Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Running in to Our Self

When I am Tired of Being Human

Reality TV has its detractors and rightly so. But if there is an up side it is the unabashed revealing of just how volatile, vulnerable and easily influenced we humans are. In the midst of following any person be they a speeder or a rejected jilted lover, one thing seems clear. We are all looking for something and we need it bad.

So what is it that we all need? Love and sex seem like front runners but most of us over 30 in or out of a healing or broken marriage know that relationships are paradoxically rich and fulfilling as well as exhausting and debilitating. No quick fix here. But the search for the beloved goes on. Driven to find that gaze of “the other” reflected back with near worship and adoration, we move from scenario to scenario projecting all this energy into the middle of the room but unaware of its beckoning power we remain aloof & distant.

So the paradox of humanness persists. We desperately need & constantly diminish that neediness through hip posturing and distancing. I guess we would all rush towards the shadow, towards what is not being said, what is not being addressed if we only knew it were there. But alas, profound insight into our blindness seldom provides the exotic rush of projecting the beloved or the rescue upon another or another experience. We are unconscious of what we are unconscious.

Recently I watched my inner self played out in a relationship. As much as I may have wanted to distance myself from a friend based on my interpretation of life and its challenges, my love and history with them would not allow me to ultimately demonize their actions. I could only see myself, our self. It was me (we). I was him.

As I watched the play role out and parties line up to take sides, all I could do was hope some insight might emerge I could offer up. I had a lot of thoughts about what I thought was going on but none of them really sunk deep into a more vulnerable honest part of my soul. What my friend really needed was compassion. What I really had very little of was compassion.

As I sat in that lack I wondered why it was so hard to muster up even a sliver of empathy and kindness. What was the glitch in heart on this one? Often when I see others struggle with identity I project my own submerged sense of dislocation and abandonment on them and become cold & mocking. How can this guy or gal be so screwed up and self absorbed? I have unfortunately learned to soften my projection of narcissism on to others by feigning interest, asking questions but at times my heart still remains distant and cold. I have already named them (me) and it is settled at a deep unconscious level. By settled I don’t mean I am at peace with myself. I mean I have spiritually acquiesced to my impotent attempts to be present and authentic so this person’s exposure of the inflated exalted self is especially grievous and offensive to me. My shallowness is being revealed in the moment. My inability to love at a deep level frightens me as I pronounce some verdict in my heart upon them. Now I realize this judgment falls on us all. I do not escape my own inability to be compassionate. What I deny to my friend I deny to myself.

I need compassion. As life unfolds and the Father draws me unto Himself, I am discovering that the unfolding of the soul is not merely a personal journey. I practice His love on others. I practice His love on myself. This is the one thought I have so much trouble submitting to. Why am I not convinced of how much I need compassion? Why would I not offer it to others? This is the condition of my own heart. I would rather go without my own bestowment of compassion so as to remain arrogant & proud. Rather than see in others my deepest need, I deny my essential nature & loose touch with my own brokenness.

Today I make room for myself in my heart so as to make room for others. Do unto to others…oh yeah. I’ve heard that before.

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