May 1, 2009

putting the "I" in life

One of the first things you will learn, should you ever choose to pursue mental health therapy (not that I am implying anything, Bob) is the utility of *I* statements in expressing personal opinions and desires. An *I* statement allows one to express their personal investment in the situation they are analyzing in order to maintain perspective.

To illustrate
NOT AN *I* STATEMENT: My boyfriend is a is a self serving asshole who flirts with other women
*I* STATEMENT OPTION: I have realized that I feel insecure when my boyfriend rubs up againt other women.

See the difference? It's important to retain awareness of not just the preceived "facts" of the situation but, in the end, their utlimate affect on you, since this is the source of your ultimate investment in pursuing the analysis.

I think of this, often, as I listen to people complain...."The problem is he always leaves the seat up" "The issue is they only give raises based on time, not merit" "The thing is, she never has any fun" "If only he would learn to grow up"
I mean, yes, sometimes it 's good to first pinpoint the thing. This is the first step in not just blindly feeling emotional impulses with no ability to suss out their source. But all this does is prove you are a sentient being.
That being said it often strikes me that people lose perspective when they forget the role they play in their very own happiness.
To be clear, you don't care that she doesn't have fun, you care that you have no fun when she is around. It's not a problem that he leaves the toilet seat up, it's a problem that you don't look back when you sit down or that you've been getting sick from touching that seat. It's not how they give raises, it's that you work in an environment that can't reward you appropriately. It's not that he needs to grow up, it's that you have already grown up and are NOT amused.

This is an important distinction.

This is important because it gives you choices.

Over the last week I've been awash in the thoughts of ...thoughts. Delving deep into our innate inability to leave the self behind. I think of it this way: we are like fish. Perhaps grunion, in that we can sometimes swim to the shore. But it might kill us. And we might need to do it to insure the survival of our species. We are driven to do it. Instinctually. To leave our home and our safety barriers to continue and grow. To fulfill natures destiny. But we can't live outside water. Again, just who we are. So while we might see air and dry land, we are, in the end, awash in our lubricious reality.

This is fine. Humans can't breath under water, either. They can dive down, they can inspire and create insane contraptions to allow them to breath, briefly still, in the depths. They can witness. But they can not breath water. They will never know what it is like to be a fish. To turn colors.

Understanding that when you view a fish you are not a fish is, again, only proof of your sentience. Owning it, enjoying your own feet and your own hands, that desire to touch the sand and swim in the water is another step entirely. Understanding you swim for you. Understanding you dive for you. Understanding you sit in your car and avoid that dirty dirty nature for your own happiness is important. Understanding your choices are made for you is an inherent part of learning to be a better person. Because other people do the same thing and the only way you can gain empathy, true empathy, is to stop trying to step outside yourself, and to start trying to understand the nature of this body that our spirits knock inside. The nature of a spirit that yearns to see more.

In my last post I extolled the possible virtues of exploring a giving nature through selfish desires.
Today I extoll it again.You can't love without caring for another, but you also can't love without caring about yourself.

1 comment:

Mischief Maker said...

Oooh, I really like this.