navigating the trials of life

NipTuck? : How does one know if they are being irrational or acting logically when something that seems to be unfair towards them drives them to anger and voicing such w/out insults but vehemently?

First of all, acting within the confines of reason is simply a straightjacket. Living this way, you will never avail yourself of the immense resources you have at all times in terms of intuition, emotional support, passion, and a pure sense of play. Life leaves a lot to the imagination, as it was meant to. Allow that to blossom. If you feel like being “irrational”, do so! In ways, of course, that do not restrict others to also blossom.

It’s taken me a long time to see that everything within me is undeniably a blessing to the world. Yes, everything, without exception. The same goes with you and everyone on earth. And yet people can perform actions that are extremely hurtful and cause immense sufferings. There is a paradox in this, of course, and seeing through it is essential for finding self-love.

Consider, then, two scenarios to help understand this dichotomy, which could arise from being close to a man who quite obviously is in a lot of pain. In the first case, he considers you the cause of his pain and frustration. He expresses this with rage and helplessness, making it clear that you’re the problem, and your denials cause him to react with more vehemence because he needs you to help get rid of all his inner problems. He keeps verbally attacking you until you either walk away or attack back. This quite obviously can cause suffering and distrust between you.

The second scenario is when the man is feeling great pain and frustration, some of which you triggered, but considers you the witness only. The rawness of the pain is shown directly to you, and helps you see that he too has a tender heart, can easily be hurt, and can believe in his own smallness. It could be shown indirectly, by screaming at pillows and launching attacks at them – which of course they’re less apt to believe than you! It could also be shown via prose, poetry, or even in song. But in the doing so, you are helped in seeing the innocence both of the other person and of yourself, for you too have these elements in you. The next time you encounter them in you it will flow easier, and this experience helps bring you closer together, even if you are not in a conventional relationship.

Now, there is no difference whatsoever in the pain and anger in the person between the two cases. The only difference is in the expression of it, the projection (or lack of it), and the vulnerability allowed. In the second case, there was no desire to avoid the intensity of the emotion whatsoever, and hence no projection. This is ultimately self-love, and helps bring love out to the world. It is not a rigid “I must face this and deal with it” attitude, which is an avoidance in itself, but a gentle allowing that has you as a witness.

So how to get there? Above all, be gentle with yourself. It’s good to have practice; if you have pain and hurt towards someone where there honestly isn’t enough trust to be vulnerable like this, take care of yourself and back away. Know that by not being a punching bag you are taking care of yourself, which is a part of self-love. Find a friend to be vulnerable about it first, or express it creatively by being vulnerable with yourself. Ultimately the more self-love you have to yourself about your own pain, the less tendency you will have to make it the fault of others.

NipTuck: More specifically, how does one handle the world in general?

Say, Insurance adjusters, office mates, peers, rude people who cut in front of you, try to cut you off in traffic… how does one react?

There is this paradigm it appears to me, where if one does exert some resistance (vocally) in others intrusions,they are considered trouble makers. Whereas if one does not say anything, one gets run over by the world at large.

? How does a person survive in this world? Allow others to run you over, or get angry. I speak up when people do this and then I feel guilty. It’s almost the survival of the fittest I feel. Everyone has become so narcissistic that I feel the continual need to avenge myself.

As someone vocal myself, I strongly notice when speaking up means I’m considered a “trouble maker”. So I take care of myself by stepping back if I feel if there is no openness whatsoever to anything opposed to preconceptions that exist. I have no problems speaking up, but there is no value in bashing needlessly against walls.

But really, the question is: what do you want? Do you want to be in the game of oneupmanship with others? Do you want to endlessly compete, in traffic and other things? Or do you simply want a feeling of peace and contentment in your life? If it’s the latter, then affirm that. Try to live that in traffic jams, in the office, with rude people. Different priorities bring different results.

There’s a saying in the Tao Te Ching that says “The sage does not compete with anyone, hence no one can compete with him.”. It applies here.

That said, even if you do desire well-being above everything else, of course there will be triggers. There will be people pissing you off. There will be people who require you to set firm boundaries. This is part of life, and expecting otherwise will lead to more upsets. But at the same time, there are ways to live in this world (and among such people) that are ultimately loving to yourself and others, even in trying circumstances.

Learning how isn’t a short term matter. If there are emotional minefields in your life, where you’re easily triggered, then it’s certain life won’t be peaceful immediately. However, it’s the direction of the next step that’s always most important, rather than the war zone you may find yourself in. Taking even one small step closer to peace may not feel like much at first, but it causes ripples both in yourself and those around you. Like I said above, everything inside ourselves is a gift. Allow it, value it, and try to find ways to let your honest self out – including honest emotions even if you think they are “negative” – in ways that do not make fault with other people . Blogging can be great, as you know! But above all, allow your feelings and reactions in such a way that doesn’t make anyone else wrong.

So yes, I do like questions that are on the flow of this blog. They’re very much welcome!  And if you like my writing, you’re welcome to share it in some way. Use the “email to a friend” link, send an email, put a link somewhere, anything is appreciated. Thank you for reading!

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