the way the world perceives you, change the way you perceive the world.
Thanks for reading.