Ten Steps to be More Like Me

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

It must be May, because I'm tired.  One of the things I'm tired of, frankly, is reading ten-point-plans on how to better myself.  Sometimes I wonder how much of that is really someone else's ten-point-plan of how I should make myself more like them.  Or someone else's ten-point-plan of what they want themselves to be like at some point in the future.  Sometimes I feel like what I'm reading are infomercials for one more person's enlightenment journey, packaged up to sell.

But hey, I'm pretty cynical today.

It feels like we are getting ever more homogeneous, right under our own noses, and I don't like what that feels like.  Instate anti-bullying laws all you like, but the playground still seems mean to me, just perhaps a little more sophisticated in its meanness.  Sometimes it feels like the breadth of humanity is becoming constricted down into diagnoses and pills we can use so that we are not made fearful by differences that we do not understand.

'Cos that's what it comes down to so often, isn't it?  People who are different from us, we fear them, don't we.  And so that's why the scale of what is considered "normal" becoming ever smaller makes me feel just a little bit edgy.

Unfortunately, I'm not anywhere near as immune to feeling fearful of others' differences as I would like, though my desire is to be as accommodating to just letting people be, in all their stuff, right in the middle of themselves right now.  But that is easier to type than it is to do.  Especially when I feel so scared and anxious so much of the time.  My partner and I have some  major, major ways of seeing things different amongst all our commonality.  Do I like it that when we discuss certain things, at times when I am feeling small and scared and tiny, that he can feel like I am rejecting him?  I don't.  It makes me feel sad.  I think it's patently unfair that all of those emotions we have when we feel small and tiny and scared manifest themselves as negative things like aggression out the other end, out our face, and hurt someone on the other end.

My partner and I both have some weird going on, I suppose, if you asked Taylah and Matty at Fountain Gate Shopping Centre what they thought of us.  Anxiety and depression and Aspergerers and old traumas that jump up at times to create some havoc.  Those things can always appear to other people as things to be feared.  Which often translates as things to be treated.

I think about Jesus' dictum to "love your neighbour as yourself".  It's easy to try to love your partner as yourself, though you fail many times, because you love them and you want to understand them.

But I wonder what life would look like if that "love your neighbour" dictum was in play - in my case with Taylah and Matty, for example.  I wouldn't be able to caricature them as bogans.  I'd have to actually look beyond the labels I slap on people to what lies underneath.  I think what love your neighbour would have to involve for starters would be a willingness for people to be prepared to be a little scared with each other, all of the time, while resisting the urge to pack each other off to counsellors and psychologists and Glaxo Smith Kline when there is any evidence of a difference in thinking that goes against the grain of what Channel 9 spouts.  Loving your neighbour as yourself would have to involve a willingness to admit that we are all a little scared of each other.

Sometimes I think our easy suburban living has taken us away from our own intuition and perception and understanding, and each other.  We are fearful of each others' frailty.  Sometimes I think all of theses things that we use to communicate - like computer screens and iPhone screens - are decimating our ability to be able to sit with someone who is messier than an avatar.

The things I like reading most online are those things where I can see the rawness inside someone's gut.  It is so much more thin on the ground these days, the courage to be real.  Even while we are all blogging.  The ironies and paradoxes of this age, and of our own souls (mine included) are never-ending.


  1. lots in here
    my initial reaction is that if going against what channel 9 spouts means one is 'different' then I am way more messier than an avatar too :D

  2. Lots of healthy cynicism here, Sue, and fine raw honesty. I'd only say that What We Really Are isn't afraid of anything, 'cos it's Everything That Is. Doesn't have much competition;) It's the phantom entity we call 'ego' that's afraid of all the other phantoms, one illusory thought form afraid of all t'others. Just my, err, thoughts on the matter;)

  3. Kel - 'tis good to be messier than an avatar, though it doesn't always feel like it, eh :)

    Harry - it's funny, when I first read your comment and went away, what I *thought* you were saying was totally different to what you are saying. I thought you were saying something along the lines of, "You're all fearful in this post and that's your big ego, and boy, what a loser you are." Funny how we project our own shit onto other people, isn't it.

    I agree, What We Really Are is something/one I forget from time to time. I've fallen into a lot of fear lately, of the overwhelming, "it's gonna get you this time" variety, that's anchored in the past and has large tentacles. Of course the only way through fear is to on the one hand accept it completely that this is your reality right now, and then paradoxically, to blow it off because it is ultimately illusory. Those two things keep me guessing as to how they both fit, but they do.

    Life, she's an interesting one, eh :)

  4. Well said, Sue. I think too often we feel like life would be easier if we were all alike. We forget that it's impossible to homogenize everyone, and yes, that's scary. It takes skill and compassion to be able to look past the differences to see the commonalities.


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