Monday, December 1, 2014

What if...?

As human beings we are really good at standing in judgment of things, and by extension, in judgment of others. The things we judge to be cool, we want to be a part of. The things we judge in some way undesirable, we want no part of.

I suspect those things we want no part of we in some way feel uncomfortable with. We, after all, have been trained by those before and around us that we want no part of it. We see how those who are a part of it are treated.

If anything, we may feel sorry for them. In turn, we might feel guilty for what we don't do. In order not to feel guilty, some may find things to say about the circumstances or the people to justify how they look at things, and their potential choice to not to do anything.

A few days ago someone posted about how they've observed how people are after "Self-Help" types of events. The person mentioned a range of 3 possibilities from overly-super-charged to having no change at all. They questioned why that would be.

I do not know if there was an inherent judgment in their observation, but it felt like there might have been, to me. It felt like the implication was that there was one right/best way to be, and that some failed to get there.

This is what I commented:

I read what you wrote, and thought, "that is life." I think many might think that when a program is taken it can be a "fix," and that all will be good in the world now. What if what is "good" in the world does not look the way we think it should? What if each one of those types of journeys described is the perfect one for the person taking it? Might the idea of a the "perfect" universal type of outcome be a bit presumptuous? I think it can be incredibly problematic to make some outcomes the "good" ones because of all the stuff we attach to the "bad" ones and those who seem to be having them. Life is full of diverse experiences - some we would rather not have. But we only seem to want to embrace the ones we want, often shunning the others. 

What if it was "cool" to be homeless? Then people wouldn't be getting arrested for helping to feed them, or making laws that prevent them from finding a place to sleep. Those people would probably be praised, and held up as an example of what we would want for ourselves. There would be a whole different dynamic around it than there is currently in a number of areas.

I suspect that those who don't deal with something personally probably have a greater level of discomfort around something than someone who is immersed in it. I don't know that it is a universally correct statement or idea, but I think there have been many like myself who have felt differently about something once it has become a personal concern. The thing is, though, that the ones who probably have the greatest ability to help are the ones who can "afford" to be divorced from it, and stand in judgment.

The other day I found myself wondering, "What if everything is connected?" That would mean something done on the other side of the world affects me as much as something I do myself. I then thought about the short story called The Sound of Thunder, by Ray Bradbury. Since it is a fictional tale, it can be equal parts thought-provoking, and easily discarded.

If you have never read it, it is the story of how something as seemingly insignificant like a butterfly can make a difference. It is basically a tale illustrating the "Butterfly Effect."

If we looked at things as something that was one big, connected ball, we might react differently to what we interact with. We might see how our willing ignorance or fear or avoidance of something ultimately could affect us.

There is the thought that we came here to learn things. There is another thought that through contrasts we learn. When the two combine, we get a cocktail that isn't always pleasant. And there are times the results may hardly seem functional. However there would seem to be a different experience, depending on which side of what is happening you are on.

The question in my mind is if it is "SEEM." Is it possibly that it affects those it does not seem to?

I find these thoughts interesting to consider. What if my journey with cancer affects those who do not even know they are affected? What if the things they don't do and say and the things they do and say affect me in ways I don't even realize?

If things were that way would it remove our need to judge? Would it make the judgment even greater? Would it change the way we interacted with one another? We will never really know what is happening for another, no matter how much we think we know, or how hard we try to understand. We are all having our own experiences with the life we have been given.

Instead of always trying to compare, and coming out on top, equal, or below someone else, how would it be for us to just meet a person where they are, and see what we can do for them in relation to their circumstance, knowing that we are in some way connected to them, and that there are times that others can and will do that for us?

Competition, I think, doesn't really allow for that way of thinking. As long as we are competitive, we have it worse than someone else, or someone else doesn't deserve it, or...you name the reason. We come up with lots of reasons to not extend ourselves...too tired, don't have the money...


If you ever find yourself in that place of need, you will know those excuses too well, but now you may quite possibly be on the receiving end of the inaction they tend to bring with them.


What if things are just as they are for us to learn from them? What if everything that is happening to me is a lesson I wanted to learn? I have definitely found that having to deal with the things I have had to deal with has brought me to myself in a way nothing else did before. I may have been creeping in that direction "bc" (before cancer), but the accelerator certainly got pressed in the last couple of years.

It is possible I have those around me to thank for that. The irony, perhaps, is that many around me may be very tired of hearing about what I am dealing with. At this point, I am pretty tired of it, too. I am just not sure what I can do about it. Maybe that is more of what I have set out to learn.

It is amazing to have come to so much and so much of myself during this time. There is no way I could have imagined what "here" would have looked like before I arrived. Every step has been an integral part of the process. Every tear. Every fear. Every lost night of sleep. Every smile. Every laugh. Every everyone and every everything.

It sounds so wonderful, doesn't it? Well. It still sucks, too. But that is life. The Sucky and The Sweet.

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