Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Essay TIme -- No More Drama Except on Stage

I am working at, or rather, relaxing into, keeping life livable. The politicians and the advertisers don’t like that. They want you nervous and paranoid to control you. Are others going to take my money? Is my breath offensive? There is the need to create doubt and stress in order to lead you down the path they have chosen. Now that I am realizing that their only goal is money and power and they have no idea what they are doing, I am finding myself as free as I will allow myself to be.

And one thing I notice as I free myself from guilt is that many people have a much more difficult road than me. Things like Schizophrenia, Bipolar, or Borderline Personality disorder are not the fault of the victims. Bad wiring in the brain or trauma in childhood are unsought challenges and anger at them is totally misdirected. I’m learning that, while I must be strong and assertive and not let others abuse me, I can also be strong enough to listen. Now, when someone says that I am doing something that bothers them, I can block the perceived criticism and get down off my high horse to figure out whether or not it costs me anything to make their lives easier. Why have I wasted so much time in dissuading them and defending myself? They are not asking for money or time. They are telling me what they need and if it’s no loss to me, why not? And believe me, I think we all have learned that it’s nearly impossible to change others. When we let go of the responsibility of changing them or fixing their lives, we have become more free.

What I am struggling with now is learning compassion. And if you are not honest, that means you are acting out of pity or judgment and taking responsibility for things that you have no control over. Sometimes, this leaves you saying nothing rather than cheerleading or reinforcing destructive behavior. Sometimes people in trouble don’t need a reaction, they just need you to listen. And sometimes, you have to walk away and not look back. They need to move on and find their own answers and you do more for them by setting an example and finding the joy in your own life.

What I need to add to my life are people who are doing something, be it simple or elaborate. People who are participating and learning and enjoy the input of others. They are looking for reinforcement of positive ideals. I spent my life involved with men whom I thought were desperate and troubled enough to need a loser like me. It’s time to stop thinking of myself that way. Maybe, at my age and condition, I’m not “good” enough to date a successful man (especially with 2 million more women than men and a cultural obsession with looks and sex), but I’ve handled my life well enough and have accomplished enough stability and comfort to be a friend. I’m going to turn off my negative expectations and maybe stop thinking that I’m only good enough for the self-destructive, especially the ones who blame others and can’t look at themselves.

And finally, with the country going mad and the world becoming poorer, I want to fight for the rights of people to have medicine and therapy, so that professionals can help stop their pain. I have too many friends in pain that I can’t fix. I don’t know why people are born and what our reason for living is. I do know that we can make the ride more pleasant and I want to give up daydreams and fantasies and be in the moment because that’s the only way to find contentment.

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