This blog is kind of turning into a voyage into the realizations and follies of Jason in his effort to be a better man than simply stories of weird experiences. Perhaps these more recent experiences I have written about in the last couple of posts are the weirdest of all and deify all logic.
Some examples might be the concept of the mirror, that a person can upset me so much because they are doing something I myself do. Would this not be welcome? Am I that irritating? How about the person that feels absolutely justified in their actions that they are hurtful to others? Is this not blatantly obvious to the person?
Well the answer I have found is no. Most people cannot see these things and it takes tremendous effort and an absolute willingness to surrender their ego and protection mechanisms to do it. I am still seeing this in myself on more levels than I ever imagined.
I can catch that exact moment when I am being triggered, or so I think, and still go with it. I sometimes still think it is ok to shoot a person a dirty look based on actions I feel are not appropriate or harmonious for others. The paradox for me is that then I am the bad guy. I am the one who is being rude.
The other guy might have just been an annoying presence but I took it into a possible confrontation. I put out a negative catalyst hoping to change the situation but it will often only bring a feeling of sadness or anger to the person if it is even noticed or acknowledge. At this point it will often become a battle of self-defense and a justification for a certain behavior or position. It is very unlikely to change in any real sense.
The problem I see is that of communication. I am not speaking up about something in a neutral and non-projecting manner. By projection I mean a rigid view of the person, situation, or issue that is really about me and can come out as shaming and blaming towards another (important to note that projections can also be positive).
I seem to still want to hold my need for expression in until it builds volatile energy within me. Then there is much less control in how my want for a specific change is expressed. It is true I could simply take the Buddhist path and let go of any external change needed, which I do to a certain extent very often but that to me can be taken too far to the other end of the spectrum.
At a certain point I feel we all must speak up and share our wants with the world. Many of our deep wants are the same despite all our superficial differences. This is how positive change happens rather than spiritual escapism in labeling much of the harmful things in the world as karma, gods will, or that’s just the way it has always been. A collective dialog needs to take place.
When I can calmly express a want I may not always get it and it may not always be received well but it is out in the open and a possible catalyst for change. I don’t have to unknowingly hold it in until it explodes out or becomes a disease pattern in my body.
An expressed need won’t always get met but when done with the use of tools such as non-violent communication terms and assertive speech it sometimes does.
I have also found and seen in others that when a want is expressed feedback can be given. Sometimes the want is based on a judgment or assumption of what another person is doing or saying. When the other person can calmly communicate back their position without being too defensive genuine communication can be achieved. Both parties are no longer mind reading or misinterpreting the others actions. This is a fine art that few have achieved but I have met a few who give me great hope.
The biggest hindrance I see to open communication is a lack of authenticity and ownership of ones actions. Without honesty a foundation is difficult to establish. So what to do in that situation?
I have yet to figure this one out. I try to just accept what the person tells me as true but then I see indications that it is not. Sometimes it is concrete factual data that they are not being truthful and still the lie or omission of truth is not acknowledged. This is so frustrating to me and makes it to where I don’t even want to engage with the person. I find myself not even really listening to them that closely and working really hard not to make judgments about what they are saying. This really saddens me.
It reminds me of the burden of truth and how so many things can be effectively hidden by not openly acknowledging them. Many lawyers love this. You never admit guilt. This can be seen in extreme examples when a person is caught red handed cheating on their partner and simply says it wasn’t them.
There was a song by Shaggy released in 2000 about that. I thought it was brilliant but also one of the most abusive things a person could do to someone they love. Not the cheating part but to say it didn’t happen, to fully reject the reality that they both shared. She saw it, he did it, but it is a “No. Didn’t happen” I will never admit it type energy.
It is pretty ballsy but unfortunately it would work with some people who are so damaged and desperate to stay with the form of “love” and security they have with that person. This allows the person cheating to get their want filled at the expense of their partner who may accept it on some level in order to stay “comfortable”.
Although I have never experienced the extreme case as presented in the song I have and have had interactions with people who I can’t trust are telling me the truth. After a long hard road of frustration and failed efforts these persons have taught me to accept people as they are and not try to change them.
They are choosing a specific reality that they want to live in. It probably feels safe and so I try to just leave that be and remain neutral.
I have to keep a wall or barrier up with these people who are a part of my life by default. I love and care about them but I feel like we can’t really be fully present with one another. Perhaps this is based on my trust issues and allows me the opportunity to work on this and probably why they are in my life.
Luckily, I can present my wants and they will often acknowledge many of them. The ones they don’t are often related to some part of them that is not yet ready to be vulnerable. This taught me that it is not my place to get others to change so that I am more comfortable.
I think many people, including myself are too invested in how others perceive them that they will not acknowledge certain things. They may even be aware others know these things about them but they still need to hold onto a specific view of self. This is being over identified with the ego. I would describe it as a part that is superficial and covers up genuine human interactions and communication on deeper levels. These identifications are often mental (metal) aberrations that may feel comforting and safe but actually cause suffering in one’s self and others.
To be vulnerable and express deep wants with non-attached outcome expectations and neutral energy while acknowledging the reality and wants of another. All while being aware of my own judgments of situations and personal self-protective comfort needs. Wow what a handful! Luckily, I have many years to continue my work on this and probably a couple more lifetimes after this one.
May you always express your wants in a healthy compassionate way,