Sunday, August 11, 2013

In the Mess is Me

from cedonaah.blogspot.com
I have been thinking about how life as a human being is inherently selfish. It is about whichever ME is experiencing it. We do things because they make us feel good or important or at least don't make us feel badly.

When someone does something we don't like, we often let them know, and judge them for their choices. We get upset when people don't do what we think they should do or say what we think they should say. We make what we are upset about about them, when in actuality, it is about us.

It is ALL about US. Every last bit of it.

And yet...

We act like it's not. We act like anyone who thinks about his or herself is terrible. We act like we are doing another a favor by bestowing our infinite wisdom to know better upon them. We try to make people feel terrible for being who they truly, deeply are on a core level. And we make it seem like it is a bad thing.

And yet...

We all do it. We are all wired this way. And we are all at many times the benefactor of another's beliefs about who we are and and the type of life we should live.

It just seems that how some of us choose to be this way is less acceptable in some people's eyes than in others. I suppose there are some ways that should never be acceptable, and yet they stem from the same place that eve the things that seem to be "OK" or even "good" come from. It isn't possible to sort out the things we like and discard the rest.

These days I am looking at how things are and I am looking at how I interact with them. There is no finger pointing. There is no blame. There are only questions. How am *I* going to be in regard to...? Some things are OK. Some are not. I am finally recognizing myself. I am finally listening to myself and not a version of me that should be according to someone else's blueprint of expectations. How much of our life is muted by what others think we should be? How much of our life is spent denying who we think we are and know ourselves to be because someone else (or something else, like "society") thinks we should for one reason or another?

I wish I knew what the answers were to a lot of the tough questions about being human, but I don't. The interesting part is that while many have acted like they do know, I tend to think that might just be where the "trouble" starts. Battles big and small have been fought over the things we think we know are the "best."

It is really hard to write this, when I think about the bigger life pictures. I am certain that many people could take issue with the idea that the world couldn't function if we were selfish. The thing is, though, that if I am right, and we are selfish, we are only making things worse by denying it and trying to go against what is a natural, and perhaps good, part of ourselves.

Putting that aside, though, I am thinking more of the individual, daily battles that we wage. The ones, on the surface, that might seem insignificant as compared to the world's greater woes. I can't help but wonder if the ones that we have at that level become sediment for the bigger ones.

I saw a video with Steve Jobs from 1994 in which he was talking about how his life's work would be obsolete by the time he was 50. He said that what he did was lay a foundation for the things that would be coming, and while people would have the benefit of what had come before, it would be something that would not exactly be tangible or able to be grasped directly by them.

I thought it was a great metaphor for much of life. How often do we just build on top of what is already there? The thing is, though, what if what is already there isn't the best foundation for where we might want to go? We can blindly keep going, or we can do some work and do some excavation and rebuilding.

I think at this point in my life that is where I am. I am excavating and I am discovering things about myself that might not have ever really fit - things that others thought were right or best for me. It is no wonder I have often been uncomfortable. I have been trying to be something I wasn't supposed to be. Something was saying stop trying to be a square when you are a wiggly line, and I was saying being wiggly was all wrong, what is wrong with me that I can't be the square - just like everyone else? And that was often after someone else was telling me how wrong I was for being who and how I am.

There is a lot of noise in my head.

As I write this, I think about how if things had turned out differently, I would not be here now writing about my experience. I would not be here to think about these things, and to sort them through. It makes me wonder what things I have yet to learn about myself and life. If my life had ended last year, this learning would not have been possible - at least not in this way.

I am grateful that I am here and still learning and growing and exploring. I have to just hope that when the time does come for me to leave this life that I got whatever it was that I came for. In the meantime, all I can do is be grateful for the opportunity and just keep going and discovering. It sounds so cliche, doesn't it? But the "funny" thing is that the idea of it has more substance for me now than it ever has.

I have never liked a cliche in the middle of a messy situation. It feels a bit like a band-aid on a gaping wound. I think those wonderful sayings that mean something only mean something when the depth is there to support them. Perhaps once upon a time someone got to a place that had the foundation and the idea that became the cliche was born. Perhaps those who understood it - because they had their own foundations - shared it as well.

But then there were those who only got the words. Those who only got the words couldn't benefit as much - even though the idea of it DID sound really good. The problem was in the midst of the moment it was meant to help, there was no foundation for the words to grasp on to.


I wonder if I could be on to something. I have heard so many cliches and things that just ring so hollow for me - especially in the last year. Is it that there was no foundation for them to live on? Could I have appreciated them if I had had the foundation?

I then think about how the "cliche" is also almost like the "bow" on a package. In some ways it "wraps everything up" so neatly. It's done. It's finished. Next. My last year has been anything but neat. And while I may have said a few words about moving on and continuing to learn, there is a whole lot that was built under it. Taken out of context - or rather, placing it in someone else's context - I could so see it having the potential to rub another the wrong way and/or not be helpful.

Hmm, again.


I was inserting the video above, and somehow lost the last part of this blog entry. I had the perfect end. I was so happy with what was coming to me as I typed. And, now, it is gone. *POOF.* I have no idea what happened. I was fortunate that I was able to save the bulk of this entry. I would have been so much less happy if I hadn't been able to recover it. Although I had to retype the whole dang thing.

When I am typing I sometimes think I am not doing the writing. It is like it flows through me which is why once it is said it seems to be gone. I just re-read everything hoping to remember where I was going. But no such luck.

I think I am just now much more acutely aware of the opportunity that life offers us - if we take it. I think it is often all too easy to get caught up in what other people think, say and do, and while it may be helpful at some point, we need to have our own foundation on which to set it. Without it, anything another says or does won't likely stand very strong or very long. And the fact is, no matter how much someone else (which may even be you) thinks it should, there are times that whatever it is just won't fit at all.

What an incredible journey I am on. Things like this make me realize how much I do so love life. It kind of feels like uncovering a hidden treasure I wasn't even looking for. There is so much I don't know that I don't know enough about to know that I should go looking for something else. Things like this make me feel very much alive and appreciative and grateful for the opportunity to be here. What a wild ride.

We try so hard to make everything so neat, so perfect. But life is so messy. Neat and perfect we think is somehow good; messy is bad. It seems we work so hard to go against what seems to naturally be a part of this experience we call life. It really makes me think. I have gotten so much out of my life in the last year in a half. It is stuff I may never have gotten any other way, and it has all come from something most would label "negative." Some people may be so busy looking at the word "cancer" that they wouldn't even realize that there was anything else to see. As a result, they would miss the treasure trove of the positive things that were discovered.

Oddly enough, a part of me is excited. Who is this character that is Elizabeth Alraune? For so long I was told I could make her who I wanted to be, but in the parenthesis were the expectations, rules, exclusions. This may sound strange for me to say, but I really am not sure if I know who I am. I guess it is time that I find out. And this wonderful experience called cancer is helping me to do that. I just hope cancer isn't so busy having so much fun helping me figure it out that it kills me in the process. :P

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  1. Incredibly inspirational writing. Glad I saw your link. Stay strong xx

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jackie. Have a great day. :)

  2. Aha this is such an interesting piece of writing. I like your blog layout, it's very arty.

    1. Thanks Sophie. (It's a blogger template in the background)

  3. You are awesome. I think you are beginning to find out who you are. You inspire!

    1. Thanks Cheryl...just being me...for better or worse. :P