Today my son and Shelby and I are still snug and wonderful in our new place. But the ever looming reality of my joblessness casts a frightening shadow across the contentment. I still have to pay rent for next month. My cell phone has been shut off for non-payment. My storage unit is going into auction. The front brakes on my Jeep no longer exist and they grind every time I drive. My best friend had to lend me money, once again, for gas. It is not ingratitude to say I don’t want her to have to do it again. I am tired of needing help and frustrated that every (job) interview I go on seems to go well, and then I don’t get called back. I am wondering what it is about my character that just doesn’t seal the deal? It seems I have the same trouble when I’m dating. People just don’t want to come back to me. Maybe I don’t know when to leave. I linger too long and don’t leave people wanting more. It could very well be. I like to listen and end up listening for too long. It’s boundaries I have trouble with; setting them, not respecting them. I’ve never had a problem respecting other people’s boundaries, I just don’t know how to set them for others. I always mistake setting boundaries as “selfishness”. It’s silly and I know I’m wrong, I just don’t know how to shake it. I find myself making the same mistake again and again and catch myself too late to do anything about it. But I’ve got to be more aggressive. I’ve got to insist upon what I want and not be ashamed or afraid of disapproval. If not, I’m going to keep getting over looked and passed by and I can’t stand it anymore. My family can’t stand it anymore. My pocket book can’t stand it anymore. I have to start asking for, sometimes demanding, what I want. And this is where not caring what others think comes in. I have to go after what I want without the all consuming concern that somebody else is being deprived because I am getting what I want. Certainly there are fine lines in this subject. Greed is what I am afraid of because I know how dangerous and detrimental a thing it is. It is a destabalizer, an “unbalancer”. I am sure all those CEOs with the 50 million dollar bonuses are just going after what they want. But what they want is at the expense of 10,000 jobs and the income of those 10,000 people. So when does achievement become greed? I don’t know. It’s all about boundaries. It’s all about being able to know when you have had your full. And just like over eating, if we take too much on a regular basis we loose contact with our sincere hunger. We don’t even really know what hunger feels like anymore. We just keep eating because we can. That is greed. To just keep taking because you can, not even connecting to your own sense of fulfillment anymore. When it gets to a point where you don’t remember what it feels like to be “hungry”, when you’ve lost that connection with your own instincts, when you’re stuffed all the time and are making yourself sick without even knowing it; that’s when greed has set in. And greed is a sneaky critter. I try so hard to be diligent against it. To the extreme though, and now I feel I’m killing myself another way. I am being greedy with idealisms so to speak and have starved myself out of feeling “hungry”. Now I’m so used to feeling “hungry” all the time I’m mistaking it for normal. I have to restore balance. It’s the key. Balance is goodness, in every scenerio. So why is it such a difficult thing? Probably because we don’t even know we’re off balance. The world has been crooked too long and we’ve gotten used to the skew. But listening to others, hearing their views, forcing myself to look at things from their angles- that’s the eye opener. That is where you get thrown and in having to catch yourself, get reminded of where your center should be. I love that jolt that comes from others. But we have to connect with others and respect the importance of their contribution in order to do it. Connection. Connection is key to balance and Balance is key to Goodness. So it’s good that I’ve got so many hands reaching out. We can help each other stay balanced. Or, pull at each others hands when we find one another veering in the wrong direction. Even with the littlest, simplest word. Just one. Like “Hello”- to let someone know that you’re there, so they are not alone. It’s a good feeling. And it breaches fear like a bridge to a river. And should we all know how to swim? Yes. And should we all know how to take a fall? YES. We should. Because it makes us strong. It builds our character. But we should also know how to build bridges, because that builds character as well. And bridges last long after we’ve exited the scene. Leaving an imprint on our world is inevitable because we are all connected, like it or not. Will yours be a bridge, a brick wall or a bomb? Bridges are the ones that require balance- hint hint.
Yesterday was a rough day for me but I am glad to say my friends, including those in my twitter network, got me through. The way you treat somebody really does help them shape their world. I am all for independence, self confidence and not caring what others think of you; ideally they all sound great. In reality, it’s more complicated then that. Other people matter. We matter to each other. We are all connected some how and when individuals take time to acknowledge and show love to others it affects their world in such a positive way that I wonder why we, in the last few decades, have come to put so much emphasis on what we have to give and do for ourselves. Really, there is only so much we can give ourselves. There is only so far we can go on our own. Yes, it’s true, we all have to die alone, but there is so much life to share before that last breath. And the people we meet and connect with I have no doubt will teach us and fortify us so that in that final moment, we are strong enough to face the unknown. I believe in the power of the individual. I believe in autonomy and personal responsibility. But I also believe that connection is key to being alive and focusing entirely on ourselves is wasting the precious and finite opportunities we have to connect with our world and others. The way that I’ve been saved, by a few kind words, a nod of attention, understanding or support, the way I have been saved by all the kind acts and concerned efforts, I’m alive because of those. Were I left alone, I’m sure I would have survived and would be living, but I’m not so sure I would be alive. Other people often disappointment me. They irritate me. They anger me and frustrate me. But all the while they teach me and move me through example and confrontation to be a better form of myself. I was feeling really dead inside yesterday and it was the connection I experienced online and at home that made the numbness go away. Yes, I had to reach out my hand. But somebody had to reach back. And the fact that they did, that several did, is a testament to the power of kindness. It was a wonderful lesson to learn. One that I immediately tried to emulate. It was worth the emulation. Passing it on keeps the lesson alive.