Personal contradictions and dualities
Every day social media asks the ultimate loaded question: “What is on your mind?” Well in the age of instantly knowing everything at once how can we not have too much on our minds? This highlights one of many dualities, how do we care about everything going on in the world and balance that with time for ourselves? I do not mean doing fun things with friends and family here. I mean us personally. In this fast-paced world taking time to feel, to grieve, to be happy, to cry, to enjoy a moment alone, time to let ourselves really feel everything we need to in order to properly think and process is not encouraged. That is until Covid.
During the lockdowns, the feelings we had stuffed from being so busy began to rise. Anger was at the forefront. Anger at the way the world was, anger at the way our jobs are or are not, housing, health, murder, civil rights and so much more. The onslaught of media has us angry at all of these things. Then we are angry at the politicians for not doing enough fast enough.
But here is the thing about that part. They can’t do enough fast enough no more than we can as an individual, and that is what angers us the most because it highlights how powerless and overwhelmed, we feel, so we project our feelings towards them and everyone.
There is an implied assumption fueled by the media that they should do more when we feel our world is such a mess. We forget they are people with emotions, health needs, and families that get overwhelmed or bogged down in rules and laws that we put in place. In our anger and sense of powerlessness, we forget that, so we blame, judge get angry, and lash out at everyone. Does that let them off the hook? No, but they need time we do not feel we can give them.
Rather than letting our anger and feelings run if we could acknowledge our sense of powerlessness and anger then begin to do something that we do have control over it would ease our anger and powerlessness. This would give us time to think, feel and simply be for a moment. Doing things like gardening, laundry, meditating, taking time to cry, grieve, laugh, do a hobby, getting the mail, changing the house around, go outside for five minutes, or most anything that is for us personally gives us solace, a sense of control and a sense of being right in our corner of the world.
When we participate in the fervor of the blame game on media, we forget we are responsible for giving ourselves solace and control. This is not the job of anyone outside of us, not politicians not loved ones, just ourselves. However, because we are human it is much easier to lash out at others or let ourselves be baited by others.
This happens simply because we are human, does that let us off the hook? No. No more than it does the politician. We are accountable for ourselves, our anger, our being judgmental, and for giving to ourselves, all of it. Is this easy? No! Are we bad people because we fall into these traps? Only if we do not pull ourselves out of them and take joy in it or let it become the person we are.
I think under all the anger and feeling of powerlessness, most people’s hearts and souls are quite different. I think more people than not say to themselves “It should not be this way” or “That is not how I really feel” or have remorse for something they said or did in a heated moment. When we feel this way it is the time for accountability.
That feeling is our que we have done something against our inner nature. To be accountable we can apologize or own our stuff in some fashion. That redemption is what keeps us liking ourselves and quells our anger. If we do not do this, we end up hating life, everything in it, and ourselves too. This leads to feeling even more powerless and it becomes a cycle.
I know we are not encouraged to admit we were wrong or did a bad thing. It is perceived as weak and we are taught it only opens us up to attack shame or rejection. Society has us fearing a societal consequence while ignoring the personal consequence which is much more destructive to our lives. We end up feeling miserable and hopeless. Then we act miserable because our emotions come out in our actions and words.
It took me a while to figure this all out and I am by no means perfect at it. But each day, in moderation, I do what I can to tell myself that taking care of myself, doing things for myself, is more important than anything or anyone. We have all seen what can happen when the individual goes too far with self-importance. I am talking about doing this in a healthy way, in moderation, with accountability, responsibility, and humility.
Humility is another taboo in our society. It too is a contradiction and duality the human being has. I once said confidence is symbiotic with arrogance and is difficult to temper with humility. But we as humans must temper it or we have all the things that have been discussed previously. We end up with what we see on social media. An attitude of “screw other people they do nothing for me.” We see disregard and dissolution with anyone perceived as an authority or someone offering their own view. Most on social media are people angrily yelling I matter more. This is because they have not turned their attention to themselves. Listened to themselves, loved themselves and they still think it is the job of others to make them feel valid.
It is not the job of others to make you feel as though you matter or that you are valid and heard, because they will always fall short of your expectations, only you can meet your own expectations fully. You will feel discounted and invalid until you validate yourself in a way only you can.
As I write that I am well aware many will take issue with my words and misunderstand them, all for the reasons stated above. When I say it is not the job of others to make sure you matter, I am not talking about civil rights, gender, or anything like that, I speak only of the inner self.
The human being is a complicated critter, and because of social conditioning and social media, our inner conflicts and dualities have only gotten more complicated. I have even had to address my own misogyny and behaviors that were conditioned into me as I grew up. I did so because I realized it was in direct conflict with my beliefs about gender, relationships, and love, and I have many more I need to deal with, we all do. It is lifetime work however, it is my self-acceptance and humility that allows me to say so openly without fear of what others will say because the kind of person I am matters the most to me, not them.
So, what keeps us in duality and contradictions that no longer serve us? Fear. Mostly what others think and social consequences. But the biggest one is the fear of change and the unknown. But here is the most obvious and unstated and unrecognized thing about that, rather we change or not we still have consequences. So the way I see it I would rather have consequences that are mine to deal with, consequences that come from me not others. This allows me to stop worrying about what others think or what they will do. It is an interesting duality to be sure.
In nature there is duality in all things, a light side a dark side, an upside a downside, a green side, and a dark green side. However, with nature, we embrace and accept that, we seldom accept that about ourselves or say it is ok because in our society it is a taboo to admit that about ourselves. If we admit our duality and contradictions, we are seen as broken or in need of mental health. I feel it is just who I am and it is my job to manage that the best I can. It is not the job of my friends, loved ones, social media, or the media to monitor those contradictions and dualities or even to give me advice about it.
The job of others is to see you as clearly as you see yourself and love you anyway. It is their job to trust that you are handling it because they will really know you when you are that transparent. If they do not, take care of you and move on in some fashion. Yet in human contradiction and duality, it is the human passion to point out someone else’s faults to them as though they are five years old.
It is true sometimes people do not see their duality and contradictions. If so and you are close to them then this is the time it is appropriate to offer insight. But you will not know if they are aware until you take a risk and ask first before assuming and telling them what you think they should do.
Another contradiction and duality is how far people will go to avoid what they perceive as conflict or to take the risk of being honest and speak up or ask a question. Again, fear puts us in this place. I do not fear this because I am the one dealing with me and any fallout is my responsibility, not theirs. It is the most liberating place I have ever been even when it makes those, I love uncomfortable.
People have tried for many years to keep me within their idea of safe and protected to no avail. They attempt this because it is comfortable for them to see others do as they would do. It validates their position, feelings, and perceptions. It also allows them to not face things that are different than what they would do or what they see as reasonable. The way my family raised me was the greatest contradiction of all. They raised me to be an honest free thinker and doer, that is until I was that way toward them because it made them face their own choices, words, and actions. This is the meaning behind the statement “others are a mirror of your own issues.”
In summary, we all have duality and contradictions because we are human and we are built that way, so we may as well accept that about ourselves and of others and make it work for us instead of feeling broken and quit fussing so much about how others do things on a personal level. Which is yet another contradiction and duality in the human being, we all want autonomy, many demand it, yet they spend so much time interfering with the autonomy of others. I find human beings to be complex, exhausting, and amusing creatures.