Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Image We Project

I really need to stop looking beyond the projected image, because it gets me in trouble every time. Most often it just gets me hurt. I suppose I do it because I have this insane idea ingrained into my head that if I treat others how I would want to be treated it would just magically happen in return. It’d have to be magic, right? Because, seriously, who else walks around thinking about how they treat people? Who spends the time to peel back the layers in an attempt to really get to know someone? Who looks beyond the skin, the image, the resume, the labels, the skills, the talents? I tell myself all the time… “You do, surely there are others.” Well, the magic hasn’t happened yet. I don’t know why I keep getting surprised and hurt, but I do.

I look at the world around me, and I see example after example of a culture and society that can’t even get beyond skin color, much less any deeper layer. We’ve got riots going on all over the country because of racial bigotry and hate (and that’s not aimed at only the ‘white-privilege’ community, but the ‘black-oppressed’ community too). Hate can’t see past the outer shell and it sure as hell don’t solve anything. I don’t want to hear one word on either side of this debate – because at this point all I see is hate, and violence, and stupidity. Whatever efforts were made to open up a much needed dialogue, to peel back another layer, has been destroyed when the fanatics took over and started robbing, looting, burning and acting like dumb-fucking idiots. This whole situation has become lost and out of control and the ones fueling it, stirring it up, are the biggest hatemongers of them all. (No, I don’t want to debate, talk, or discuss it in anyway. Don’t respond to this post with anything to do with this whole issue. I’m done with it. Seriously, I’m done. I won’t engage and you’re wasting your time.)

Want to know how someone feels about something or someone, get them angry. It is how a person responds to adversity that you see them for who they really are, what they really feel, what they really think – things they’ve suppressed, hidden, and pushed down. It doesn’t mean they can’t change their minds – and once felt, always felt is a myth. Feelings change. Thoughts change. Responses change. That’s why forgiveness is so important. Don’t hate them for how they feel at that moment – try to figure out why and then work on changing it. But it does reveal a part of the truth, most often things they don’t want to admit even to themselves. I know it helps me see what I sometimes can’t recognize within myself. When I get angry, I begin to look around to see if I can recognize what hurt me, because 99% of the time my anger is a result of being hurt, most often me hurting myself.

Do I always succeed and rightly recognize my triggers? Hell no. I’m often just as wrong in those assessments as I am in trying to understand the motive behind someone else’s aggression. I’m a hot mess and I know it. I can’t help but wonder, surely there’s others like me. Does everyone have all their shit together, but me? Does everyone else always know the right thing to do, the right way to feel, the right way to respond, the right way to diffuse and understand the situation, except me? Does anyone even give a damn to find out what’s beneath this outer layer? Can they see the eyes behind the mask, or just the shiny glitter on the outside? Can they see the pain behind the smile?

I just want to close my eyes. I want to be like a turtle and hide within my shell. Most of all, I want to stop feeling, stop caring, stop hoping, stop loving. My cruel blind father introduced me to many of the evils in this world, but he also taught me how to see it differently – not with my eyes but with my mind and my heart. My invalid mother with MS taught me the cruelty of guilt, but also by taking care of her the beauty in sacrifice. My weak brothers taught me the stark reality of betrayal, but also what it meant to protect. My indifferent husband taught me the pain of being unloved, but also the pride of being faithful and dutiful and the strength to love myself.

It’s hopeless. I want to submit, but submission requires trust, and trust is something I don’t think I can ever give. I’ve tried. Damn, I’ve tried so many times. I’ve failed. I don’t even trust myself. My fear, my stubbornness, and my lack of trust – keeps me doing the stupid shit that causes people to get angry and push me away and makes me run. Oh, I run. It’s what I do best. I try so hard not to run, because I know running doesn’t solve the problems, just packs them down deeper so they can surface and cause an explosion that ruins any progress I might have made. Yet staying – staying incites hope, and hope leads to pain. It’s painful to hope for something and then watch that hope die. Faith has you believing you’re something more than what you’re not, and it’s awfully painful when you’re made of aware of how you’re really perceived, what your true standing is in someone else’s sight.

I love myself. I think I’m a beautiful, passionate, loving, faithful and honest person. I love to laugh, and I really love to make others laugh. I’m a natural cheerleader. I truly care about the people I’ve chosen to let into my inner circle, which is small, tight, and something I protect with vivacity. I’d do anything to protect them. Everything I am, everything I have, every gift, talent, and knowledge I possess, I share with them – without hesitation – as long as I’m wanted. I’ve lived too many years giving to those who didn’t want me… I can’t do it anymore. I just can’t. Finding out that I’m no one to those I deeply cared for, that I’m nowhere near as precious to them as they were to me… takes my breath away. I literally can’t breathe. But I will. I will inhale …and exhale …and wipe the tears away …and go on with my day.

Till next time,


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