Thursday, August 4, 2011

Be Nice! ...wait, what?

Everyone has their own little idiosyncrasies that make them who they are. Mine are different from yours, and yours are different than mine. A lot of people have ones that line up and thats where you get your lifetime friends or most celebrated rivals.

I've noticed recently that a fair amount of my characteristics and idiosyncrasies are based on my need for honesty. On a base level, I don't trust people when I first meet them, or I trust them too much and get burned. Any time someone has to "put on a face" or "act as someone" in an environment that isn't related to theater, my guard goes up. That contrived and forced niceness feels fake and somewhat malicious.

I know that its a defense mechanism because I do it too. Trying to cater to everyone and be the best, most glowing example of whatever it is that I'm attempting has been a crutch of mine since before I can remember. Because the best get noticed. The best get praised. The best get attention, and therefore, are loved.

Its a silly notion, that attention = love, but how can there be love without that, right?

The idea reminds me of those if-then questions on standardized tests from when I was a kid. If Blue is always Green and Green is always Yellow, then can Yellow be Red? Or some such question.

Love is always attention, but attention is not always love.

I'm reading an amazing book from a woman named Sonia Choquette, about balancing your chakras and renewing your spirit called: "True Balance" Its an interesting approach to not only rediscovering balance, but also in finding out who you are and ways to balance that in order to find peace with yourself. This passage about an overactive third chakra, or power/intelligence center, caught my eye this morning:

"Another indication of an overinflated power center is an overbearing personality. An expanded energy field does have a strong influence on others, but often in undesirable ways. Sometimes, this imbalance reveals itself in subtle and manipulative behaviors, such as using flattery and gift giving and always being the nice guy (unless crossed), in order to gain quiet control over others and consequently feel safe."

Did you just hear that exploding sound?? That was my mind. My mind is blown. Not only have I done exactly that, for YEARS, but it was all, in fact, a way to exhibit a kind of quiet control. I didn't want to muscle my way into a place of power, but I did want a sort of subversive control of the situation... so I'd needle, and I'd prod, and then when people would call me on my crap (which always happened eventually), I'd get extremely upset.

Why so sad? Fear of losing control, fear of losing attention, and fear of not being the best. Because if I'm the best, most attentive, most needed, most in control, then I'll be beloved above all others, right? Not so much...

...and thats kind of the point. Love is not contingent upon being the best, it just is what it is, and it doesn't care if you win the competition or are the prettiest or are the best singer or whatever. Thats what I'm learning. Its a pretty nifty thing.

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