Sunday, December 20, 2015

Clarity

As I age, I get an almost frightening clarity of thinking. Frightening because, oh lawdie, life would have been better if I had this insight, like, maybe, 40 years ago. You know?

My family of origin has this uneasy relationship with love. As children, love could be withdrawn instantly at the slightest misbehaviour or provocation if you didn't meet the standards of The Master. Or adhere to certain previously unmentioned criteria. I'm not saying love was actually withdrawn but it had all the appearance of it. I had a memorable encounter, as a very small child with this type of deprivation here. Much as I understand my own story it can take a very long time to take an altered perception of life on board.

I was struck recently when I spoke truth to an intimate, my truth, the truth in my last post (my excitement)and it was labelled in an unsavoury way, repelling. And I said: what on earth would make me confide my innermost self to you again?

Are we all going to live superficially? Is this the Victorian manners type of lifestyle that is now acceptable? When I am hurt or excited or disappointed or worried, do I now have to shelter these feelings from those who purportedly care about me for fear of labelling, attack and withdrawal of affection?

Are we expected to wander in the wilderness of being afraid to show our authentic selves?

I can still love someone without agreeing with them or approving (as if it's my job to approve!)of their behaviour. I respect their feelings, even if I am opposed, and anticipate the same in return.

But hey, I'm usually disappointed in this expectation.

Thankfully, I've moved beyond outrage.




24 comments:

  1. I for one am very glad that you have moved beyond outrage. And no, you are not expected to wander in the wilderness of being afraid to show your authentic self, nor any of us voluntarily.

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    1. My therapist sez if we don't die totally at peace with everyone then we have failed at life, Ramana. I'm doing my best.
      XO
      WWW

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    2. No disrespect to your therapist, WWW.

      But "we have failed at life if we don't die totally at peace with everyone" is total bullshit. Relationships are not one way streets. And if someone doesn't meet you somewhere down the line, unable to make THEIR peace (with you or me), then I shall be damned to be told it's my fault.

      U

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    3. Nothing to do with fault or blame Ursula, even if others are cruel and awful towards me I must understand their behaviour. I don't have to engage with them and I certainly and always state my objection to whatever offensive behaviour they exhibit. Understanding, to me, has been the key to a contentment I never knew existed.
      XO
      WWW

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  2. Ursula is a well known troll on other blogs. Ignore her. I love your blog.

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    1. I am "a well known troll"? And you let that stand, unchallenged, WWW?

      U

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    2. I have absolutely no idea how you behave on other blogs Ursula.
      XO
      WWW

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  3. You ask: "Are we expected to wander in the wilderness of being afraid to show our authentic selves?" In my book the answer is very definitely NO. We humans are like a bag of Bertie Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts, similar, yet each one unique. It is that uniqueness that draws us to or away from the people we meet. There is no law that says we must follow or agree with every word they utter. Congratulations on your good news, live in the 'now' and enjoy the excitement!

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    1. Yes, in a world that seeks to homogenise us all it is a good stance to cherish the differences rather than kowtow or even worse, second guess own emotion.

      Thanks for the congrats GM!

      XO
      WWW

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  4. I dunno, this one is a toughie for me. Who are we talking about...family? Then yes, we deceive, if that fits their norms. Now I temper this with this is for parents only. And it's only my norms. For kids, everyone else, it' their issue, not yours. Go for it.
    The rest, it's all up to you.
    I don't know what my family's response to 'love' is....an unease perhaps, a looking away, a shifting of stances. It's not something we discussed, or even admitted existed.
    One wonders. I know my kids love me, I'm content with that.

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    1. I'm a little unsettled Mike as you can probably tell. I find my opinions sometimes at odds with others who are close to me. Not conflict or in antagonistic, no not that just the difference I express is viewed sceptically and I think, wow, is this what old age is? A shutting up, a gentle nodding, a retreat? Lots going on in this tin can of a head of mine. Noisy.

      XO
      WWW

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  5. Your feelings on this issue echo my own, except that I have long since given up on my family...I was once seriously asked by my own mother why I am so different from everyone else in her family and my immediate reply was that she could take her pick--either divine intervention or divine retribution...it is difference that makes the world go round though many who should have more sense (read emotional intelligence) fail to grasp that concept. I was twenty or so at the time so old age has nothing to do with it for me...x

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    1. Thank you for that E I was once labeled "crazy" by a sib & it took me years to realize I would prefer crazy to stagnant and that others' perceptions had no effect on my basic sense of myself flawed in my humanity like the rest us. Sometimes families can be very unsafe places.
      XO
      WWW

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  6. oh my
    as always
    you echo my thoughts
    take care
    much like I do not want
    but just learning to accept
    on this journey of life...

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    1. Ernestine I'd thought old age was a peaceful harmonious place but I thank the stars I'm nowhere near as unhappy as my beloved maternal granny.
      Shut up and be quiet seems to be the rule book for us oldies.
      XO
      WWW

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  7. "life would have been better if I had this insight, like, maybe, 40 years ago. You know?"
    Ain't that the truth Wise! Well said! The older we get the more insightful we become. Or at least I become. Very strange - life seems to be a miracle! I am growing up in my old age. Years ago an older [76 to my 54 or so] Scottish friend told me "old age is when the pieces of the puzzle fall into place". She was so right and it is so wonderful even if rather useless except to me and hopefully to my few good friends. A good Christmas to you and a much easier New Year!
    love,
    Betty

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    1. Oh Betty thank you for sharing that, thank you, thank you! I sometimes think I'm the only one who sees the dysfunction junction for what it is: laid bare with all the pieces, and there are many, laid out.
      Happy Solstice dear friend.
      XO
      WWW

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  8. I sincerely hope we oldies are not expected to hide our real thoughts and feelings and present some bland, polite exterior. If people can't accept you for what you are, warts and all, without judging and crushing you, then they're not real friends, they just undermine you and they're better avoided.

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    1. But seriously, Nick, I truly think this is what happens. I've been around enough old people and see the false exteriors, the desire to "behave" the tightening of the lips. And as we age ourselves, there are less and less of our dear ones alive. Those who understand and accept and support.
      XO
      WWW

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  9. Someone criticized you for expressing happy exuberance over the success of something you created? Then that someone is a poor excuse for a friend and an unnecessarily negative human being who is compelled to rain on the parades of others. Glad you don't let him/her put you down.

    I agree with Ursula, though. It's not up to anyone or their therapist to make the judgment on whether or not we have succeeded in life. The therapist's statement sounds like one of those "popular psychology" tropes that is trotted out (like an Oprah-ism) and others accept without thinking for themselves.

    I agree with you that it's important to understand where people are coming from when they're being asses, if only to save yourself from them and not take on their perceptions of you, instead of your own self-knowledge.

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    1. SJG - I didn't see it as a judgement at all. I truly believe we need to find that inner peace within and live it.

      I don't go around trying to make peace with those who have abused me in the past year but I need to be at peace with their behaviour while never condoning it.

      Maybe I'm not expressing myself well here. But I feel I have turned some rather enormous corner in my perception of others' appalling actions.
      XO
      WWW

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    2. The central thing is realizing that other people's appalling actions and words are all about them and not about you/me at all. I'm trying to get to the place where they don't piss me off, maybe even to where I can laugh and shrug about what I perceive as smallminded meanness, projection, and rationalization.

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    3. Exactly, it is all about them. I will email you privately as to how horrified I was at what transpired and how it took many months (and grief therapy)to even get my mind around it. PTSD, I was told.
      XO
      WWW

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