Wednesday, August 18, 2021

If Only we saw through each others lenses

It started with a bit of mania, a celebrant's high. When I'm happy, like celebrating a trip-around-the-sun-anniversary, I want to soak up everything life has to offer, buy people gifts, and share that sense of joy with everyone around me. 

As someone that tends to look outward for validation, that high can be very tentative and dangerous. Inevitably, it will fade, leaving me feeling hungover with that same day-after sense of remorse and self-consciousness, weakness, and unworthiness. Little things, like a chiding joke about my age, or a badly worded job ad devaluing my profession, can carve out a Yosemite sized valley in my sense of worth without all the millenia needed by those pesky glaciers.

Sitting with a roof over my head, refrigerator full of food, I'm aware of the privilege packed into that statement. I'm talking mental status here, and not looking for sympathy but rather trying to share some meta information to help us all find a better place to rest our consciousness. 

Fast forward a few gloomy self-deprecating, self-medicating days.

I had breakthrough. What if the world truly doesn't have the worst intentions. In fact, what if it's not even a collection of "How Can Someone Be So Cruel" moments, but that I'm so in my own head that I'm actually neglecting to see they themselves are actually asking for the same fulfillment of needs from me, just in their own language? That fulfillment can be actions from me, or even, having me leave them be.

For every time I (your you) think someone doesn't see what I (you) don't do for them, or doesn't understand me, I started to imagine, what if they were thinking the exact same thing about me. If we are both right, both struggling to be heard, to be validated, what's the solution? We, well, *I* could, with all this new awareness, just stop looking outward.

Just for a minute, imagine the collective sigh of relief as the psychic energy draw dropped 50%.
 Imagine too how your personal strain, that pain of reaching, and feeling less than, feeling inadequate and unheard, would dissipate.

I'm not suggesting that I am (or you are) better off walling myself off from the world. Just that if I'm on my yoga mat, working on creating that sense of groundedness and self-sufficiency, coming from a place of personal power, then I'm not burdening anyone else with it. Then, when I step off the mat, I might have some extra resources to share for those that need it. Or, I won't be resentful when someone pushes me away either by action or word, because I'm content.