It's hard to stay positive with all of the pain in the world right now. We live in uncertain times, but when has that ever not been true? Whether we were living in the Age of the Tudor's and plague was a constant worry and threat, or the Medieval Age when wartimes and backstabbing were bloody and often left a wake of destruction behind wherever it tore through. Even now, in parts of the world (and our own country), people live on the street corners, begging for pennies just to eat for the day, children are left parentless and parents are forced to bury their children.
I don't say all of this to bring down the tone of the book; on the contrary there aren't many topics that are so globally important that I will be discussing because I don't want to 'take a side' or cause drama, just thoughts.
Part of where this is taking me is the thought of feeling like I'm alive and on fire...like every circuit in my body is abuzz and lighting up. It's different than my normal feeling. Normally, when I am home and content, and surrounded by 2 dogs, a cat behind me and a cat on my lap, and three parrots calmly chattering to themselves, it feels like a very peaceful and quiet evening. I feel normal, routine, relaxed, perhaps a bit bored but I don't care to change my boredom to a life of wild living-this is really nice and I'm very happy to be home at the moment as I'm typing this.
And then there was that week where I was reminded of what it felt like to be a live. Wondering how it will be when that is interjected into my little normal that I have, I'm unsure of the change but excited because I trust it will be good. So good that as I am typing this, I am reminded of what is waiting for me.
A-holes & Rubber bandsThis is a chapter that's been slowly forming over the past few months. Chandler has been the primary "instigator" that has caused this thought process to start but he is by no means the main focus of this bit. Why do people find themselves drawn to the "bad boys" (or girls)? Working off the theory that I have of mirrors, and that people come into our lives for reasons, what does someone the opposite of us, who treats us like crap, do for us?
Being consistently ignored until they need something, or are in the mood and then they want to talk, acting like you don't exist when you're in the room until the "power players" or people they need move on and they are done with them, then they might come recognize that you're there. Why would we be drawn to those people? Especially when we know we deserve better (and have better), we are still drawn to be friends with that person, or acknowledged by them. It's certainly not a romantic or lustful attraction, it's a human connection.
Like a rubber band, we snap back right before we break and walk away. But each time the tension builds and the band gets a little thinner. Our resistance to take more of a stretch grows but our line grows thinner and one day it'll snap and there won't be a good repair for that.
The same concept applies to more than toxic people in our lives, it applies to any toxic situation really. Let's say you spend 2,080 hours with the same group of people each year, for a decade (that's 20,800 hours roughly), and the rubber band relaxes for weeks, sometimes months. And then it gets stretched out pretty far, you think you'll get shot off into the next continent, and then you feel the tension ease and it's comfortable for awhile again. Until the next event pops up, and before you can relax you're pulled tight again, feeling the stress upon every joint and hoping you don't shatter.
Respect has always been something that is earned and not a right in my life. I believe in being genuine and true to yourself, and acting honestly. I try to keep an open mind, I've been better at it the last month than in my past, but no one is perfect. It's still very hard to not feel let down or exhausted when your position holds very little weight in the eyes of those who's decisions affect your professional development and career. The same can be said for the ones who hold your heart or your respect.
True, you shouldn't allow others to dictate how your feel about yourself, how you live your life, or how you treat others. But when you are feeling broken, exhausted, mentally spent...it's natural to be drawn to a place of familiarity. Sometimes it's a toxic past to fleeting moments, sometimes it's within ourselves, sometimes fighting for what's right becomes so seemingly unbearable and we the constant uphill battle is too much and we have to take a step or two backwards. I don't think that there is anything wrong with this, there is nothing wrong with being imperfect. In order to grow and know our own value I think we have to put ourselves in situations where we might be disrespected, or treated like less than we are worth simply to remind ourselves of what we are capable of.
When pushing ourselves to the limit to prove our value appears to get us no where, sometimes we resort to the path of least resistance, the last behavior that gave us the reinforcement we desire. A sense of accomplishment, a feeling of acceptance, sometimes even simply a kind or flattering word, even if we know the moment is fleeting. In some cases I think that resorting to a more familiar and consistent behavior pattern can build our confidence back up when we are feeling defeated. Might not be the healthiest way to process disappointment and defeat, but everything in moderation is good, right?