Friday, September 7, 2007
Life is fast-paced and life can be rough. Life can run over you like a steamroller and some of us handle it better than others. I have a bad habit, I take it all out on other people. I release my feelings of fatigue and frustration with how hectic everything is on others. Only in my mind, I'm usually pleasant in face-to-face encounters, or I try to be. But in my mind I am constantly complaining about people when they drive too slow, when they get in my way in the store and are so wrapped up in their thoughts that they don't notice that I am there and I have to shrewishly clear my throat to get them to move. I judge people who yell at their kids, people who are rude or unpleasant. I even criticize other women's fashion and hairstyles.
I don't think of myself as a hypocrite or a coward because I criticize people in my mind but am nice face-to-face. I think of the critical thoughts as myself blowing off steam. I realize that when I am complaining about people in my mind that I am not really seeing them, that I am objectifying them and as long as they don't know my thoughts that there is really 'no bad'. I comfort myself with the fact that I really am a nice person and that these thoughts don't really mean much, they are just static.
But you know, who am I fooling? Of course they mean something. Supposing that it is true that my thoughts don't hurt anyone else, (even though I don't really believe this) my thoughts at the very least, hurt myself. For, I feel ugly when I think these thoughts, I really do. These thoughts separate me from others and this is painful.
These thoughts also exist in a sort of endless loop. For who says that other people aren't aware of my thoughts? They may not be aware of them in a conscious way, but it's possible or even probable that they sense them. For I believe that it is true that our negative thoughts reveal themselves in subtle ways and provoke people to certain negative responses, again in a subtle way, and that these responses then justify our thoughts to ourselves.
I know that there is a definite difference in the way that I am treated by others depending upon whether I am in a good mood or a bad mood. I understand that a lot of it may be perception, that I am always encountering people who have a positive response towards me but just don't notice it when I am in a funk. But I don't think that that is the extent of the explanation. I again believe that people are responding to subtle cues that I am sending out, this time positive ones and it is because of this that people are responding to me in a positive way.
Have you ever seen anyone who has such a positive, loving vibe that people just seem to melt around them? It is very rare, but it truly happens. Once I was with a boyfriend and at the time, he was all strung out on life. We were waiting at a dry cleaners and there was a car blocking the window. The person driving the car had gone inside and left their car parked in front of the window. My friend was quite miffed and was involved in some very expert cussing when the door opened and a priest walked out and he smiled, no not smiled...he beamed at us. It was such a sunny smile that I have remembered it for all of these years. No-one could withstand such a smile, my friend included. Truly, what power lies in a smile! I know that this is sort of hallmark-yish, but it's true. As it's also true that people respond our moods more than we or even they probably realize.
What has prompted these thoughts? I was out the other day and it was like I had some sort of epiphany or some sort of worldly veil was lifted from me and I suddenly saw things as they truly are. I was suddenly unable to objectify people as is my habit and I started seeing them and they all looked so beautiful! And everyone looked that way! No-one escaped. Even people who gave off bad vibes, I felt sad for them because they were unhappy. And I couldn't stop looking at people like this was something that I had been hungry for.
Do you know the story of Helen Keller? It was one of my favorite stories when I was young. Helen Keller was deaf and blind. There was no sign language system in use at the time and people just didn't think that it was possible that she would ever be able to communicate with other people, then someone taught her finger spelling. For a long time, she didn't connect the words spelled with her fingers and the objects that these words were supposed to be representing. But suddenly one day she understood and she went flying around touching everything and asking for it's name. The world was suddenly opened to her.
This is what I felt like, I felt like she she must felt when everything was revealed and she saw how much more there was than she had ever known before. Except I didn't rush around and start touching people. All of a sudden that spiritual blindness left me for a time and I felt connected with everything in a way in which I usually don't and that feeling of being ugly that I carry around without even realizing that it is there suddenly left me and that was when I realized what a burden it was and how tired it makes me.
I've had things that have happened to me and just like anyone else, this is why I developed some of the attitudes I developed. I think that our attitudes sometimes protect us, they are an armor we wear and we are supposed to grow so that one day we do not need this armor anymore.
It's time for me to move on, as I've seen, it certainly would feel much better. Going through the world seeing everything through new eyes would make going through it so much easier.