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Is It Me Or Is It Everybody Else?


JenellYB
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I find myself struggling much lately, it seems an ever growing struggle, with what seem to me significant, even dramatic changes, and a rapidly expanding scope of those changes, throughout the whole of my perception of reality around me, from the societal level down to the individual level of so many people I know and encounter, and the question, is it me that is changing, my persceptions and awareness changing, or is it really "them."

 

At the macro level, that of society and presnted in media and in arenas of political and social issues, I think I am on solid ground to consider it "them", real changes in the last few years that I think most of us would recognize and agree ones as 'real.'

 

But it is much harder for me, it seems, at the personal, individual level, especially with people I have known over longer periods of time. Those that I hear, see, observe, expressing views and ideas, acting in ways, I would never have thought of them in the past, in them as the people i thought I knew.

 

I struggle with such questions, confusions, were they always so, and it is just my awareness or my perspective that had changed? It was there always, I just wasn't seeing it? Or is it really something that might have been there, but perhaps latent, hidden, that is only now, for whatever reasons, coming into prominence as not before in my lifetime, the submerged, suppressed, repressed, rising into view, rising to the surface? Or is it really me? Was it evident all along, but that I was caught up, too, in a common mindset, common perception of reality, that I simply didn't see it "as" what I see it as now, and as they seem to not see it themselves?

 

Or is it really just all in my own imagination, a delusion of my own mind, as I am sucked down into a vortex of psychic/cognitive dysfunction, madness, a disconect from reality, toward becoming one of those tortured souls that wander, lost, in the underworld of their own minds and psyche?

 

Jenell

 

 

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My wife and I have recognized some of our individual contributions to the break up of our marriage. We are doing more together, with feeling. But I did not want this relationship to be about the restoration of our marriage or a response to some cruel words from my sister to Diane. Or about loneliness or poverty. So I wrote the following and I think it is related to your situation.

 

I want our relationship to be about nothing.

Not about redemption, not about reclamation, not about salvation.

Not about proving anything, not about control.

and not about being something: red, blue, happy, sad or uplifting.

 

I don't want our relationship to be happy although being happy may occur.

I don't want our relationship to have significance although there may moments that are significant.

I don't want our relationship to be a marriage although some will say that the way we act we must married.

That turns marriage and our relationship in to a noun.

 

We can't get on the train without any baggage but I want to be jettisoning as much as necessary to keep becoming the next movement

 

I don't want our relationship to be a noun

I want it to be a verb: going, loving, doing

Fixing implies more stuff to fix which means more is broken. I am broken enough. Fixing restores things to a noun like state.

We might solve a problem or two. Solving is a verb. Solving is ongoing.

 

Living in the eternal and Apocalyptic now, the only place heaven emerges in our lives. Dropping those actions which limit our ability to experience now, the only place we experience eternity.

 

I want our relationship to be about nothing so we can experience everything.

 

Love,

Dutch

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Dutch, that's so deeply moving and signficant. No, I don't think "fixing" broken things ever really comes to mush of real value or worth...they will always still be broken, just patched up, never whole again. But sometimes things we'd say got broken did so because they were really never quite whole to begin with...who hasn't bought some useful item and soon broke under the very ordinary and normal usage for which it was designed and manufactured, for some intitial flaw in the design, materials, or workmanship?

 

I tend to kind of think of marriage in our world that way. The traditions of how the idea of marriage was put together and handed down to us over time, as well as many of those involved in raising and preparing out young for life in this world, simply has some initial flaws of design, materials, and workmanship that just don't hold up well under some of the use, the purposes, we expect out of marriage our lives.

 

I remember years ago, while a pet groomer, a major clipper manufacturer came up with a powerful new motor design that so boosted power and speed that groomers could work through tougher matted pet hair and at at speed faster than ever thought possible before. Pretty soon all the mjaor clipper manufacturers had followed suit, and it was a major reoluvtion in the pet grooming industry and manufacturing industries that supported it. Pretty soon, however, within just a couple years, groomers started finding that these powerful, fast new clippers were chewing up the expensive blades used on them to fast sharpeners couldn't keep up and blades were in sort order ground down into uselessness from many repeated sharpenings...then the clippers themselves started breaking down, the increased power and speed and work load chewing up all the other internal components of the clipper mechanisms, leaving groomers everywhere frantically digging their 20 yr old but still functional clippers and blades out from the backs of cabinets and closets just to finish grooming they were in the middle of, half done, when the clippers conked out on them.

 

I think we've kinda done something like that to marriage, as well as quite a few other traditional ways people have coped with life, and that have kept much in society operating, functioning, in some organized manner. Changes in our modern world have put a supercharged faster and more powerful motor into our lives, without having considered what that was going to do to all the other parts involved in making it all functional.

 

Eventually, in the clipper industry, whole units and all parts were redesigned, made out of tougher materials that could take the strain, nothing is interchangeable from those old models to the new ones now, and the industrial revolution marched on.....and maybe that's what is going to happen in our society, our lives, as we have to redesign some of those other working parts, and perhaps revise what our expectations for what things like marriage can do. If so, it will happen just as you express here, not trying to patch up, fix something that is broken, but going back to the drawing board and designing something entirely new, with better working parts, that function well together.

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I find myself struggling much lately, it seems an ever growing struggle, with what seem to me significant, even dramatic changes, and a rapidly expanding scope of those changes, throughout the whole of my perception of reality around me, from the societal level down to the individual level of so many people I know and encounter, and the question, is it me that is changing, my persceptions and awareness changing, or is it really "them."

Jenell

 

I think it is that first we change, then we perceive differently and as a result others change to fit into our new reality or if not they move out of our sphere. In my view, we draw to us that which we need to evolve past that which we are currently stuck in til we learn from it and a change in us takes place at which time those around us are no longer required to provide that which is no longer needed in that area and either move on or their role changes to provide what we need further and in turn we provide what they need.

 

Perhaps those words may make some sense? Perhaps not? You tell me. That is the best i can relate for now.

 

Joseph

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Jenell,

 

Your questions reminded me of an observation I once made to a counselor: "You know, the more counseling I get, the more people change!"

 

Could it be that changes in yourself are causing you to see some things more clearly?

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Well, you know, Joseph, if it's they are acting like this is because of something I need to get through, i sure the heck wish i'd get on through it so they can get back to normal! I am really messing these poor people up!

 

Jenell

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Yvonne, I really think its some of both.

 

Some I'm coming to suspect was there, laying latent, quiet, easy to overlook or look past or explain away....for both myself, and them and others around them.....but for some reason it does seem a lot of people I am around are in some sense "blowing up"...maybe things, ways, that were always there, but now coming to the fore, a more prominent place in their behaviors, their lives....some I can kinda understand that way, some not.

It's just there seems to be something, or things, as common elements, that is catching me off balance, and others as well. Some of these people are very close, but then some others are not, and not even in connection to one another. It does seem a rather strange, for lack of a better word, "epidemic" going on around me? And also in common, people in which it is quite unexpected, a signficant shift for them, or so it seems. Maybe it is so much of the fear and uncertainty going on in this economy, social issues? These are people most of us would consider sitting in pretty good shape for economic downturns, and yet, they are starting to act in ways that seem, well, almost like tempting fate? Burning away their own security, in many ways, financial, relationship, almost as if driving hell-bent to crash and burn? Ways that seem quite inconsistent with how they've been before. At the same time, something of an arrogance, even a hubris? That it can't happen to them, they won't fall, can't fall? Yes, part is my own growing awareness, I'm seeing things there were always little signs of before, but also, something happening with them, and my like quip above aside, no, I don't think it really revolves around them playing out role I need them for myself right now, at least not most of them.

Then, in the macro, while it can be really hard to connect statistics, trends, in general, to what is happening to people on the personal, individual level, maybe that is really what I'm observing....trends don't happen by themselves, we know, they aren't statistic and figures apart from the reality of the lives of those that make up the population.

Just troubling. All I can try to do, I suppose, is try to stay on center myself....minimize how much it all rocks my own boat.

 

Jenell

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Jenell,

 

There is a biblical writing i believe says it well since you feel like your boat is being rocked and that brings this to mind....

 

"And this word, Yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain."

 

It seems to me, IF, one believes that there is something drawing us in a direction in our life toward unity, then when things happen that shakes one and cause one to ask the question..... Is it me or them?... the answer is always me. Perhaps this is because i only have the power to change my own reaction or response to the event and not the event. Just my own experience on the matter.

 

Joseph

 

PS. In some Psychological circles it is often said and mirrored in my own experience "We See in Others What We Fear in Ourselves" and again people say "We project our own perceived shortcomings onto others." Whether it is true or not is for each to determine for his/her self.

Just for the record...as a disclaimer.. i have no formal training in the field of psychology, have trouble even spelling the word without spellcheck, and am only expressing my personal view. :D

Edited by JosephM
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Well, you know, Joseph, if it's they are acting like this is because of something I need to get through, i sure the heck wish i'd get on through it so they can get back to normal! I am really messing these poor people up!

 

Jenell

 

Yes. Don't we all at times have that same wish. :lol:

i don't think they are poor nor that you are messing anybody up. Perhaps It is to be taken lightly and is all just part of the story we call 'our life'?

 

Joseph

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Joseph..."And this word, Yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain."

 

Yes, in this, i think you may well be right. But in my present position, my own journey, my own state, I am feeling more and more what is going on is not only my own boat rocking in this, my own things shaken, toward removing those things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain, but that but what is going on with these others around me, that I'm observing....that not only myself, but these others, are in some way something of a flotilla of little boats, connected in some ways, some more closely, some more loosly, weathering together, at once, each our own shaking of our own little boats, caught upon a same stormy sea...

 

I try, as has served me well in the past, to find the potential for learning, for gifts, for growth, in both myself, and for others, in this. In some ways, perhaps i am even placed here as I am, among them, FOR some ways in which my own life circumstances and experiences have been and are quite different from some of the things they seem to have in common with one another. A major and most immediately aparant is both present and life history in regards to matters of relative lives of outward, and material success and wealth and comfort, common among them, so in stark contrast to my own life that began and has been much in a state of poverty and near poverty, in which I've gained gifts of resourcefulness, adapting by making do, making the best with what was available, and perhaps most of all learning contentment with that. I am among them, the liberal, the intellectual, the spiritual, the focused on inward things, they tend toward quite the opposite, the conservative, the much focused on outward things, material things, and to me, trivial things of shallow entertainment, vain distractions, and yes, even some self-righteous, smug sense of superiority for their having made the better choices in life....and yet, strangely, there HAS been something there that has drawn us together, and held us in connection over many years, in contact and social connection and relationship of some sort...and its hard for me to say just what that may have been or even is now. Perhaps we are together upon this same stretch of sea for some reason that has potentials for mutual benefit to us all in the different ways we need each other...perhaps we all have lessons to teach one another...

 

Jenell

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A stange and rather disconcerting thought just ocurred...what if it is not simply that I need to try to find and stay on center in my own little boat in this storm......but at least some part, myself, my own little boat, AT the center of this little flotilla, that THEY all need to need to seek and pull toward????!

Scary, humbling thought.

Jenell

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